Wolf attacks Minnesota teen
by Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
August 29, 2013
A 16-year-old boy was injured in an apparent wolf bite early Saturday morning, Aug. 24, near the lakeshore of the West Winnie Campground on Lake Winnibigoshish in north-central Minnesota, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR).
The boy sustained multiple puncture wounds and a laceration to his head of about 11 centimeters long. The wolf ran into the woods after the boy kicked it.
After receiving local first-aid, the boy was transported to a hospital in Bemidji. The wound required multiple staples to close, but was not life-threatening.Officers from the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe, U.S. Forest Service and the DNR collected reports from the boy and the boy’s father, as well as others at the camp.
Statements from other campers indicated there were other incidents at the U.S. Forest Service campground where an animal bit through tents, one resulting in the puncturing of an air mattress. Another camper indicated that he witnessed a wolf near his campsite with coloration and markings matching the description of the animal involved in the attack on the boy.
"This is an extremely rare incident and not normal wolf behavior," said Tom Provost, regional manager of the DNR’s Enforcement Division. "Because wolf bites or attacks on humans are so rare, they are poorly understood. These rare incidents have usually involved food-habituated wolves and have led to minor injuries, but no fatalities."
Before this incident, a serious injury or fatal attack on a human had never been documented in Minnesota. There have been two wolf attack fatalities in North America in the last decade. One was in northern Canada and another was in Alaska.
Enforcement officers from the U.S. Forest Service, Leech Lake and the DNR briefly located the animal matching the description in the wooded area adjacent to the campground, but were unable to immediately kill it. U.S. Department of Agriculture Wildlife Services was called for assistance in locating and capturing the wolf.
On early Monday morning, an average-sized male wolf of about 75 pounds, matching the description of the wolf in the attack, was trapped and killed in the campground.
The wolf is being taken to the University of Minnesota veterinary diagnostic lab to be tested for rabies. Also, the lab will collect samples for DNA analyses and complete a thorough medical examination to determine the health of the animal.
Traps will be left in place for one more night to be sure another wolf is not present in the area. The Forest Service has closed the campground until further notice.
To learn more, check the links below.