why dont wolves attack humans?

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why dont wolves attack humans?

Post by mistyag » Wed Sep 23, 2009 3:42 am

this question has been bugging me for a while and i was looking for someone to ask about it when i found this board.

so i know that wolves are scared of humans but why??

and then that leads up to not attacking humans...

hope you can answer
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Re: why dont wolves attack humans?

Post by Songdog » Wed Sep 23, 2009 5:59 am

Wolves do attack humans, there are plenty of recorded attacks from healthy wolves, diseased wolves, provoked wolves, etc. There are also recorded fatal attacks, where wolves have killed humans. The old myth of "There's never been a recorded wolf killing a human in North America" is false, there have already been a few.

Many people want to romanticize the wolf into this perfect creature who would never harm a person, so they often say "If the human was attacked, it must have been their fault". This isn't true, wolves have attacked people for no obvious reason. Sometimes, completely healthy wolves begin attacking people. There are several notable wolves in history that took a liking to human flesh, and killed many people. For example, the Wolf of Soissons killed four people over two days, and the Wolf of Gysinge killed 12 people over 3 months.

They can attack for a number of reasons; sometimes they are hungry, sometimes threatened pr provoked, sometimes diseased, and so forth. I believe a loner is more likely to attack than a wolf from a pack, although there are notable wolf packs who began killing humans. In Russia, wolves have been known to eat humans.

The reason why there are less attacks in North America is partially because the only people who lived there for most of history were Native Americans, and so their attacks went unrecorded. It is believed that North American wolves may be more docile than European and Asian wolves.

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Re: why dont wolves attack humans?

Post by Blightwolf » Wed Sep 23, 2009 7:30 am

The estimated amount of wolf attacks in the past decade is eight fatal attacks (not including the non-fatal ones). Throughout history the number variates.
Starting from France between the years 1580-1830, 3,069 people were killed by wolves, 1,857 of which were documented to be non-rabid. In central Padania, Italy, 440 people were killed by wolves, and 161 people in Russia in 1871.

A hypothesis as to why wolves in Eurasia historically acted more aggressively toward humans than those in North America is that in the past, Old World wolf hunting was mostly an activity for the nobility, whereas American wolf hunts were partaken by ordinary citizens, nearly all of them possessing firearms. This difference could have caused American wolves to be more fearful of humans, making them less willing to venture into settled areas.

In North America, a retired wolf biologist named Mark McNay compiled 80 events in Alaska and Canada where wolves closely approached or attacked people, finding 39 cases of aggression by apparently healthy wolves, and 29 cases of fearless behavior by non-aggressive wolves.

The Red Wolf has not been known for attacking humans, unlike the Grey Wolf.

According to a source, Japan experienced an outbreak of wolf attacks due to the spread of rabies from China and Korea in the 18th Century.

In India, between the years of 1996 and 1997, wolves killed or seriously injured 74 humans.

Unprovoked attacks from healthy/non-rabid wolves are rare, but have happened.

Causes of attacks depend on many reasons, just like Songdog stated, in which the wolves' habituation and environment is a known, important factor. Wolves living in close proximity to human habitations can cause wolves to lose their fear of humans and consequently approach too closely. The majority of "wolf attacks" have been commited by rabies-infected wolves and aggressive wolf-dog hybrids.

Seven Stages Leading to Predatory Attacks

1. The first outlined stage is scarcity of wild game, be it due to poaching, habitat loss or seasonal migration.
2.Wolves begin approaching human habitations, though limit their visits to nocturnal hours. Their presence is usually established by barking matches with local dogs.
3. After a certain amount of time, wolves begin to frequent human habitations in daylight hours, and observe people and livestock at a distance.
4. The wolves begin acting bolder by attacking small livestock and pets during daylight, sometimes pursuing their prey up to verandas. At this point the wolves do not focus on humans, but will growl and act threateningly toward them.
5. The wolves begin attacking large-bodied livestock and may follow riders, as well as mount verandas and look into windows.
6. People begin to be harassed, usually in a playful manner. The wolves will chase people over short distances and nip at them, though will retreat if confronted.
7. Wolves begin attacking people in predatory fashions.
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Re: why dont wolves attack humans?

