Mountain Men know that nature can be cruel and that out in the wilderness a man can easily find himself sliding a step or two down the food chain. So what should you do if you find yourself face to fang with one of our most ancient and deadly rivals? How do you survive a wolf attack? If you find yourself unexpectedly faced with a wolf, your first priority is preventing this from escalating into an attack situation.
Avoid making eye contact with the wolf as they interpret this as challenging or threatening behaviour. Avoid showing your teeth for the same reason. Lower your head and bow slightly — the wolf will see this as a submissive and non-threatening behaviour. Back away slowly but do not turn your back on the wolf. Fight the urge to turn and run — if the wolf sees you running, it sees you as prey. You cannot outrun a wolf. If the wolf begins snarling, snapping and lunging towards you, you need to switch from submissive and non-threatening behaviour to asserting yourself and showing the beast that you are not an easy target.
Hold your arms up, draw yourself up to your full height, and shout loudly and aggressively. If you have stones or other objects to hand then throw them. In this situation it is highly unlikely you will be able to actually face a wolf down or scare it off completely — what you are aiming for is to make the creature back off so that you can continue to make your escape.
Try to get to a group of people. Wolves are much more likely to attack a lone individual than a group of people. If you find yourself in a group and under attack by a wolf, or pack of wolves, group yourselves together with children, elderly, or injured persons at the centre of the group.
Head for a fire. Wolves hate fire and a smoky campfire will discourage a wolf from coming too near. If you are alone, climb a tree. Wolves cannot climb trees. You may be in for a long wait however, and could find yourself surrounded by a full wolf pack in time. Still, a long wait up a tree is still better than being attacked.
If the wolf is on you before you can escape, it is recommended that you curl into a foetal position, hiding your face and taking care to cover your neck with your arms as thoroughly as possible.
Wolves go for the neck and throat when they attack. You will be bitten but you stand a much better chance of surviving. As soon as you are able to do so, try to get back up on your feet and once again challenge the wolf as in Step 2.
If the wolf is not backing off and you have no opportunity for escape, use anything you have to hand to strike at the creature.When we discuss wolf attacksthere are many different variables to consider. Firstly, the location is important. In Spain, there hasn't been a verified wolf attack with a fatality since .
In North America, attacks are similarly rare although the last recorded fatality was in In India, however, recent fatalities have been depressingly more common, especially with children as victims. The type of attack is similarly significant. Some wolves have no actual physical interaction with a human, but are still recorded to protect further attacks. Also, not all attacks are fatal or are fatal in different ways.
Rabid wolves are more likely to attack humans due to the aggressive stage of the infection. This can lead to death, although proper medical support should be implemented to prevent this happening. AnimalWised investigates how often do wolves attack humans? In doing so, we hope to see how we can reduce the possibility of fatalities happening in the future.
The relationship between humans and large predators has changed over the course of history. Our change in position from prey to hunter didn't occur until we invented the technology to make us superior predators in terms of lethality.
With urbanization and a better understanding of the animal kingdom, we have better protection against such predators. However, some still choose to hunt unnecessarily while others work to protect different species. Due to the large territories in which wolves live, their conservation can be difficult. The problem occurs when humans venture into these areas and encounter the wolves.
Many humans will not seem like appropriate prey when they are in groups. However, lone hikers or logging workers have been known to be stalked by wolves. Sometimes, they are able to be driven away, on other occasions the person is not so lucky.Last Updated: February 26, References. To create this article, 69 people, some anonymous, worked to edit and improve it over time. This article has been viewedtimes. Learn more Wolves are dangerous, powerful predatory animals.
They usually do not show aggression toward people, but it never hurts to be prepared for the worst when you find yourself in wolf territory.
If you are attacked by a wolf, do not run away. Maintain eye contact, make yourself look large, and make loud, intimidating noises. Get to a safe place as soon as you can. To survive a wolf attack, back away slowly while maintaining eye contact if it sees you, since turning your back or running will encourage it to chase you.
Only fight the wolf off as a last resort after it has attacked you. Try to stand with your back against a tree or rock, and use sticks, bear spray, or anything else to stop the attack. For tips on how to survive a wolf attack if you're in a group, keep reading! Did this summary help you? Yes No. Please help us continue to provide you with our trusted how-to guides and videos for free by whitelisting wikiHow on your ad blocker.
Article Summary. Part 1 of Avoid areas where wolves have been seen.
Do Wolves Attack Humans?
Avoid being seen. If you see the wolf before it sees you, walk away silently.
Stay vigilant. Remember: where there's one wolf, there are likely more wolves around. Wolves sometimes travel alone, but they almost always hunt in packs. Back away slowly, if the wolf sees you.Wolf attacks are injuries to humans or their property by any subspecies of wolf. Their frequency varies with geographical location and historical period. Gray wolf attacks are rare because wolves are often subsequently killed, or even extirpated in reaction by human beings.
