Depending on where you live and explore the outdoors, it is important to be prepared when coming face-to-face with a wild animal such as a wolf. According to experts, there is a way to thwart a wolf attack, even if terror and panic take over.
So, keep reading and take notes because these helpful tips might help you get out of a very sticky situation.
Nothing Is 100 Percent Certain
While it is rare for a person to see a wolf in the wild, let alone get attacked, John Linnell of the Norwegian Institute for Nature Research says nothing is 100 percent certain.
While speaking to The Wildlife Society, Linnell said, “The overall message is that most people in North America and Europe can live very close to wolves and be perfectly okay in 99.99999 percent of cases. But it’s never 100 percent. Things can happen. We need to be prepared for that.”
The First Tip: Don’t Provoke A Wolf
Since nothing is 100 percent certain, Linnell and other wildlife specialists have helped the public, giving helpful tips that could potentially save a person’s life if they’re ever confronted with a wild wolf.
The first tip: if a person sees a wolf, it is imperative that they do not give the animal a reason to attack.
Never Make Eye Contact Or Bare Teeth
There are a few ways to ensure a person doesn’t provoke a wolf in the wild. The first is to never make eye contact; they will think a person is attempting to fight them.
Another way to accidentally instigate a fight is by baring one’s teeth. Instead, bend the upper half of the body into a bow-like pose.
Second Tip: Back Away Slowly
While in the bowed position, experts advise backing away very slowly. While this is going to be beyond nerve-wracking, it will let the wolf know the person is not looking for trouble or a fight.
Just be sure to keep a forward-facing position and don’t turn around; this might prompt the wolf to attack.
Do Not Run Because A Wolf Will Chase
A fight or flight mode might be ringing in a person’s head during a wolf encounter, but it is very important to remember running away will only make matters worse. Like most predators, wolves will enjoy the chase and give way to a chase.
Slowly backing away is a much better option.
Wolves Are Coursing Animals
According to wolf expert Oliver Starr, these animals are what are known as coursing animals. On a question and answer forum on Quora, Starr explained what a coursing animal is, saying, “Wolves are what’s known as coursing predators, meaning they take their prey on the run.”
He continued, “If you watch wolves hunt, you’ll immediately see this in action. Wolves will attempt to get the animals they prey upon to run. If they don’t run, wolves usually don’t pursue the attack.”
Tip Three: Worst Comes To Worst, Be As Scary As Possible
Of course, bowing and backing away might not matter to a wolf. They might wind up pouncing on a human, encroaching on their territory anyway. If this happens, it is important to shake off fear, nerves, and any intention of running and become as scary as possible.
It might seem absurd, but a person’s best chance is to stand their ground and become the alpha.
Hands In The Air And Screaming
When a person stands their ground, they want to become as big and scary as possible. Waving their arms high in the air to become taller and screaming directly at the wild animal is the best way to achieve this.
It will let the wolf know that they are not going to roll over or go down without a fight.
Keep Those Emotions In Check
It’s an age-old saying that animals can smell fear in a person. Keep this in mind when standing up against a wolf. People will want to keep their emotions in check and throw fear right out of their heads.
According to Starr, “If you are noisy, don’t exhibit excessive fear and maintain control of yourself.”
Tip Four: Find A Suitable Weapon Without Exposing The Body
While attempting to out-alpha the wolf, Starr says it is important to take notice of one’s surroundings to find a suitable weapon to throw at the wild animal, such as a rock.
If you can do so without making yourself vulnerable, grab a few stones and throw them at the animals. [Then] back slowly away,” Starr explained.
After The Separation, It’s Time For a Getaway
If it works, throwing a rock at the animal will hopefully spook it, allowing some separation between the person and the wolf. This separation is key, as it will allow the person to hopefully make a swift getaway.
It might sound like putting more people in danger, but the best escape is finding a group.
Tip Five: Find A Large Group Of People
Even though wolves love the chase of a hunt, they aren’t too fond of large groups of animals or people. Looking around and finding a group is a good idea once the separation has occurred and a person can back away from the wolf.
Remember, even with separation, running is off the table.
Tip Six: Fire!
If a group of people doesn’t deter a wolf from pursuing an attack (remember, these tips aren’t 100 percent effective), start looking around for a campfire and slowly bring the group towards it.
Wolves are not fond of the heat emitted from the flames of fire or the smoke, so they might stay back and get bored of the chase.
Tip Seven: Start Climbing The Nearest Tree
Finding a group of people at the moment of a wolf encounter might not be in the cards. The same goes for a nearby campfire. If that is the case, the YouTube channel How to Survive recommends finding the nearest tree and climbing very high.
While a wolf might roam the grounds near the tree, it will not be able to follow up a tree.
