DNR: Wolf suspected in rare attack was not rabid

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The wolf that attacked a 16-year-old at a north-central Minnesota campground last week was not rabid, the Bemidji Pioneer reports.

The animal was trapped and killed Monday, two days after the attack, and state Department of Health lab officials confirmed the negative rabies test result on Wednesday, the newspaper reports.

DNR officials noted that they were not 100 percent positive that the wolf they caught and killed is the wolf that bit the teen, although they should have more DNA tests in the next few weeks that will help determine that, the Pioneer reports.

Noah Graham, of Solway, Minn., 16, said he had been camping with friends and chatting with his girlfriend when the wolf attacked and left him with a 4-inch gash in his scalp.

The rabies test result answered one question, but did not answer a bigger one: Why would a wolf attack?

Wildlife officials believe the incident was perhaps the first unprovoked wolf attack on a human in the state, the Department of Natural Resources said.

The U.S. Forest Service reopened the West Winnie Campground, which was closed after the Saturday incident, the DNR says.

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