Post by Naeomi » Tue Dec 29, 2009 9:09 pm

Well, wolves don't usually attack humans unless they think they are a threat (to their pups or their pack) but mangy wolves have attacked people before. People say wolves are evil. I have to disagree. Wolves don't attack without reason.

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Re: why dont wolves attack humans?

Post by Catarinab » Wed Dec 30, 2009 8:54 am

I think the wolves only attack humans when they have hungry, or they have fear or if they are provoked.
Sometimes is because wolves see:
Humans=Food
Because , some people have farm animals and that people live in a place near wolves, and that people have fear and the wolves go some nights to that farms, to eat the farm animals , when the people are hide, with fear.
Then, wolves think the people are giving food to them and sometimes wolves attack the people.

A wolves can attack the people if that people go to their territory, principaly when they have pups, to protect them.


If this is wrong, please correct me.

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Re: why dont wolves attack humans?

Post by wolfgirl101z » Wed Dec 30, 2009 12:28 pm

Wolves only attack humans if they feel threatened and are shot with a hostile glance. Never look a wolf or a dog straight in the eyes. That is considered a threat to most wolves in which you are challenging their rank or stance. Thus they can attack and you are also prone to danger from them if they are starving
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Re: why dont wolves attack humans?

Post by ulogoni » Thu Dec 31, 2009 1:46 am

In North America there is only one controversial case of "healthy", wild wolves having killed a human in all of documented history. This involved the death of a man named Kenton Joel Carnegie. Expert predator biologists came to the conclusion that bears had done the killing rather than wolves, but in the end the case was settled by jury on the coroner's inquest. Strange indeed to settle on the interpretation of the jury and not on that of the expert.

Whether it was wolves or bears, it must be noted that they were habituated and food-conditioned to man. Carnegie died near a landfill where the local wildlife had been known to scavenge. It is not an unusual finding in attacks by wildlife that the animals had associated food with people.

In any case, as you can see it is a very rare occurrence in the "New World." Wolves are predators, and as with any predator a due amount of respect is to be given. However, there are people out there with irrational fear and hatred of wolves, and they tend to take stories such as these and blow them hugely out of proportion.

People tell a lot of tall tales. Check your sources, check your sources sources. There is a lot of information on this case available to any on the 'net, and there are a lot of emotions and opinions flying around.

And it's just one case. The only documented potential case of healthy/wild wolf predation on man here. Perspective: An average of 26 people die every year from domestic dog attacks. Lightning: 58. Motor cars kill two people every minute of every day.

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Re: why dont wolves attack humans?

Post by ulogoni » Thu Dec 31, 2009 1:49 am

Clarification - the lightning and dog-caused fatalities are for the U.S. alone. I'm not sure about the vehicle-collisions.

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Re: why dont wolves attack humans?

Post by Vail » Sun Jan 03, 2010 9:48 am

Wolves are born with a natural fear of humans, they tend to shy away from anything that smells of humans... But there has been wolf attacks, a lot of the times the wolf is sick or starving, or it was the humans fault.
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Re: why dont wolves attack humans?

Post by wlovezrock23 » Tue Jan 05, 2010 11:18 am

wolfgirl101z wrote:Wolves only attack humans if they feel threatened and are shot with a hostile glance. Never look a wolf or a dog straight in the eyes. That is considered a threat to most wolves in which you are challenging their rank or stance. Thus they can attack and you are also prone to danger from them if they are starving
I have to disaggree. There are a few cases of wolves attacking people for no apparant reson. Once a pack in russia just started attacing people and diden't stop. The attacks where random. Like i said there was no ApparantReson. But mabey there was one. Who knows what goes on in a wolf's head?
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Re: why dont wolves attack humans?

Post by ulogoni » Tue Jan 05, 2010 11:50 am

wlovezrock23 wrote:I have to disaggree. There are a few cases of wolves attacking people for no apparant reson. Once a pack in russia just started attacing people and diden't stop. The attacks where random. Like i said there was no ApparantReson. But mabey there was one. Who knows what goes on in a wolf's head?
There is always a reason. There are also tall stories. Wolves do not mindlessly attack people, that is the realm of horror and it puts irrational fear into people's hearts. Irrational fear and hatred is what lead to the extensive eradication of wolves to begin with, and unfortunately it continues to this day in some people. I have to wonder how well documented this case is and if you could point us to further information so we might research it for ourselves?

