When going hiking or camping in the great outdoors, there is always the possibility that you may encounter wildlife, such as a wolf. Though rare, encounters with wolves can and do happen. It is important to know how to handle a wolf encounter, how to keep wolf encounters from happening in the first place, and what to do if an encounter escalates into an attack.
On the whole, wolves tend to stay away from humans and from areas that humans frequent. Wolves do not see people as prey, and will rarely approach and attack them. In fact, wolves have a natural wariness of people. Unfortunately, some wolves lose this wariness, especially after discovering that the mess humans often leave behind can be a great source of food. Wolves who are no longer scared of people will brazenly walk into campsites and venture onto popular hiking trails.
Even a habituated wolf is going to act out in aggression if it feels threatened or nervous. This is why it is best to take the necessary steps to avoid wolf encounters in the first place. Always keep your campsite clean and don’t leave litter on the hiking trail. Use the proper bins for disposing of garbage so that wolves are not attracted to the area. When out in the wilderness, you should always keep your dog on a leash and keep small children close to you.
If, despite your best efforts, you run into a wolf, don’t panic. Watch the wolf carefully. If it doesn’t appear to see you and isn’t making any signs of moving towards you, then back away slowly and leave the area. Don’t turn your back on the wolf and don’t run, especially if it has seen you and is coming your way. In this case, you’ll want to make a lot of noise and make yourself appear as large as possible in order to make it clear that you are not prey.
Pick up any children, pull your dogs in close, and gather your group together. If the wolf begins to leave or isn’t showing signs of aggression, then begin to back away slowly. Typically, the encounter will end here as you are likely to scare the wolf off. In very rare instances, the wolf may continue to advance and show aggression. Throw rocks and sticks to try to get it to back off, and be ready to fight if need be.
If a wolf tries to attack you, you have to keep it at bay with your forearm while at the same time aiming for its sensitive snout area with your fist or with anything you can get your hands on. If you have the chance to climb a tree, do so, but only if it doesn’t require completely turning your back on an attacking wolf. Keep up your fight until the wolf can see that you are not worth the trouble.
The possibility of encountering a wolf should not keep you from having fun outdoors, but it should encourage you to take the right precautions. Humans are, after all, a bigger threat to wolves than they are to us. Knowing how to handle an encounter with a wolf will help keep you safe and will help keep wolves from needing to be put down due to negative interactions with humans.
With friendly permission from: www.scienceflips.com