Do Wolverines Attack and Kill Humans?

Even if you live in a city, you can still have encounters with wildlife. We do not mean small wildlife like squirrels, birds, chipmunks, etc., but larger ones like raccoons, coyotes, and bears. Living in the country/woods comes with its own problems, which include wolverines.

It might surprise readers to know that wolverines are an issue, but they are common in Northern Canada and Alaska, so if you live in this area, you may encounter them at some point. This leads to the question: do wolverines attack humans?

We will share with you the answer to this question and more.

Will a Wolverine Attack a Human?

There has never been a documented attack on a human by a wolverine. They tend to attack smaller animals rather than humans. However, just because there has never been a documented case does not mean it could not happen.

The reason for this is that when it comes down to it, wolverines are wild animals. A person always has to be cautious when wild animals are involved because you just do not know how they are going to react.

To prevent any chances of a wolverine attack, as rare as it may be, always proceed with caution if you encounter this wild animal or any other.

Can Wolverines Kill Humans?

Could a wolverine kill a human if given the chance? Because they are wild animals with sharp teeth. Something of that nature can be extremely dangerous when up against human skin, which is easily injured.

Again, to prevent the chance of this ever happening to you, just avoid wolverines as best you can. If you do come across them in the wild (which can happen), then the best thing you can do is not interacting with them.

Later on, we will go into detail on what to do during a wolverine encounter, so we will not expand on that here.

Has a Wolverine Ever Killed a Human?

There has never been a documented attack on a human by a wolverine. This includes injury or death from a wolverine attack, so the answer is no. Wolverines tend to hunt smaller animals like other rodents, beavers, and arctic foxes. They also can go after cats, small dogs, and rabbits.

While they could hunt larger animals like deer and small bears, they prefer smaller animals to hunt.

Still, it is best to just avoid a wolverine if you can help it because they are wild animals. How can you do this, you ask? Well, avoid wolverine’s like the plague and if you see one, go in the opposite direction! It is a sure and proven method.

wolverine-crossing-from-tree

Are Wolverines Afraid of Humans?

Since there are no documented attacks on humans by wolverines, this animal is afraid of human beings. They prefer to avoid people and not interact with them, so it is unlikely that one is going to suddenly come out of nowhere and attack you without warning.

They are more afraid of you than you are of them, which is common with some wild animals. Still, it does not mean you should take them lightly what-so-ever. As we have emphasized time and time again in this article so far, they are not domesticated animals you can pick up and cuddle.

What to do if You Encounter a Wolverine?

So, while wolverines prefer to avoid people, it still does not hurt to know what to do if you ever should, by chance, encounter a wolverine. First thing you want to do is remain calm. If you panic, then that will rile the wolverine up, making them even more anxious.

The second thing you should do is slowly back away, not turning your back on them. Your eyes need to remain on the wolverine at every moment until you are a safe distance away so you can remain vigilant.

Third, remember to never, ever shout If you encounter a wolverine or any wild animal. This is just going to make them nervous and cause the animal to see you are a threat. Let us tell you this is the last thing you want.

Should you ever encounter a wolverine, try these things. It will definitely help you come out unscathed.

Are Wolverines Aggressive to Humans?

Wolverines do have short tempers and that can make them aggressive. They can get hangry, which means angry when hungry. It is not a term just for humans anymore. Wolverines experience it too, so we have something in common.

The longer they go without food, the more aggressive they can get. Could a wolverine attack you if you encounter one that is hangry? Because anything is possible. However, remember that they prefer to avoid humans, so chances are they are going to leave you be and go look for a meal.

These animals are omnivores. It means they can survive by eating both plants and animals. A typical wolverine diet can include berries, rodents, fish, and dead animals. Anything is fair game for a wolverine so it will not take them long to find a meal should they be hangry.

How Strong is a Wolverine Bite?

A wolverine bite is powerful enough to break bones, skin, etc. They are omnivores, which means they eat both plants and meats so this should not be surprising because their bite is so strong.

Wolverines actually have special molars that are made to break bones and meat so if they were to ever bite you it would cause a lot of damage to your body.

Despite other animals having a stronger bite force, wolverines do have a pretty impressive bite power. The force is about 50 pounds, which is powerful in its own right. Again, a wolverine needs to have such a strong bite in order to survive in the wild.

How else would they be able to kill their prey and eat? They would become a lot hungrier if they could not properly kill an animal and rip it open in order to get to all the good parts.

Do Wolverines Attack Unprovoked?

Based on our answers to some of the previous questions, we can easily deduce that wolverines will usually not attack unprovoked. They can get aggressive when hungry so they could attack if they are in one of those moods, but they prefer to avoid humans.

The last thing they are going to want to do is to approach a human and attack them if they have not provoked them first.

Now if you did somehow provoke the wolverine, you can expect that it may attack you. The biggest reason for this is because chances are it feels threatened by you for some reason.

Best way to avoid getting attacked by a wolverine, whether it is provoked? Keep your distance and follow our advice that we mentioned above should you ever encounter a wolverine while walking or doing whatever you are doing in the woods.

What Animal Can Kill a Wolverine?

Wolverines are capable of predators who consistently attack smaller animals and use them as their prey. While wolverines could kill larger animals, this is not common. In fact, it is more likely for the wolverine to be killed by a larger animal than for the wolverine to kill it. Part of the reason is that of the size differences, which you will understand in a moment.

Some animals that can kill wolverines are large bears, wolves, or mountain lions. These are some of the more common ones that can end the life of a wolverine. Even such strong, dangerous animals have predators. Humans could count as a predator as well if you consider they can hunt wolverines and kill them that way.

Keep in mind that it is not legal to hunt wolverines so it would be best to avoid such behavior. If you do not, then you could be charged with a crime.

Final Thoughts

Now you know the answer to the question if a wolverine can attack a human. While it is possible for a wolverine to hurt or kill a human, there are no documented cases of this ever happening. You are more likely to be attacked by a bear or mountain lion than a wolverine.

These animals like to avoid humans, no matter how aggressive they can get . Humans are more likely to hurt a wolverine than a wolverine is to hurt them. Same applies to larger animals such as lions, bears, and wolves which can kill wolverines.

Of course, one never knows what can happen so if you ever do encounter a wolverine in the wild, the best thing to do is stay calm, slowly back away with your back facing the animal, and do not (under any circumstances) ever shout or raise your voice.

Doing any of these things can make the animal think you are a threat and what happens when an animal thinks you are going to hurt them? Well, chances are you are going to be experiencing some pain.

Disclaimer: This blog should not be considered as being professional pet medical advice. The content published on this blog is for informational purposes only. Please always consult with a licensed and local veterinarian for medical advice.

About Shaun Clarke

Shaun is passionate about pets and animals, especially dogs, cats, and rabbits. He owns a dog and a couple of cats too. He loves visiting wildlife sanctuaries and shares a strong bond with animals. When he is not writing, he loves to do a barbecue in the backyard with his family and friends.