'A normal, healthy wolf would not have done what happened here.'
I'm predicting quite a blowback in the comments for this article... that said still a well written piece Mr. Nosowitz. I just don't agree with you stance on it.
I don't understand why people think it's okay to kill an animal for being an animal. If humans go into a predator's territory and a predator attacks those humans, we get up in arms, hunt it down, and kill it. But if a predator comes into our territory and a human kills it, oh well, that's too bad.
What the f--- is up with that? We need to learn to leave the animals alone and deal with the fact that we are sharing this planet with them. We act like we own the planet and are letting them exist out of the kindness of our hearts. Grow up people.
I wonder, if you had a child who was "allegedly" bitten by a wolf, would you okay the rabies test you cite that "could be reliable," or would you opt instead for the 100% reliable method of killing the animal and checking it?
Would you advocate, in the heat of the moment, using a live animal trap or some other less reliable method of capture or just go along with the rusty but trusty leg hold trap? (knowing the animal will be killed anyway).
Would you stand in the way of a gunshot to its midsection in favor of wrapping a baggie around its head?
While your child lie traumatized and perhaps infected with the always fatal rabies disease, would you opine about the population of wolves, DNR practices of wolf management, and the ethical treatment of animals?
I didn't think so.
We know that wolf attacks are extremely rare, yet you comment that, "It's really more surprising that nobody has ever been attacked before now." Please, explain your logic. Where is your research that suggests it's surprising wolves don't attack more often? Black bears are much more prevalent in Minnesota yet bear attacks are also extremely rare. The dearth of evidence (low incidence of attack) seems to suggest that wolves, foxes, coyotes and bears are all pretty good at avoiding human beings. Then again, I'm not as expertly trained on the subject as you are.
@streakygopher...wolves don't pass on rabies.
"The killed wolf was sent to the University of Minnesota for testing, both DNA testing to see if it was the same wolf that attacked the teen camper, and rabies testing. (Wolves are not reservoirs of rabies, meaning they can't pass it on, but they do sometimes catch it from other animals, like foxes.)"
Mt guess is the testing for rabies is to try to gain an understanding of why the wolf behaved in such a way, if it is even the same animal. There was no reason to kill the first wolf they ran across. Wolves are endangered. Pure politics took it off the list. Negative cheers.
As a veterinarian and advocate for increased protection for wolves in Minnesota, I was glad to see an article that decries the state of wolf conservation and management here. However, the author states that wolves cannot "pass on rabies." I'm not sure what exactly he's referring to, but I have not seen any evidence that a wolf cannot get infected with rabies via a bite and subsequently infect another animal by biting it. While they are not reservoirs in the same way that bats, skunks, or raccoons are in areas around the country, they can certainly present a hazard to human (and other mammalian) health if infected. If I knew a person had been bitten by a wolf, I would absolutely recommend that they take steps to get treatment for potential rabies infection.
Streakygopher: Well you even said "allegedly" when talking about the wolf that was shot. As there was no DNA evidence to ascertain if it was even a wolf or some other animal that bit this boy. What if the wolf they shot was not the one that allegedly bit the kid, shall they kill all of the wolves in say a 20 mile radius and them proceed to DNA test every one of them to see if they were the villain ? It makes more sense to start rabies shots rather than wait for something that may never happen. It may not have even been a wolf at all that bit the kid. Besides, rabies shots are not what they used to be decades ago with a series of very painful shots. So it makes more sense to start the shots as a precaution. 5 shots in a 14 day time span.
For those who have spread and believed the lies about wolves attacking people since time began, they are just lies or falsehoods. There has NEVER been a legitimate report of a HEALTHY wolf ever attacking a human. And if you say "what about that woman in Alaska who was jogging?" It has been suggested she first was attacked and killed by a bear and not killed by a wolf, however, wolves, as many other animals, are scavengers and will eat the kill that any other species left when they were done with it. Not meaning to sound harsh, but that is just facts. wolves are usually very shy and avoid human. So before these DNR officers go and kill every wolf they see, lets hope they wait for the DNA tests so they will have a better idea just what they are looking for and to see if they killed an innocent wolf.
Yep, we're pretty bloodthirsty in minnie. Don't pay any attention to the reports that coyote attacks are steadily increasing (pets and even small children).
