Posted Oct 18, 2005
Last Updated May 19, 2012
wolf gazing
wolf gazing

Living in Central Ohio, I sometimes get to hear Coyotes barking in the evenings. But the first time I heard a wolf howl was at the Columbus Zoo. There was this eerie noise that I could not identify. But as we got nearer to the wolf exhibit, I knew what it was. I was excited to see the wolves in a pack howling melodically. No wonder our ancient ancestors domesticated this beautiful creature.

It's funny that wolves has such a stigma in our society. According to Wild Dogs by Erwin Bauer, there has not been a single documented case of a wolf attacking a human in North America since Europeans have been settling the Americas! I believe I heard a similar fact on a National Geographic episode recounting a death in Alaska that had signs of wolves at the death, but the general verdict was that the man was killed by a bear and the wolves had scavanged.

Of course, the wolf is a predator and obviously dangerous depending on circumstances.

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May 19, 2012

Actually, the list of non-lethal attacks is endless. There is a Swedish web site called www.vargfakta.se which has listed every single case. T R Mader, John Richardson, Brett L Walker, Valerius Geist, John James Audubon, Elizabeth Scholl, Peter Kalm, Will N Graves and Marc E McNay, to mention a few americans, have described some of them in separate books and reports.

As to deadly ones they certainly exist too. In North America in 2010 (Candice Berner), 2009 (Taylor Mitchell), 2005 (Kenton Carnegie), 1963 (Marc LeBlond), 1922 (Ben Cochran), 1922 (one trapper and two indians), 1910 (James Smith), 1888 (father and son, North Dakota), 1830 (two afro-american men), 1829 (native woman), 1170 (sick natives), etc etc and on and on.

Shawn Olson

May 19, 2012

Thanks for the post and info. It prompted me to re-read the book where I originally read about the lack of documented human fatalities from wolves. I'll certainly look into the topic again.

Eldonna Waddell

Jan 11, 2009

Actually there have been a couple of serious attacks recently. In one, the victim was killed:


In the other, the jogger was locked in hand to mouth combat with a wolf, when a mini-bus full of off shift oil workers came along the road, and thejumped out and fought the wolf off.

Give an infinite number of humans and an infinite number of wolves...and eventually somebody is going to get hurt.

Shawn Olson

May 19, 2012

Sorry it took me three years to respond. Yes, the wolf is a predator and I'm certain it has killed humans multiple times. My comment about documented wolf attacks was based off a book by experts on wild canines; they wrote that wolves have killed people but that since the time of Europeans settling America, no credible fatalities at the hands of wolves have been documented.

Of course, the author's definition of "credible" may not be the same as the next. I'm certainly no expert on this issue.
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