Wolf Attack In Minnesota Is The State’s First

    August 27, 2013
    Jennifer Curra
    Comments are off for this post.

The first official reporting of a gray wolf attack in Minnesota occurred on Saturday at the West Winnie Campground located on Lake Winnibigoshish. The victim, a sixteen-year-old boy named Noah Graham, was attacked and bitten in the head by a 75 pound gray wolf, which appeared in the early morning hours close to 4 a.m. when Noah was preparing to fall asleep. Noah was in the vicinity of the campsite’s beach area with members from his church when the attack happened.

Scott Graham, the boy’s father, spoke about the ordeal. “The wolf just came up behind Noah, he didn’t hear anything, and it just grabbed him by the back of the head and wouldn’t let go. He had to physically pry the jaws of the wolf open, to get it off of him, and once he got it off of him and he was up, the wolf stood there growling at him. And he had to shout at it and kick at it to get it to go away.”

The Department of Natural Resources reports that this is the first known human attack in Minnesota by a gray wolf, which is also called a timber wolf. The enforcement director for the Department of Natural Resources, Colonel Ken Soring, said, “Our records do not reflect that we’ve had wolf attacks like this in Minnesota.”

Authorities tracked and killed the wolf responsible for the attack in order to test for rabies where the University of Minnesota veterinary lab will be responsible for completing the tests. What could have triggered this rare display of aggression? The wolf was noted as having a deformed jaw, which could have been a contributing factor in the attack. Due to the abnormally-shaped jawline, the wolf may have potentially struggled with the process of tracking, locating, and consuming food.

Are campsites safe? Should other campers be readily prepared to confront wolves while enjoying the wilderness? Colonel Soring surmised the situation. “It’s too early to speculate as far as the condition or the causes with this animal, but it is not characteristic of wolves to approach people,” he said.

Noah Graham is fortunate to have responded quickly to the situation. His recovery includes the placement of 17 stitches in the back of his head as well as undergoing shots as part of rabies precautionary measures.

[Image via Wikimedia Commons]
  • Bubba

    There’s one guy who wishes that wolves had gone extinct! He should get a lifetime of free wolf hunting tags.

    • http://yahoo jack

      He survived a wolf bite?? They better monitor him now that he’s been bitten, He’ll probably become a werewolf.

  • If you don’t know, look it up!

    Hmmm. Wolves do not just walk up and bite people, much less bite someone and just wait around for that person to pry apart their jaws, then stand there and do nothing but growl until the person kicks them, and finally just go away. Something is wrong with this story. Why didn’t anyone else in this whole group of people do anything to help the teenager Was he supposed to be the only one awake? Even if so, how did no-one else wake up during this entire situation and try to help him? Then there is the sheerly practical –it isn’t exactly easy to reach BEHIND yourself and pry apart something’s jaws locked on the back of your head. Why didn’t he yell for help? Why did the wolf not munch on his hands when he stuck them in/on its mouth to “pry”? If it was bent on him as prey, why did it just stand there afterwards?

    The only part of this story that makes sense is the idea that an animal with a messed up jaw might attempt to go after other prey than usual. The rest of it does not add up.

  • Know Your Wolves

    This story seems a bit strange to me, too. While I am happy he is okay, I do have some questions. Why was this kid on the beach alone and not in a tent or with the group. If you are out at night alone, in the woods, in the dark, you shouldn’t be surprised if a wild animal like a bear or a wolf attacks you. Is that the fault of the wild animal? Or the fault of the adults who should have kept the group together? And please, get it straight. Grey wolves ARE NOT timber wolves. There are no timber wolves in Minnesota. Go to the Int’l Wolf Center in Ely, MN and they will explain this to you. If you are reporting a story, you should get the facts straight.

  • Jim

    Wolf attacks are so rare, that there are only a small handful in the last 400 years of New people coming to this continent. They are that infrequent. Good camp-fire stories, but no facts to back them up for the last 4-500 years. The agri-farm businesses don’t like them as a variable in their animal meat for human consumption business model. So they propagate falsehoods and make them appear true. We all know about these tricks by now. On the face of it, it sounds like a sick wolf met a careless hiker. it is always a good idea to follow the rules when you’re visiting their home.

  • Tony22

    Kids own fault for riding around in that red hood.

  • Dan

    The Game warden is going to tell you its unlikely no matter how many there is killed or bite .It’s a predator, what happens if it is a younger person.

  • Adam

    We do have a lot of wolves in Northern Minnesota, 2,211 during last winter’s count. I’ve heard them close to my campsites but never felt too uneasy. The reason he was attacked is because the wolf was not physically capable of hunting and had most likely been surviving by scavenging on food left by campers. An animal on the ground would have appeared vulnerable to a desperate wolf.

    For those of you wondering why he was sleeping outside: It’s been very hot and humid in Minnesota, even at night. It would have been cool and breezy by the lake.

  • http://yahoo JJ

    That photo of the boy’s wound does not look like an animal bite. The whole story sounds phony. Wonder what really happened out there?

  • porschelovr

    There are a few questions left unanswered here, in my opinion. Once you read where the wolf had a deformed jaw there could be some legitimacy in his story.
    The wounds do not look consistent with a bite.
    It just sneaked up him and locked his jaws on his head??
    How does a 14 yo kid pry the jaws off his head?
    I wonder what the real story is?
    I hope to God this doesn’t start some unnecessary killing of these critters. I have never heard of a wold attacking a human unless provoked or close to pups.
    It will be interesting to read more about this. However, I would wager this will die on thew vine.

    • Terry

      The boys father pryed the wolfs jaws open and as far as the bite mark, the teeth ripped the scalp, pay attention.