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#29266 - 07/19/04 10:03 AM Incredible Survival Story/B.C. Canada

Sorry I'm not able to post a direct link to this newspaper article which appeared in last Saturdays paper-I'm illiterate when it comes to linking articles to posts.Aardwolfe or other CDN forumites might be able to post a link to confirm this is a true story,as it happened in the province next to Aardwolfe's-British Columbia.As I'm unable to post a link I'll post the entire article as it appeared in my local paper.It's a bit long,but it is a very rare occurance,and amply demonstrates that ones mental attitude in a survival situation is of upmost importance.
Article by Ayesha Bhatty
Wolves stalk B.C. man through woods.
Spends 10 days lost in the wilderness with no food.
Vancouver-this was one dance with wolves Marcel Pinette wished he could have sat out.
The gold miner was camping in the northwestern B.C. wilderness when a pack of wolves attacked and killed his dog Buddy,then stalked and chased him through the woods for days.Luckily,he made it back to the safety of his family in Chilliwack last weekend with his terrifying tale.
In late June,Pinette,34,had been camping at Eva lake near Atlin,B.C.,60 kilometres south of the Yukon border.He had hiked into town and decided to return to camp by a different route in late June.This trip would prove to be the most unusual in a lifetime of hiking and camping.
A few days into his hike,Pinette found himself surrounded by a wildfire."Basically in every direction I looked,I seen smoke"said Pinette,speaking from his sister's home in Chilliwack,B.C. He decided to make camp for a few days until the fires died down.
On the last night,Pinette said,his dog,Buddy,"went snakey" on him,growling,snapping and rolling his eyes."It was a struggle to hold onto him."Pinette had adopted the 10-month-old Husky-Shepard puppy from an animal shelter.
"He was so smart...I'd explain my plans verbally to him every morning so he'd know what we're doing."said Pinette.
But at 3 a.m. that morning at the end of June,Buddy was attacked and killed by a pack of 10 wolves just a few metres from the tent.Pinette managed to scare the wolves away with a can of bear spray,but not in time to save his dog.
"When I turned around,all I could see was two eyes in the bush,"he said.For the next two hours,Pinette could hear the alpha male "clacking" his teeth.
A short while later,Pinette saw a wolf's paws digging under the side of his tent."I started hitting the paws with a hatchet,"said Pinette,hoping to drive the animal away.When that didn't work,he cut a hole in the tent and used bear spray to scare them away."I didn't want to hurt them at first,"said Pinette,but eventually he went at them "full force"with the hatchet and bear spray,managing to hit a few.
When Pinette accidentally knocked down his tent,another four or six were trapped inside,he said."I was hacking and smashing at those too,"said Pinette."I think I managed to kill all of them."
Pinette said the only thing he had in the tent was uncooked rice that he had double-bagged,but he said the wolves may have been attracted to Buddy's smell,which was still inside the tent where he had relieved himself that night."Other than that,this just doesn't happen"said Pinette of the wolf attack.The wolves stalked him as he moved on for safety.
His adrenaline pumping,Pinette took shelter in a tree."I had my back turned (as I was climbing up the tree)and one came up behind me and scared me,"said Pinette,who dropped his hatchet and fire kit in shock.
A terrified Pinette spent a day-and-half up the tree with no food or water,because he could still see three wolves waitng below.
"I was almost ready to give up,"said Pinette."The first thing I envisioned was my mom's meat pie at Christmas,and I pictured my nieces and nephews and family.Somehow I found the drive to keep going.My feet hurt,my back ached...Every
time I fell down,it was like something was pushing me and telling me to "Just get up and go," he said.
The next few days were a blur.He moved toward the sounds of power saws being used by the firefighters,and finally came across a river."I stood in the O'Donnel (River) for three hours just drinking water," he said.
Things went weird for the next few days...I may have lost consciousness a few times,"said Pinette,who estimated he spent 10 days lost in the woods,sleeping under trees and drinking from swamps."All I ate was one wildflower, and I spit that out because it didn't taste quite right."Pinette said he lost 35 pounds and is still 20 pounds shy of his usual 155 pounds.
On the ninth day,Pinette stumbled onto a gravel road and recognized a creek.He then walked for 12 or 13 hours,and slept in an old school bus that night.
The next morning,he came across a group of botanists,who rushed him to the Red Cross outpost in Atlin.
"He was dehydrated and his tongue was swollen,"said nurse Alex Miller,who attended to Pinette on July 8."He had terribly badly blistered feet...We had to cut his boots off him."
Miller said he had no scratches or marks,adding she would expect someone who had encountered wolves to be in a worse state.
A local mechanic who befriended Pinette recently said Atlin was "was about as wild as you can get."
"This isn't Stanley Park," said Pat Kennedy,43,a longtime area resident and avid hiker."We get bears,moose and caribou walking through people's yards lots of times through the year.I'm just glad the guy made it out alive," he said.
B.C. wildlife officer Matt Austin said wolf attacks are extremely rare in North America,but said there have been three or four cases reported in Algonquin Park in Ontario and one in Clayoquot Sound on Vancouver Island in the last year.
-CanWest News Service.
Sorry about the long post,but I figured we all could learn something from this man's ordeal.
Dennis <img src="/images/graemlins/smirk.gif" alt="" />

