Never Cry Wolf
Unless You Have Evidence
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Common Man Institute, in cooperation with Abundant Wildlife Society of North America, has done extensive research on wolves and their history for several years. We have gathered evidence on wolf attacks which occurred in North America.
A forester employed by the Province of British Colombia was checking some timber for possible harvest in the 1980s. He was met by a small pack of three wolves. The forester yelled at the wolves to frighten them away. Instead, the wolves came towards him in a threatening manner and he was forced to retreat and climb a nearby tree for safety. The wolves remained at the base of the tree. The forester had a portable radio, but was unable to contact his base, due to distance, until evening. When the call for help came in, two Conservation Officers with the Ministry of Environment were flown to the area by floatplane to rescue the treed forester.
When the Conservation Officers arrived, the forester was still in the tree and one wolf, the apparent leader of the pack, was still at the base of the tree. The officers, armed with shotguns, shot at the wolf and missed. The wolf ran for cover and then started circling and howling near the two officers. After a couple missed shots, the wolf was finally shot and killed.
The wolf tested negative for rabies. It appeared healthy in every respect, but was very lean. The Conservation Officers felt the attack was caused by hunger. (Taped Interviews and a photo of the wolf on file at Abundant Wildlife Society of North America.)
This is but one example from British Colombia. Wolves overran Vancouver Island in the 1980s. Attacks became so common that articles were published in Canadian magazines documenting such attacks. (Copies available upon request.)
Wolf Attacks on humans have occurred in national parks, too. In August 1987, a sixteen-year-old girl was bitten by a wild wolf in Algonquin Provincial Park in Ontario. The girl was camping in the park with a youth group and shined a flashlight at the wolf. The wolf reacted to the light by biting the girl on the arm. That bite was not hard and due to the thick sweater and sweatshirt the girl was wearing, she sustained two scratch marks on her arm. The wolf was shot by Natural Resources personnel and tested negative for rabies. (Interview with Ron Tozer, Park Naturalist for Algonquin Provincial Park, 7/25/88.)
Well-known wolf biologist Dr. David Mech took issue with this attack stating it couldn't really be considered an authentic attack since the girl wasn't injured more severely. It was exactly nine years when such an attack would take place.
Algonquin Provincial Park is one of several areas where people are encouraged to "howl" at the wolves in hopes of a response from the wild wolves in the area. In August, 1996, the Delventhal family of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, were spending a nine-day family vacation in Algonquin and joined a group of Scouts in "howling" at the wolves. They were answered by the howl of a solitary wolf.
That night the Delventhals decided to sleep out under the stars. Young Zachariah was dreaming when he suddenly felt excruciating pain in his face. A lone wolf had bit him in the face and was dragging him from his sleeping bag. Zach screamed and Tracy, Zach's Mother, raced to his side and picked him up, saturating her thermal shirt with blood from Zach's wounds.
The wolf stood menacingly less than a yard away. Tracy yelled at her husband, Thom, who leapt from his sleeping bag and charged the wolf. The wolf retreated and then charged at Tracy and Zach. The charges were repeated. Finally the wolf left. Thom turned a flashlight on 11-year-old Zach and gasped "Oh, my God!" "The boy's face had been ripped open. His nose was crushed. Parts of his mouth and right cheek were torn and dangling. Blood gushed from puncture wounds below his eyes, and the lower part of his right ear was missing." Zach was taken to a hospital in Toronto where a plastic surgeon performed four hours of reconstructive surgery. Zach received more than 80 stitches in his face.
Canadian officials baited the Delventhals' campsite and captured and destroyed a 60-lb wild male wolf. No further attacks have occurred since. (Cook, Kathy; "Night of the Wolf" READER'S DIGEST, July 1997, pp. 114-119.)