Hindrikson, M.*, Möls, M. and Valdmann, H. 2017. The Patterns of Wolf Attacks on Humans: an Example from the 19th Century European Russia. Baltic Forestry 23(2): 432-437.

   Wolf attacks exhibit distinct patterns in attacks on humans with different consequences. We analyzed 483 wolf attacks recorded during 1841-1861 in European part of Russia to reveal temporal patterns of wolf attacks. According to our results, wolf predatory attacks dominated in summer, whereas attacks of rabid wolves took place predominantly in winter. While the number of rabid attacks correlated with human density taking place usually near settlements, the number of predatory attacks did not. Nearly all victims of predatory attacks (99%) were children under 15 years of age, the age of victims was mostly unknown in rabid attacks. Using a generalized linear mixed model (GLMM), we provide the first evidence for 11 year cycle in rabid wolf attacks on humans. Although the rabies has been virtually eliminated in many European countries, it remains as a major threat to livestock and humans in some European countries and in Russia, providing a potential ground for rabies to return sporadically to currently rabies-free areas, and wolves can be considered as a significant vector for the spread of the disease.

Keywords: wolf attacks, predatory and rabid attacks, cyclicity.