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Topic: Wolf attacks, Do they occur on humans< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 30 2013, 12:13 am  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I had a rather animated discussion with a good friend and a bartender over a beer after skiing today.  Seems the bartneder was in the East Rosebud area yesterday and saw a large grey wolf.  Someone asked if he was scared and he said no at which point I interjected that there was no real need to fear wolves since there is no documented evidence of a healthy wolf ever attacking a human being in the United States.  My friend, an avid elk hunter, and the bartender immediately disputed that and quite the discussion occurred. Niether one could document their statements, but  then I couldn't substantiate mine either. So the questions - does anyone know of a documented attack by a healthy wolf on a person in the U.S. (other that one in Little Red Riding Hood.  But that may have been in Europe anyway).  If you know of one, I'd appreciate knowing your source.  Several beers are riding on this and I'm to report back to the bar in Red Lodge next week.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 30 2013, 12:35 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

This is the only one I am aware of.

Rumi


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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 30 2013, 1:30 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

hikerjer

Wolves have been known to attack people. Not necessarily kill them, but attack, yes. Usually, not adult people, but children. In North America attacks have been very rare (probably largely due to the extirpation of so many wolves;  but there are a number of documented cases in Europe/Asia.

The incident Rumi posted to is the main one anyone might point to; though I've also spoken with folks around here who point out that even THAT incident has  a question mark over it. It certainly appears she was attacked and killed, but there's a possibility she wasn't.

Here's another attack this year

http://www.10tv.com/content....er.html

That one, to me, seems awfully suspect.

Cheers

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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 30 2013, 8:53 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

" Retired wolf biologist Mark McNay compiled 80 events in Alaska and Canada where wolves closely approached or attacked people, finding 39 cases of aggression by apparently healthy wolves, and 29 cases of fearless behavior by non-aggressive wolves."

From the Wikipedia page...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wolf_attacks_on_humans

Rare, but it happens.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 30 2013, 8:56 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Walkinman @ Jan. 29 2013, 11:30 pm)
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http://www.10tv.com/content....er.html

That one, to me, seems awfully suspect.


Seemed like a fairly straightforward young guy telling exactly what happened. I saw pics of his wounds after the attack. I guess those were self inflicted?


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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 30 2013, 10:21 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I would imagine that any predator that ever lived on earth has attacked a human. I was bitten several times bye crayfish playing in the local creek as a kid.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 30 2013, 10:29 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I have no evidence to support this, but I suspect most documented attacks involve wolves working as a pack.

I would not be alarmed by a single wolf....... but then again, where there's one there could be more........
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 30 2013, 11:50 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Walkinman @ Jan. 29 2013, 10:30 pm)
QUOTE
The incident Rumi posted to is the main one anyone might point to; though I've also spoken with folks around here who point out that even THAT incident has  a question mark over it. It certainly appears she was attacked and killed, but there's a possibility she wasn't.

I am not sure what you mean by a question mark about this incident.  The investigation seemed straight foreward.  The evidence very strongly indicates she was killed by at least one or two wolves.  I am not aware of any evidence which contradicts that conclusion or even casts significant doubt.

Rumi


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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 30 2013, 11:50 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Damn, looks like I'll being buying beers in Red Lodge this weekend.

Thanks for the information.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 30 2013, 3:54 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(BradMT @ Jan. 30 2013, 4:56 am)
QUOTE

(Walkinman @ Jan. 29 2013, 11:30 pm)
QUOTE
http://www.10tv.com/content....er.html

That one, to me, seems awfully suspect.


Seemed like a fairly straightforward young guy telling exactly what happened. I saw pics of his wounds after the attack. I guess those were self inflicted?

Brad

Your guess is as good as mine, I'm sure. You saw pics of his wounds? I didn't, in the Fairbanks paper, or Alaska Dispatch. I did see a picture of a torn jacket, but that's all. In fact, if I recall correctly, the Fairbanks paper made a point of mentioning how superficial his wounds were; "a scratch" they said.

My guess is he fell off his snowmachine, and rather than say that's what happened, he said a wolf bit him.

QUOTE
=RumiDude,Jan. 30 2013, 7:50 am]I am not sure what you mean by a question mark about this incident.  The investigation seemed straight foreward.  The evidence very strongly indicates she was killed by at least one or two wolves.  I am not aware of any evidence which contradicts that conclusion or even casts significant doubt.

Rumi


Rumi - yes, the evidence does suggest that; agreed. But I know a number of people who don't think that removes any question mark from what actually happened. FWIW, my guess is the wolves attacked and killed her; I've no idea why. Possibly an illustration of why going jogging alone in wolf country isn't always a good idea. But I am certainly open to the notion that nobody really knows what happened.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 30 2013, 3:57 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

ETA: Brad - reading over the link above, even the biologist there says

"The state in the past four years has tested more than 100 wolves killed in the upper Tanana and Yukon river regions and none were positive for rabies.
State veterinarian Kimberlee Beckmen said the behavior of the wolf that attacked Grangaard was suspicious.
"When a wolf attacks somebody, it's either because it's food-conditioned, rabid or is starving," Beckmen said. "Based on its location, this animal is very unlikely to be food-conditioned, so that elevates the chance of it being rabid.""


