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Teen survives first known wolf attack in Minnesota

Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

A 75-pound gray, male timber wolf was captured by trappers with the U.S. Department of Agriculture after attacking a 16-year-old boy in Minnesota.

A Minnesota teenager who survived a wolf attack over the weekend may be the only person in the state to ever be involved in a mauling from a wolf, according to state officials and local media.

Noah Graham, 16, of Solway, Minn. was camping with friends from church near Lake Winnibigoshish when, while talking to his girlfriend at 4:30 a.m. Saturday, a wolf pounced and bit him in the head.

“I punched it and grabbed it and I couldn’t get it off,” Graham told NBC station KVLY-TV in Fargo, N.D.

Noah Graham, 16, was camping in Minnesota when he was attacked by a wolf last weekend. The animal clamped its jaws around the boy's head, but he managed to escape. Graham is undergoing rabies shots and is expected to survive.

Graham said he kicked and screamed at the wolf before it ran away. He quickly put a blanket on his head to try to control the bleeding while he was taken about 45 minutes to the nearest hospital. That, Graham told KVLY, was the scariest part.

He received 17 staples in his head to close a gaping wound, and a series of precautionary rabies vaccinations.

State wildlife officers believe they shot and killed the wolf that attacked Graham, but they were awaiting DNA. results to confirm it was the same animal. The wolf was also tested for rabies.

Thought dozens of nonfatal wolf attacks have been documented over the years, but there have been only two documented fatal attacks in North America. 

In 2010, schoolteacher Candice Berner, 32, was mauled by a wolf in a small Alaskan village

In 2005, a pack of wolves killed Kenton Joel, a 22-year-old Ontario engineering student, in the woods of northern Saskatchewan, according to government wolf experts. 

Graham said the weekend’s attack has changed his views on camping.

“I probably won’t sleep outside again,” he told a KVLY reporter.