Daily Mail A wolf chomped the head of a 16-year-old boy who was camping on Lake Winnibigoshish in north-central Minnesota, the Department of Natural Resources announced Monday. The boy, identified as Noah Graham, 16, was lying outside his tent near the shore at the West Winnie Campground around 4 a.m. Saturday and didn’t hear or see the animal until it bit him on the back of the head, according to Tom Provost, regional manager for the DNR’s enforcement division in Grand Rapid. He struggled to escape from its jaws and got up and the wolf didn’t run off until he kicked it. Family and friends were nearby, performed first aid to stop the bleeding, and drove him to a Bemidji hospital, where he was treated and released for puncture wounds on the right and left sides of his face and a 4-inch laceration on his head.
In an interview with The Bemidji Pioneer, the fearless teen has recounted the details of his harrowing encounter with the predator.
‘I had to reach behind me and jerk my head out of its mouth,’ he told the paper, mimicking the motion. ‘After I got up, I was kicking at it and screaming at it and it wouldn’t leave. But then after a while I got it to run away.’ The 16-year-old was talking to girlfriend before the wolf closed its jaws on his skull. ‘There was no sound at all. Didn’t hear it. It was just all of a sudden there,’ he said. Following the surprise attack, Graham’s girlfriend took off running and jumped into her Jeep. Two other members of their camping party slept through Graham’s one-man struggle against the 75-pound wolf. Once the animal ran away, the teen called his father to let him know that he was bitten by a wolf. Graham said that it will be awhile before he sleeps outdoors again. DNR officers were interviewing campers about the attack when one officer spotted a wolf at the campground, but it escaped. A short while later, an officer saw another wolf and fired one shot but missed and the animal took off. So authorities called in trappers who caught and killed a wolf in the same area early Monday. The carcass was taken to the University of Minnesota for a necropsy, including DNA tests to try to confirm it’s the same animal that attacked the teen. A preliminary examination showed the wolf’s bottom and top jaws did not align properly and it was missing at least one canine tooth, Provost said. Rabies test results on the animal are expected Tuesday or Wednesday, he told reporters. Assuming it’s the same animal, Provost said, the wolf’s jaw deformity is probably the reason it attacked the youth. While the male wolf was a normal 75 pounds, he said it would have had difficulty killing prey and likely was scavenging for food around the campground. Other campers told DNR officers an animal had bitten through their tents that night, puncturing an air mattress, and one camper said he saw a wolf near his campsite with similar colors and markings to the animal that attacked the teenager.
What was this teenager doing sleeping outside of a tent in the first place? Campers so not have to worry about wolf attacks, this is an extremely rare incident, and not a sign of things to come. This wolf had a physical deformity which made it impossible for it to hunt, but it stayed healthy by scavenging around camp grounds, probably waiting until campers fell asleep to eat their garbage. This teenager decided to sleep outside of his tent for some reason, and while the wolf was going through its nightly routine of scavenging, it discovered a ball of meat. The wolf probably thought it had hit jackpot, a ball of meat would be the find of the century, unfortunately that ball of meat was a living human’s head. It took a bite, and when the teen struggled, the wolf held on like a dog would with a bone. Unfortunate circumstance, and the wolf paid the price with it’s life, but this does not mean we should expect an upswing in wolf attacks.