September 21, 2014

Update: Teen Apparently Attacked By Wolf

By KBJR News 1

August 26, 2013 Updated Aug 26, 2013 at 10:02 PM CDT

(NNCNOW.com) ---The Minnesota Department of Natural resources is investigating a rare, apparent wolf attack on a teenage boy in north-central Minnesota.

DNR officials say it happened around 4 a.m. Saturday at the West Winnie Campground on Lake Winnibigoshish.

The 16-year-old boy is from Solway, MN, according to our Partners at the Duluth News Tribune.

He suffered non-life threatening injuries, including a laceration to his head, about 4 inches long, and multiple puncture wounds.

DNR officials say the boy was lying by the shore, when a wolf, about 75 pounds, came up behind him and bit him.

After the boy kicked out at the wolf, it ran off into the woods.

After receiving local first-aid, the boy was transported to a hospital in Bemidji.

The attack was reported and the campground was evacuated and closed.

After several attempts to track and kill the wolf, it was finally trapped by DNR officials, early Monday morning.

Following a preliminary examination, DNR officials say they believe the wolf has physical abnormalities to its jaw.

"It is preliminarily thought that if this was the animal responsible for the bite, it could be that this animal was struggling to feed itself in the normal wolf manor, meaning it would have struggled with the ability to take down large animal type prey," Tom Provost, Regional Manager of the MN DNR Enforcement Division said.

The DNR says a serious injury or fatal wolf attack on a human has never been documented in the state before. There have been two wolf attack fatalities in North America in the last decade. One was in northern Canada and another was in Alaska.

The campground will remain closed until it is determined this is the offending animal.

The University of Minnesota veterinary diagnostic lab will collect samples for DNA analyses and complete a thorough medical examination to determine the health of the animal.

Rabies test results are expected to come back by Tuesday or Wednesday of this week.

Officials have not released the name of the boy, but it is likely he and those who were in contact with him received rabies shots.

Officers from the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe, U.S. Forest Service and the DNR collected reports from the boy and the boy’s father, as well as others at the camp.

DNR officials say statements from other campers indicated there were other incidents at the U.S. Forest Service campground where an animal bit through tents, one resulting in the puncturing of an air mattress.

They say another camper saw a wolf near his campsite with coloration and markings matching the description of the animal involved in the attack on the boy.

Jennifer Walch
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