And here's the Fairbanks Newsminer article:

Superficial wound
The wolf’s canines ripped through the younger Grangaard’s parka, as well as three layers of clothing under that, and left a 3-inch scratch on his right arm just above the elbow. He described the wound, which he and his father washed out with whiskey and baby wipes, as “pretty superficial.”


...

"State wildlife biologist Torsten Bentzen with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game in Tok called it “a very weird deal.” Bentzen spoke to the Grangaards on Monday after being told of the attack by a pilot at Fortymile Air, who had spoken to the trappers when they returned to Tok on Sunday night.
“There’s nothing like this that I’ve ever heard of before, taking a guy off a snowmachine,” Bentzen said. “It’s definitely bizarre.”"


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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 30 2013, 5:12 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Walkinman @ Jan. 30 2013, 12:54 pm)
QUOTE
Rumi - yes, the evidence does suggest that; agreed. But I know a number of people who don't think that removes any question mark from what actually happened. FWIW, my guess is the wolves attacked and killed her; I've no idea why. Possibly an illustration of why going jogging alone in wolf country isn't always a good idea. But I am certainly open to the notion that nobody really knows what happened.

They performed an autopsy on her, which if done properly would have ruled out things like a heart attack, stroke, etc. The autopsy indicated she died from being mauled by animals.  The short time frame from when she faxed in her time sheet at the school at 5:10pm and her body was discovered at aproximately 6:00pm, limits the possibilities of what might have happened.  The investigation pretty much describes the circumstances of the attack.  The exact chronology and specific events are not known, but there is a lot to know.  Lacking a video tape or similar, the evidence is fairly conclusive, which is my point.  I too am open to another explanation but I have not read any such credible explanation of the facts we do know or any new evidence offered.

Sometimes police investigations return a conclusion which is uncertain or just a best guess given the evidence.  But this report was fairly conclusive it was a wolf or wolves which killed this woman.  We may not understand everything to our satisfaction, especially the why, because wolf attacks are sooooo rare.

IMO, this is one of those cases anti-wolf people like to use to "prove" wolves are dangerous.  But the data indicates wolves sre not especially dangerous to humans.  Grizzly, Brown, and polar bears can often be aggressive and pose a real danger is contact is close.  But wolves are wary of humans and thus the danger is markedly less, even though they are a large predator.

Rumi


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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 30 2013, 6:44 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Rumi

fwiw - that's not a police report; it's a report put out by AKF&G. And while I like Sean Farley and respect his work, there are 3 other people's names on that report. It was approved by Corey Rossi - enuff said. :)

If you know anything about AK DF&G, you'd maybe place a little less faith in the report than a host of other people do.

At the end of the day, nobody actually knows what happened there.

That said - I agree with you; it certainly seems reasonable to me that she was killed by wolves. Why they attacked her, or if she did anything that might've stirred the wolves up,  I've no idea. My point was simply that I know a number of people who think there's a question mark over the details; no more, no less.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 30 2013, 8:34 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

WM, thanks for the additional information. I believe I've mixed up another wound I saw with a different report.

I've been around wolves in the wild by myself, at close quarters, on quite a few occasions and have never felt fear, just awe.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 30 2013, 8:37 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(BradMT @ Jan. 30 2013, 6:34 pm)
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I've been around wolves in the wild by myself, at close quarters, on quite a few occasions and have never felt fear, just awe.

+1 on that.  So has Jer, I know from his past reports.

A small part of that awe is the realization "they could eat me now if they really wanted to and decided to try", but that isn't the same thing as fear of it.  It's just part of being present with a majestic wild animal.

Not that I'm saying anything you don't know Brad... just saying it.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 30 2013, 8:52 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Don't know anything about the individuals responsible for the report.  But, the autopsy was not done by ADF&G and it concluded Candice Berner was killed by large animal malling.  The DNA collected matched one of the wolves culled and the other DNA clearly identified shoed a family relationship to others culled.  This was all work which was done by other than ADF&G.

I am totally ignorant of the political situation in Alaska and any doubts some might have about ADF&G.  But if it is just a nagging suspician about that agency and no concrete evidence to conflict with the report or was ignored by the report, then I will just have to go with the conclusions.  This is one of those situations it would be very difficult to hide something because the facts are so open and corroberated by people outside the agency.

Rumi


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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 30 2013, 9:20 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(GoBlueHiker @ Jan. 30 2013, 8:37 pm)
QUOTE

(BradMT @ Jan. 30 2013, 6:34 pm)
QUOTE
I've been around wolves in the wild by myself, at close quarters, on quite a few occasions and have never felt fear, just awe.

+1 on that.  So has Jer, I know from his past reports.

Brad, you're right on that.  The two occasions I've had relatively close contact with wolves, rather than just viewing them from a distance, not only was it awesome, I just felt incredibly priviledged.  It's just a wonderful experience.  On neither occasion was I frightened.  Guess it just didn't occur to me to be so.

