A teenager in Minnesota has survived a wolf attack which resulted in a bite to the head.
The Department of Natural Resources has confirmed that this is the first wolf attack on a human in the state.
CBS Minnesota reports that the attack on Noah Graham took place at West Winnie Campground on Lake Winnibigoshish on Saturday, August 24.
“Our records do not reflect that we’ve had wolf attacks like this in Minnesota,” states Col. Ken Soring, enforcement director for the Department.
The 16-year-old victim from Solway was on a church outing with other teens when he was attacked. They were at the beach at 4:00 a.m. and Graham was outside his tent.
“The wolf just came up behind Noah, he didn’t hear anything, and it just grabbed him by the back of the head and wouldn’t let go,” his father, Scott Graham, describes.
The boy was taken to the hospital with a cut to his head, which required 17 staples. He was also left with bite marks behind his ear.
“He had to physically pry the jaws of the wolf open…to get it off of him. And once he got it off of him and he was up, the wolf stood there growling at him. [...] And he had to shout at it and kick at it to get it to go away,” the dad adds.
The teen is now stable and the male gray wolf was killed by Department of Agriculture officials. His remains will be tested for rabies at the University of Minnesota lab. An initial examination revealed that the animal had a deformed jaw.
“It’s too early to speculate as far as the condition or the causes with this animal, but it is not characteristic of wolves to approach people,” Col. Soring notes.