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Re: why dont wolves attack humans?

Post by Songdog » Tue Jan 05, 2010 4:17 pm

Songdog wrote:Wolves do attack humans, there are plenty of recorded attacks from healthy wolves, diseased wolves, provoked wolves, etc. There are also recorded fatal attacks, where wolves have killed humans. The old myth of "There's never been a recorded wolf killing a human in North America" is false, there have already been a few.

Many people want to romanticize the wolf into this perfect creature who would never harm a person, so they often say "If the human was attacked, it must have been their fault". This isn't true, wolves have attacked people for no obvious reason. Sometimes, completely healthy wolves begin attacking people. There are several notable wolves in history that took a liking to human flesh, and killed many people. For example, the Wolf of Soissons killed four people over two days, and the Wolf of Gysinge killed 12 people over 3 months.

They can attack for a number of reasons; sometimes they are hungry, sometimes threatened pr provoked, sometimes diseased, and so forth. I believe a loner is more likely to attack than a wolf from a pack, although there are notable wolf packs who began killing humans. In Russia, wolves have been known to eat humans.

The reason why there are less attacks in North America is partially because the only people who lived there for most of history were Native Americans, and so their attacks went unrecorded. It is believed that North American wolves may be more docile than European and Asian wolves.
Embry wrote:The estimated amount of wolf attacks in the past decade is eight fatal attacks (not including the non-fatal ones). Throughout history the number variates.
Starting from France between the years 1580-1830, 3,069 people were killed by wolves, 1,857 of which were documented to be non-rabid. In central Padania, Italy, 440 people were killed by wolves, and 161 people in Russia in 1871.

A hypothesis as to why wolves in Eurasia historically acted more aggressively toward humans than those in North America is that in the past, Old World wolf hunting was mostly an activity for the nobility, whereas American wolf hunts were partaken by ordinary citizens, nearly all of them possessing firearms. This difference could have caused American wolves to be more fearful of humans, making them less willing to venture into settled areas.

In North America, a retired wolf biologist named Mark McNay compiled 80 events in Alaska and Canada where wolves closely approached or attacked people, finding 39 cases of aggression by apparently healthy wolves, and 29 cases of fearless behavior by non-aggressive wolves.

The Red Wolf has not been known for attacking humans, unlike the Grey Wolf.

According to a source, Japan experienced an outbreak of wolf attacks due to the spread of rabies from China and Korea in the 18th Century.

In India, between the years of 1996 and 1997, wolves killed or seriously injured 74 humans.

Unprovoked attacks from healthy/non-rabid wolves are rare, but have happened.

Causes of attacks depend on many reasons, just like Songdog stated, in which the wolves' habituation and environment is a known, important factor. Wolves living in close proximity to human habitations can cause wolves to lose their fear of humans and consequently approach too closely. The majority of "wolf attacks" have been commited by rabies-infected wolves and aggressive wolf-dog hybrids.

Seven Stages Leading to Predatory Attacks

1. The first outlined stage is scarcity of wild game, be it due to poaching, habitat loss or seasonal migration.
2.Wolves begin approaching human habitations, though limit their visits to nocturnal hours. Their presence is usually established by barking matches with local dogs.
3. After a certain amount of time, wolves begin to frequent human habitations in daylight hours, and observe people and livestock at a distance.
4. The wolves begin acting bolder by attacking small livestock and pets during daylight, sometimes pursuing their prey up to verandas. At this point the wolves do not focus on humans, but will growl and act threateningly toward them.
5. The wolves begin attacking large-bodied livestock and may follow riders, as well as mount verandas and look into windows.
6. People begin to be harassed, usually in a playful manner. The wolves will chase people over short distances and nip at them, though will retreat if confronted.
7. Wolves begin attacking people in predatory fashions.


That about sums it up. Just going to lock this before it becomes a nonsensical argument.

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