Man-Eating Wolves by Dr. Charles Kay       

How America's wonderful 2nd Amendment right to carry and bear firearms has helped instill the fear of man in predators!


            In 2000, respected Canadian wolf biologist Dr. Lu Carbyn was asked what he expected to see in the next century.  Dr. Carbyn shocked the pro-wolf community by predicting that wolves would kill and eat people.  Well, as we all know that prediction has turned out to be true.  The first to die was Kenton Carnegie in Canada and more recently Candice Berner in Alaska.  What killed Kenton Carnegie and Ms. Berner?  Incompetent, lying wolf biologists and watermelons, who sold the public on the idea that wolves and other predators are harmless. 

            A handful of ecologists began promoting wolves back in the 1950’s and 1960’s, but they had a problem because records from Europe and Russia indicated that wolves commonly killed and ate people, sometimes in the thousands.  In North America, there were no such records.  In fact, it was claimed that a non-rabid wolf had never attacked a single person on this side of the Atlantic.  Instead of trying to determine why wolves in Europe and Russian routinely killed and ate humans, while wolves in North America apparently did not, early wolf advocates simply dismissed the data from across the ocean.  Pro-wolfers said man-eating was a lie invented to vilify wolves and to scare uneducated people.  That is to say, all the clergy and others, who had kept detailed records of wolves killing and eating people in Europe and Russia for hundreds of years were all liars, and demented ones at that.  Watermelons claimed the moral high ground by supposedly telling the truth about wolves, while everyone else lied. 

            Pro-wolf advocates contend that Little Red Riding Hood is a fairy tale and that wolves are harmless.  Recently, however, Will Graves published a book on Wolves in Russia in which he carefully examined the historical record and concluded that, in fact, wolves have killed and eaten large numbers of people in Russia.  Moreover, man-eating still occurs in Russia and eastern Europe.  According to Dr. Valerius Geist, a similar book on man-eating wolves in France is also available, but only in French, unfortunately.  In addition, there are recent, verified accounts of wolves killing and eating children in India, where it is called “child lifting”, of all things.  Little Red Riding Hood is NOT a fairy tale but a fable.  Fables, unlike fairy tales, carry a moral message and the moral message of Little Red Riding Hood is that wolves are dangerous.   

So why has man-eating by wolves been reported for hundreds of years in Europe, Russia, and India, but so rarely here in North America?  To answer that question, I conducted an extensive study of man-eating by large terrestrial carnivores, including wolves, tigers, African lions, grizzly bears, leopards, mountain lions, and jaguars.  In general, man-eating by large carnivores is relatively rare.  Humans are simply not on the menu, or in the carnivores’ diet breadths, but why?  EVOLUTION!  Even since our distant ancestors came down out of the trees five million, or so, years ago and began walking on two feet, they have been killing large carnivores.  Any carnivore that approached too closely was either repelled or killed.  For the first one or two million years, it may have been touch and go, but for the last three million years our ancestors had the upper hand.  God did put the fear of man into carnivores, OUR ANCESTORS DID!

            Although this explains why man-eating, in general, is so rare it does not explain why or where man-eating occurs.  In some books, it is claimed that lions, tigers, and leopards only turn to man-eating because the cats are too old to hunt their normal prey.  Similarly, it is claimed that cats, which have suffered a debilitating injury, also turn to man-eating.  However if this was true, then every old or injured lion, tiger, or leopard should turn to man-eating, but that is not the case.  Many of the famous man-eaters killed in India and Africa over the years have been preserved in museums, where their skeletons and detention can still be examined.  Recently the skeletons of known man-eaters were compared to a sample of skeletons from lions, tigers, and leopards, which never preyed upon humans.  According to that research, non-man-eaters had the same proportion of broken canines and bones as man-eaters.  So while some man-eaters were injured, others were not.  In addition, most injured cats never turn to man-eating.  If humans really were so easy to kill as certain people think, why don’t all large carnivores turn to man-eating, since predators are said to kill only the weak, the sick, or the infirm?  The answer is that humans are the most dangerous of prey.

