Would Real Wolves Act Like the Wolves of ‘The Grey’?

The nominal star of The Grey, America’s top-grossing film, is Liam Neeson. The real stars are the hungry wolves that pursue him and his fellow plane-crash survivors through Alaska’s pristine wilderness. The CGI-enhanced wolves are big, smart, and scary.

But is their behavior based in reality? To parse wolf fact from fiction, we caught up with Daniel MacNulty, a wildlife-ecology professor at Utah State University whose research on Arctic wolves is funded in part by the National Geographic Society.

First off, would wolves see men as prey and stalk them in the wild? I’d think that in a remote area like this one, wolves might fear or avoid humans.
In my 16 years of studying wolves in Yellowstone National Park, I have never been approached by a wolf or wolf pack. On the contrary, when I’ve inadvertently bumped into wolves they turn and run away—which is a problem when my objective is to observe them!

One of the characters in the movie says these wolves a) have a 300-mile hunting radius, b) will attack anything that comes near their den, and c) “are the only animal that will seek revenge.” Is any of that that true?
No. Nonsense, all of it.

Would a wolf attack a man standing next to a fire, with other men nearby, as happens in The Grey?
Not a chance.

At one point two men are running alongside a riverbank in the middle of the day. Two wolves race out of the trees and charge them. Possible?

Some of the wolves in the movie are huge—not Twilight size, but larger than I’d expect. How big can a gray wolf get?
In Yellowstone, the average weight of adult male wolves ranges between 100 and 120 pounds. The average weight of adult female wolves ranges between 84 and 93 pounds.

Do wolf eyes really glow in the dark, as they do in this movie?
The eyes of wolves and many other wildlife appear to “glow in the dark” because of a layer of tissue in the eye called the tapetum lucidum. It reflects visible light back through the retina, which improves vision in low-light conditions. So when light shines into the eye of an animal [with] a tapetum lucidum, the pupil appears to glow.

The cooperative hunting nature of the pack is played up a lot in this film. Is that accurate?
The extent to which wolves cooperate while hunting in a pack is greatly exaggerated. In a recent study, I showed that wolves are often freeloaders. That is, most wolves keep up with a hunt simply to be on hand when a kill is made. Imagine tackling a moose or bison with only your teeth, and you can start to appreciate the incentive a wolf has to hold back during a group hunt.

Speaking of cooperation, in one scene a lone wolf enters the men’s nighttime camp. The protagonist says it’s an omega wolf “sent in” by the alpha wolf to test the humans’ defenses. Does anything like that ever happen with wolf packs?
No. This is pure fiction.

At the end of the movie, the hero finds himself in the wolves’ den. It’s littered with bones and carcasses. Is that a realistic depiction?
In the dens I’ve examined, most of the bones and carcass remains are on the outside of the den rather than in the inside.

In the final scene, the protagonist prepares to fight the alpha wolf. He tapes broken mini liquor bottles to his hands. Would that give him a chance against a large male gray wolf?
If I was lucky enough to encounter a large male gray wolf in the wild, he would turn and run before I could tape the first bottle to my hand. Most people don’t realize this, but wolves are wimps.

Jeremy Berlin is a generalist, writing about everything from virtual dolphins and actual walruses to African soccer, Sicilian mummies, and Chinese mathematics. Prior to joining National Geographic he wrote and edited for The Atlantic Monthly, The American Prospect, and The Associated Press. His backhand has improved since he switched to an Eastern grip.
  • Joe

    Well that killed the mood of the movie for me… Still a good bit of information. Cheers!

  • suzanne

    Thank you Daniel and National Geo! Finally some common sense on wolf behavior. The Grey is just fiction.

  • m ward

    Gees, I would love to dropped this “expert” out in the middle of the artic with a pack of Grey wolves and say “today is your lucky day.” You can’t predict what pack animals, out of hunger and survival, are capable of in the wild. Wolves are opportunists. I think the movie exaggerates the situation but never unestimate hungry animals.

  • Ellen Mackey

    This movie is a slippery slope for viewers who will never research the truth about wolves. I saw the movie and it’s ridiculous! It’s the MOVIES!

  • Jpres

    To m ward apparently you have never been to the arctic the animals up here are more afraid of you than u are of them. The only thing you have to really be afraid of is surprising a bear and getting in between cow moose and her calf wolves up here are like he said scavengers that’s why you lock up your meat and carry a 45 but other wise have a nice day

  • sue

    Folks, it’s a damn movie. STOP rippen it. Gezzzzz a good movie at that. Would the wolves do this, would they do that. IT”S A MOVIE people.

  • Gage

    He refers to the wolves he studied in Yellowstone multiple times. What annoys me is the fact that he believes wolves in such a remote area would act exactly the same as wolves living in a national park.

  • Andy

    I enjoyed the film to a point, but was a little frustrated with the actions of the characters in a survival situation as well as the behaviour of the CGI wolves. They have done to wolves what the ‘Jaws’ movies did to sharks. Its nice to hear from someone with real experience of these beautiful creatures.

  • Patrick

    Yeah, those mean nasty wolves in Tennessee. Oh, wait.

  • Barbara

    The wolves that have been brought to Oregon and Idaho are not the wolves that apparently Marc is familiar with. They are huge Canadian wolves. Pictures of the ones taken in Idaho hunting seasons are more like minature horses. Northeastern Oregon folks have seen the same.

    Even abandoned domestic dogs that form packs are dangerous. A shepard/wolf cross (supposedly domesticated) attacked and took a piece of my dog as I rode a bicycle and she was running beside me.

    This experiment of bringing in bugs (to fight weeds) and other species that have no natural enemies create bullies. Even the hunters are saying the wolves are taking out elk and deer. Are they the next endangered species? What will you do then? Hunting seasons will be to late.

    The news of Maine wolves from South America being brought to the San Diego zoo to breed with american wolves ended it for me. This is not protecting a species so much as protecting and ensuring wildlife jobs in agencies the State Legislatures has little control over!

    For those of us who live in the country, the warm and fuzzy images of idealists are a nightmare! Of course we are not included in the dream, except to provide food, fuel and tourist banter.

    By the way, I have a collection of National Geographic. I have enjoyed the pictures and supposed insights for most of my life. But, as I have experienced life I find a certain amount of fiction in the articles. Always trying to make the prevalent rare and endangered! Well maybe it is if you live in town. It would just be nice if you would stick to taking pictures and quit messin with Mother Nature and people’s lives. But then, you are a business that feeds on emotion rather than the truth.

  • El Gato

    I think exagerations is perfectly fine when it comes to entertain. I loved this movie buts its cool to know that they are not really that bad

  • Carter Niemeyer

    I’ve worked with wild wolves most of my adult career. What Dan says is dead on target correct and the facts. Anyone who tells you wolves are dangerous to people and the wolves from Canada are bigger and meaner, are playing on your fears. Enjoy wolves, they are a beautiful animal that fears you a lot more than you can fear them. Everyone has different values and attitudes (emotions) toward wolves. Talk to experts in the field who have worked around wolves and they will tell you just what Dan has expressed and it is NOT based on emotion but simply animal behavior.

  • Jim

    The Grey is a true story though…those wolves are still out there

  • Dee

    I find it interesting that most of the people who continually repeat fictitious stories of aggressive wolf behavior towards humans, are avid hunters who are concerned that the wolves are going to ruin their sport. The humans want the pleasure of killing the elk and somehow believe that their methods are more humane. While the story of the wolf and the controversy it creates appears to have merit on both sides, somewhere in the middle of the tales, the truth is that this fight is largely dominated by the greed of man and the fear of loss income – particularly in Idaho where hunting and fishing are king. I urge those who have passionate feelings against the existence of the wolves to place some of their energy into further research and to quit repeating rumors as gospel. Find out for yourselves and quit listening to those who have other agendas and if you find that you still hate the wolf, you will have at least done your own investigation and can feel confidant about your feelings. Personally, I am in the middle on this issue and am still watching events unfold but can tell you that watching wolves hunt has shown me the inherent need for survival – man and animals alike – and that the right to survive is universal. Thank you for being willing to ask the questions – it would have been nice to get more elaborate answers from your expert, who comes across as smug and having a false sense of superiority in the wolf world. But then I have had the opportunity to watch the wolf watchers of Yellowstone on many occasions and there is a sense that they, themselves, own the right to observe these animals.

  • Will

    Studying the behavior of wolves toward humans in Yellowstone National Park is a laugh. Russians most likely would say, “that is humorous – smeshnyj.”

    As a Russian linguist, I have been researching more than 60 years the characteristics, habits, and behavior of wolves in Czarist Russia, the former USSR and in the Russian Federation. The results of some of my research are published in my book, Wolves in Russia.” I recommend you read pages 87 to 103, and 173 – 197. On these pages you will find behavior of wolves in relation to humans in a natural setting.

    Wolves are damaging and dangerous to humans. Look at the fact that the Russians report that wolves carry and spread more than 50 types of parasites and diseases. Some of these are not only damaging to some wild animals, but to humans as well.

    Let us take just a quick look at the parasite Neospora caninum for example. Science has established that wolves are definitive hosts of this parasite; additionally, science has established that 50% of wolves tested in Yellowstone National Park are carriers of Neospora c. This parasite causes some cloven footed animals to abort. How about some research to determine if wolves infected with N.c. are perhaps causing elk and deer in YNP to abort?

  • Bryan

    Apparently, m ward skipped over the first question in the article. I’ll listen to someone that’s spent 16 years studying wolves in the wild over someone from Tennessee any day. So would any rational person.

  • Jim

    As to the comment above about Shepard/Wolf crosses, dogs don’t have the natural fear/aversion of humans that wolves do. Especially a domesticated version would have no reticence in approaching or even attacking people or other dogs that wolves would have.

  • Jan

    The Author in this article does a great job in giving factual evidence about the physical attributes of the grey wolf, however I disagree on his closing attitude that “wolves are wimps” – Candice Berner and Kenton Joel Carnegie unfortunately cannot comment on this upcoming movie or article – they were both killed by wolves in two separate incidences in Alaska/surrounding territory in the last 7 years

    In the lower 48 states, one state in particular, Wisconsin, has been having difficulty in controlling the ever-growing wolf population – the Wisconsin Dept of Natural Resources actually went out and trapped/killed a small pack of wolves as they were becoming a threat to local citizens in an up north county of their state – a wolf pack were brazenly taking pets such as cats and dogs while humans were nearby – they were put down because of their indifference to humans. For some reason this does not make headline news – if you have time, go to the Wisconsin Dept of Natural Resources (WIDNR) website, concerning its gray wolf population – its full of info, research papers and links – in Wisconsin alone there are over 700 wolves, not including the ones that wander over from bordering Minnesota’s growing population – its becoming a problem so much that the WI DNR are working on getting them off of the federal endangered list permanently. They planned f or 300, and now they have twice as many as that and more in the state. And as wolves grow in population, there is now the threat of hybrid coyotes (wolf/coyote as noted in an article in Nat. Geo.) moving east. Wolf DNA has been even found in Coyotes -in West Virginia. These are not odd occurrences apparently – the migrating pattern brings them together. This will be an ongoing issue – We cannot afford to lose the “natural fear’ that humans have of other predators – it puts humans and wolves at risk.

    Wolves make excellent predators…its their nature. And yes, it can be a problem with humans as per my previous paragraph. I am afraid I must disagree with the authors attitude of “they run away”. To counterpoint – you must take precautions to keep yourself and others safe day after day when you work in the outdoors . I have worked over a decade outdoors in the Upper midwest woodlands where there are black bear and wolves. I have had yearly encounters. They all run away from me – so far. Does not mean for one moment that I am going to let my guard down and not treat them with the respect that they deserve as an animal in the wild. That would be anthropomorphism rearing its ugly head. They are not pets. They are not monsters. They are wild and should be respected with caution. To do anything less or to take a different attitude is putting humans at risk, and unfortunately the wild animal itself. And most importantly, precautions keep us scientists alive who work DAILY outdoors 😉

  • Barbara

    I have read about wolves all my life and have had two hybred wolves. My older one was 94% wolf. I lose her after 9 and a half years. She is saddly missed. But I have one now that is five 97% and she acts like a wolf.She does not like cats or dogs in her home. I would not trade my wolf for a dog. You have to understand them and hunters are murders and they are scarted of what they do not under stand so they kill it and enjoy the kill and then put out a film that lies.

