“I turned in time to stick my arm up,” Grangaard told the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner. “A single black wolf grabbed my arm and started jerking on me.”
Afraid the wolf was going to pull him off his machine and maul him, Grangaard went into attack mode himself.
“I knew he was going to jerk me off my machine, so I made a big jump and managed to get on its back,” he said. “I just tried to get on top of him; I didn’t want to be on the bottom when we landed.”
Man and the wolf were still tangled when they hit hard on overflow ice.
“When we slammed down on the ice he let out a yelp and bucked me off,” Grangaard said. “He ran off 15 or 20 feet and he turned around. I screamed at him and raised my arms and he took off.”
Graangard, who quickly drove to the meet his father at another trapline about six miles away, was fortunate to only receive what he describes as a “pretty superficial” injury. The wolf’s teeth went through a parka and three layers of clothing to leave a 3-inch scratch on his right arm above the elbow. He will receive rabies shots as a precaution.
Wolf attacks are very rare, but a wolf attacking a human on a snowmobile is almost unheard of.
“There’s nothing like this that I’ve ever heard of before, taking a guy off a snowmachine,” State Wildlife Biologist Torsten Bentzen told the Daily News-Miner. “It’s definitely bizarre.”
For more on the incident, a photo of Graangard after the attack and a list of other Alaskan wolf attacks, visit the Daily News-Miner site.