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Read & React: Wolf Attacks Teen at Minnesota Campground

by PH Online Editors   |  August 27th, 2013 23
Minnesota wolf

This 75-pound gray wolf was trapped and killed by Minnesota Department of Natural Resources officers Monday after a wolf attacked a 16-year-old boy Saturday at a nearby campground. (Photo courtesy of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources)

Among the arguments often pulled out of thin air by those opposed to hunting wolves is the notion that wolf attacks are unfounded urban legends, as if the possibility of a wolf attacking a human is completely absurd.

Tell that to Noah Graham, a Minnesota teenager whose wounds tell a different story.

According to the Duluth (Minn.) News Tribune, Graham, 16, and his girlfriend were resting near his tent early Saturday morning on the U.S. Forest Service’s West Winnie Campground at Lake Winnibigoshish when a gray wolf snuck up on the teen from behind.

“The canine approached him from the rear and before he realized it was there, it had bit him in the back of his head,” Tom Provost, DNR regional enforcement supervisor in Grand Rapids, Minn., said in a press release. “His first indication was when he had its jaws clamped down on his head.”

The attack caught Graham completely off-guard, he said.

“There was no sound at all; didn’t hear it,” Graham told reporters. “It was just all of a sudden there.”

Graham’s girlfriend high-tailed it to her Jeep while two other members of the camping party slept through the attack. Luckily, Graham was able to escape from the wolf’s jaws.

“I had to reach behind me and jerk my head out of its mouth,” Graham told reporters after being treated for puncture wounds on the left and right side of his face. Graham also received a rabies shot as a precaution. “After I got up, I was kicking at it and screaming at it, and it wouldn’t leave. But then after a while I got it to run away.”

The campground was evacuated and closed immediately after the incident, and a 75-pound male wolf matching the attacking animal’s description was trapped and killed Monday. Officials said other campers had reported incidents in which a wolf had been sighted near campgrounds; a few even reported an animal biting through tents. DNA testing could confirm whether the trapped wolf was the one that attacked Graham. In the meantime, the campground will remain closed with traps set to be sure another wolf isn’t present, the DNR said.

Provost said the attack seemed to be a freak incident, adding it was the first time he’d heard of a wolf attack causing an injury to a human in Minnesota, though such run-ins with wolves are seemingly becoming more common. Last September, an Idaho elk hunter found himself surrounded by a pack of wolves, though he successfully took one of the predators with the help of his bow and a .22-caliber pistol.

In October, HUNTING online editors received a series of graphic photographs from Wisconsin hunter Ron Hill, whose 1 1/2-year-old hunting dog was brutally devoured by a pack of wolves.

Finally, just last week a pack of wolves herded a flock of sheep into a panicked mass in Idaho, killing 176 sheep—the largest wolf attack on livestock in state history. Only one of the sheep had been partially consumed; less than 10 of the dead sheep had been bitten by the wolves, and most of the animals were either asphyxiated or trampled.

While wolf attacks on humans are admittedly rare, this incident shows such attacks can happen. It’s still unknown why the wolf attacked Graham in the first place. In any case, given the gray wolf’s awesome strength, Graham is lucky to have walked away with just a few puncture wounds—it could have been much worse.



  • Stephanie Thigpin

    I’m wondering when a domestic dog attacks a human, which is very common, should we have full out hunting on the dog population?

  • Canela Briella

    I would NOT use another NON-human species as a replacement of target.What about go after all the rapists,pedophiles and serial killers of humans.Wolves are the ANCESTORS of dogs….so their behavior is very much like a dog….a dog that has not been changed through centuries of breeding with the purpose of achieving certain characteristics that humans wanted.
    There is NO “justification” for the mass murderer of a entire species,just because one single attack…..and even if it was many…..the Life of a Human does NOT worth more than the life of a wolf. LIFE is LIFE. Although the body looks different, they ALSO have SOULS, they ALSO feel PAIN,feel FEAR,and BLEED as we do.
    “Thou shall NOT kill” —Has NO exceptions……only a perverse, cruel, EVIL soul would add, altered,create exceptions to this COMMAND.

    • nNeufeld

      “‘Thou shall NOT kill’ —Has NO exceptions”

      Gen. 4:4: But Abel brought fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The LORD looked with favor on Abel and his offering,

      Acts 11:7: “Then I heard a voice telling me, ‘Get up, Peter. Kill and eat.'”

      Also, you might want to read this info on the commandment you quoted:

  • Joy Mason

    I wonder is there enough food for these wolves, I would not think that these wolves would attack without reason there not like man that have to attack anything just for fun..