  • Fran

    I thought the film “The Grey “was great.Good drama and It doesn’t matter whether the wolves attack humans or not, It was not based on true facts. Any way as someone said earlier never under estimate a hungry animal.

  • James

    Excellent article. Thanks much.

  • Matt

    Most predators are opportunists and since there were lots of dead bodies around, the wolves would have been more happy with them than the live humans. But, if they would have left with that, then there would have been no movie.

  • SteveH

    I had a close encounter with a wolf once. I was clearing brush near a deer stand. I could see him coming down a worn wildlife trail. I started to climb the steps to the stand when he came within ten yards to get a good look. He winded me and that was it; then went about his business. We both were startled.

  • austin reisch

    Maybe you need to study the wolves in Alaska… Because you are studying in a place where food is literally laid out for them… In Alaska I believe they would have to hunt and run techniques to take down there prey. There for making an “outsider” an easy target.

  • Dave

    I am frightened that there are people who care more about their enjoyment of a piece of dumb hollywood entertainment over the well-being of an endangered goddamn species. I live in Yellowknife, NWT, Canada (google that if you don’t think I mean business), and we have local wolf packs sniffing around our strays and loose pets all the time in the winter. The paper usually just warns us when they’re spotted, and we’re advised to keep our animals indoors. Only strays and a couple sled dogs have been picked off so far – this is also black bear territory, and I have yet to hear of a single human hurt by any of these large predators.

    Of course wolves sometimes attack humans. They don’t hunt them with guns from helicopters, though, and they don’t have the capacity to create media amongst themselves that’ll convince other wolves that humans are a worthless, savage species that deserves to be attacked with bullets and broken glass. There are tonnes of kids born and raised in cities who’ve never touched a tree that wasn’t planted with human hands who get to see this shit and believe it. I grew up around these animals, and with my folks telling me that animal behaviour in film is never, ever accurate. Not everyone is so lucky. Media impacts how we view things, always. Our sociocultural perception of wolves is influenced by the media, and millennia-old ideas about wolves being a threat to livestock, that they’re evil, etc. The only circumstances in which wolves becomes desensitized to humans is when there are too many of us buggering around in their territory.

    If you think 700 wolves is a tonne animals, howabout the fact that once upon a time there were *hundreds of thousands* of them, and almost none of us in North America? If sharing your breathing and hunting space with a species that actually picks off the weak and old and injured of the animals you like to hunt is so difficult, then go live somewhere where they are good and extinct already. Reintroducing apex predators to ecosystems that rely on that form of predation has done wonders for the parts of North America where this has happened. If you can’t share deer with smatterings of an endangered predator, then you need to check yourself and ask if perhaps you are being a bit of a glutton on your species’ behalf.

    I am sick of predators, and wolves in particular, being everything from nursery rhyme terrors to the boogeymen of shitty “wilderness thrillers”. These creatures deserve to be able to self-determine, and should get some dignity and respect, not more stupid pieces of human entertainment vilifying their existence, and fuelling the sick fascination we have with exterminating them, or culling them so that we can watch deer populations explode and die of starvation.

    Also, wolf hybrids are useless in this conversation – we aren’t talking about wild animals being crossbred with domesticated ones and kept with pets locked into human dwellings by people who haven’t enough sense to make sure their animal isn’t a threat to the neighbourhood – we’re talking about wild wolves, and whether or not they somehow deserve mainstream cinema using them as fodder in some masturbatory MAN VS. NATURE popcorn flick.

  • Barbara Ann

    Great Article! Couldn’t find a link to share on facebook?

  • susan

    It is movies like “The Grey” that give wolves a bad name. They have the stigma of being these monsters when in fact they are facinating animals vital to the ecosystem. I had the pleasure of meeting an “abasador wolf” at a sanctuary in Colorado. I had to take off my coat, take off my sunglasses, sit down the on the ground and act as casually as I could so the wolf woldn’t be intimidated. She walked up to me in licked me in the face!! And no dog breath. i have a huge respect for wolves and hope that everyone sees them for the great creatures they are.

  • Rich Stalter

    I just watched The Grey and it was entertaining. I’m not a wolf expert but you can tell this is just Hollywood; the wolves just happen to be the “bad guys” in this movie – just like in The Three Pigs. My favorite wolf movie was Dances With Wolves. Two Socks seemed like a nice, fun loving wolf. Nice article by NGS.

  • Lori Garcia

    First off never has there been any evidence that a wolf has killed a human.Wolves are beautiful animals and we can learn some much from them.This so call movie The Grey,is nothing but shit.do you know that they had trapped 4 wolves killed them and then the cast and crew members ate the meat of 2 of the wolves.thier excuse so they could get the feel of thier charcter.if they had to do this then they do not need to be acting.when they do kill it is only to survive.do we not as humans kill animals to survive.like I always say God will punish those who kill his creation.

  • […] Movie wolves pure fiction The new movie "The Grey", starring Liam Neeson, portrays wolves as phychopathic killers. Is any one else concerned about the effect such fiction may have on the general image of dogs and wolves? IMO they don't need anymore bad rap Would Real Wolves Act Like the Wolves of ‘The Grey’? – News Watch […]

  • Sue

    I really liked what Dave (Yellowknife) wrote about the wolves. He obviously cares very deeply about them and gives a damn. I think the same way, and wish people like him ran our country because we need people that care more about nature, animals and the environment rather than how much money they can make or how big of a business they can launch.








    Yeah those wolves made me think of prehistoric creatures and their magnitude or size. If a wolf was really THAT big, I’d want a long and sharp pole and a shield.

  • George Wiman

    It would be fine to say “Lighten up it’s only a movie” except for one thing: after the movie Jaws, people started killing sharks whenever they saw any. Misinformation can actually cause ecological damage.

  • Rob

    While the author is correct that wolves in their natural habitat, with sufficient prey of their preference are of no threat to humans, history is rife with legitimate examples of wolf attacks on humans, typically when prey populations drop and humans encroach into the territory of wolves and the wolves become habituated.

    Yes, The Grey is fiction. I don’t think it is being marketed as anything but fiction, but it is also a fiction to say that wolves _never_ attack people.

    Simply put, wolves, as carnivores, like lions, tigers and bears (oh my) can, although it is rare, come to view humans as a food source. Not enough deer or appropriate livestock? Humans are fairly squishy, but wolves that didn’t grow up hunting people don’t see people as food. Hungry wolves that are used to people can start to learn new patterns of behavior.

    If we want to prevent wolf-bites-man stories, maintaining the territory of wolves as prey rich and human free will be vital. Problem is, we kind of already messed that up.

    I’m attaching a link to an opinion piece touching on these points that describes how and when wolves come to view humans as prey.


  • Kaleberg

    We don’t have wolves in Olympic National Park, but we do have coyotes. We saw a couple of them near Hurricane HIll a while back and first thought they were dogs. According to the rangers, the coyotes have been hunting in packs, especially now that their numbers have been rising. On the other hand, they don’t seem to bother people.

    The only animal that has killed a person in the park was an obnoxious mountain goat. We knew that goat for years, and he was the lone goat that was never afraid of people. Maybe he was an endocrine mutant. We had a run in with him, but scared him away with a slingshot. Mr. Boardman was not as lucky.

    I’m willing to bet that plenty of wolves have killed people, but that this is more an exception than a rule.

  • Lucie

    To the people saying “It’s only a movie” people pay attention to the portrayals of animals in movies. It’s sad but true the numbers of sharks killed after the release of Jaws skyrocketed from the unfounded fear it provoked.
    To the people saying “But wolves kill people” Do you actually know the number of deaths from suspected wolf attacks? Between 2000 and 2009 on the whole planet 20 people were killed and the amount of people killed in hunting accidents per year is 1000. Do we outlaw hunting wolves? No it’s far more acceptable for some complete idiot to die in a hunting accident hunting a animal that isn’t really dangerous than to admit that wolves are not a threat to mankind or outlaw hunting. Animal populations naturally take care of themselves without human interferance, it’s when we get our mucky paws involved that it goes wrong. I find it completely insane that 1000’s of wolves a year are brutally murdered just to make a few idiots feel a bit better about themselves in some kind of deluded vision of preotecting their fellow man. They’re not it’s complete tosh they like to perpetuate the myth that wolves are killing millions of people a year because they love hunting, they don’t want to admit that actually they love killing for no valid reason whatsoever. Wolves have been hunted to extinction in many parts of the world don’t be so stupid to let it happen the world over. They are wonderful and intelligent creatures and it’s a privilege to share our environment with them. Who are we to decide what lives and what dies, which animal should be allowed because we’re not scared of it and which animal must die because we are.
    Oh and to Barbara, Oregan saying the Canadian Wolves (in pictures such a reliable form of evidence for determining the size of an animal), the smallest horse breed is a Fallabella which stands at a maximum of 32 inches the smallest rideable pony is the Shetland at around 42 inches, the largest dog breed is a Great Dane at 36 inches and these massive wolves…32 inches! Don’t you just hate perspective. Oh and you know that dog that you share your life with…do you know what dogs are directly descended from? WOLVES yes that’s right a wolf hater like you is sharing your home and life with a wolf! If you don’t like living in the same area as wolves then move. There were here before we were and we are encroching on the territory not the other way around. There are too many humans but I don’t see a big mac tied to a tree waiting to bring some unsuspecting humans in while hunters wait overhead in a helicopter do you? Unlike Idaho which is currently trying to push through a law that will mean that unlicensed people can hunt wolves, live bait such as dogs can be used, wolves can be hunted by helicopter at night, imagine how fun that would be for your area! I can’t stand this humans know best and are top of the pile attitude, we don’t and we aren’t.

  • Tapio

    Wolfpacks often hunt your dogs (R.I.P. Roni, our Karelian Bear Dog). Once they even tried for a horse in my hometown but that was a vey peculiar case. So they are not too easy to live with after all.
    But for humans there should be no danger… maby for children living in rural areas.

    Anyway, the movie got so much more unrealistic features in it (in addition to the wolves) that the perspective for watching it should be quite “hollywoodish”.

  • […] for leadership when found in a “controlled,” more ethical form. Ridiculous (and demeaning to what wolves are actually like) yet a number of those in my workplace back then bought into this model as a template for success, […]

  • Kevin

    To those people who are saying it’s just a movie – If a film like this came with black people in the place of the wolves then everyone would quite rightly be up in arms about it.

    What this film does is places a mythology of wild animal as ultimate predator in peoples’ minds that only makes it more difficult for conservationists to make their point. The number of people who are discerning enough to be able to see that this film is pure fiction are unfortunately in the minority.

    That the film-makers and actors involved in this refuse to acknowledge how exploitative it is (ref. Neeson trying to justify eating wolf meat during filming) only makes it more contemptible.

  • Jenifer Corbett

    A couple years ago I this area (anchorage) there was a wolf pack roaming JBER. They were killing pets and trying to attack people. They were very territorial and attacking for no reason. They finally hunted them all. I remember the news saying it was non characteristic for them to act the ways these were. They were not by any means stalking but they were not running or hiding from people or other animals.

  • Danes

    I don’t want to be disrespectful, but nobody can answer you these question with 100% accuracy.. Nature is amazing ,it’s scary and it’s beautiful ! Have a nice life everybody, be grateful for what you’ve been given !

  • Laura

    I have a zoo pass and visit the zoo on average twice a week. Of all the animals at the zoo, the wolves are the hardest to view. They hide in the back of their enclosure behind the trees and rocks. They are scared and uncomfortable with their human visitors. This movie was a giant unrealistic joke to me. Wolves aside, many of the other parts were incredibly unrealistic. Liam looked like an idiot taping bottles to his hands!

  • Jessie

    To the guy who was posting in all caps about seeing all the bees:
    Just an FYI that was a swarm of bees and they were looking for somewhere to nest. They probably wouldn’t even sting you. When my dad catches swarms sometimes he doesn’t even wear a veil, much less a bee suit. I couldn’t help but share that tid bit of information. Carry on.

  • Katie

    I thought the movie was great I thought. Only the ending when the main character dies, I’m guessing, from fighting the Alpha male wolf. I wanted it to end differently, but anyways.
    Yes, The Grey was a fictional movie/book and the wolf behavior was also made up and what was said about wolves in the book was made up, but honestly you really don’t know how wolves act unless you were in fact a wolf yourself.
    And I think this movie did spark some fear into people that more people did start going wolf hunting. Which I think is horribly wrong, their numbers are declining from farmings killing them because they kill their livestock, hey they gotta survive! We are taking up almost ALL of their habitat and they have really know where to go and their natural food sources are disapearing when people move into their territories. They never know when they will get their next meal so they will go after what they can just to survive. It’s not like they are doing it because they hate humans and want to make them miserable.
    It’s that way for quite a few animals now a days. It literally makes me miserable that hunters just kill them for a thrill.