And ignore the fact that minnie's efforts have contributed mightily to the reestablishment of the wolf population.
The attack was unusual -- wolves pretty much leave humans alone -- especially single wolves. So, there's a pretty good chance that there was a problem with the animal. Authorities killed the one that was hanging around to see if there was a danger from rabies. Maybe they thought that human suffering was of some import.
Can a wolf pass on rabies or not? A definitive answer please. Thanks, cheers.
To Dan No-wits,
The wolf was trapped and killed for human safety precautions. Unprovoked attacks on humans by large predators like this is a major safety concern. Trapping is needed, necessary and highly effective. Did you know that New York has animal control agencies? Yep. They are paid professionals who go and TRAP vermin, pests and nuisance animals. Everything from bats to raccoons(which carry rabies). Oh, but those traps are okay right - because one wouldn't want those animals attacking city folk on the streets.
Not only is this young man (Noah Graham) tremendously lucky, others are too for the swift actions of wildlife officials. Really, who would wait around for the wolf to attack again? The next victim could've been a 5 year old girl who obviously wouldn't have fared as well. Perhaps those who value wolves over human life would take that chance but most logical, sane people wouldn't.
Your first sentence below the title of this biased article reads, "A wolf--maybe--has bitten a teenaged camper in Minnesota, in what could be the first wolf attack ever recorded in the lower 48 states." MAYBE? The attack is CONFIRMED by the Minnesota DNR. Historically there are records of fatal and non fatal attacks on humans by wolves in North America. However, due to present day standards for verifying attacks those that happened one hundred plus years ago don't count by "today's standards". History repeats itself.
Why is "the lower 48 states" so important? Do our U.S. citizens in the "upper 1 state" not count, nor our friendly Canadian neighbors to the north, eh? In 2007 Kenton Carnegie was killed by wolves in Saskatchewan and sadly was the "first documented case in North America of a healthy wolf killing a human". (www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatchewan/story/2007/11/01/wolf-verdict.html)
Tragically Candice Berner was killed by wolves in Alaska in 2010. "ADF&G performed necropsies and collected samples for disease testing and DNA analyses...Investigators found no evidence in any of the wolves of contributing factors to the attack such as rabies, disease, defense of food, or habituation to human food. (www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=pressreleases.pr12062011)
Your closing paragraph states: "Yes, this wolf attacked a person, but..." BUT WHAT? Are we no longer allowed to go camping or sleep under the stars on the ground, in the middle of a popular National Forest campground, in a place known to be highly trafficked by humans as well as wildlife? Its time to stop making excuses for wolves.
"Wolves are not reservoirs of rabies"...??? YES THEY ARE! Where do you get your information? Perhaps, No-Wits you could tone down the keyboard thumping and attempt some actual research from unbiased, legitimate sources. CHECK YOUR FACTS! I mean come on, you write for a magazine called Popular Science - you should at least appear intelligent.
An animal has no malice and no regrets...they just are.
People is the problem. Yet we expect the solutions to be found elsewhere.
"We Entertain When It Rains"
LOL, its obvious to all, this Dan, Not-A-Clue has never been in Minnesota, Never been around the wolf problem, and generally is a raving NAZI wolf cultist! The location Dan Know Nothing was several hundred miles west of the prime habitat and major location of the Minnesota Timber wolf. Secondly, Dan of No-Facts falsely represents this federal camp ground as a primitive wilderness experience. Wrong Dan, this camp ground is huge and is located on a major Walleye fishery. The camp ground itself could be likened to a large town or small city in population size through the summer camp months! And finally Dan of LITTLE THINKING, the wolf was taken out quickly by federal trappers as evidently this area has been experiencing trouble with this wolf in the past. The Wolf population in northern Minnesota is out of control and this violent, vile, vermin have started killing the Moose to extinction, and the White Tail deer are soon following. Dan of NO-POSSIBLE-THOUGHT! Check out your facts, start writing the truth, and forget your Walt Disney fairy tale lies. This type of attacks has happened in increasing frequency in the northern sector of Minnesota because wolves have killed its prey base! I realize DAN of NO SENSE loves L. David Mech; but residents that live in the problem can disprove his lies on a daily basis and this article is a worthless lie filled rag! Popular Science best remove it to save face!