As a result, wolves today tend to live mostly far from people or have developed the tendency and ability to avoid them.
The country with the most extensive historical records is Francewhere nearly 7, fatal attacks were documented from to In the half-century up tothere were eight fatal attacks in Europe and Russia, three in North America, and more than in south Asia.
Nevertheless, they tend to fear and avoid human beings, especially in North America. Those with little prior experience with humans, and those positively conditioned through feeding, may lack fear. Wolves living in open areas, for example the North American Great Plainshistorically showed little fear before the advent of firearms in the 19th century,  and would follow human hunters to feed on their kills, particularly bison.
David Mech hypothesized in that wolves generally avoid humans because of fear instilled by hunting. Cases of rabid wolves are low when compared to other species since wolves do not serve as primary reservoirs of the disease, but can be infected with rabies from other animals such as dogs, golden jackals and foxes.
The reason for this is unclear, though it may be connected with the presence of jackals in those areas, as jackals have been identified as primary carriers. Wolves apparently develop the "furious" phase of rabies to a very high degree, which, coupled with their size and strength, makes rabid wolves perhaps the most dangerous of rabid animals,  with bites from rabid wolves being 15 times more dangerous than those of rabid dogs.
Most rabid wolf attacks occur in the spring and autumn periods. Unlike with predatory attacks, the victims of rabid wolves are not eaten, and the attacks generally only occur on a single day.
Experts categorize non-rabid attacks based on the behavior of the victims prior to the attack and the motivations of the wolf. Attacks whose victims had been threatening, disciplining, disturbing, teasing, or annoying attacking wolves, their pups, families, or packs are classified as "provoked", "defensive" or "disciplinary".
The attackers in such cases seem motivated, not by hunger, but fear or anger and the need to escape from or drive the victim away. Examples would include a captive wolf attacking an abusive handler; a mother wolf attacking a hiker who had wandered near her pups; an attack on a wolf hunter in active pursuit; or a wildlife photographer, park visitor, or field biologist who had gotten too close for the wolf's comfort.
While such attacks may still be dangerous, they tend to be limited to quick bites and not pressed. Unprovoked attacks have been classified as "predatory"; "exploratory" or "investigative"; or "agonistic".Myths have been spread regarding how dangerous wolves are to humans.
The question ''Do wolves attack humans? First, it is important to understand that all wild animals can attack human beings. Even prey animals such as deer might attack a human being under certain circumstances. So the notion that a predator, such as a wolf, will attack a human is not out of the question. Generally, wolf attacks on human beings are extremely rare.
The volume of wolf attacks that occurred against humans was mostly prior to the 19th century with most of them occurring during the Middle Ages and earlier. One reason for this volume of attacks was encroachment.
Humans moved into areas where wolves were indigenous and did so with limited means to protect themselves against potentially starving animals. Wolf attacks were often against children because, quite honestly, predators always look for easy targets. Geographically, most wolf attacks were in Asian regions. Few wolf attacks on humans occurred in Russia and Europe. In North America, there are no records of fatalities resulting from a wolf attack. There are a few factors that can contribute to a wolf attacking a human.
One reason would be outright starvation. To attack a human for food, a wolf would have to be extremely desperate. Wolves realize human beings are dangerous. As a result, a human is not going to be the first choice for a wolf to attack. Another reason why a wolf might attack a human would be rabies. If the wolf becomes rabid, it is going to be very dangerous and risk attacking anything in its path. A wolf will attack a human as a defensive reaction. In other words, unwisely encroaching on a wolf, threatening it, or doing the same to its young could lead to a wolf attacking.
Wolves are pack animals, which means that a wolf is not likely to be alone. Threatening one wolf could lead to an entire pack attacking. Considering the very few instances of wolves attacking humans, it would seem wolves prefer to run than confront a threat. This would make sense since there is less of a risk of injury when fleeing. In the animal kingdom, survival is important so a wolf is going to prefer to avoid confrontations. Human beings are the better for this since a wolf can be a dangerous and strong predator when provoked.
Arctic Wolf Are Wolves Endangered? Where Do Wolves Live? Why Do Wolves Howl? Do Wolves Attack Humans? Possibility of Attacks First, it is important to understand that all wild animals can attack human beings. Why Wolves Attacked Humans One reason for this volume of attacks was encroachment. Other Reasons for Attack There are a few factors that can contribute to a wolf attacking a human.
Wolf Attacks are Unlikely Considering the very few instances of wolves attacking humans, it would seem wolves prefer to run than confront a threat. All rights reserved.What the wolf lacks in size, power and weapons it makes up for with collaboration and intelligence. Smaller and less powerful than mountain lions, for example, wolves work together to take down prey much larger than an individual wolf; prey that may otherwise elude them.
While individual wolves have been able to subdue large prey animals, their advantage is in collaborating with their pack. Wolves are opportunists. They test their prey, sensing any weakness or vulnerability through visual cues and even through hearing and scent.