  • Frik Stander

    I do not believe that a single human being has EVER been killed by a wolf or have been bitten by a wolf since man has been on earth.

    The wolves I know are very friendly and kind hearted and, as a matter of fact, a wolf has recently envited me over for tea and scones. Isn’t that lovely.

  • Conny

    I wholeheartedly agree with Dave (NWT).
    All my life I have had a fascination with wolves which came to a head when we had to read Julie of the Wolves (I think that’s the original title, I read the German version). I was about 12 I believe. Since then, I read everything I could get my hands on about wolves and their behaviour. I rented The Grey 3 hours ago, and I was honestly saddened by the way these amazing creatures were once again portrayed.
    It has taken YEARS to increase the numbers of wolves in North America, and I would not be surprised one bit if because of this movie alone, the amount of wolves will dwindle again.

    Good grief Hollywood, stop being stupid!

  • Unknown

    im sorry dude but when i worked on a farm in the montana, we used to camp in the moutins. and once we came under “attack” by a pack of 8 wolves they wanted to kill us, if it wasnt for the guns we had on us i wouldnt be here today. im offended by your statment that wolves donnot attack people.

    you may be an “exspert” of wolves, but your in a park dude, that aint no wild. you cant use a so called wild life park as an excuse to back your facts, those wolves are used to people, in the true wild they arnt so friendly………

  • Kitty

    Great movie but totaly science fiction.

  • Alden

    The movie exagerates how aggressive wolves are by far TODAY(in the past they were much worse) and the guy answering these questions seems to be fibbing to calm people.
    I take it he doesnt want people killing wolves like people did sharks after jaws was released.

    The reason theres not many wolf attacks? Not many wolves anymore..
    But in russia and siberia wolf attacks are a weekly thing that is dealt with. You simply dont hear about it because its in such remote parts of the world people dont have media attention or newspapers.
    Search wiki for wolf attacks on humans. Theres a very long list..
    In a pack in the wild wolves WILL come after you. If they see a gun and hear it.. They will back off.

    Theres many stories of wolves attacking caravans during the rebolutionary war. A story of the russians and germans calling a ceasefire to deal with the hundreds of wolves killing soldiers during ww1.
    Recently 2-3 people have been killed.

    Are all wolves like this? No.. But they are predators as are humans and while they are scared of us(1 on 1 the wolf loses) alone.. In a group they will follow you and kill you.

    My friend told me a story about him being trailed by several wolves outside his home in michigan. He never knew they were there until he got to the porch and the lights showb the glow of their eyes at the woodline.

    Creepy animals.

  • Alden

    Wolves have a long history of attacking people when they get the chance.
    From the wolves of paris to the wolves attacking soldiers in ww1 and the american revolution. To more recently the attacks in canada and alaska or siberia.

    I love sharks.. So when people want to kill them cause they see jaws I am saddened. So I can understand folks not liking this about the movie..
    However these experts go to parks.. They work in parks.. They occasionally go 10 miles outside of human population.

    Out in the middle of alaska.. Siberia.. Russia. These attacks are very real and do happen. Wolves there have not learned to fear humans. We are the apex predator but 1 human vs 6 wolves and the human is a goner.

    They do stalk and will hunt you. This guy is rightly trying to calm people but dont think wolves are skittish alley cats.

  • Noel

    While I think wolves are beautiful animals they can, and HAVE attacked humans. The problem with HUMANS is they start to Disney-fy wild animals (just ask the park ranger in Yellowstone that had to stop a father approaching a wild bear with his son in an attempt to place the child on the bear’s back to get a photo op…father of the year he’s not). These are wild creatures that should be left alone, when possible. People too often attribute human emotions when dealing with animals. They aren’t noble, they are opportunists like a lot of preditors. You can’t tame them, they aren’t your friends but seperate beings just trying to survive….this isn’t Dances With Wolves. I’m not for hunting them…I’m just injecting some sanity.

  • Noel

    One more thing….STOP feeding them if you really love them!!! Predators, one habituated to humans, become problems BECAUSE of hand feeding!

  • Travis

    They grey was an entertaining movie I have been working in northern Canada for awhile now I have seen about 6 wolves up there they all seem to keep to there own and are far from a man killers under the right circumstances maybe one would take after a human but so would anything on this earth including yourselfs

  • Esther C

    I live in the only place in Canada where there has been a fatality from a wolf attack in a hundred years (Saskatchewan, CA). I can understand how for people that do not lived near a northern wilderness the “wolves” in The Grey might seem pretty scary, but I assure you, it is as fictional as little red riding hood.
    From a cinematic perspective, does anyone else agree that this movie would have been just as – if not more successful if the characters were faced with all the REAL horrors of their situation? (i.e, freezing weather, injuries, crossing rivers, etc.) And leave out the lame ass computer graphic wolves? Even if you didn’t know anything about wolves, how were you possibly scared by the ones in this flick? There were times when I downright laughed.
    Anyways – if you need more proof about the ridiculousness of this movie, check out http://www.wolf.org/wolves/news/2005releases/123005_wolfattack.asp


  • Jefferson

    It is widely established that wolves have a large territory. the largest pack territory was recorded at 2422 sq miles (a pack of 10 Alaskan wolves no less), so 300 is certainly within reason. They will typically cover 9-25% of their hunting territory daily. The wolves in this movie will have likely never seen a human, so chances of them attacking at all are slim to none.

  • Chris

    People really need to make that divide between reality and hollywood. Of course this movie was overexaggerated to increase the drama. Hollywood wasn’t out to give wolves “a bad rap”. It’s a movie and they do what they feel they need to in order to increase the entertainment factor.

    Has anyone seen that move “Unstoppable”? About the run away train? It was a good movie with some intese thrilling moments. It was based on a true story. Based just means there was once a story about a runaway train from a few years ago because of someone’s slip up and they stopped it rather unexitedly. However Hollywood took notice and decided to make a thrilling movie about it, so they added a LOT of exaggerated moments to make it fun and exciting.

    Also, this writer is downplaying wolf behaviour too much. Yes, most wolves probably wouldn’t approach humans but that doesn’t mean people should treat them like skittish cats. If you were ever to find yourself in a situation like this movie and there were wolves nearby it would be in your best interest to stay wary of them, especially if they’re very hungry. They wouldn’t likely be as bold as the wolves in the movie, but that doesn’t mean you would be 100% safe from an attack if they were desperate.

  • Nightshade

    I do agree that wolves do atack people. But people are hunting and ivading there hunting grounds so they are forced to go into populated areas.
    I think the reson that people feer wolves is because they don’t fully undrstand them. If you lived the way they did I am shure that you would have a grater apresheashon for them.

  • Bob

    Actual Wolf Attacks(The Grey isn’t so exaggerated)

    Banbirpur, India. The wolf attacked Kumar whilst he, his two siblings and his mother were using the open ground for their toilet. When a police search party found the boy three days later, half a mile away, all that remained of the body was the head.

    Siklyatz village of Duvansky District, Urals. Paschkov was surprised by the wolf on a haystack in a dairy farm and attacked. Three women and another man rushed in with pitchforks and a shovel, and all were injured by the wolf. Paschkov bled to death, while the others were treated for injuries in hospital.

    near Springfield, MO. Wolves attacked James Smith whilst he was alone in the woods, waiting for the return of his brother. When the latter returned he found his brother’s bones. In the centre of a circle of five dead wolves, was an empty repeating rifle, showing that he had been overpowered before he could reload his weapon.

    Ontario. When a trapper did not return to the post office as promised, two natives were sent to find him. All three were killed by wolves.[28]

    Unspecified Soviet province. Svetlana was attacked by five wolves when she and her friends were walking home from school. The wolves dragged her a kilometre into the forest. All that was found was an overcoat.

    Village of Chernyabevij, Khalturinskij region. Wolves attacked Anna and her mother, killing the former and dragging her into a forest. She was found partially eaten and with a broken neck.

    Village of Shilyavo, Kirovskaya Oblast, Russia. Pimma was washing goloshas in a stream with a 7-year old friend, when a wolf caught her and her friend’s screaming alerted the villagers. Her body was found 500 metres away. The wolf had bitten through her throat and eaten her thigh muscles.

    Kirovskaya Oblast. 8 year old Perfilova was Killed and eaten by a wolf pack on the road to a collective farm.

    GOOGLE more wolf attacks to find out the truth about wolves…

  • Rob

    i’ve not experienced wolves first hand, but i think all these “i’ve worked with wolves my whole life and the arent dangerous at all” are a little broad. first: i doubt all of your “experience” involves getting wounded in a remote area next to hungry wolves and then trudging aimlessly into the forest. 2nd: if dogs that we have bread specifically to live with humans occasionally maul there owners, i think that its a bit unrealistic to say that no wolf ever would. 3rd: while the accounts are low, people have been documented killed by wolves. 4th; just because you work outside somewhere that wolves live, doesn’t mean you “work with wolves”. just so we’re clear, im calling you a liar.

  • chris rozema

    First, I love that all the people calling the Utah Doctor a liar and/or a fool are so foolish themselves as to not understand the difference between “there” and “their.”. Not a single one of them understands fourth grade grammar, so how should anyone expect them to grasp animal sociology. Second, I live in the foothills of Appalachia. I LITERALLY LIVE WITH A PACK OF RECENTLY REINTRODUCED GRAY WOLVES IN MY BACK YARD! Literally. I hear the newborn cubs all pitching and whimpering and crying whenever Mom comes home with breakfast, lunch or dinner. “Their” den is no more than a hundred FEET across a small valley between two hills separated by a dry ravine. I hear them every day. Three times a day but haven’t seen them once. They know we are too much risk to waste “their” energy on. Oh, and I have a three year old less scared of them than the wussies in this movie! The Gray blows in fact and the adolescent philosophical insights which are the movie’s only virtue become saccharin not half way through. Thanks.

  • David Smith

    Response to Chis Rozema,
    Before you talk about other people’s spelling or grammar, you need to check your own spelling! The movie is called “The Grey” and not “The Gray”. Oops! 😛

  • You are much more likely to die from natural circumstances or hunting accidents while hunting wolves then the actual wolves. Unless your a 8 year old or livestock you don’t got shit to worry about, and you really don’t need to be killing these animals from helicopters gotta give them a fucking chance bitch Palin.

  • Christina

    chris rozema – The movie was fiction! Are you going to start calling the characters in “The Ring” selfish and stupid now too? The movie was complete fiction/fantasy, anyone with a slight of imagination would know that.

  • amanda

    i’m actually watching this move right now and i came across this page looking up wolves in alaska i knew this movie was way to unrealistic. I have been around domesticated wolves before and alrhough wild wolves are different I knew this seemed way far off

  • Nahli

    Proper research will show that the previously listed attacks could not be confirmed. Further in every case where the presence of a wolf to an attack can be confirmed the wolf in question was either rabid, or reacting to being cornered and threatened. There are in fact more attacks by healthy deer per year than attacks by sick or starving wolfs per decade.

    Sadly ignorance is stronger than knowledge. Ignorance acts without ever stopping to think.

  • Jay

    Most wolves are going to run, just like most bears, most cougars even most coyotes….however, bears kill people,, cougars kill people, alligators kill people…even non-rabid coyotes kill adult humans. I imagine wolves have too, and will in the future. In Alaska when people go missing, they can tend to stay missing and there is no way of knowing whether a wolf pack got them or not. To say they won’t attack and then say deer will is about as foolish a statement as can be made. The young lady killed in Nova Scotia a little while back by those coyotes probably thought coyotes wouldn’t attack, oh yeah the experts blamed the attack on the fact that the coyotes were hybridized with grey wolves and that was what explained their unprovoked attack on that young lady. Funny, some wildlife biologist used the fact that they had wolf genes to explain why they stalked, attacked, killed and started to dine upon an adult human. Making such bold statements about wolves by someone who has studied them in a national park where most have been handled by humans at one time or other is down right funny. Remember that guy who “studied” and lived with the brown bears in AK, what happened to him? Oh yeah, one of his subjects killed him and munched on him.

