Monday, August 06, 2007

Kayaker Attacked By Wolf


This story comes from The Vancouver Sun and tells the tale of a kayaker who had to fight off a wolf while camping on a beach in a remote area of British Columbia.

The kayaker, who chose to remain anonymous, was on a four week solo excursion from South-East Alaska to Northern Vancouver when he chose to camp for the night on a beach in the Anderson Islands. At about 4 PM, when the 31 year old was setting up his tent, a female wolf emerged from the woods, and immediately ran towards the man. For the next several minutes, he fought with the animal, attempting to pry her strong jaws from around his leg and hands. He suffered multiple cuts and bight wounds in the process. Eventually he drug the wolf along with him over to his kayak, were he pulled a knife from his life vest and began to stab the creature. Finally, after a number of knife wounds to it's chest and neck, the wolf retreated into the woods.

Next the man used his marine radio to call for help, as his hands were so badly damaged from the attack that he was unable to paddle his kayak. A boat from a near by resort came to collect him and his gear. The rescuers also found the wolf dying nearby in the woods and shot it as well. When the body was analyzed, it was found that she weight about 55 pounds and was severely malnourished. A healthy female should weigh in the range of about 85 to 90 pounds.

The scary thing about this incident is that it has been deemed a predatory act. In other words, the wolf was so hungry and malnourished that it was willing to risk attacking a person in order to get food. It also goes to underscore the point of how dangerous these creatures can be, and that it's still possible for them to do a great deal of damage to us while out in the wilderness.

The kayaker elected remain anonymous because he didn't want to make a big issue out of the attack. He felt that it gave wolves a bad name and he recognized that this was a rare and extremely isolated incident. It's kind of refreshing to hear someone take that position, as by now he probably could have sold the rights to his story to Outside magazine or some publishing house.

9 comments:

the adventurist said...

What is it with the Kayakers this week? I reported the Shark Attack on a Sea Kayak...and now this.

I do think that this is very odd that the guy got attacked by one lone wolf though. It is rare for them to be alone..especially in a natural setting and even rarer for them to take the initiative to attack a human...almost unheard of...I am not so sure that if I was starving that I would walk up and attack an Elephant...

It is a shame the wolf was killed, but as the story goes..once an animal tastes human blood,more than likely they will do it again

Thankfully the guy wasn't killed.

Adventure Junkie said...

Yeah, it is indeed an unusual story. I guess it goes to show that if they become hungry enough, they'll attack just about anything.

The reason you wouldn't attack an elephant is because you know you wouldn't have a chance of winning. But a wolf on a human actually could win. If this female were not malnourished, and weighed her normal weight, who knows what would have happened.

It is a shame that they had to destroy the wolf, but it sounds like she was already dying anyway, so it was an end to her suffering. It is interesting that the kayaker chose to remain anonymous though.

Filatore said...

Was there some type of medical issue? Was she suffering from rabies or some other form of dementia? This is very unusual behaivor; behaivor that you often see in animals that are suffering from...something.

Adventure Junkie said...

Rabies tests came back negative. I think the prevailing feeling is that she simply attacked because she was so hungry, and needed something, anything, to eat.

You're right, it is odd, but hunger will drive an animal to do strange things.

spinster said...

There were stories from the old days in Michigan of wolves getting onto small remote islands by walking out over the ice. They would eat all the game available and then starve to death when it ran out. Perhaps that was the case with this wolf?

I also wonder if she had a litte of pups? That would also account for her poor condition.

Adventure Junkie said...

Yeah, pups can make it tough on the mothers. She may have had a Spring litter and was still trying to recover from them.

Hopefully it's still an isolated incident, and not going to become a re-occurring thing. I know there are some scientist that fear that global warming will disrupt ecosystems and could cause a lot of wild animals to go hungry, forcing them to do new things to get food.

astrothug said...

HI guys my name is David, my g/f and I run a website called http://www.kaienislandwolves.com, we have been tracking a pack of wolves for 2 years. we live on the coast of BC, On Kaien Island in Prince Rupert, we have wolves that come and go in to town ever since the town was here, the pack on the island has about 8 wolves. Depending on the year, some die from vehicle accidents, a few times a wolves have become habituated to humans and had to be shot. On our coast there are 5 or 6 packs with in a 20 mile radius seems like a lot but these packs are on islands and are separated by water.
When you camp in the wilderness you might get to see wild animals in their habitat, so it’s always a good idea to be cautious. Even in Prince Rupert taking your dog for a walk you have to be cautious were you go. We have so many deer in the city they got a nick name deer dogs, more deer then dogs.

The wolf was taken to a lab to be tested, just from the weight this wolf was starving, and no matter what it had to be put down.

Adventure Junkie said...

Hey Astrothug,

Thanks for the insights. It's always great to hear from someone who has first hand knowledge of the area and situation.

I figured that since she was so far under weight that it was simply a case of an animal that was starving and would do anything for food. It's a shame that she had to be put down, but it's the way of things sometimes and probably was for the best over all.

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