Contrary to ambush predators that rely on the element of surprise and a short and intense burst of energy to secure their prey, wolves are endurance or coursing predators. They chase their prey, often over longer distances, sometimes even a few miles, in order to find the right animal or opportunity. On the hunt, wolves work together with certain individuals typically carrying out their specific role in the hunt, often based on age, gender and social standing. While wolves will eat hares and other small prey, their preferred targets are ungulates, large hoofed animals such as deer and elk.
Individual packs will specialize in hunting specific prey species. While most often that is elk, caribou, deer and moose, it can also be bison, muskoxen, dall sheep or even salmon. It is not uncommon for wolves to be injured or even killed during the hunt by being kicked by a hoof or gored by an antler.
They may be injured, sick, old, very young or genetically inferior.
But even healthier animals can at times find themselves in a vulnerable position. Over time this process allows the most capable prey animals to survive and pass on their genes and it helps to limit the spread of diseases within the herd. This is an ancient evolutionary success story shared by both predator and prey.
It is during a hunt where co-operation between wolves within a pack is most apparent. A wolf pack may trail a herd of elk, caribou or other large prey for days before making its move.
During this time, they are already hunting, assessing the herd, looking for an animal that displays any sign of weakness, and this is just the beginning. Wolves must also factor in other conditions that will affect the hunt; weather and terrain can tip the scales in favor of predator or prey. For example, a wide-open plain favors the ungulates, who, if full-grown and healthy, can outrun the fastest wolf. On the other hand, crusty snow or ice favors the wolves whose wide round paws have evolved to perform like snowshoes and carry them effortlessly over the surface.
An experienced wolf is well aware that hoofed animals break through the crust and can become bogged down in deep snow. Wolves have learned to use these conditions to their advantage. The late wolf biologist, Dr. Gordon Haber speaks of a particular pack in Alaska that he observed following a herd of caribou on a narrow packed trail through deep snow.
The wolves know that their mere presence, following close behind, will eventually panic the caribou. When the rearmost caribou spooks, leaving the hard trail and attempting to run to the middle of the herd, it founders in the snowdrifts.
When that happens it is all over. In warm weather, this same pack of wolves changes its tactics, herding the caribou into a dry riverbed where many of the ungulates stumble on the round stones.
A wolf pack therefore weighs many different factors when selecting its target and, as circumstances change during the hunt the target may change as well. Initially they may be pursuing a calf, but if a big healthy bull stumbles unexpectedly, they all know to go after the bigger meal. Conversely, if too many factors seem to favor the prey, they may choose to wait.
Sometimes it is better to stay a bit hungry until the odds improve rather than expend precious energy on a fruitless chase. Other observers of wolves have reported that often fewer than half of wolves on a hunt are actually involved with physically bringing down the prey.Wolves, even if judged only on their ability to adapt to different environments, are among the most successful animals on earth.
They are able to exist and thrive in a variety of different climates and terrains. One thing that is essential to their survival is the ability to work together while hunting, which improves the probability of success. One of the lesser known wolf facts is that a pack of wolves is more than just wolves hunting together.
They're actually complex social groups complete with a defined hierarchy, loyalty to pack members, social bonds, and dominant pack leaders of either gender. Pack members always benefit from the pack and will often form intensely loyal social bonds with each other. Wolf packs occupy and control a specific area of land known as a "territory. Some territories in Alaska and Canada can cover 1, square miles.
Just locating prey within an area that large can be a challenge. Operating in a pack means there are more wolves looking for prey. Once the pack has located prey animals from a distance, the pack begins stalking. Wolves' primary prey are large animals, such as:. When ready, the wolves hunting will confront the prey animals in force and often try to single out sick, hurt, or young animals to attack.
Most animals will flee when confronted, although larger animals such as moose or bison may stand their ground and fight. In this situation, the wolves will circle and continually test for weakness, then attack when they find an advantage. Wolves may choose to try other prey rather than risk attack on a large animal willing to fight.
If the selected prey flees, the pack will pursue it to make the kill. While wolves can hit speeds of over 35 miles per hour for short distances, they can also run for extremely long distances. Wolves have been observed employing strategy in pursuing prey, chasing animals to other waiting wolves, or having members of the pack lag behind to catch prey that circles.
Wolves take down animals by latching onto either their nose area or onto the rump and bringing them to the ground. Wolves do not hamstring the animals to cripple them, although this has been a common belief for years.
While the numbers of the pack aid in bringing down large animals, an individual wolf is a formidable killer and well able to take down an animal on its own. The prey usually dies of either blood loss or shock. Once the prey has been hunted, the alphas usually one male and one female will eat first. Then, it will go down the ranks of the pack hierarchy in turn until the entire animal has been eaten. An attorney and database programmer in Nashville, Randall Pierce has been writing about sports, legal matters and tech issues for local and regional publications since There are several elements of how wolves hunt in a pack successfully.
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