There are no words for how badly humanity has been treating its planet… but the wolves make me especially sad. They are such beautiful & intelligent creatures and we have done little except hunt them and drive them away for a long time. What’s funny is we do that while being so much like them—social, loving animals who hunt and play. I guess the difference is that we overdo it and they know their limits.
There are significant efforts still to return wolves to their habitats, some in North America certainly, and that is something of a relief. It’s a terrible shame that we have given them such a nasty reputation.
Historically, wolves in Europe actually attacked a fair number of people. I'm sure that's why they feature as fairy tale villains, as well as one reason they were killed off. They weren't as huggable as they are made out to be nowadays. American wolves appear to have been less dangerous for some reason.
There indeed seem to have been a number of wolf attacks on humans - historically. There is some interesting reading on Wikipedia.
One thing that must be taken note of in the map that "ren" attached is that of the 5379 cases, 2813 cases is reported as rabid. And it is most important to note that this map is covering the period 1400-1918 - a period of 518 years! That makes a average of 5,43 reported cases of rabid wolf attacks per year for half a millenia! Undoubtedly there is a number of attacks that was never reported. Meanwhile, the number of human deaths caused by rabid domestic dogs was supposedly at 17.400 worldwide (not directly comparable to old wolf attacks records in France only) - this only in the year 2015! Then ad non-fatal attacks of domestic dogs to that number. That kinda put the numbers somewhat in perspective, I think. Even bats cause rabid deaths in humans. So one's chance of dying from a rabid dog is, and probably was historically too, considerably greater than that of a wolf! Rabies is a horrible disease, also in humans (YouTube link may be disturbing to some!), hydrophobia (fear of water) being just one of the symptoms.
A rabid wolf should obviously not be considered rational in behaviour, due to the nature of that disease. So if only attack cases by wolves in their "right mind" is taken into consideration, the French record says 2566 spread over 518 year, averaging 4,95 attacks per year.
One must also carry in mind that the period covered on the map barely stretch into the time of the industrial revolution, when human population really exploded. I think it would be very fair to say that at least a good part of said period, you would mostly have a lot of natural habitats with human enclaves or "islands", connected by mostly bad infrastructure. As time went by, agriculture improved and the relentless hunt for natural resources grew, causing destruction of forests and other natural habitats. Later in that period the tables had turned, natural habitats now being enclaves or "islands", in a sea of human activity. In the half-century up to 2002 there were 8 recorded deaths in Europe and Russian (unspecified if European Russia only or whole Russia), 3 in the North America and 200 in south Asia. Due to the high human population densities of south Asia, this region has had a higher number of wolf attacks on humans. Even leopard attacks are not unusual in south Asia, though leopards primarily snatch domestic livestock.
Meanwhile, one's chance of getting killed or injured in a terrorist attack by some political or religious psycho weirdo human, statistically remain considerably higher. Personally, I'll still go with the "huggable" wolves!
And speaking of statistics of deaths, this is where it gets really weird; even taking selfies is statistically more dangerous and fatal than wolves! Believe it or not, but 259 selfie deaths were reported from October 2011 to November 2017, not to mention 33.000 injuries in the US alone during 2014. Three YouTubers lost their lives only in July this year in a single incident in Canada.
No matter how scared people are of wolves, they should still follow the law and just stay away from the wolves as much as they can. Its very easy to set up deterrents around your household of nearly any species. With the correct steps, you can even prevent bears from messing around next to your house, or spiders showing up. If the anti wolf people don’t want any business with wolves, they should put their thinking caps on and find ways to stay away from them instead of shooting them and complaining about them.
This map and statistics from 1400’s are total rubbish. Who cared at that time even later in 16/17 century to record actual cases of wolves attacks and death. It is based on myths and grandma stories, “Red Hood”.
People fear sharks and wolves but ten times more are dying each year from coconut hit in the head, nobody hates coconut, tourists are sunbathing under the palm trees full of huge, heavy coconut fruits ready to strike.
Rabies is a horrible disease indeed. What is more horrible how public in developed countries is still unaware of the consequences being bitten by unknown animals to be exact mammals. When my son was a little boy unknown cat bit his arm just enough to cut the skin. After trying to find the owner with no success I didn't hesitate to pay visit to family doctor and got my son rabid vaccination right away. The vaccine is painful and requests few shots within specific period of time. He was suffering those shots but I would never forgive my self if he would die maybe two years later from this terrible virus. When I talked about this case to many friends, clients and neighbours to spread awareness few were so surprised and few admit that they or their kids were bitten in the past but they didn't take any steps to prevent getting sick rather than treat the wound with some antiseptics which of course don't help at all.
The infected animal may look totally healthy in the time of contact with humans as the virus usually takes its toll after 10 to 14 days in most mammals. If anyone should suffer the bite from an unknown mammal must does not think twice what if...just get yourself vaccinated and don't live with the fear of death in next two years as the virus inside you can hibernate up to two years in some cases. If symptoms of infection started it is already too late.
At least a lot of supposed wolf attacks in France were in the plagues when bodies were lying everywhere. Anyone that kills a wolf today is a total idiot, today they would be more afraid of you, especially as people take pop shots at them from their car windows and you have the gun brigade in parts of Europe and the US that shoot anything that moves. Even in the UK you have the rich landowners who have grouse moors who allow their gamekeepers to regularly and illegally kill bird's of prey and some of these are on the verge of extinction here, it matters nothing to them.
This map and statistics from 1400’s are total rubbish. Who cared at that time even later in 16/17 century to record actual cases of wolfs attacks and death.
French Parish priests made burial since the sixteenth century. Some of these indicated the cause of death. Many have been digitized and are available online. These were the primary sources used made to calculate wolf attacks in France.
Yes, killing a rabid animal to protect yourself or you family is entirely different matter from killing a wolf going about its daily business, to tell you the truth I am really rather skeptical about those French figures shown in your chart. Its way to high to my mind and I am afraid I do not believe them. Big bad wolf is just a myth like red riding hood passed down from generation to generation.
Wolf are clearly afraid by humans. I doubt they would attack any of us in our alpine collecting trips ! :-)
This said, I don't see why they wouldn't attack a lost small kid or wounded man in the forest during the night. The probability is indeed very small and wolves represent no real risk to humans (who anyway are stupid enough to kill his own species...).
I am a pro-wolf person but it is true it is a huge issue for shepperds.