I can't believe PopSci continues to let this guy write on this subject. He has already made up his mind that he is right and anyone who has a different view on how wolves are managed is a wildlife hating maniac. He has no clue about this subject, no experience in the field, and his unwavering one sidedness is downright unscientific. Dan, please stop writing articles about wolves on PopSci, this really isn't the forum for your personal, unreasonable, and unscientific rants. Go write for PETA where this kind of writing is appropriate.
This is not the first time a wolf has attacked a person. The fact is, not many people would report it. Most people out in the sticks are either hunters or they live out there. Chances are they no how to fix themselves and don't need to see a doctor to report it. Like me.
When I was sixteen I ran away from home out to Colorado, about mid march. I had it all planned out, where I was going to go, when I was going to get there, everything. I ended up at the Rawah Lakes, just west of Fort Collins. The sun just went down. Got my fire started, and built a shelter (a little snow cave with some pine needles for insulation) within the hour. Well, as I was warming up by the fire, I could hear animals walking all through the snow. I didn't think anything of it, everyone whose been out deep in the woods knows there's every type of animal all around you. About fifteen minutes later I seen a pair of yellow eyes movin maybe just ten yards off from me. Then I seen more. they moved closer. There were seven of them. They all sat down on their haunches in a perfect circle around me. then they just stared. Of course, I was scared out of my mind by this point. I started whoopin and hollerin, runnin up to within an arms length screamin at them, tryin to scare them off, but they just stared with them big ol yellow eyes. I still have nightmares about those eyes to this day, and that was five years ago.
That was the first night. I didn't sleep much that night. The secondnight, the wolves came back. I did the same thing as the night before, tried to scare them off. Well it didn't work so I gave up.i stared back, calmed down a little and went to sleep.
The next day I found a rabbit in a snare I set the day before(don't worry hippies, it snapped its neck and died instantly, didn't feel a thing). That night while I was eating my wonderful dinner, they came back again. No yelling at them this time. Instead I took a leg off the rabbit and walked up to the big boy I thought was the alpha male and set it down in front of it. he ate it without taking his eyes off me.
The final night I was there, we just stared at eachother again, until I crawled into my cave. about five minutes later, I look up and in the candle light I see the little scrawny wolf standing at the entrance. A few seconds went by, and then out of nowhere, he charges me. no growl, no snarl or bared teeth. It was a completely calculated and thought out attack.
We fought for about 30 seconds before I killed him. he bit me and scratched me several times on the arms and legs. I stabbed him in the belly.
I dragged his body out of the cave, and in a rage deboweled him in front of the other six wolves, before cutting off his tail. They did nothing but stare.
At this point I left, fast. it was about 4 miles to where I left my car, and I ran the whole way. about twenty minutes afet leaving, the howling started. it lasted at least thirty more minutes before it just stopped. Twenty minutes after that, I made it to my car just as the wolves bolted out of the trees. I don't know how, but my car started after sitting four days in minus 20 degees or colder weather, and I drove off. once I reached Walden, on the other side of the pass, I had to stich myself up with a sewing needle and fishing line.
Those, things, nearly killed me, as was their predetermined intention, and I still have nerve damage and walk with a limp today, so don't even try to tell me that wolves are so cute and cuddly. All the wolves you've ever seen were either in a zoo, or a sanctuary, or domesticated PETS. So unless you've seen a wolf out in the wild, in its habitat, you don't know a thing about them. They are some of the most intelligent creatures out there but they are vicious. I hate wolves more than anything. I respect them immensely, but I hate them nonetheless.
There seems to be a lot of emotional reasoning in these comments. Bottom line, Dan's written a very informative story on apparently a very controversial topic, and you get to view it pretty much for free, but here you sit complaining about it with what appears to be quite a lack of appreciation of this guy's been through to deliver to you researched information about, specifically, an endangered species that is vital to the natural environment it lives in. I'd like to welcome you to the science community, where you'll need an open mind and a willingness to learn about the world around you. It's alright if you don't appreciate the post, but don't put the guy down for it, he's done nothing wrong and has, to the best of his ability, given you information to make you more knowledgeable than you were yesterday.