  • Scott

    Can someone please tell me why we try so hard to re-introduce these animals(the wrong ones btw) in our now very populated lower 48. There was a reason they were driven out in the first place, we now manage domestic herds. They belong in the wild like Canada or Alaska where they can have the space to live without human conflict/managment.
    What a waste of time and money for the “enviro-nuts” who refuse to accept our population is over 300 million and growing. Nothing but conflict can come from placing packs of these amazing creatures at our door steps…..just a time bomb waiting to happen.

    For the parent with the small kid(s) who lives across from a wolf den and is not concerned. You are a BAD parent, period.
    A parents job is to always be concerned , even if the threat is very slim.

    What do they say about the moment you don’t respect something…….?

  • Scott

    Oh, and as far as Yellowstone Park Wolfs,….
    Elk and deer flock to the park where they can’t be culled. The Wolfs have plenty of food in this scenario…..

  • Brandon

    Everyone needs to remeber this, Wolves were here long before humans. They were the top hunters in this land, no other creature would fight a bear or cougar. I’m half Native American, mostly Apache and Cherokee, we view Wolves as something special. My Cherokee Clan is in fact the Wolf Clan, most of our nations modeled ourselves partly after the packs. Yeah I’ll admit it wolves have killed, but humans damn near ended their race and one person said there is over 300 million people on the planet or some number like that, i say screw it, if I die I’d rather die against “my four legged brothers” than by a human that wouldn’t have the courage to go head to head. Humans are not the top of the food chain, in hand-to-hand we’re S.O.L. Personally I’d rather be Wolf than man. I’d rather be the product of millions of years of hunting perfection than the product of million years of stupidity. Just like the Wolf and the Deer we are animals. Wanna live in the true world? It’s hunt or be hunted, kill or be killed. All I gotta say, so Cowboy Up!

  • Murrray

    To think that a meat eating animal would not eat meat is unbelievable. If you were in a remote area, and there was no available meat around and than all of a sudden you had an abundance of it, you would I am assuming eat it? Though yes the move was exagerated it is still possible that someone in certain circumstances could be attacked by a pack of wild wolves. To say that because they were in a remote area makes it even less likely that they would be attacked is absurd. I lived in Montana for 30+ years before moving to Texas, the whole time I lived there I had never seen a wolf. The transplanted wolves back there in 1993 and I moved out in 94, I went back to visit my friend there in 2011 and he said that the wildlive population there was being decimated by them, he couldn’t remember the last time that he went up into the woods and didn’t see the carcass of a deer, or elk that was half rotting that was taken down by a wolf. He has also been out hunting and crossed back on his tracks to go back to his truck and come across wolf tracks in his tracks…..following him….hmmmmm. Sounds like they may hunt humans after all. Just saying.

  • David

    Wow – what a p!ss poor idea for a movie. We’re intent on making evil scheming monsters out of these simple and beautiful animals. Great article by the way. If people keep cattle round wolves or other predators, obviously they’ll prey on the cattle – it’s easy money – no brainer. So the farmers demonise and cull the predators. Then it’s a whole debate about man’s survival versus natural instincts of the predators. Tough one to answer when you’re a man who eats meat or eats dairy products. If you’re the farmer living near the wolves, obviously you’re gonna protect your livelihood, if you’re not, you might be prone to defending the wolves. There’s no answer to that one unless we all stop eating meat/dairy. Other than that, all this hollywood stuff is *utter* fairy tale bullshit that just feeds the monster image. Trouble is, not everyone watching it knows that, so it propogates the ignorant monster idea into popular understanding. Anyone interested in how real wolves behave should watch the Ray Mears documentary on wolves.

  • Jason

    Clearly the movie exaggerated many scenes, after all it is a movie. But, to be so naive as to listen to views from one professor when there are plenty of stories that clearly contradict his is just a lack of awareness. FACT- Experts and Marine Biologists said the GREAT WHITE shark would never approach certain shorelines in CAPE CORAL….They were WRONG. That is just one of MANY stories that EXPERTS claim would be IMPOSSIBLE or NONSENSE. In the medical field, where I dwell; many EXPERTS are always PROVEN WRONG. In the world of science, things change. Theories change! MATH LAWS are broken. Please don’t be so foolish to believe that because someone in their perspective field claims truth to the manner, it is and will be the end of the story. Case studies from Astrology to Zoology have many times failed the test of time due to variables and other unknown factors. Lastly, I do believe the expert here is most likely correct with some of his information, but to pretend as if he can predict with unquestionable certainty that everything in the article is true- He would be better off as a lawyer. I cannot stand when educated people use subjects like this a medium to prove something that cannot be proven. SILLY RABBIT…..Tricks are for kids.

  • brian Eernisse

    (There is no documented account of a healthy wolf ever attacking a human.)

    i am sorry but in the movie ” The Grey ” things were not so unrealistic as many of you seem to believe it is. Wolves detect prey by three primary means, sent (most common), tracking, and chance encounters. Now when you have a plane crash with loads of dead bodies and blood all over the place thats like an orgasm of lovely smells for a pack of wolves. It has long been recognized that wolves often take advantage of wear members of the herd. In 1804, Captain Clark of the famed Lewis and Clark expedition wrote that prairie wolves followed buffalo and fed “on those that are killed by accident or those that are too pore or fat to keep up with the ganges.” The people in this movie moved like a HERD where the weak or the onces to unfit to keep up got picked off . Weakened animals may show thier condition to predators through body stance, uncoordinated movements, the smell of wounds or infection, or some other tangible signal. do the people in this movie give up those signals indeed they very much do so. After prey is detected, wolves may split up to search through brush, travel on ridge tops searching for the prey below, or test herds looking for signs of weakness. i have seen documented videos on how wolfs hunt and i can tell you one thing the flanking scene where they run and the wolfs split up in to flanks is exactly the way i saw them hunt in the documentary . To conclude my point is that we are talking about a situation no one here in this message board is ever been in , in the wild surviving with a group of people that are bleeding out moving like a herd so far in to the wilderness where wolves are not in constant contact with humans . there i no way of knowing for certain what a pack of coordinated wolves that look upon us in that moment not as people but a herd would do. sure some things are over the top a bit but too say that this movie is wrong about wolves al togheter , not a chance and the people who think they know what there talking about , group up go in to the wild give yourselfs wounds and cuts and walk threw the woods starving for 2-3 days and then tell me if your still sure wolves dont attack people who look like a wounded herd of animals .
    The movie ” the grey ” was a movie about the will to survive when you have so much or nothing left in this world , about accepting death or giving it the finger and how far things have to go before that will is to be broken. and for all of you who dont get that im sorry but there for in my opinion you are all ignorant sir .

  • Erin

    I found this to be an interesting read:


  • The Hunter

    The movie is more realistic than the view of one professor out of his ivory tower in yellowstone zoo with no knowledge of alaska at all. the wolves there didn’t met a human before and he compares them to the half hounds in yellowstone. thats like comparing an elephant with a mammoth.

  • alonzo

    For all of you that think that wolves are cuddly and wouldn’t attack humans and this movie was totally fictional, I just found this on the net….
    And this comes f Wolves kill teacher in Alaska

    Villagers in Chignik Lake on the Alaska Peninsula take precautions after the first known fatal wolf attack in U.S. in modern times.

    March 13, 2010 | By Kim Murphy

    Reporting from Seattle — Hunters were combing the snowy brush around Chignik Lake, Alaska, on Friday in an attempt to hunt down up to four wolves that killed a 32-year-old special education teacher in the first known fatal wolf attack in the U.S. in modern times.

    But the wolves were elusive, and villagers were hoping that state game officials would send in a helicopter to help track the animals, Village Council President Johnny Lind said. rom the Los Angeles Times….

  • Ev

    Wolves? You want to get close to test the theories? No, of course not. Do you want to frolick with a Great White Shark? No. Do you pine for the embrace of the tiny Blue-Ringed Octopus? I doubt it. People who get hurt or killed by wild animals is just nature’s way of keeping our species intelligent. Because only a moron would hassle dangerous wildlife. I respect hunters: it’s their way of feeling like a man. But to the hiker, the psycho, the tourist, the storyteller: Leave wild animals alone in wild places. Go eat fast food.

  • Sasha Leigh

    Wolves are different around the world. So your arguments Invalid.

  • Liberty

    There’s a lot of ego and erroneous information made in the above article from someone who obviously considers himself to be an expert. That’s a shame. To say it’s impossible for a wolf to run out from a wooded area and attack a human being is downright absurd. Of COURSE it’s possible! Look up ‘wolf kills human’ because although rare it’s actually happened. And that’s just killed never mind injured.

  • believe in wolves

    The guy who wrote this article has to be full of s***. In the wild, humans without weapons are prey. We are by far not an apex predator. But a lone wolf, much less a pack of em most surely are. I have no doubt that if a herd of wounded people were caught out in the wild a pack of opportunistic wolves would be snackings on some humans. BTW loved The Grey 🙂 and thanks Erin for the great read.

  • leenstl

    Lots of arrogance in these comments, posters thinking they know as much or more than the ecology professor who studies wolves. It is a work of fiction, kind of like The Call of the Wild, it’s not meant to be realistic, which is why the author of the novel it is based on didn’t ask experts how wolves actually behave.

  • Ximenez

    The hostilities of the wolves depicted in the film, fictitious they may be, cannot be solely compared to those of wolves in Yellowstone National Park. Wolves that have had encounters with humans quickly learn to stay away and remain distant. I agree with Liberty on the notion that to say that it is impossible for wolves to exist similar to those of the film is untrue. We cant dismiss the possibility of an idea or in his case the ultra wolves from the film to be impossible by comparing them to the fear-stricken wolves of Yellowstone. I am not saying that these wolves actually exist, but this “expert” could have given unbiased and objective answers.

  • Kyle Agnew

    We live Gameti N.W.T. Wolves will approach people.

  • Armond Allen

    You gotta love it when a ” so called expert” says what a wild animal wouldn’t do. As if they known the animal for years .
    Kinda like like when people own chimps or Tigers or snakes lol. The truth of the matter is Wolves much like any other creature on earth are unprectiable.. Many people have lived to tell the tale of thier survival and encounter with wolves and many haven’t . The professor is studying wolves that have been “reintroduced “to yellow stone, which means they are familiar with humans .. Tell him to go to Siberia or somewhere where wolves have never encountered humans and tell him to stay out there unarmed naked and a steak strapped to rear and see if the wolves turn into whimps an run away LMAO!!!!!

  • warlock113

    Tell the so-called “expert” to take his happy ass out into the woods of Northeast Georgia,and meet some wimpy coyotes. These clown-assed city pups kill me. A wild animal is not predictable,and in Winter will see anything as food. A hungry animal is Dangerous and unpredictable. Movie was silly,and so is the “expert”.

  • Daniel

    Here in Sweden we recently had wolves in a Zoo that killed one of the staff. (use these words in Google and translate it after when search results come up” kvinna död i attack av varg på kolmården”)
    These wolves were “domesticated” and sometimes met with visitors.

    Wolves attack and take down large pray as moose during winter time, so I wonder if a starving pack would have any trouble with a person if need be.

  • Don

    Yellowstone wolves may be (slightly) cowardly vs humans, but that’s not so much the case with northern european wolves. They are much larger, and historicly HAVE been dangerous indeed. The Grey should have been set in Russia/Siberia, but that wouldn’t appeal to as many viewers.
    The Grey is but fiction, but wolves are neither the saintly noble beasts OR the diabolic killers that idiot humans like to think they are for whatever reasons. I suggest a search & review of various articles/sources, then form on’s own conclusions as to which are more biased (IMHO this one is way + biased, but too – is out there as well)

  • tommy

    Thats crazy watch national geographic channel, one episode it shows how a pack of wolves actually stalked someone and mauled him to death.

  • Gil

    I would dare to say that the “studies” that were done in “Yellowstone” do not at all portray the wolves of the great north. Let’s start with the fact that Yellowstone has a variety of wildlife that the wolves can feast on year round in average temperatures that generally do not drop below -10F. Realistically I would say that the studies in Yellowstone carry the truth for there. However up here, once you leave your mode of transportation you become a part of the food chain Bears and wolves dominate humans in all athletic and strength capacities…..now think..if you were in -30f and starving if you seen a rabbit or a grouse you would does you absolute best to kill and eat that animal, right? Wolves are the same way they get cold and hungry so of you are out there alone or with a few other people, you ARE the rabbit…your slow, weak, and have none of the abilities as your predator

  • Ben

    All this movie is, is a new version of Jaws except with wolves. People are are killed every year by both animals. But attacks are rare. Ive been in the ocean twice now and i can tell you, yes there could of been sharks swimming within 5 feet of me and i would have never known it. Jaws would tell you that all of those sharks would be attacking the humans in the all they can eat human buffet. last time i checked in sand ego Shark attacked very rarely happen.

