Alligator River/Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge
P. O. Box 1969
Manteo, North Carolina 27954

Contact: Bonnie Strawser - 252-473-1131

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News Release

January 13, 2011

Wolf Related Injury: Accidental

On Monday, January 10, 2011, a trapper in Washington County was bitten on the upper lip by a trapped red wolf. He was attempting to secure the animal and remove the trap when the incident occurred. "This was an unfortunate accident; it was not an attack," explained Red Wolf Recovery Coordinator David Rabon. "Though we use every possible precaution, people who handle live animals with any frequency are susceptible to this type of accident. This animal happened to be a red wolf. The same situation could have occurred had it been a coyote or bobcat, or even a dog." The red wolf had current inoculations for rabies and other common canid diseases. As a precautionary measure, it will be kept in captivity for a few weeks to monitor its behavior. The trapper received medical attention a local hospital.

The injured party was a private trapper who was trapping on private lands. There was no known illegal or inappropriate activity or action involved.

The Red Wolf Recovery Program was established in eastern North Carolina in the late 1980's with the release of 4 pairs of red wolves. Currently, eastern North Carolina is the only site in the world where a wild population of red wolves exists. Red Wolf Recovery Team biologists estimate there are currently 130 red wolves living in the wild.

For more information about the Red Wolf Recovery Program, visit or call 252-473-1131.