Wolves are no where near endangered hence the USFWS's scientifically backed and logical reasoning for delisting them! There are well over 60k in Alaska and Canada alone, not counting the 1000s in the lower 48 states! People need to quit with the whole, "oh the poor wolves are endangered and the sky is falling" bovine feces. Their genetic viability is NOT in peril.
Opal Wolf - "For those who have spread and believed the lies about wolves attacking people since time began, they are just lies or falsehoods. There has NEVER been a legitimate report of a HEALTHY wolf ever attacking a human". Well here's your report Opal Wolf, when I was young (I was in grade 6) I was almost attacked and killed by a pack of timber wolves. They were running at me and came within 15 feet of me before I managed to escape, therefore please don't say that wolves would never attack a human. While it's a rare thing, if a winter has been very tough and food scarce they are preditors and they will attack.
Although I have not read any of your previous articles, I can only assume that you are not actually a journalist. Your assemblage of misinformed and leading comments could in no way be construed as professional journalism. Instead you only manage to perpetuate the tiresome stereotype that out-of-touch urbanites with no real contact with wolves are the only ones who care deeply about wolf conservation.
As a wildlife biologist working to ensure wolves remain on the landscape, I find it disheartening and frustrating to be continually lumped together with the likes of you. While I believe that we may ultimately want the same things for wolves, I feel like you haven’t really thought about how to achieve those things. It has long been my (and most wildlife professionals') wish that both of the highly radicalized and irrational sides of the wolf debate would consider actual science and use some reason when debating or reporting on such volatile issues.
Both sides need to recognize that wolves are just animals like deer, fish, rats, dogs, cats, and (depending on your ideology) you and me. They are not the unblemished and shining symbols of wilderness that the radical environmentalists make them out to be, nor are they the evil and ruthless monsters that the ignorant rednecks would have you believe. Like most things the truth lies somewhere in the middle. I have seen wolves begging for food in campgrounds and chasing people on bicycles. I have also sat with a rancher and watched as a pack of wolves calmly traveled through the middle of his heard without the slightest bit of trouble. I have even been brought to tears by the awesome beauty of a pack killing and eating an elk calf in a manner that also turned my stomach, as it would of any other compassionate person. My point is that nature is dirty and raw and complicated, it cannot be split into good or bad; winners or losers. Wolves are just wolves. They live and they die and make their mark on the world like everything else. By attempting to fit wolves into the false and arbitrary constructs of our own personal philosophies we strip them of their most enduring quality; the fact that they exist without any need for, or adherence to, anthropogenic labels or ideologies.
They are just animals so drop the emotion and look at this story objectively. Consider that if a dog had attacked a kid in a similar manner it would face a similar fate. The same would be true if it were a bear, a lion, a tiger, or the last snow leopard. Human safety has always been and always will be one of society’s most pressing concerns as it pertains to our interaction with wild predators (at least for those of us that live among them). No amount of slanted blogging and hand wringing will ever change that.
This kid was doing nothing ‘wrong’ in wolf country and seems to have been involved in a completely unprovoked attack. Trapping and killing this wolf was an obvious necessity. If you knew anything at all about wolf biology or trapping, the fact that they caught this wolf in the same campground within 3 days of the attack would provide ample evidence to proceed and kill this individual wolf for rabies and DNA testing. If it is the wrong wolf, then that honestly is too bad, but an abundance of caution is needed when human lives are at risk. What would you propose they do? Chain it up for a week while the lab tried to extract the wolf’s DNA from his wounds? Since your obviously not familiar with the real world limitations of such testing, you might not know that most wounds like this are thoroughly cleaned and disinfected well before DNA swabs are ever taken. The majority of EMTs and paramedics wouldn’t know to thoroughly swab for DNA before they get to work ensuring infection doesn’t spread from the gaping scalp lacerations on a 16 year old kid. If you meant to imply that they might be able pull the kids DNA from a drugged wolf then you might be on a ‘more correct’ line of thought but only if they managed to do so immediately after an attack, before it ate something else, and swabbed just the right spots on the wolf’s teeth and claws. That’s a tough but possible task with a dead animal in the lab, even tougher to pull off in the 30-45 minutes an animal would be under anesthesia at a trap site. Keep an eye out for those lab results and let me know if they ever show up.