    “There have only been two or three fatal shark attacks off San Diego over the past 60 years — there’s controversy over whether one was really a shark attack — and about 11 total in California:”

    “NINA) in 2002 The finding of the report was that during the 100 years of the 20th century there were between twenty and thirty attacks in North America (including Alaska and Canada, which have relatively high populations of wolves). Of these, three were fatal, all because of rabies. No attacks have been recorded in Yellowstone since the reintroduction of wolves more than a decade ago. For comparison, during the 20th century there have been 71 fatal grizzly (brown) bear attacks in North America. Each year in the United States, 16-18 people die from dog attacks”

    Anyways i agree with what others say, that they are wild animals and deserve respect and their space. I disagree with others claim that wolfs are man hunters and will go out of their way , risking themselves and other pack members to these strange funny looking animals that walk on 2 legs.

  • Bill

    But…scientific studies prove that the wargs in Lord of the Rings are true to life.

  • Lena

    wild wolves DO attact humans when they are cold and hungry!!!

  • Ali

    One thing I’d like to point out as a personal pet peeve of mine regarding this movie is that the wolves in the film are freaking huge, and though movies are by no means realistic, anyone who knows anything about wild animals should notice that, because they look big and well-fed, that would mean that they have a clearly abundant prey source and therefore would not need to hunt the people, but also probably wouldn’t. Taking advantage of anyone who’s already dead, on the other hand, is definitely something wild wolves would do.

  • Gui

    That article is false. Packs of wolfe have killed people in the past : http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1257459/Alaskan-teacher-mauled-death-pack-wolves-jogging.html

  • Patrick Gilman

    wolfs can and would do exactly what they did in the movie.
    I lived in CO and small coyotes have been known to take men down

  • JR

    The rarity of wolf attacks in the US is due to the fact that they have been largely exterminated from the US and those that remain are closely monitored and contained in certain areas to limit their interaction with people. Also, when we venture into these areas, we generally take precautions to avoid interactions or attacks (hiking in groups, bear spray, a gun, etc). However, in other places in the world where abundant wolf populations exist in close proximity to humans, attacks are certainly not rare (see Wikipedia for a good discussion on the history of wolf attacks and since it’s on the internet, it has to be true http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wolf_attacks).

    As such, the author incorrectly dismisses the idea that wolves can or would attack humans or that they would see humans as food. Similarly, he assumes that all animals are would stay far enough away from fire to attack someone standing close by – when camping one fall, we retired for the night and left the fire burning. Shortly after climbing into our tent, a bear came into the cap and made off with a bag of food that was sitting on a chair just feet from the fire. I don’t see why a wolf would be any different.

    Like other animals capable of consuming humans, we aren’t wolves preferred pray and they generally don’t seek out humans for food and are indeed generally very timid around people. In this respect, the movie portrayal of wolves is clearly fiction. Despite the fictional aggression towards humans, wolves can and do hunt and kill people and it’s not inconceivable that a lone wolf or a pack of wolves could make humans a preferred food source as this happens in other animal species. For example, the movie “The Ghost and the Darkness” is based on a factual documented account of two lions massacring dozens of people after humans became their preferred food source. Similar, albeit less extreme, examples of animals seeing humans as a regular food source are well documented among sharks and crocodiles – it isn’t a far stretch to think that this could occur in isolated situations with wolves.

    The author would do better to describe the low probability of these things occurring rather than making broad generalizations that wolves would never attack someone standing by a fire or running along a river or during the day or when there are two people present. Making these statements that are factually incorrect calls into question the accuracy of the entire article.

  • Alex

    I would not be so quick to disagree with what the post says. I think 16 years of scientific study has to count for something. But for a balanced view I think two things must be considered. First off, wolves attack people in winter is believed to be on of the origins of the werewolf story. Obvious a hungry wolf in Winter will do things a full, healthy wolf wouldn’t. And secondly, all domestic dogs are descended from wolves. So historical evidence has wolves both as mans best friend and his worst enemy. Really, they’re not dissimilar to people. Follow the rules and everything is fine, but run into one of those with dangerous intentions, and its going to take some manoeuvring to get out alive.

    As for the contentious ‘endangered species’ conservation debate, the point is that, yes they are predators, so they are going to be depleting prey stock. I know it negatively impacts on some peoples lives, especially ranchers, and on occasion people living in wolf areas. But you don’t condemn a species to death because it makes you feel better.








  • emerson miranda

    I don’t think wolves are wimps
    I say they are SUPER BRAVE!!!!!

  • Jason

    I like most most you, watched the movie and thought….seems odd, I have never heard of wolves being like THAT BAD… So I did a little research… Anyone reading this should pat themselves on the back for being smart enough to watch and enjoy the movie, but not believe EVERYTHING they see in the movies and take it upon themselve to research the issue, go ahead, pat yourself on the back, you deserve it!!! You took control of your education instead of handing it over to Hollywood.


    I have seen business man hunt down and kill 100, 1000 acares and more and bulldoze all the life out of it in a blink of an eye. Then place up oversized, uncomfortable households of the unconcious pigs that buy them so they can feel secure in their moronic lifestyles. Text Text, tweet tweet, forum forum, face book, friend friend, unfriended. WOW

    Maybe bulldoze for a company that toxifies the land and disappears in 15 to 20 years after they file chapter 10,11, 12 and 13. It’s execs take off with millions and billions and leave the clean up to the towns which bear it’s burden. Yes yes.

    A world of morons. What makes them morons. Big business propagana. They own EVERYTHING but your soul. Will you give that to them also? Wake up.

    Wolves die, earth dies. Wolves live earth lives.

    In the age of the internet, so much knowlege…… No infact it is not even facts, it is words placed on pages like spin art. No verification, no valid source. Anyone say anything. You don’t know the difference between a duck and a dog. A rock and the sky.

  • Cooper

    The Grey is based on a book called The Ghostwalker. Liam Neeson’s character is dead, he killed himself. The aftermath of the plane crash is his purgatory, the wolves represent the culminations of his various fears and sins, those fears and sins being embodied by his fellow crash survivors. Ever notice how he keeps telling the other men how dying feels? How would he know? The wolves are deliberately unrealistic, deliberately demonic. The Grey is a pretty deep film… It’s not some action flick about killer wolves.


    Cooper interesting I did not know that. This is what you say the movie represented and you knew it because you read the book or you read the review. I thought the movie was poor regardless of what it represented and did not convey its meaning very well and it was a poorly done movie. Its overall life value is extremely negative toward the wolf and nature and will be viewed that way by most.

    The road to hell was paved with good intentions. Everything is connected. The american indians were not a stagnet society they were grounded in their being and connected to all of it. They choose not to do things not because they could not but because they knew they should not or it did nto feel right. That is the difference between their society and ours.

  • […] their actions were a bit too 'smart', but I didn't think their actions ever crossed the line. In lots of ways, haha. Vimeo | Flickr Cinematography Reel 2011 Profile Send PM […]

  • Me

    Our family lives in remote wolf country and we fear them. We fear for our pets, our children and we don’t trust them in the winter at all.. We worry much more about the cougars, but the wolves are still a concern!

  • Ken Cyr

    Those who say Indians lived in peace and harmony in the land have no idea what they are talking about. They waged war with one another they were cruel to their women and each other….In other words they were human. All humans have a propensity to do evil and no matter what culture, political, social status or even nature lovers, religion they are connected to they will eventually fail because of human nature which is selfish and self seeking.

    It was an extremely dumb movie. No knowledge whatsoever of the nature of wolves.

  • thedreameater

    It was a enjoyable movie – nothing breathtaking, but decent performances, cinematography, and excellent theme (to be or not to be). As for one of the characters, those wonderful, night stalkers, I had no doubt that much of their menace was invented. I didn’t expect this to be a documentary and gave it the same license so many other works of fiction recieve in order to be enjoyed.

    The author of this post provided valuable insight based on their 10 years of experience with wolves in Yellowstone. I’ve found the debate of wolves exploring humans as alternate prey to be an on going one among experts. It’s obvious they’ve eaten people and I could imagine circumstances where we’d be their food under harsh circumstances as well. Would a bunch of random crash victims draw their ire? Who knows – was it important for this movie, yes. The sad bit is that stupid people will see this movie (Sarah Palin) and believe it’s a documentary, then go a shoot’n. That’s the sad bit and why we all can’t have nice things. Damn stupid people.

  • Me

    That dosent help with my question


    The indians had a form of government where they actually had the best in mind for the tribe because they would all die if not. Their leaders did not get extras and had to work just like everyone else. The people actually did not have to abide to a leaders choice and if the leader strayed they just stopped listening to him. We all have a propensity for violence but when we have not come to terms with ourselves in the greater context of why we act, technology is like giving matches to children and in the hands of a business man it is armageadon. So a naturalized life is the only way out. Yes they did have wars and kill each other, that was over the food in order to eat.

    Wolves when really hungry will kill you, many humans will kill you just out of greed. You know any other animal that kills out of greed?

    Human = Less than animal = The speach in the first planet of the apes movie(1968 version). Have never found anything contrary to this.

  • Maggie

    In the interest of fairness, the question should not only be do wolves kill people, but also, do people kill wolves? Yes, wolves have killed several hundred people in the twentieth century worldwide, but in the United States alone, thousands, if not tens of thousands, of wolves have been killed by people and driven to extinction before their reintroduction in Yellowstone. Human beings are one species among many on this planet, and we need to learn to peacefully coexist with the rest of creation. When another species becomes extinct or endangered due to pollution, carbon emissions or overdevelopment, we hammer another nail into our coffins.

  • Peter

    I’m dumbfounded that a movie made in the 21st century portrays wolves in such an archaic, nonsensical manner. I mean really, give us a break! The producers of this film should really be ashamed. Unfortunately, their are many people who will take this rubbish at face value. The poor wolf, even after all these centuries, still the evil beast of fairy tales. Use aliens next time! Far more entertaining and less offensive!

  • Anthony

    Los Angeles
    November 30, 2012, 6:11 pm

    The Grey is based on a book called The Ghostwalker. Liam Neeson’s character is dead, he killed himself. The aftermath of the plane crash is his purgatory, the wolves represent the culminations of his various fears and sins, those fears and sins being embodied by his fellow crash survivors. Ever notice how he keeps telling the other men how dying feels? How would he know? The wolves are deliberately unrealistic, deliberately demonic. The Grey is a pretty deep film… It’s not some action flick about killer wolves.

  • Jay

    Im sorry but how ignorant can u all be? This guy’s research on wolves i doubt in anyway meets the same requirments as this movie. He’s prob researched them in sone safe controlled way. There is no way to know how a pack of wild wolves would act to a couple of lost ppl in the middle of nowhere in their territory. Now im sure the wolves wont creep up to the fire like they did in the movie but NO ONE here can say for sure how a pack of wild wolves would react to an opportunity at a weakend person lost in the wild in their territory. I for one think they grey could be true to some degrees, no ones seen these wolves in their element miles away from civilization in unsafe circumstances like in this movie. All this guys got is prob reasesrch done from a safe place i doubt hes stumbled right inyo a pack and watched how they reacted. The grey was a great movie and a window into what COULD happen when ur taken from everything that keeps u safe and knocking on wild nature’s door.

  • ross

    Jay. I just watched The Grey. Nice action flick. But no reality. Don’t bash researchers. In fact, in the course of european man’s dealings with the No. Am. Frontier for 300 years, there have been countless times when man has found himself in a “weakened” state in wolf territory. How many kills?? ZERO. Do a little research before you whine about “but it COULD happen.”

  • ross

    Sorry. I need to amend my statement. There is the 2010 Alaska case.

  • Chris
  • Ray Stern

    I watched this movie last night and thought it was quite stupid. If the plane was a spaceship and the “wolves” were alien creatures on another planet, it would have been more realistic. If you believe wolves might act similar to the aliens in Pitch Black, this is your movie. The other incredibly asinine thing about the flick was when they decide it would be safer to leave the crash site and head for the woods. Hey, screenwriter, Alaska isn’t Paraguay — the rescue crews are, in fact, on their way.

  • amy

    seriously,wolves are amazing. u shouldn’t portray them in a fake point of view. no offense, the Gray.

