Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Wolf Attacks on Humans

Among some folks, there is a persistent disbelief in wolf attacks on humans. This might be caused by a Hollywood mentality about wildlife, due to watching too many warm and fuzzy movies involving human encounters with wild animals.

I'd like to clear up one thing — Nature is not warm and fuzzy. Every animal is desperately looking for its next meal, and trying equally as desperately to prevent becoming a meal for some other animal. It's a daily survival test. Fail the test and you die. The survivors in the world of wildlife are those who are the best hunters, the best killers, the best at escape and evasion. Nothing warm and fuzzy about it.

The fact remains that there have been wolf attacks on humans throughout history — and that continues today. No doubt, these attacks are rare. Under normal conditions, wolves shy away from humans. Most bears will do the same, if you give them enough notice that you're in the area and are not threatening to their cubs or their food collection spot. Cougars, on the other hand, will stalk humans as prey.

Back to wolves — the most recent attack on record that resulted in the death of a human took place on March 8, 2010. Candice Berner, a 32-year-old female jogger was found dead along a road near Chignik Lake, Alaska. Her body had been mutilated, and wolf tracks were found adjacent to her corpse. The official cause of death, as determined by the Alaska State Medical Examiner was "multiple injuries due to animal mauling."

This is only the most recently reported incident involving a fatal encounter between humans and wolves. The history of wolf attacks spans the world, with lots of them in Russia, some in India, even Afghanistan. Generally, this kind of behavior is seen during times of extreme scarcity of the natural foods for the wolves to eat. But it can't be ruled out that a chance encounter will prompt an attack — just as an encounter with a domestic dog can result in an attack.

These are wild animals, folks. They're not Disney characters. When startled, threatened, or under unusual pressure to locate food, they are unpredictable and can be dangerous. A "head in the sand" attitude is not conducive to safety.


  1. We will see more wolf, cougar, bear, and coyote attacks as the food sources run out with the competition for food for these predators. They are increasing in numbers at an alarming rate.

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  3. So the wolfs didn't actually eat her? Well, I guess you can't decide if you are going to like something until after you taste it.

  4. Bears, as I recall, bears aren't interested in eating us either, cuz we taste like crap to them.