After the recent film The Grey, and other similar thrillers where our heroes are stalked by ravenous wolves, it’s only natural that when we think about being in the woods with a wolf pack stalking us, we get a little antsy. Well, I have some good news for you: in the last 100 years, there have only been two documented incidents of fatal wolf attacks in North America. That tells me that the chances of it happening to me or you are pretty low. Even so, it’s always good to be prepared because you definitely don’t want to be that one fatality over the next 100 years. So, what do you do if you’re attacked by wolves? Oliver Starr, who has raised dozens of wolves and did field work for wolf rehabilitation in Yellowstone, answered this question on Quora. He suggests that one would have to work pretty hard to be in close proximity to wild, healthy wolves, especially since they are generally cautious to fearful of humans, and because their territories are typically extremely large. But, he does have a few suggestions for surviving a wolf attack.
- Don’t run.Wolves hunt prey that is on the run, and typically if their prey doesn’t run, they don’t pursue the attack. And, you wouldn’t want to look like running prey, now would you?
- Don’t stare the animal down. Wolves see this as a challenge or a threat. Avoid eye contact.
- Don’t turn your back on the animal(s).
- Get big and scary. If you have anything available (shirt, jacket, arms, etc.) raise it above your head. Shout at the animals and, if you can do it without being vulnerable, throw a few stones at them.
- Back away slowly. If possible, position yourself with your back against a wall/fence and move toward an exit if you’re in an enclosure.
- Be careful not to fall or act scared. This could encourage an attack by looking vulnerable.