I guess I shouldn’t get too upset with your lack of reality based reasoning. Your description and general interpretation of wolf trapping was actually quite funny. It’s almost like you didn't know that “catch and release” wolf trapping using leg hold traps has likely been the single most important tool for wolf researchers and conservationists for over 50 years. How do you think all of those radio and GPS collars responsible for all of the research extolling the benefits of wolves got on those animals? Magic? How do you think the Mexican wolves that were reintroduced into Arizona and New Mexico got into the trucks they were brought in on? More magic? Sorry, I don’t believe in magic so I will let you know that they used traps, the only kind that work for wolves, leg hold traps. If it wasn't an entire issue unto itself I might try to discuss why your perceptions about trapping differ so much from reality, but for now I will let it slide to give time to a larger point.
There are an estimated 2,200 wolves in Minnesota right now, that is more than all of the wolves in Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Oregon, and Washington combined. Squeeze those into the northern 2/3s of the state and you have one of the most robust populations of wolves in North America. The loss of this 1 wolf to that population is so biologically insignificant that I have a hard time understanding what you mean when you write, “When the animal in question is as at risk as the gray wolf…”. I can only assume that you are alluding to the wolf’s status as Federally Endangered in some parts of the US. You might not remember that wolves have been federally de-listed in the Great Lakes and Rocky Mountain Regions for a few years now. This, even after an endless succession of lawsuits brought forth by environmental groups ultimately shifted the goal posts on the USFWS . Still, after achieving every management and population goal ever set forth, the USFWS continues to get sued and stonewalled at the very hint of de-listing. Wolf recovery in the lower 48 is probably the greatest success story in the history of the endangered species act, yet many people refuse to recognize success for what it is. If people continue to ignore modern science and the achievement of all recovery goals; and push to keep wolves on the endangered species list, then they must admit that the act is simply a place where threatened species go to die out, and if that is the case, then it is a failure and should be scrapped.
Everyone is entitled to share their opinion, but the last thing that wolf conservation needs is one more misinformed extremist publicly spouting off on something they obviously know very little about. If you honestly care about wolf conservation and want to talk about wolves in a meaningful way, then step out of your bubble and go out in the field with a biologist. Talk to them about what they do and why they do it. Talk about everything, the technical aspects, the working relationships, the politics, the logistics, and the realities of field work. Then come back and write something worth reading.
@FiredUp Yes, I can acknowledge that the grey wolf population as a whole is in decent standing, but there are certain subspecies in the lower 48 (for example, the Mexican Grey Wolf) that are more threatened than ever. Their loss or gain in numbers still impacts their environment nonetheless. I would recommend contacting some agencies such as wolf centers that are dedicated to the subspecies' reintroduction into their natural habitat. I believe the International Wolf Center is a great resource for things like this, as well as the California Wolf Center.
Also, I don't get why it's so important for people to be sharing these stories in the comments. I don't mean to be too insensitive, but regardless of whether or not your personal stories are true, they haven't been accounted for in the data, and it would be more appropriate for you to report these occurrences to the proper authorities and not a magazine's website, unless for some reason PopSci really wants to hear them, then by all means continue, but I'm pretty sure they would rather have constructive conversation in their comment section.
In addition to the above post,
-bigtexcaly- you might want to know that there were no wolves in Colorado when you were sixteen, Unless you are at least 86 years old, which judging from your computer skills, memory, and agression you are not. Pick a state like Montana or Minnesota next time you tell your little tale. For the rest of the fervent anti-wolfers out there, it is no surprise to see your vitriolic comments come pouring in, but take a breath and think a bit before you post your own lies. This does not have to be a lie vs. lie debate, there is a lot of truth out there that both sides fail to see.
Pmcgee33- In response to your above post- "Also, I don't get why it's so important for people to be sharing these stories in the comments."
"... it would be more appropriate for you to report these occurrences to the proper authorities and not a magazine's website..."
Since only two persons have spoken of personal experiences I assume that this is in part directed at me. First of all let me say this; grow up. People share expereinces and throughout human history it has been an important way to both convey meaning and often promotes positive dialoge. Don't like it? Don't read it. As to why I'm not reporting what occurred to me to the authorities is this reason: People who grow up in the country (I mean really country) don't go running to file reports everytime there's a bump in with local wildlife, I wasn't hurt...neighbors in the area were warned by my family (my father witnessed the occurance) and that's basically how it was handled back then in rual Canada (and in very remote places still is).
