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Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad What?

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Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad What?

Wild wolves that are not rabid do not attack adults as a rule.
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One of the more curious things I’ve seen in the movies of late is the villainizing of our friend Canis lupus, the gray wolf. In a film titled “The Gray,” Liam Neeson plays a hunter who is hired by an oil company to shoot wolves so that they don’t eat the workers, which apparently is a problem. Neeson takes a plane out of the camp, the plane crashes, and he and his fellow survivors are tracked down and et over a period of days by a pack that has nothing better to do.

The second movie is “The Bourne Legacy,” in which Jeremy Renner traps the leader of a pack that has been stalking him for days in a snare, wrestles the wolf to the ground, shoves a stick in his mouth and follows it with a tracking device that causes a missile to blow up the wolf instead of Renner.

Now this is all good fun, but there are a couple of problems. As far as I know, there are only two documented cases of wild, non-rabid wolves killing a person in North America (there are, however, copious records of wolf attacks in Asia, Europe, and India going back over centuries). It’s possible that in the fastness of the Far North, innumerable solitary hunters, trappers, and travelers have ended up as piles of wolf poop, but we don’t know about it.

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