            Humans, though, have to be armed to be dangerous for we have neither fangs nor claws.  This, it turns out, explains the pattern of man-eating around the world.  In general, man-eating occurs only where the people are poor and UNARMED.  While our ancestors instilled the fear of man in all large terrestrial predators, carnivores are very intelligent and highly adaptable.  In addition, due to natural variation, some members of any species are more aggressive than others, and are constantly testing new prey, like you or me.  Thus, it is necessary for humans to reinforce the fear of man in each and every generation of large cats, bears, and wolves and to kill any predator that appears the least bit aggressive, habituated, or even curious towards humans.  No one in his or her right mind grants large carnivores complete protection.  At least not anyone who actually lives with or near them. 

            So why the difference in wolf behavior and man-eating in Europe, Russia, and India compared to North America?  Simple, did the Czars want the peasants armed?  Did the Communists want the peasants armed?  Does the present Russian oligarchy want the peasants armed?  Do the rulers in India want the peasants armed?  Did the French kings want the peasants armed?  Not on your life!  Conversely, here in North America early Europeans and Americans were armed to the teeth!  Not because our forefathers feared grizzlies, wolves, or mountain lions, but because early settlers were stealing the continent from its original owners, Native Americans.  According to one historian, from the time the Pilgrims landed until Wounded Knee, America fought two hundred and fifty some odd wars against Native peoples. 

Here in the West, once Native Americans were forced on to reservations, cattlemen fought sheepmen and they both fought rustlers, sod busters, and outlaws.  Furthermore, Americans are still armed to the teeth because we, unlike the rest of the world, have a second amendment.  The largest standing army in the world is American big game hunters.  So historically, any wolf, grizzly, or mountain lion that did not instantaneously flee from humans in North America died.  It must also be remembered that Native people too were heavily armed and had been killing wolves, bears, and mountain lions for at least 10,000 years before Europeans arrived. 

            The same of course is true in Africa.  In general, African lions only kill and eat people where the populace is unarmed.  European invaders even confiscated bows, arrows, and spears leaving many people totally unprotected.  The Maasai, though, never gave up their spears and Maasai still kill lions with spears!  Elephants too!  Man-eating is virtually non-existent among the Maasai.  Other people, however, are not so fortunate.

            On one of my hunting trips to South Africa, the safari company I was with had a new tracker, who had recently fled Zimbabwe.  He had been a teacher in a rural village, spoke perfect English, but had never been around Americans before.  I indicated that I would be happy to answer any questions he might have about the United States.  And do you know what his first question was?  It was not, are our streets paved with gold?  No, instead he asked if black men could own GUNS in America!  I assured him that as long as a person was not a convicted felon, or wife beater,  any individual here in America, black, white, or brown, could own as many firearms and ammunition as he or she wished.  He was also amazed to learn about our second amendment, since no African country has one.

          Historically, two other factors contributed to outbreaks of man-eating, wars and epidemics.  Wars drew conscripts from rural villages, leaving women and children unprotected, while both wars and epidemics left unburied dead for wolves and other carnivores to feed upon.  This was especially true during winter in Russia.  With the ground frozen, those who died were simply set outside to be buried when the soil thawed. 

            Returning to the question of what killed Kenton Carnegie, again the primary factor was lying wolf biologists and watermelons, who sold the public on the idea that wolves are harmless and NEVER attack humans.  Then too, the provincial government had appeased wolf advocates by BANNING WOLF HUNTING, and finally Canada does not have a second amendment.  If Kenton had a Smith and Wesson or a Glock chances are that he would still be alive today, but the general public is prohibited from carrying or even owning handguns in Canada.  Then too, it took the government two years to rig the inquest into Kenton’s death.  First the government limited the inquiry to who or what killed Mr. Carnegie, and did not allow any larger policy questions to be addressed or even asked.  Second, Kenton’s parents were allowed to present only a single, expert witness, though many others were prepared to testify on their behalf. 