These comments are just another example of anti-wolf hatred that goes back for generations. We nearly made the wolf extinct in the lower 48 because of misinformation and hatred. Wolves have barely made a comeback (in the lower 48) and the killing them off out of a misguided fear has already begun. The dropping them off the endangered list (in the lower 48) and allowing hunting again is an ill advised attempt to appease this hatred and shameful politics. Some people will not be happy until every wolf is killed because there is such a danger, as I see the human carnage by wolves everyday in the news. But of course the liberal press covers up that, too. Get educated about the truth and quit making up stories or spreading urban legends.
Why couldn't the trapped wolf have been humanely trapped and euthanized? Honestly, when our natural resources have to be protected from agencies that purport to protect our natural resources, we are in deep trouble.
Dear Abbey, <---- (haha kinda funny)
I applaud your well written, logical, fact-based response to Mr. Nosowitz's article. One can only hope that others read your response and take it for what it is, the truth. You nailed it better than I ever could but also reiterated some of what I briefly mentioned in my first comment. I too have background in wildlife biology yet find it extremely hard not to scream at my computer when I read some of the, quite frankly, biased and ignorant articles and comments. The fact that people believe it is the truly sad part!
The majority of the public is completely misinformed when it comes to wolves in general, but more specifically to their recovery, ecology, history, population status and more. You're completely right when you mention the extremes both for and against wolves, but I'd like to add there are many (like me) who are demanding wolves be responsibly managed (like all other species), to be able to defend ourselves and livelihoods legally if need be and to not be chastised by out-of-state urbanites who wouldn't know a wolf from a coyote! Pro-wolf 'management' that which adheres to science consistent with today's circumstances, not one hundred plus years ago, should be promoted versus the pro-wolf/anti-wolf stances. Social perspective on wildlife management policies must be taken into consideration but my question is, how can we responsibly manage wildlife when emotions run rampant - when emotions trump science and logic?
It would be wonderful if "unbiased" wolf biologists and wildlife officials construct a documentary aired on PBS, Animal Planet, Discovery and the like telling the TRUTH about wolves, conservation and current issues pertaining to wolves. The majority of wolf advocates do not live even remotely close to wild wolves or know the struggles many rural folks are facing today with everything from livestock/pet depredations, loss of hunter opportunity to human safety. They only see the hype on TV and read articles like this or receive Defenders of Wildlife or Sierra Club mailings asking for money to protect the beautiful "endangered" wolves. Wolf admirers believe the blatant lies from activist groups who scream that hunting wolves will drive them into extinction. Has an animal rights/environmentalist group ever disclosed factual wolf management policies and hunting regulations to those they seek monetary support from? Probably not. But they zero in on trapping and completely misconstrue information making it out to be a horrid tool of wildlife management while failing to recognize their hypocrisy. (I like your word choice and usage of 'magic' when explaining the use of trapping in wolf management.) On the other hand, offensive photos of trapping and/or trappers go viral and there isn't much one can do to persuade the ill-informed otherwise once they've seen a graphic photo used to perpetuate those misconceptions...both sides are to blame. Honestly, how do we counter all that misinformation?
I appreciate your educated opinion and really do hope others can distinguish between facts and fallacies. Thank you for speaking out against such an article as this from Mr. Nosowitz. Popular Science, one can hope, is taking notice of these comments.
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@AbbeyLeopold...I see nothing outlandish with Dan's article. If indeed it is true the boy is not sure what bit him than shooting at and then killing the closest wolf seems like a knee-jerk reaction, especially seeing that a wolf having bit the boy is in question. The trapping of wolves in known wolf territory is apt to trap a wolf and doesn't seem too unusual. This may be the wolf in question seeing how it was not healthy and was in the area or it may not be. Either way the boy will need rabies shots because there is no way to be certain so killing the wolf serves no purpose except for some misguided vengeance or revenge. We humans are not a part of the natural state of the wilderness any longer. It is our responsibility to protect this natural state because we control whether or not the wilderness will continue to exist. We are the only species that is capable of destroying everything and need to preserve all the wilderness that remains instead of the other way around which we have such a talent for. When we visit, an encounter that goes bad should not be blamed on the animal as they are just behaving normally. Killing of the animal should be the last resort and only if the correct animal can be identified. Hopefully this boy will fully recover and continue to enjoy the outdoors.