#29267 - 07/19/04 12:27 PM Re: Incredible Survival Story/B.C. Canada
Frankie Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 09/19/03
Posts: 734
Loc: Montréal, Québec, Canada

#29268 - 07/19/04 12:38 PM Re: Incredible Survival Story/B.C. Canada
Blues Offline

Registered: 05/27/01
Posts: 30

I can remember hearing the wolves in Algonquin some years back during a ten day canoeing/camping trip but I never saw them. Mostly just black bears and relentless raccoons.

Live Free Or Die

#29269 - 07/19/04 03:44 PM Re: Incredible Survival Story, Stewart Granger
bountyhunter Offline

Registered: 11/14/03
Posts: 1224
Loc: Milwaukee, WI USA
While the man relating the story may believe what he said was true, I can not.

If there were ten wolves attacking him, I can not perceive him having the speed or energy to hack at them successfully with an axe. They would have attacked him from multiple sides and once they got him off balance, it would have been over for him.

In addition to my personal belief (Yes I know I am not always right.), the people that checked him out said there were no marks or scratches on his body that were consistent with a wolf attack.

The last time I saw someone successfully beating off a wolf attack in the wilds was an old Stewart Granger film, and he had two hatchets or tomahawks with his back to a rock. Just remember, that was a movie where revolvers have 317 shots before you have to reload. <img src="/images/graemlins/crazy.gif" alt="" />

Bountyhunter <img src="/images/graemlins/cool.gif" alt="" />

#29270 - 07/20/04 04:26 AM Re: Incredible Survival Story, Stewart Granger
Steve Offline

Registered: 05/29/04
Posts: 84
Loc: North Carolina
Anyone please correct me if I'm wrong, but I heard somewhere there are no records of a healthy wolf killing anyone in North America.

"After I had solaced my mind with the comfortable part of my condition, I
began to look round me, to see what kind of place I was in, and what was
next to be done"

#29271 - 07/20/04 08:44 AM Re: Incredible Survival Story, Stewart Granger
Chris Kavanaugh Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/09/01
Posts: 3824
You heard correctly. There have been 3 coyote attacks on small children in California with one fatality. It is believe their small stature, hi pitched voices and sometimes awkward movement triggered the attack responce similar to rabbits. The irony is coyotes are expanding from a small western territory to the far reaches of Alaska/ Canada north, Central America south and to the eastern seaboard. Why? their natural control,the wolf was eradicated and they are filling the niche. Wolves are thought to have entered into a mutually beneficial relationship with early hunting society humans. In fact, anthropologists have studied wolfpacks to postulate early human social behavior because of the close parallels. Eventually some wolves became our domestic dog, which shares the same, though radically rearranged genetic structure. Sadly, when Gilgamesh fought the Wildman the wolf also lost out. Domestic animals partly displaced game and our old partners became rivals. Ironically while there is no fully documented healthy wolf kill, there are several of wolves actually helping people. One man stranded in a snowstorm was kept alive by huddling wolves and the wild child of India was found with wolves ( and the inspiration for Kipling's Mowgli.) Wolves become scapegoats for collapsing game herds just as their pinneped cousins are suddenly responsible for collapsing fish stocks after timeless association WITHOUT PEOPLE. If these wolves ( or were they coyotes or even coydogs?) killed his dog, it was a natural reaction to territorial invasion. Wolves in a firestorm always run to safe ground. They just don't stick around eating tents. The man was disoriented by fire, ingested a flower? and had no wounds? Farley Mowat couldn't write a better tale.

