LAKE WINNIBIGOSHISH, Minn. (WCCO) - A Minnesota teenager is recovering after he was attacked by a grey wolf. State wildlife officials believe it may be the first such attack in the history of Minnesota.
Officials said the 75-pound male grey wolf clamped its jaws onto 16-year-old Noah Graham's skull as the teenager slept outside his tent over the weekend.
"The wolf just came up from behind Noah, they didn't hear anything and just grabbed him by the back of the head and wouldn't let go," Noah's father Scott Graham said.
Graham needed 17 staples to close his skull wounds.
"He had to physically pry the jaws of the wolf open and to get it off, and once he got it off and up, the wolf stood there growling at him so he had to shout at it and kick at it to get it to go away," Scott Graham said.
Why did the wolf attack?
After it was captured and killed, an exam showed the wolf had a deformed jaw that may have made it less effective hunting down wild prey.
"It's too early to speculate as far as condition or causes with this animal but it is not characteristic of wolves to approach people," a Minnesota wildlife official said.
Veterinarians are using DNA from the wound to verify that the dead wolf was responsible for the attack. They're also testing it for rabies.