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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 02 2013, 12:28 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Oh come on Jerry, just as it doesnt matter to me, you will wont change your ways either. They arent enogh to worry about.
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 02 2013, 12:32 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Mountaintana @ Feb. 02 2013, 12:28 am)
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They arent enogh to worry about.

Except I have several beers riding on the issue.

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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 02 2013, 9:35 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I haven't been afraid myself either given the number of attacks is pretty insignificant in the end and I'm a heavier set, somewhat scary/ugly guy..

However here's an "almost" one for you. My cousin's wife started down the road walking from their Ranch complex with her 3 dogs. She popped over into the creek bed with willows and suddenly the 4 of them found themselves surrounded by 4 wolves. She and the dogs packed in tight together with the wolves circling and snarling at about a 25' radius. She finally picked up a few rocks and hit a couple of them sending them on their way.

Anybody remember the research team that called in for a helicopter evacuation because they felt threatened?

Wolves are pretty darn smart and adaptive. I'm guessing just like with bears most negative encounters are the fault of the humans.


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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 02 2013, 12:03 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Would bear spray deter a family group like that or just the individual wolf who gets a face full?

When I'm in wolf country usually I'm hoping to see one, lol.

Might have to rethink that :)


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(double cabin @ Feb. 02 2013, 7:35 am)
QUOTE
I haven't been afraid myself either given the number of attacks is pretty insignificant in the end and I'm a heavier set, somewhat scary/ugly guy..

However here's an "almost" one for you. My cousin's wife started down the road walking from their Ranch complex with her 3 dogs. She popped over into the creek bed with willows and suddenly the 4 of them found themselves surrounded by 4 wolves. She and the dogs packed in tight together with the wolves circling and snarling at about a 25' radius. She finally picked up a few rocks and hit a couple of them sending them on their way.

Anybody remember the research team that called in for a helicopter evacuation because they felt threatened?

Wolves are pretty darn smart and adaptive. I'm guessing just like with bears most negative encounters are the fault of the humans.

DC, the problem, 100% absolutely, were the dogs.

Wolves WILL KILL any dog, ASAP in their presence. They view them as inferior rivals to be dealt death to. There are documented instances of wolves grabbing small dogs out of the saddles of cowboys carrying them because of their genetic bent to destroy rivals.

I've spent a fair bit of time with SW Montana's FWP's wolf specialist discussing the various attributes of wolves, and he's adamant on the subject of dogs... wolves will show little if any fear of humans if dogs are in the presence of those humans... they just want to kill the dogs, period.


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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 02 2013, 7:58 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I've never witnessed wolves attacking humans before.
Once while in a bar downtown, I watched a cougar on the attack - she was relentless.
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(hbfa @ Feb. 02 2013, 5:58 pm)
QUOTE
I've never witnessed wolves attacking humans before.
Once while in a bar downtown, I watched a cougar on the attack - she was relentless.

Since there are no wolves in California, that's not surprising... the cougars on the other hand makes perfect sense. CA is the unofficial home of "The Cougar"...


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(BradMT @ Feb. 02 2013, 5:02 pm)
QUOTE

(hbfa @ Feb. 02 2013, 5:58 pm)
QUOTE
I've never witnessed wolves attacking humans before.
Once while in a bar downtown, I watched a cougar on the attack - she was relentless.

Since there are no wolves in California, that's not surprising... the cougars on the other hand makes perfect sense. CA is the unofficial home of "The Cougar"...

Oh...I've been in wolf country on plenty of occasions, I just hide my license plates!  :D
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 02 2013, 9:15 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Being in wolf country and living with wolves are two different things... but I do understand the hiding of the license plates thing! :D

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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 03 2013, 10:29 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

There actually is at least one wolf that's been observed wandering Norcal.

I know the dog thing all to well, 3 were taken by wolves on the Ranch in the latest 90s when the GYE's evolving dynamic was in its infancy. However I have watched my hiking buddy Stella chase off two petrified adult wolves for the better part of a 1/3 or 1/2 of a mile. She's more under control now though. There was no excuse for that on my part or her owners.

I have in the last two months seen something I never would have imagined, wolves and coyotes staying wide of each other but in relative proximity on the National  Elk Refuge. When wolves descended on the Ranch in latest 95 and 96 they killed or drove out just about every coyote around. It is now however not that unusual to hear both of them at the same time. I missed the coyotes badly, was overjoyed to hear them again some years back.

I agree the dogs exascerbated the confrontation, but I wonder if like Mt. Lions wolves for a moment might consider a 115 pound woman or any human on the smaller side as possible prey if dogs were not present? I think wolves are getting educated, and given the people of Wyoming's alacrity for shooting wolves I expect confrontation frequency to decrease.


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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 03 2013, 10:47 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

A wolves education at the end of a barrel is not a bad thing IMO.

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(BradMT @ Feb. 02 2013, 6:15 pm)
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Being in wolf country and living with wolves are two different things... but I do understand the hiding of the license plates thing! :D

So you were raised by wolves?
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Nice stretch skippy... though some may think I was raised by Neanderthals.

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