  • maria dale

    I am not sure what to think as they said they trapped and killed a wolf that looked like the one who attacked I repeat looked like so they don’t know if it was pity they weren’t so quick when it come’s to criminals it’s easy to take a like of an animal but ask them to go up against a human well I rest my case and I am so sorry but I really feel sorry for the wolf as everyone and every thing happens for a reason maybe something happened we don’t know about but about time things changed in the world like lets get rid of proper criminals xxx

  • Erika N

    Hmm…I can’t click No? seem’s pretty rigged to me…I do not believe that these few freak incidents should be the cause of a mass genocide on these normally shy and docile creatures. I agree with one of the comments that state that maybe if they had more food they wouldn’t start leaking out into the community and resorting to eating and/or attacking things they normally wouldn’t. Actually I agree with quite a few of the comments that are in support of the wolves. I don’t want to see a world, where if I decide to have children, where there are no wolves because of hunters stubbornness and lack of willingness to learn about the truth behind the nature of a wolf. I’m not saying all hunters are like that, my uncle is one and i love him dearly; he would never say a harmful word toward a wolf though. Please don’t go based on these few occurrences …it’s not worth killing off a beautiful species that has been with us for many many years. Remember where your dogs descend from!

  • KatBrat

    Much like the bear that attacked a girl in Michigan, they hunted a wolf down and killed it not even knowing if it is the same wolf. The bear that was killed in Michigan is NOT EVEN the bear that attacked her! Keep on clearing forests and taking away habitat and THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS!

  • Sheila G

    they have no where to go, they run out of food. hunters look for any blood thirsty excuse to kill.
    we think we have the right to camp in their area? wolves don’t invade my home to camp, to take over. and I live rural.
    humans, hunters especially, are so many hypocrites.

    • Pete

      That’s why I carry a gun everywhere I go.. Humans, wolfs, bears, they’re all the same. I refuse to be a victim!

      • Sheila G

        why can’t you just stay out of their small territory? why do you have to invade and kill them? they only want to survive, just as we do.

        • odie11

          Why can’t he just stay our of their “small” territory?

          For the same reason–being a woman and having no knowledge of what you are really talking about– you’ve got to have an opinion on everything. He happens to pay taxes to keep those wolves in the ecosystem–you know, public servants with guns to kill him if he decides to “violate” the law by hunting out of season or having one bullet more in his rifle, or being to close to the road, or not wearing the prescribed clothing etc, etc.

          Sure, they (the wolves) want to survive just like we do. And they also want to have a little fun now and then–just like we do. And if they do it at our expense, they have to pay the price–just like we do. –LOL!!!

    • Kathychad

      Remember Sheila I came across 5 wolves on a cold December night? They were not interested in attacking me. I think this wolf was rabid or sick

  • Kathychad

    I suggest that kid get rabies shots.

    • Sheila G

      makes me wonder. the wolf had something going on. they DO NOT attack for nothing.
      invasion of space is sure enough of a reason, I believe. people get upset over the wrong color moving into their neighborhoods. what about this? what is different? leave them alone, leave all life alone, leave life take its rightful place on this earth.

    • Sheila G

      and yes, the vote proves the blood thirsty WRONG!

    • dylanpolk

      He did. It said so in the article.

      “I had to reach behind me and jerk my head out of its mouth,” Graham
      told reporters after being treated for puncture wounds on the left and
      right side of his face. Graham also received a rabies shot as a

      Dylan Polk
      PH Social Media Editor

    • Arnie Macko

      He Did..

  • Arnie Macko

    In another article I just read, they said this wolf had a malformed jaw and was starving to death..This would cause any animal to behave in ways that would not be normal..

  • Sue Stack

    Do you really need a poll to prove wolves aren’t a problem and this story is BS?

  • Sammy

    So what……. the kid was probably a retard….natural selection at work.

  • Gina Chron

    Possibly this male wolf’s pack had been killed or broken up leaving it hard to survive, especially if it had a problem with it’s jaw. The wolves are always painted as the villains and I have great sympathy for them, up against the rabid anti wolf mentality that abounds.

  • Steve Wilson

    All the more reason my AR-15 with 55 SP’s or 243 Win with Sierras can sing it’s death song. There is justification on exterminating a species out of North America when it is a threat to children and adults. They can stay in Canada and live or come on my Ranch and die. Every time I see one on my Ranch, it will die in the cross hairs of my Leopold. Jesus was a Shepard who guarded his flock with a Staff and others used Slings and Arrows. Lest you think you can reason with Satan and the Wolf? Every one I see dies!

  • Steve Wilson

    and to the liberal pro-wolf scum, you guys are the wimpy types that won’t even live on a Ranch or Farm, so stay in your cities where it is safe and you don’t have to do any REAL work to make income.

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