The Hope: The Wolf Gets Bored
Of course, the best case in this type of situation is that the wolf will get bored and move on, allowing a person to eventually get far away. Sadly, this isn’t always the case.
If an attack happens, experts have a few tips that won’t be fun but can ultimately help save a person’s life.
Protection Tip #1: Curl Into A Ball And Shield Sensitive Body Parts
Unfortunately, the above tips might not work, and a wolf will still decide to attack. If that is the case, a person should drop to the ground and curl up into the tightest ball possible, according to How to Survive.
When curled up, it is important to remember to protect the head and face but especially the neck.
Things Might Get Very Hard Very Quickly
Sadly, a bite from a wolf might be inevitable since they are predators. If it comes to this, it is important to stay in that tight ball. The hope is the wolf’s bite won’t hit anything fatal, even though it is still bound to hurt.
If this happens, wait for an opening to stand back up, no matter how hard it is.
Repeat All Of The Steps
Once a person is back on their feet, they need to remember a few of the above steps, namely making themselves as tall and big as possible while yelling in the wolf’s face.
This will show the animal that they are not another piece of prey that will go down without a fight.
Final Tip: Attack!
After everything, a person is bound to be more than a little aggravated with the wolf. So, they should take that aggression and attack! The best places to hit a wolf are on the snout and head, as they are vulnerable there.
Experts say a swift and well-placed blow might even knock the animal unconscious.
A Headlock To Buy Time
If knocking out the animal is not working, there are a few moves that might help a person gain the upper hand in battle. Back in 2005, Fred Desjarlais found himself in a wolf attack.
He was able to get the wolf close enough to put it in a headlock, allowing his friends time to jump in and help scare the aggressive wolf back into the woods.
A Well-Placed Blow To The Back Of The Throat
This next move is a bit extreme but can be very effective in a fight with a wolf. Animal biology experts say that a well-placed blow to the back of the throat might scare off the animal.
Of course, that means getting up close and personal to a wolf and punching them square in the mouth, all the way to the back of the throat. This will hurt and deprive them of oxygen.
There Are Ways To Know If A Wolf Is About To Pounce
It might be difficult to see wolves as intimidating, as they are very similar to household dogs. Sadly, this is far from true. If provoked, wolves won’t think twice about attacking someone.
Thankfully, there are a few ways to know if a wolf is about to pounce, allowing a person to prepare themselves.
Growling And Gnashing Teeth Are A Bad Sign
Similar to a dog, a wolf will begin to growl if it feels threatened by something or someone. They also have no issue baring their teeth toward prey.
When they begin gnashing their teeth together, that is the signal they are getting ready to attack. And people should keep in mind all of the tips from above.
A Few Reasons Why They Attack Humans
While wolves are most prone to hunting animals, they have been known to attack humans. Why? One reason is very basic and a survival tactic: food.
If a person is traveling in a wooded area with a scarce game for a wolf, they might deter from their usual hunting ground and go after humans.
They Think A Human Is A Threat
While attacking a human for food is the last resort for most wild animals, it isn’t unheard of. Another reason a wolf might attack is pretty simple: they think that person is a threat.
At any signs of potential danger, a wolf will pounce, not thinking twice if the person is doing something as simple as picking up firewood, especially if their cubs are close by.
A Rabid Wolf Will Strike At Pretty Much Anything
According to the CDC, around 90 percent of reported rabies cases in animals in the United States are from wild animals. Two of the symptoms of the illness include agitation and even hallucinations.
If a person encounters a rabid wolf, they are most likely going to attack, as they’re more prone to strike out at pretty much anything that comes into their vicinity.
Knowing Wolf Territory Is Key
When trekking through the wilderness, it is important to know if it is wolf territory or not. Wolves can handle both hot and cold climates, allowing them to live in various parts of the world.
They can live in places such as the United States, Mexico, India, and even the North Pole!
They Prefer The Northern Regions Of The World
Even though these particular wild animals seem to enjoy all types of terrain and climates, there is a specific place where larger congregations tend to roam.
According to the International Wolf Center, the largest congregations of wolves are going to be seen in the northern regions of the world, namely Alaska, Russia, and Canada.
Gray Wolves Can Be Found In A Few States Across The US
That being said, the gray wolf can be found in numerous states across the United States. According to the National Wildlife Federation, gray wolves have historically lived in two-thirds of the United States!
In the 21st century, though, they can mainly be found in western Montana, northern Wisconsin, northern Michigan, northeast Oregon, the Yellowstone area of Wyoming, and northern Idaho.
It Is Important To Keep These Tips In Mind
Wolves are territorial animals who won’t be afraid to attack anyone who poses a threat to their home and family, especially their cubs.
It is important for people to be on guard while out in the wilderness, and keep in mind some of the tips experts believe will help them in a close encounter.