  • nathan

    As an outdoors guy i have spent most of my time in the woods. When i was in school i did a study on wolves they didn’t act like the wolves in the grey but don’t mean they wouldn’t. I have seen them get really protective when there are pups around. I have studied there hunting habits and their travel habits. I have seen what happens when something enters the den of a pack of wolves they will protect it even if it mean there life. packs can range from 15+ dogs. So not every thing in the movie isn’t real but could happend. but still a good movie. They are scared of people but will lose there fear over time

  • Eddie

    Nonsense…but not how you think. I’ve never told anyone this but something ‘very similar’ to what happened in The Grey happened…to me. It wasn’t a plane crash it was a chopper…and it wasn’t a pack of blood thirsty Wolves either…it was a pack of blood thirsty Bears! I did indeed end up in the Den with the head bear – I was forced to kill him with my bare hands (no pun intended). It was a good death…the others came after me in a rage, but I managed to ride off on a Moose.

  • […] it turns out, wolves are not actually as gully as The Grey made them out to be. Even if they were, no wolf, alpha, omega, or zeta, would dare try Lt. William F. Guile, lest they […]

  • Holly

    The movie The Grey is a movie and had to exaggerate some parts about the wolves so it wouldn’t be boring, think about it. It’s Hollywood. However, contrary to popular belief, wolves can attack. Few years ago they got close near the military base and started to after people’s dogs. They also viciously attacked and killed a woman out jogging in the Chignik Lake area, she was a teacher. So it’s not to say that AK wolves don’t attack people cause they could.

  • Klam

    @ Holly

    Yeah, and leprechauns ate your grandma.

    Wolves DO NOT attack people. Believing in lies you have been told is one thing, spreading them is quite anoter.

  • Klam

    @ Holly

    And whoever comitted the crime is still free, because incompetents and peasants blame wolves!

  • Mike

    Pointless article really. Basically, you can replace all of the US Armed forces with two or three teams of wolves from the Grey. They’re that good. Right now, as I type this, the wolves from the Grey are in your garage plotting strategy. Good luck.

  • Cecelia

    I livrd in Idaho for 20 years, There are a few wolves thanks to those who re introduced them. Wolves are magnificent creatures and Even though i may have heard them while camping and hiking in the back country, we most certainly were not afraid that some random wolf was going to attack. Reality is the wolf is still hunted and murdered relentlessly and films like The Grey is bad propaganda, unfair for the wolf!!

  • Bill Bond

    I was deeply offended by this movie. Wolves are still the big bad beasts of fairy tales. This is what lead to their extinction in most of the world at the hands of ignorant a!! h#$s like those who made this film.

  • Will

    How many of you experts have actually gone wolf/bear/coyote hunting and found yourself being stalked? The author of this post claims fire will keep them at bay, I can tell you right now that this is not true. It will not keep wolves nor brownies at bay.

    You can research all your want, but until you spend time in areas where food is scarce and predators are not being exposed to humans, all your research is for nothing. If you want to truly see how a predator acts in the wild, find areas where food is scarce and used a distress call to draw them in as if you were on a hunt and you will soon realize how quickly you will become the hunting. They will toy with you and will get braver with each encounter as the day goes on.

    As far as wolves/bears and coyotes running away from humans before you can tape the first bottle to your hands. So what you are saying is that they are more afraid of that one bottle than they are of dozens of gun shots throughout the night while continuing to advance. Let me know when you do some real research:)

  • Lauri

    Tame wolves attacked on person who was familiar to them in Swedish zoo, so it’s absolutely impossible that wild wolves living in REAL wilderness would attack on people…makes sense.

  • Klam

    @ “Will” og whoever you are.

    Okay, a professor who has studied wolves in the fileld for years is a liar and you know more than the professor?

    He has done real research, but you stupid predjudiced fantasies make yoo more of an expert?

    I acttually would applaud the wolves, if they ate you, but sadly they won’t.

    Because, you see, ALL people who have observed wolves in real life in the wild have made the same observation: They are shy and they don’t attack people.

    You won’t find ANY real expert saying that your preposterous claims have any truth in them”

    Your self-proclaimed “expertise” is a fraud.

    Please go away!

  • […] “Most people don’t realize this, but wolves are wimps,” Utah State University ecologist and researcher Daniel MacNulty last year told National Geographic. […]

  • New TV Shows

    Thank you for every other informative blog. Where else may I get that type of info written in such a perfect means? I have a venture that I’m simply now operating on, and I’ve been on the look out for such info.

  • mack

    this makes me laugh to be honest. the movie was good but was Hollywood. the comments i have just read is what makes me laugh have any off you ever seen a wolf( for real not on tv or in zoo or pictures ) yea the researcher did, fat not hungry wolves who live in yellow stone a main tourist park so the wolves know what a human is.wolf large wild dog no not at all a predator who kills to survive and does it in packs and is real good at it. shy really! ok 4 of us loggers are servicing our machines, tree line less then 100 feet there 1 no 2 no 5 wolves just come out of timber did they attack no, by shy no, curious is what i seen. next day low and behold the lovely wolves i wish i had camera to take pictures of 6 of these gentle misunderstood animals take down a calf moose and rip it to bits as they feed. so people figure it out wolves in the arctic no food never seen humans and there hungry lets drop of our researcher there with no weapon or support oh and cut him up a bit to put the scent of wounded animal in the air, and see if he does not turn out to be lunch. not this logger and i have seen plenty of wolves just one last thing if you see the wolf there is to many watch your ass. oh and maybe read some news stories about how the gentle bens of the woods never attack people or the cougars. you city folk whose life is learned in school or on tv or internet get real there is a reason people have taken out predators there dangerous.i will say this what scares me more is the predators you city folk have to deal with the gang bangers who are predators in there own right and would last maybe a day in the wilderness maybe that is what we should do with the criminals drop them in deep Alaska yes the forest can be deadly if your stupid 55 year old male who spent his whole life working and being in the forests of bc great movie yes a little exaggerated but you don’t want to be where they were.oh and if you were to ask that researcher was he packing a weapon i bet he would say you bet i was!

  • […] embraced the movie, although I’m not sure it’s saying what they may want it to be saying.  And some environmental groups were bothered by the portrayal of the wolves, which is a well-intentioned complaint but misses the point.  First of all, Liam Neeson’s […]

  • John

    You’re all uptight! I was a wolf cub, 1st Burns Bay pack, and my Akela said wolves are my brothers.

  • Sophia

    I think your an idiot. When we found a wolf at my friends ranch it chased us. Also you study them in Yellowstone… NOT ALASKA!

  • deandar

    Whats the name of the alpha male he fights at the end.of the movie The Grey ??

  • Luna

    Have any of you read Never Cry Wolf by Farley Mowat? I would suggest it as it is very fair, noninflammatory, and factual, as well as having just enough dry humor to keep it interesting. It will give you a wider range of knowledge on the subject, and hopefully help to solve arguments. There will always be rogue cases, rumors, and things like rabies to inflame hate against wolves. There will also be stories of unnatural kindness that will inflame love. Both are most likely either fabricated or exaggerated, so think before you get angry.

  • JamieB

    So I’m watching the movie “The Gray” at the moment and yes, I agree the behavior of the wolves has been portrayed as well and truly over aggressive, however, I personally think you are all completely oblivious and disrespectful to any breed of wolf, or wild predator for that matter. They are wild animals who have natural instinct to track, trap, ambush, attack and feed off of any living thing that they have instinctive advantage of and will sustain their dietary needs to survive. It’s that simple! And I don’t need and scientist or professor or damn park ranger to try and convince me that they are “more scared of us than we are of them”, cause I’ll tell you right now, if I had a 1 on 1 encounter with a full grown male gray wolf, in its natural habitat, without any weapons or forms of protection, I would 100% gaurenteed be far more affraid of it!
    For example, you lived in a third world country where the essentials needed to survive were scarce and may only become available on rare occasions. You have a family that relies on you to provide them with food and water and barely a roof over their heads. You have to protect your family, your essentials for survival and the tin shack you call home, so when a complete stranger stumbles across your Den ironically, you stand your ground and instinctively become the aggressor doing whatever it takes to protect yourself, your family and your territory. So what makes wolves protecting their young or their pack, their food supply and most of all their heavily protected den? Absolutely nothing. They may observe human behavior out of pure curiosity, without becoming aggressive, it is often difficult to predict as to how they will react to human interaction. However, find yourself in the wrong place of territory, their Den, and I believe you will quickly find yourself back peddling out of a potentially fatal, but surely dangerous situation.
    Although majority of fatal attacks come from rabie infected wolves, its obsurd to segregate the infected wolves into a category that simply “doesnt count, they had rabies”.
    Have a geez at http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wolf_attacks_on_humans
    That link, scroll down and read through “list of fatal attacks”, and tell me that probably thousands of fatal wolf attacks on an unbelievable amount of young children, elderly, explorers, rangers, sherpers (who supposedly first trained wild wolves that the human species was off limits in regards to a food source) and believe it or not a modern day zoo keeper whom was attacked and killed, dating back prior to the 18th century is not sufficient evidence to class these animals as aggressive, instinctive hunters who must, like us humans in certain situations, eat what is available and dietary sufficient, to survive in this world.
    I’m not saying fear them as though they are a cold blooded killing machine, I’m saying show them the respect they deserve and don’t reach the assumption that they will automatically flip a switch and retreat when they see a human because sadly, as history states, that it not true. And it is ridiculous to think that expert professors and researchers can come to the general conclusion that wolfs are, and I qoute “whimps”. That’s not taking anything away from their careers devoted to the final understanding of one of civilizations most unbeknown relationships between the ancestor of mans best friend, the Gray Wolf and the human species. I just can’t bring my self to be convinced that these researchers have come to such a determined understanding that the behavior of such a self reliant wild predator, with a hugely underrated level of knowledge, who has been on this earth for several tens of thousands of years, is frightened and timid towards human kind.
    That has been my personal opinion on this ancient, controversial topic for as long as I know, and no one will ever change it.

  • Joshua

    Ya this guy doesn’t seem to be correct, I don’t care who you are a wild animal is never a wimp whether it’s a squirrel or a bear. They fight to survive everyday and they will kill to protect what they care about. Studying 10 groups of wolves is never accurate. It’s like saying you studied 10 families and now you know EXACTLY how all human beings are. This guy should have spent his 16 years on something else because he really doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

  • Brad

    Let me suggest a page here; Though not the ultimate answer to the question if some the events in the movie might happen in real life. But might give some clarification with regard to the subject;(wolves)


    Items No.5 & 7.


  • Rhett

    This site is bogus because, if a wolf pack is hungry enough, they will attack grown men, for food. wolves will carry women and kids off as well, wikipedia has a pretty long record of wolf attacks, some were rabid some were not,

  • Inachis

    Wow. All these comments and no one has pointed out the biggest flaw (IMO) of the plot: why would the wolf pack stalk the small group of men when back at the plane wreck there’s enough fresh meat to last them weeks?

  • bonnie spiker

    The gentleman in this article is a professor of wildlife ecology, but some here comment that he doesnt know what he is talking about, and that wolves are vicous and attack humans. This is the way wolves are portrayed in Hollywood movies and I wish that they would stop doing that only because it is proven here that many believe that what they see in movies is actually real. If science based evidence cannot or will not convince you ,than nothing will. There probably has been conflict between humans and wolves in the past because wolves have been around for a long time and humans have waged an all out assault on them. A person who studies these animals is trying to tell you people, that the behavior you see in this film is not typical of wolf behavior in the wild. You are all entiltled to your own opinions, however you are NOT entitled to your own facts.

  • Westin

    Yes. Because I’m sure that a park ranger that studies wolves in a national park where there are probably more humans on the average day than animals would be an expert on wild wolves’ behavior. Whats next? The zoo keeper saying “Lions are a large feline species native to africa, that love to cuddle with small children”?

  • russ

    wild animals are unpredictable,I lived in Alaska two years and encountered wolves that were under study in a controlled conditions.they are really quite large. I would not want to encounter them in the wild.and as far as would they attack is like will your 400 pound chick will attack you for your box of dougnuts . maybe not but it could happen.if a wolf is hungry enough I believe humans look pretty tasty.