Edited by Chris Kavanaugh (07/20/04 08:54 AM)

#29272 - 07/20/04 01:57 PM Re: Incredible Survival Story, Stewart Granger

I agree with bountyhunter, this whole story smells like last weeks fish. If the wolves are THAT desperate, they're not going to quit because that would go against both their instinct and their nature. I'm wondering if this whole saga came about to obscure some rather foolish mistakes this man made.

#29273 - 07/20/04 08:11 PM Re: Incredible Survival Story, Stewart Granger
aardwolfe Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 08/22/01
Posts: 923
Loc: St. John's, Newfoundland
I'm no outdoorsman, but I find it difficult to believe that there are no cases of humans being attacked by wolves, let alone being killed.

I suppose it could depend on your definition of "healthy" - wolves, like most other creatures, don't usually attack humans, but a predator that's starving is likely to go after anything that's edible.

It doesn't sound like this guy was particularly knowledgeable about life in the bush. Chilliwack isn't an isolated, remote, or small settlement - it's an hour from Vancouver, has a major CAF base and a couple of shopping malls. Plus, it sounds like he contributed to the problem - taking a dog along and allowing it to sleep with him for warmth might have confused the wolves, as he would have smelled of dog; this might explain why they would follow him for several days but only make half-hearted attempts to attack him; I don't know.

I agree that a wolf pack, making a determined effort to bring him down, would have been no match for a single human armed with a hatchet; but it doesn't sound like they were making a concerted effort. It sounds like either they were following him because they smelled dog and thought there were more "intruders", or they were looking for an easy target. (Attacking a human would be an unknown to them, so they would likely be more cautious than they would be if attacking a more familiar prey.)

This is all just speculation on my part of course; I could be totally off base; as I said, I'm not an outdoorsman and I know very little about wolves.
"The mind is not a vessel to be filled but a fire to be kindled."

#29274 - 07/21/04 09:33 AM Re: Incredible Survival Story, Stewart Granger
Stokie Offline

Registered: 02/05/04
Posts: 175
Loc: Paris, France
following this thread I share he same scepticism voiced by others and the one question that springs to my mind ( please bear with me as I'm not an outdoors person myself) can we be sure that this was a pack of wolves. I heard some tales of feral dogs acting as a pack. If I remember correctly there is a thread here about it.

As I say just spectulation on my half, I could be wrong it was just an idea that came to me.

#29275 - 07/21/04 09:18 PM Re: Incredible Survival Story/B.C. Canada

I too find this story somewhat unbelievable, but you never know...all wild animals are unpredictable. I know of several incidents where wolves have investigated campers sleeping out at night...the first happened to my father and mother in October of 1946 when they went hiking and got caught in a freak snowstorm in the high foothills of Alberta. The heavy snow forced them to make camp for the night rather than try to make their way home. My father was very skilled in outdoor survival, he established the first search and rescue school for the Royal Canadian Air Force during WW 2 and had spent many years prior to that in the Arctic, fur trading...needless to say, he was well prepared, even on what was to be a short day hike. They built a fire, made a bed of spruce boughs and went to sleep. During the night wolves came around to investigate their camp. My mother could see their eyes reflecting the fire as they nosed around the primeter of the campsite. She was very scared and kept waking my father who just kept telling her not to worry and would roll over and go back to sleep. He knew they wouldn't harm a human being but she would not let it go until he did something about it. So, he finally got up, threw some more wood on the fire and bellowed as loud as he could at the wolves...they took off and never returned. I have also had the experience of wolves nosing around my campsite while winter camping in Manitoba. They'll come nosing around to check you out but never near enough to be a problem. They are probably more scared of us than we are of them. But I do know that if you have a dog with you they will try to kill it, wolves hate dogs.


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