            Moreover, in a move that can only be characterized as bizarre, but which demonstrates the extent to which watermelons will go to protect wolves, a Canadian wolf biologist from the University of Calgary, Dr. Paul Paquet, testified that wolves did not kill Kenton Carnegie.  Instead, according to Dr. Paquet, Kenton was killed by a black bear.  It should be noted that Dr. Paquet was not present when Kenton’s body was recovered, but only reviewed crime scene photographs.  There was snow on the ground at the time, so there were lots of tracks, but apparently this “wolf expert” can not tell a wolf track from a bear track, because all the people, who were at the scene, testified that only wolf tracks were present.  Besides, it was at a time of the year, when bears are normally in their winter dens!  What was most disturbing to Kenton’s parents, however, was the fact that the main-stream media, including the National Wildlife Federation and National Geographic, ran with Dr. Paquet’s a-bear-did-it-story.  The inquest, though, ruled otherwise.  Killed by wolves.

            There are two lessons in all this.  Giving wolves, grizzlies, and mountain lions complete protection under the Endangered Species Act or state laws is pure insanity and will only lead to more people being killed, eaten, or injured.  National parks and other places where hunting is prohibited are among the best places TO BE KILLED OR MAIMED!  Finally, the second amendment as are individual RIGHT must be preserved at all costs.  It is not only a matter of having a gun when you need one but the fact that being armed, in and of itself, lowers your risk of attack.

            Animals can sense fear or weakness and this is especially true of large mammalian carnivores like wolves, bears, lions, and tigers.  As an email acquaintance, who keeps African lions and tigers as pets has told me, the trick is to NEVER show fear, because if you do, you are dead. In addition, never turn your back on them and never, ever trip or stumble, as that is taken as a sign of weakness and will trigger an attack. The same applies to wild animals, never show fear and people show the least fear when they are armed.  A .357 is better than throwing rocks, but a 44 mag is better still, as is a 12 gauge with slugs or double 00 buck.  Better yet is a .338 or .375, if you can handle the recoil, while a semi-automatic rifle with a large clip, will put a steel rod up your backbone if you are confronted by a pack of wolves.  Then remember the old adage, better to be judged by 12 than carried by six.  Large predators ARE dangerous.  Anyone who tells you otherwise is a liar, a fool, or a government chippy. In Yellowstone alone since grizzlies have been under complete ESA protection, they have killed 11 people and mauled many more.

            One final thought.  Say you or a loved one is killed or injured by a grizzly, a mountain lion, or a pack of wolves.  Neither the federal or state governments are liable and they seldom can be successfully sued for damages, even if you can prove gross negligence on the part of officials.  The federal government claims it owns all grizzlies and many of the wolves in the West, while various state governments claim they own every mountain lion and black bear, but neither the feds or the states generally allow themselves to be sued if you or yours are injured or killed by one of the governments’ predators.  In simple terms, your government does not care if you are attacked by a predator.  Perhaps if the laws were changed to hold government employees liable, bureaucrats might be more accountable.  It would certainly force governmental officials to stop lying about the inherent danger posed by wolves, bears, mountain lions, and other predators.



Editor’s note: For a detailed analysis of the Kenton Carnegie tragedy see Dr. Valerius Geist’s article in the winter 2008 issue of Fair Chase, the official publication of the Boone and Crockett Club. If you do not know what a watermelon is there are at least two books on the subject that you can consult. Hint--- what color is a watermelon on the outside? --- Green. What color is a watermelon on the inside? --- Red. What happened to European Communists when the Berlin Wall fell? They simply moved "into the green party".
In early 2020, Harold Johnson, the attorney who represented Kenton's parents at the 2007 inquest into their son's death published a book titled, Cry Wolf  in which he completely debunked  "the bear did it "claim , calling Paquet  a liar.