@drchuck1 - You wouldn't see anything outlandish with Dan's article because you have rose colored glasses on.
You say, "so killing the wolf serves no purpose except for some misguided vengeance or revenge." WRONG!! It serves as a human safety precautionary measure!
You say, "We humans are not a part of the natural state of the wilderness any longer." That, sir, is YOUR "OPINION" and try explaining that to the indigenous tribes who still live in the Amazon. Humans are MAMMALS, fact. Humans are PART OF Nature, not separate from it, as fossil records show we evolved into the homo-sapiens we are today. How we view ourselves in this World and how we react in it are completely personal choices.
Fact remains, we are mammals. Just because the majority of Americans live in structures within concrete jungles (cities; metropolis; suburbia) does not mean that we can not survive/live in the wild/wilderness. The basics of survival are oxygen, food, water and shelter. Fact. The rest of the "stuff" we accumulate is for comfort and convenience.
I live in western Montana and have had many encounters predators. Did they attack? No. Were they killed? No. If they attacked would they have been killed? Probably, but it also depends on circumstances. Like for instance, females defending their offspring.
Human precaution? The boy was not sure it was a wolf. So just kill whatever wolf you come across first. With that logic just kill every wolf out of precaution. I had no idea people lived in the Amazon. I didn't literally mean every person on the planet is removed from a natural state, just 90 some odd percent. Since humans have live birth, hair and nurse their young, hmmm...I guess we must be mammals. What is this fossil thing you speak of? Could you be a little more condescending? At least you are good enough not to kill on site, unlike others would if they could and what we did do to the wolves until they were nearly gone in the lower 48. I guess you know what you can do with your smug attitude?
@ drchuck1 - Condescending and smug? No. Fed up and factual is more like it. Are you offended when facts are brought into the conversation? Seems like it. It also appears like you missed it the first go-round -- the said wolf being killed serves as a "human safety precautionary measure".
Noah was laying down, in the dark when something attacked his head. I can safely bet that most people would be more concerned with surviving an attack than attempting to correctly identify which species of predator is attacking. Noah is 16 years old and who are we to prematurely assume that he is even able to correctly identify a coyote versus a wolf? Has he seen a wild wolf or coyote before this instance? Most urbanites wouldn't be able to distinguish between a large coyote and a sub-adult wolf. Many people believe all black bears are black, which they are not. Lets unleash a wolf and a coyote, have you lie on the ground in the dark, allow one of them to attack your head and see how well you can distinguish them apart. If a bear mauled your head in the dark could you tell me if it were a black bear or a grizzly? Point made. So perhaps you could slack off the whole, "the boy was not sure it was a wolf" pitch.
The Minnesota DNR confirmed it was a wolf attack.(They can tell by bite mark patterns and size AND witnesses typically help too, like in this attack.) Was the euthanized wolf the same wolf that attacked Noah? We won't know until they release the DNA results BUT the wolf killed tested negative for rabies. Regardless, the wolves in the area posed a threat to human safety and ONE was removed. (http://news.dnr.state.mn.us/2013/08/29/wolf-believed-to-have-bitten-teen-tests-negative-for-rabies/)
The extirpation of wolves in the lower 48 'over 100 years ago' was promoted and sponsored by a government agency, the U.S. Biological Survey - now known as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). Back then there weren't any wildlife management policies and regulations like there are now. Today the Delhi Sands flower-loving fly has more rights and protections than an American citizen. So...don't swat the wrong fly in California or you might just commit a Federal offense.
@ drchuck1 - YES. Wolves CAN transmit rabies to a human. Any warm-blooded animal can carry the virus. The virus is transmitted through saliva.
That is what I had thought about rabies, too. So Dan should do better fact checking. However you do like to exaggerate a bit, the fly does not have freedom of speech, ect. The article did not state a wolf had been verified in this attack. And yes, identifying an attacker is not always easy. DNA probably will be inconclusive. Killing the first wolf you come across is just appeasing people's fears. On another note, judging you by how you write your comments, you are a smug &%$ who thinks he is smarter and better than anyone who disagrees with you. Throwing out common facts at an attempt to prove your opinion and to embarrass others is a bit childish, bugger off.