The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is investigating an apparent wolf attack in north-central Minnesota early Saturday morning, the Associated Press reports.
The agency says a 16-year-old boy camping at the West Winnie Campground on Lake Winnibigoshish suffered multiple puncture wounds and a laceration on his head about 4 inches long. His injuries are non life-threatening.
A reporter with the Bemidji Pioneer received this photo of the victim:
According to a DNR news release, the teenager, whose name was not released, was able to fend off the wolf by kicking it, sending the animal running back into the woods.
A 75-pound male wolf matching the description of the animal involved in the attack was trapped and killed Monday morning. It's being taken to the University of Minnesota to determine the health of the wolf and test for rabies.
The DNR says before this incident, there has never been a fatal attack by a wolf on a human documented in Minnesota and only two reported in North America in the last decade.
“This is an extremely rare incident and not normal wolf behavior,” said Tom Provost, regional manager of the DNR’s Enforcement Division. “Because wolf bites or attacks on humans are so rare, they are poorly understood. These rare incidents have usually involved food-habituated wolves and have led to minor injuries, but no fatalities.”