  • Leigh

    I haven’t seen the movie, and after reading what I have on this page I have no desire to. (And if the poster who claims the movie is based on a metaphorical book, perhaps the filmmakers should indicate that in the beginning of the movie.) I am not going to waste time and energy repeating the posts of others; particularly since I completely agree with the views of every single person who has both good sense as well as love and respect for these beautiful, amazing animals. I don’t care what Wikipedia says about wolf attacks, since those who refer to it seem to selectively read it, as there have been NO REPORTED ATTACKS BY (non-rabid, tho I’m not sure even of that) WOLVES IN THE U.S.!!!
    So, since besides that, I have very little to add to what these smart, caring, pro-wolf people have already said, I would just like to give a big thumbs up, atta boy, and YAY! to all the anti-Palin posts!

  • Ryan

    People! It was not a documentary! The wolves were very much figurative characters! There’s a much deeper theme that could’ve been displayed without wolves at all.

  • Raul

    Do they plan on writing an article explaining the events of Sharknado scientifically?

  • Dan

    Maybe you should stick to jellystone park… That was depicting a frozen climate where all the natural prey had gone into hiding.. People eat people In situations like this. You are dilusional dismissing this just because you work in a park..if wolves are hungry enough this can and will happen. That said i doubt they would continue hunting the way they did but anything is possible.

  • magro

    Hi there, the photo on top of this blog publish is launching a little unusual in my opinion? I attempted giving an email but it bounced back again.

  • Navin

    Thank you for correcting the horse manure portrayed in this movie. It should have been categorized as fiction. Having grown up in tiger habitat in India, I can tell you even a man eaten tiger would not go for one of these big guys let alone two. Man eaters still hunt non human prey but occasionally in opportunistic fashion go after kids and may be a small person not these 6 footers. It is also relative easy to repel wolves in the wild. They are usually scared of fires and light. To the people with that it’s only a movie logic, I say to portray animals contrary to the nature and resulting hype endangers them.

    • scs55

      it would have been more realistic to have them tracked by a brown or Kodiak bear…they have little fear….but a movie like that has already been made, a fairly good one with Anthony Hopkins in the lead role.

  • Klam

    Another user asked:

    “Do they plan on writing an article explaining the events of Sharknado scientifically?”


    No – because for reasons only gods could possibly understand, the same people who are stupid enough to believe that wolves would be aggressive to humans do not believe in flying sharks.

    I don’t know why, but since it is so the scientific establishment has decided not to waste it’s time on trying to correct indecent nonsense unless there are morons who actually believe in it.

  • Klam

    Leigh said:

    “I haven’t seen the movie, and after reading what I have on this page I have no desire to.”

    Happy to hear that. i’vew been a fan of Liam Neeson for years – but participating in this fascist racist propaganda against animals who don’t know they are being victimized in the name of aggression and stupidity – that cost gallons of respect in my book.

    I also avoided this crap altogether. Better just to watch “Jaws” an extra time – despite its’ also being fiction and all. At least sharks aren’t nice guys, and they WILL take an occasional bite of a swimmer.

  • james

    This was an insightful piece of rationalization. HOWEVER… Though, I see your source as credible and knowledgeable on wolves living in the PARK… the real question was, in a remote area where wolves don’t encounter men at all… would they hunt them? Please go back and answer that question… not with an answer of, “in the park they just run”… because in the park, I feel they understand humans are the more dangerous creature.
    As for the “scout” wolf as I will call him. Sent in to “test” the group. I have seen coyotes send in a “scout” to draw out an animal in order for the larger group to attack it. So from that stand point, I think a set of wolves could do something similar.
    **The scout in that scenario I mentioned died. It lured my dog out twice successfully, the third time I saw what was happening and expeditiously took action

  • Cass

    I know someone who, witnessed 4 wolves rip a grown healthy man to pieces. They do run away but they are not scared of you. And they’re intelligent. Don’t be a fool.

  • Jones

    The facts about wolves hunting radius, defense of there den, sending the omega in to lure out the prey, are all true. Wolves are majestic and beautiful animals and will attack if feel threaten as would any other animal, especially in the area of there den where there young is, wolves always have pups and will protect them against ANY advocacy. This wasent shown in the film and may have gave a better understanding to the viewers about the wolves aggression. I do feel that the film was exaggerated a little on the wolves but the basic principle of them protecting their area is true, especially in the Alaskan wilderness where human contact is rare, if a pack of wolves can take down a bear, than they should have no problem taking down a person. The Grey is not about a group of people getting killed by wolves . It’s about survival in some of the harshes conditions you could face, weather , starvation, no technology, being stuck in a place where the wild wilderness has control.

  • Jones

    Advocacy misprint..adversary is what ment

  • Linda

    I know I am late to the party, but I think most of ppl on this thread missed the point of the movie entirely.

  • Prometheusfire

    i stayed away from Stuart little for the same reasons .
    i HATED the way it suggested that mice like to dress up in tiny clothes and drive barbie cars , the talking was just to much in my opinion .
    the way that animals are represented in entertainment is disgusting , a fascist , racist regime designed to make us all believe that such a thing as fantasy exists , what a bunch of nazis ………

    sarcasm of course 🙂

  • MisterRedShow

    I completely fail to understand how studying a specific group of wolves in one single part of the world (which is a world-famous national park which millions of visitors every year) could possibly give you concrete evidence of the behavior of an entire species the world over. We already know beyond all reasonable doubt that animals of the same species in different parts of the world exhibit different behaviors. For example certain dolphins develop specific hunting habits based entirely on their environment. For Mr. MacNulty to claim he knows beyond all doubt how every wolf in the world would react to any given stimulus is immature, idiotic, and a disservice to the scientific community. Shame on you Mr. MacNulty.

  • arad

    Wolves can be dangerous for human indeed. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wolf_attacks_on_humans

  • Jim

    Sure, some of the scenes with wolves were far-fetched in The Grey. That’s what Hollywood does. If you’re going to avoid seeing every movie that exceeded the limits of reality, you’ll be seriously limiting your selection.

    I would question an expert who compares wolf behavior (particularly avoidance of humans) with the wolves he encounters in a tourist spot filled with humans versus a remote wilderness such as where the film took place.

  • chris

    Wow I love all the activist that seem to know all about carnivorous animals who could care less what type of meat is for dinner as long as its available when there hungry. Most of you most likely live in the city or have no actual country life experience. And no your neighbor who has a farm doesn’t count… I live and farm in the country with plenty of coyotes and wolves and bears.. they’ve all one time or another attacked my livestock and came to close to my home where I have three young children who would make an easy meal.. my wife has had coyotes Chase her down on the quad.. these are natural predatorial instincts. I don’t bother them till they come knocking.. and guess what time to time they come around looking for food. I wish to god they were smart enough to take directions then I could send them to all of you neigh sayers homes and let them prey on your children as you look and say aww there so beautiful and smart.. they are beautiful but your kid and a young deer or small animal are one and the same to them…..but I know I just wasted my time cause unless you have lived side by side with these majestic animals your to ingnorantly stupid to know any better…

  • Dave Meehan

    I dont care if a person is an animal behaviour expert in any species…..
    any animal….man raised or in the wild CAN attack and turn on you……any canine will defend its home….especially if it has cubs or pups…its nature….ive seen pmwolf pack stalk and work together as a team and go after a moose on tv…track it for miles and take it down….ive no question in my mind that they could do the same to human being in remote wilderness…..people who think these animals would not attack and defend themselves if it needed too is idiotic…of course it would if it had too…..

  • Baccacanmine

    Wolves will only attack when:
    1)feeling threatend
    2)when in their marked area
    Otherwise they’re not that bad

  • Bill LB

    Animals are the natural extension of the human race. Many need protection, before they are wiped out due to ignorance. In the United States, the Grey Wolf is one such species that is on the “run” again for its survival. Please go onto MoveOn and read, and if inclined, please sign my petition. Search by the words: States are Reckless – Please put Grey Wolves Back on Federal Protection List

  • James

    I want to be clear. Attacking livestock and animsl is different from humans. This guy is a wolf expert in Yellowstone who has come face to face with many wolves who have not attacked and killed him. He practically lives in Yellowstone. The reason they run is also because of our fear of them. Because we slaughtered them almost making them go extinct. All because they were too close.

  • Critical Thinker

    I read through several dozen comments, amazed at how many ‘experts’ there are, who are so sure wolves will attack. When you make those remarks, could you please include a link to your resume, showing your education, years of field work and location, and peer-reviewed published papers?

    (My guess is most of your expert knowledge comes from fictional books and movies and some elementary through high school general biology classes. Would you rely on the equivalent leel of expertise to run a nuke plant, perform your open heart surgery, treat your dog/cat? Oh, but the behavior, and related fate, of wolves, we don’t need any REAL expertise about that, do we? )

    Several commented on how you can’t draw conclusions from wolves in Yellowstone because it’s a popular park. That much may, or may not be, true. Many commented on the wolves at Yellowstone being habituated to people. Many thought any research on wolves there should be discounted because it’s a park. However, most commenters don’t realize that (a) the park is 3,468 sq miles, larger than the states of Delaware and Rhode Island combined; and (b), most visitors rarely leave a very very small area of the park. Meaning, most of it is as much “wilderness” as Alaska.

    One person said you can’t compare wolves in Yellowstone to wolves in Alaska. I don’t know if that’s true or not, but lets say it is, that we should only look at cases involving non-rabid, non-provoked wolves attacking humans only in Alaska and Canada. Someone referred to a Wiki page about human attacks.

    That page (and links related to it) indicate there have been a POSSIBLE 41 attacks in 100 years by non-rabid wolves. However, we don’t know the quality of the investigations of all of those reports—ie, if the wolves were unprovoked, or if they were really wolves, or what the situations were. The latest two cases underscore that uncertainty.

    For example in one of more recent cases, the experts–only 2 of whom actually examined evidence in person- were UNSURE whether the attacker was a wolf or a bear. Which means, it CAN’T BE COUNTED AS A DOCUMENTED WOLF ATTACK. The second attack happened involved captive wolves and a worker on her 3rd day of employment. Hardly wilderness situation like the movie!

    It should also be noted tha tmost of the cases seemed to have occurred in areas where the animals are habituated to people—probably moreso than in the tourist-populated parts of Yellowstone. So habituation seems to increase risk, wilderness decrease it. That could simply be a statistical game, but it doesn’t support the movie’s premise.

    One person noted they live in the country and see wolves, afraid they will take their children. In other places, such as Scandanavia, attacks on women and children have been recorded much more frequently, but I couldn’t find properly-documented cases on that just for Alaska. But again, it does not support the movie premise of big men being hunted in the wilderness.

    I find it ironic that Liam Neeson should go on the defense against the maligning of horses and the NY carriage industry, but partakes in the maligning of a species that doesn’t deserve the out-of-proportion fear, and resultant killing-to-brink-of-extinction, through his fictional work that way too many people—as evidenced by the comments here–are primed to accept as fact.

  • Critical Thinker

    I read through several dozen comments, amazed at how many ‘experts’ there are, who are so sure wolves will attack. When you make those remarks, could you please include a link to your resume, showing your education, years of field work and location, and peer-reviewed published papers?

    (My guess is most of your expert knowledge comes from fictional books and movies and some elementary through high school general biology classes. Would you rely on the equivalent level of expertise to run a nuke plant, perform your open heart surgery, treat your dog/cat? Oh, but the behavior, and related fate, of wolves, we don’t need any REAL expertise about that, do we? )

    Several commented on how you can’t draw conclusions from wolves in Yellowstone because it’s a popular park. That much may, or may not be, true. Many commented on the wolves at Yellowstone being habituated to people. Many thought any research on wolves there should be discounted because it’s a park. However, most commenters don’t realize that (a) the park is 3,468 sq miles, larger than the states of Delaware and Rhode Island combined; and (b), most visitors rarely leave a very very small area of the park. Meaning, most of it is as much “wilderness” as Alaska.

    One person said you can’t compare wolves in Yellowstone to wolves in Alaska. I don’t know if that’s true or not, but lets say it is, that we should only look at cases involving non-rabid, non-provoked wolves attacking humans only in Alaska and Canada. Someone referred to a Wiki page about human attacks.

    That page (and links related to it) indicate there have been a POSSIBLE 41 attacks in 100 years by non-rabid wolves. However, we don’t know the quality of the investigations of all of those reports—ie, if the wolves were unprovoked, or if they were really wolves, or what the situations were. The latest two cases underscore that uncertainty.

