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How to behave when encountering a wolf

Last time updated
10.02.23
How to behave when encountering a wolf

Let's find out how to behave when an unintentional rendezvous with a wild animal still happens and can be dangerous.

Over the past few months, reports of wolves in northern Luxembourg happened more often than before. We already covered the suspicious incident in one of our stories. Similar reports about the traces of wild animals popped up recently.

First of all, a wolf is an extremely cautious creature even though it is a dangerous predator. He doesn't want to get into unnecessary contact with other species any more than you do. Often, he will try not to show himself, and sensitive hearing will help you to avoid the meeting in advance, especially if the animal hears loud laughter or conversations.

If for some reason you did find yourself alone with the forest guard, follow a few simple rules.

  1. Do not make any sudden movements and do not provoke the animal. That is, you should not try to fight with it, do not growl at the wolf, sneer, throw stones, or run from side to side.

    Most likely, the wolf will try to leave on its own, even if you are on its territory. Wolf domains are quite vast, and the predator can simply run away deeper into the woods. In this case, no one will be hurt, except the wolf's pride.
  2. Watch the predator's movements, but don't look directly in the eyes. Most canines, including domestic dogs, interpret direct eye contact as a signal of confrontation and conflict.
  3. If the animal won't leave, begin to slowly back away, again, keeping your eyes on the animal, but do not stare into the eyes, no one likes it.
  4. If you have a backpack, you can use it as a shield. It won't help much, but it can distract the animal if it decides to attack.
  5. Climbing a tree is a worthy alternative. Unlike bears, wolves are not strong in acrobatics and not massive enough to toss you off the branches.
  6. Under no circumstances should you turn your back on the animal, or run away. When demonstrating unprotected parts of your body, you give the wolf a reason to use your weakness. Therefore, you will lose your eyesight and control of the situation. And don't forget the wolf will easily catch up with you while running: after all, he has four legs, and you only have two!
  7. In case the beast begins to approach you, try to frighten him. It might seem like a contradiction to the previous tips, but if surrender's behavior doesn't help, you'll have to pretend to be a threat to the predator.

    Try to look bigger, start yelling, waving your arms, and making any loud noises. If you are on a camping trip, you can use a frying pan or bowler as a drum. The animal's sensitive hearing very much dislikes loud and harsh sounds. Strangely enough, the wolf is afraid of you almost as much as you are of the wolf!
  8. If the animal still attacks, your fight will be unequal, but chances are good. A thick stick or a stone can be used as a weapon. The most vulnerable parts of the predator's body are its nose and eyes. Target them and it will be the best defense. Try to hit the head or wolf's back with a stick.
  9. There is absolutely no point in trying to choke the wolf. The structure of their neck allows them to survive even strong compression without loss of respiratory function. Plus, its muscles are probably much stronger than yours, giving a benefit to the animal, as well as a thicker pelt and superior size.
  10. If you survive an attack but get bitten or have the animal's saliva on you, you should seek help as soon as possible and get a rabies vaccination.

An encounter with a wolf in the wild rarely reaches a direct confrontation. The recommendations we have given will help keep the threat to a minimum. But it is better to be more cautious and not visit the corners of the forest where the wolves have been seen.

Last time updated
10.02.23

Authors: Aleksandr

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