Minnesotans ForSustainability©


Home ] Up ] Feedback Please ] Table of Contents ] Search MFS ] MFS News ]

Sustainable Society:  A society that balances the environment, other life forms, and human interactions over an indefinite time period.







Wolves & Humans

Living with Wolves:

Tips for Avoiding Conflicts*


Wolves are shy and generally avoid humans.

Most people will never see a wolf, let alone have a conflict with one. Wolves can, however, lose their fear of humans through habituation and may approach camping areas, homes or humans. When this happens, there is an increased possibility for conflict between wolves and humans.

Reality of Wolf Attacks in North America

It is important to keep wolf attacks in perspective.

There has never been a documented case of a healthy, wild wolf killing a person in North America. Wolves are generally not dangerous or a threat to humans. There is a greater chance of being killed by lightning, bee sting or car collision with a deer than being injured by a wolf. Domestic pet dogs are a different matter.

The injuries that have occurred were caused by a few wolves that became fearless of humans due to habituation. Nonetheless, like bears and cougars, wolves (and possibly feral dogs) are instinctive predators that should be kept wild and respected.

Below are guidelines that should be follow to reduce the chance of wolf habituation and conflict while living and visiting wolf country.

Camping in wolf country:

  • Do the same as if it were bear country —it is!
  • Cook, wash dishes and store food away from sleeping areas.
  • Pack out or dispose of garbage and leftover food properly.
  • Suspend food, toiletries and garbage out of reach of any wildlife.
  • Keep pets near you at all times.

Watching wolves in wolf country:

While seeing a wolf is a memorable experience, like any other wild animal, you should use caution when they are close. Keep the following things in mind while you are viewing them:

  • Remember they are not domestic pets, e.g., a large German Shepherd.
  • Do not feed wolves.
  • Do not entice wolves to come closer.
  • Do not approach wolves.
  • Do not attempt to restrict or block their movement.
  • Leave a path or area open for a wolf to leave.
  • Do not allow a wolf to approach any closer than 300 feet; began to back away if being approached; determine your escape route.
  • Have another person with you —always a good rule!

Living in wolf country:

  • Do not feed wolves.
  • Feed all pets indoors; leave no food outdoors.
  • Dispose of all food and garbage in cans with secure lids.
  • Do not feed wildlife: attracting any prey animal may attract wolves.
  • Hang suet feeders at least 7 feet above the surface of the ground or snow.
  • Don’t leave pets unattended outside:
  • dogs and cats are easy targets for wolves.
  • If pets must be unattended in the yard, keep them in a kennel with a secure top.
  • Install motion sensor lights, as they may help keep wolves away.

Aggressive or fearless wolves in wolf country:

If a wolf acts aggressively (growls or snarls) or fearlessly (approaches humans at a close distance without fear) take the following actions:

  • Raise your arms and wave them in the air to make yourself look larger.
  • Yell, make noise and throw objects —sticks, stones, pans— at the wolf.
  • Back away slowly; do not turn your back on the wolf —especially if its head is lowered.
  • Keep direct eye contact.

Raising livestock in wolf country:

A general brochure on wolf depredation on livestock can be obtained from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources by e-mail <greens@dnr.state.wi.us>. Request publication number ER-103-00.

Report fearless or aggressive wolves to a local government office
(—Please call only to report fearless or aggressive wolves):

Department of Natural Resources
Western Upper Peninsula.............906-875-6622
Eastern Upper Peninsula..............906-293-5131

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service........612-725-3548

Department of Natural Resources....715-762-4684,
,.ext. 107
Adapted from a brochure of the same name prepared by the International Wolf Center.
1396 Highway 169
Ely, MN 55731
See at < www.wolf.org >.

Home ] Up ]

Please send mail to webmaster@mnforsustain.org with questions or comments about this web site. Minnesotans For Sustainability (MFS) is not affiliated with any government body, private, or corporate entity. Copyright © 2002, 2003 Minnesotans For Sustainability