    For example in one of more recent cases, the experts–only 2 of whom actually examined evidence in person- were UNSURE whether the attacker was a wolf or a bear. Which means, it CAN’T BE COUNTED AS A DOCUMENTED WOLF ATTACK. The second attack happened involved captive wolves and a worker on her 3rd day of employment, so that hardly counts towards wilderness, unprovoked etc. The third is listed as the first fatal wolf attack in Alaska—EVER—but in a village area, not true wilderness. There are currently 7,700 to 11,200 Alaskan wolves, only one non-rabid, non-provoked fatality.

    It should also be noted that most cases of wolf attacks (including Europe) occurred in areas where wolves had become habituated to people—not in wilderness. So habituation seems to increase risk, wilderness decrease it. Possibly partly a probability issue, but doesn’t support the movie’s premise.

    According to one research scientists, there have been only 2 dozen nonfatal attacks in ALL of North American in the last century, most involving human-habituated wolves.

    One person noted they live in the country and see wolves, afraid they will take their children. In other places, such as Scandinavia, attacks on women and children have been recorded much more frequently, but I couldn’t find properly-documented cases on that just for Alaska. But again, it does not support the movie premise of big men being hunted in the wilderness.

    I didn’t notice anyone commenting on how many people are killed by dogs—every year.

    I find it ironic that Liam Neeson should go on the defense against the maligning of horses and the NY carriage industry, but partakes in the maligning of a species that doesn’t deserve the out-of-proportion fear, and resultant killing-to-brink-of-extinction, through his fictional work that way too many people—as evidenced by the comments here–are primed to accept as fact. Did he have to eat carriage horses to get into character?

  • Donovan McGinnis

    I would like to point out what everyone with sense would say, the internet is not always accurate. Wikipedia is notorious for being inaccurate. In other words, Wikipedia is not a viable resource of information. I have lived with wolves, quite literally. Wolves are not dangerous unless they are provoked, (ie. you get close enough to corner them or you hurt them) Usually you will not be able to get close enough to do either of those things. Coyote is a different story, but not much of one. The main reason a coyote will attack is because their prey runs. The same can be said about wolves. If you ever live with them, never look into their eyes. It is a challenge to their position in the pack.

  • Brian

    There is not a single confirmed account of wolves killing a human in North America. If I am wrong about this, please direct me to your sources, because I’ve been looking for any case of this for over 10 years.

  • Just a Movie

    It’s just Jaws with Wolves. Get over it people! It’s entertainment in the typical over the top incredibly far-fetched Hollywood vain. All it needed was aliens vampires and zombies. It it were realistic it would have been boring. Plane crashes, survivors die of exposure/starvation. Wolves dine on the remains. Not much drama there. Boring!

    I find it amusing all the intellectual back and forth on this. It’s like listening to nerds argue if Superman would beat The Hulk.

    Beyond real or fake wolves, I found the most annoying part was the ambiguous ending and the fact that you had to sit through the credits to get a hint at the conclusion.

  • Lily

    I love that movie.

  • Bryan

    This movie was extremely disappointing at almost every level. How do these people survive a plane crash in the middle of Alaska then get hunted by animals that don’t hunt humans? None of the comments I read talk about exposure being the only reason these people would have died. You wouldn’t have long to live after falling into a stream of running water in Alaska.

    Making wolves seem like vicious man killing beasts is cruel. Didn’t see anything in the movie that says this is based on actual events….

  • Barbara Wolf Lieberman

    I have lived in Oregon and Idaho, Down along Bear Creek in Idaho and Mt, Hebo in Oregon. Have camp in the Mountains in all states with mountains in them west of Kansas. I heard wolves and saw one cross the road, but never had one come at me. I have a 97% wolf. My third one. When my great grandkids came out for the week end. They told me the were scared of her because they saw The Gray. I told them it was a lie’. While here she played with them, watched over them, slept by there door. When they left they told me that The Gray Lied and now they want to come and be with her all the time. She even sleeps with me and live with cats. and she is wolfy. The second one I had was dogy.

  • david

    Read Farley Mowatt’s book, ” Never Cry Wolf, ” if you are truly interested in wolf behavior, including wolf – prey and wolf – human. Greedy self interests have a vested need to paint them as wanton and violent. Human behavior is projected onto the wolf. Fact, Carnivores do not eat Carnivores, except for humans who will practice same species cannibalism. Wolves are a kind, non aggressive to humans, high socialized, ecologically responsible, ” People.” Like the Coyote they are demonized for purposes of human financial gain.

  • Max

    Stay away from wolves, and don’t shoot them please . Pretty simple huh!

  • […] And PS: Would Real Wolves Act Like the Wolves of ‘The Grey’? […]

  • finnish

    One time i was in woods whit my family an there was a Wolf the dogs smelled it an started barking to the woods but we didnt know what was in there next day my granddad went Back there whit his hunting buddies because they tracked a moose they founded so many Wolf track but only from one wolf

  • snowfall

    Wolves are afraid of you because of the fact that THEY WENT NEARLY EXTINT IN 1960. Yes, I understand you can be afraid of wolves. The movie is made of fiction due to religious beliefs discriminating against wolves. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wolf_attacks_on_humans IS FROM WIKEPEDIA. Anyone can edit the article or create one, so you can’t trust Wikipedia. Also, wolves are close to their family and will die to protect them. Do you think they would just kill for no reason? Wolves are part of the earth and are important to the food chain. We all have our opinions, but if you dislike wolves, just ignore them if you encounter them and don’t harm them. They shouldn’t harm you unless they fell threatened. Wolves are just like humans. Every living thing has it’s place on earth. They are part of the circle of life.

  • Christie Leigh

    Wolves are opportunistic hunters and because not every hunt is a successful one, they can go as long as fourteen days without eating. That is not by choice though. That being said, if someone is walking by themselves in the back country and they come across hungry wolves, the wolves are going to only see food.
    I watched the Grey. While I did think that it was overly exaggerated, my interpretation was that the men had invaded their territory and they were trying to protect it.
    I thought the mere mention of a den was unnecessary due to the fact that this movie took place in the winter and dens are not needed in the winter. The only time dens are needed is during pupping season, which is in the spring. There were no pups and no mention of an Alpha female.
    Wolf attacks on humans are rare and they are very shy but that does not mean that they will not attack when provoked. Also, if a wolf can willingly fight a cougar or a bear, they are not wimps. I wouldn’t do that unless my niece was in danger.

  • john mark

    Well, I just pray that those who believe that wolves are harmless will see them face to face while walking alone in the wild, Let us hear from them! Only, if they’re still alive!

  • Lazarus Effect

    I don’t know much about wolves, but I do know a bit about movie-making and film, enough to believe The Grey is not meant to be a nature documentary, but a metaphor for Death. I’ve watched this one maybe dozen times now – once tonight, in fact. Perhaps wolves were chosen because for most people, the wolf is still a mysterious, poorly understood apex predator. Surely as such it remains an archetype that evokes a primal response in humans. I’m sure wildlife experts are correct in saying that actual wolf behavior in The Grey is misrepresented, but these are not actual wolves. They are the wolves of our nightmares, and isn’t that the point of any horror movie? When you see The Grey, a horror movie is exactly what you’re watching.

  • marg

    I did come close to a wolf on a ski trip and I tried to get close enough to get a picture as soon as he/she saw me he ran back into the woods. That was in panorama. The Grey is BS. My dog is descended from the grey wolf as are all spits breeds.

  • Jim Bering

    Although the movie is fiction to imply wolves are not dangerous to humans are “wimps” is completely incorrect and dangerously irresponsible advice to people traveling in wild wolf country. There are many cases of wolf attacks in North America despite what some idiots say.

    Don’t listen to some biologist that studies half tame wolves in Yellowstone. He doesn’t know what he’s talking about. He has never seen a truly wild wolf in his life. Do elk in the wild act like elk in Yellowstone? He gets his data by studying nearly tame animals.

    There have been cases where men have shot as many as 13 to 16 wolves yet the pack persisted in the attack and killed the men. Candace Berner was kill in 2010 by wolves in Alaska.

    Read up on it:


  • Locke Cole

    The wolves of Paris 1450 had pack repeatedly attack humans in Paris France.

  • TJ

    yea don’t listen to the guy who studies them for a living, go read Wikipedia where anyone can post anything. Not like that guy spent years in school and has lots of real life experience.

  • Nathanielcooper

    Why do wolves hunt in packs keep it simple plz I’m in 5grade

  • Jaylon Washington

    Hi I am in 5th grade and I want to know how wolves heal there selves

  • Alyssa Carlan

    the whole question is “HOW CAN WE SAVE THE WOLVES FROM GETTING KILLED”???

  • […] a wolf or wolf pack,” Utah State University wild-life ecology professor Daniel MacNulty told National Geographic. “On the contrary, when I’ve inadvertently bumped into wolves they turn and run […]

  • Jacen

    That’s what a Wolf on the internet wants us to think. Nice try though.

  • Rocco Buttiglione

    As a rule wolves do not attack men and some comments greatly exaggerate their potential danger. All rules however have their exceptions. In North America the attacks on men were very few for three reasons:
    There was abundance of pray
    Contacts between wolves and women or children were limited
    Most people who came in contact with wolves had firearms

    In India we have had many attacks more because
    The forests and woods has been substituted through human cultivations and the quantity of pray for the wolves has dramatically decreased
    There are many occasions of contact between wolves and women or children
    Usually people have no firearms

    If a wolf has alternative pray it will most likely avoid dangerous adventures with humans but…. if it is starving, if the humans are weak and small, if he has not learned to be afraid of humans … then he might give it a try

  • tim

    i think if i was in forest and heard wolves barking and howling i would go in my pants ….no matter what the expert say……just saying

  • Stephen

    I’ve come into contact with wolves on many occasions never once have I been attacked, that being said I have had them watch me for days at a time. I am not an “expert” but have lived in the Arctic for years.

  • Katie

    I have seen a lot of wolves in Yellowstone there were a lot of them we were staying the night there and we have saw a ton of wolves running around they are going through the trash and also looking through car door windows it was pretty crazy my dog’s I had to make sure that they stayed quiet and not just scare the Wolves Away

  • Daniel OBradovic

    yellowstone wolf is a mix of rabit and real Wolf and subject of study to biologists as above. Mister biologist just get to Northern Canada or Alaska and spend one evening alone. Hex i would like to see your face when ypu just jear a Wolf. They are not close to size of yellowstone, actually twice in size. We say they are size of White Tail Deer. They kill a Moose 1500 lb. The Gray to me looks underestimated…

  • James Farmer

    I live in alaska and wolves can be a problem…the wolves in Yellowstone mostly if not all come from wolves reintroduced to the park there genetic line is limited. Wolves have killed people in alaska . I have had issues with them killing my goats and my German Shepherd all so wolves in alaska can weight over 200 pounds … I not trying to make wolves sound like man-killers but people need to have a healthy respect for them. I’m tired of people trying to tell other people that wolves and bears won’t go out of their way to attack people. I can guarantee you that most of these people that say this I’ve never spent any real time in the Alaskan Bush.I Think it’s irresponsible and dangerous misinformation .

    • Trent Schinckel

      You are correct… Wolves will attack and kill people for food if the opportunity arises.You would have to work hard to get yourself in that predicament.Walk miles alone in the woods where wolves are and you have a good chance of being eaten

  • Annika Eikelmann

    Humans are much, much more dangerous than any wolve can be. The chance to be killed by your nighbour is much higher then to be killed by a wild wolf. Well, same is for any other animal like sharks etc. True and sad fact that NOTHING is killing so many humans than humans themeselves. So..fear your next.

  • Trent Schinckel

    Couldnt have said it better myself.Wolves are deadly animals that should be treated as such.People say that she actually wanted to be attacked and consumed by wolves everthing reported in her death pointed in that direction.She was jogging unarmed in known wolf country on a desolate road on a cold (10 below) night jogged a blind corner in the road and came face to face (70 feet) with four 100 lb wolves she paused a momment and ran in a full sprint the way she came.running from wolves in that situation was suicide she was attacked by four wolves killed in about 10 minutes after first visual contact.

  • Clay S.

    It’s just a movie, you plebs.

  • Anthony Krogman

    This guy is ridiculous. I’m not an expert or anything but I grew up in Alaska and also raised a wolf hybrid and wolves are extremely intelligent animals and the wolves in Alaska are much bigger and not tame or half tame like they are in Yellowstone. They would definitely attack a human if they have the upper hand and saying that they wouldn’t is ridiculous because is stupid as hell. … Just saying this guy is giving really dumb advice hahaha he probably thinks he can be safe around moose also haha

    • Jamie Bresner

      you should have stopped writing after “I’m not an expert or anything…”

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