Trouble with it is the wolf did not attack the mother or the child (in a carriage)-

I guess dogs actually killing a person are just not interesting enough. How about this article from Treehugger (A Discovery Company)? The headline is “Wolf Attacks Mother Walking with Child in Sweden.”  Notice how cleverly written it is to try to make it appear mother and child were almost eaten. “The clash between man and nature has claimed another victim, as two wolves converged on the path of a mother out walking with her child in Norrtälje, north of Stockholm.” [boldface mine]. The wolves converged on a “path.” They attacked the woman’s dog, not her or the baby. If there is a dog present, it always turns out wolves are interested in the dog, and yes, poor fluffy ” bought the farm.”

Most people don’t go beyond the headline and the lead. In the middle of the third paragraph, we finally learn that neither the women or the baby were threatened.

Near the end, the article becomes accurate.

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About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University with specialties in natural resource politics, public opinion, interest groups, political parties, voting and elections. Aside from academic publications, he is author or co-author of three hiking/backpacking guides, and he is President of the Western Watersheds Project.

18 Responses to Sweden. A deplorably wrong headine: “Wolf attacks Mother Walking with Child in Sweden”

  1. avatar Maska says:

    This kind of sensational reporting is totally reprehensible, leading to frightened people and dead animals. “Treehugger,” indeed. Shame on Discovery.

  2. avatar James Mars says:

    Wolf Does not Threaten Mother Walking With Child In Sweden, Kills Trespassing Dog, Is Libelled By Discovery Headlines

    • avatar SBH CLAY says:

      Wolf Does NOT Threaten Mother and Child in Sweden … Kills Man’s Best Friend, Who Should Never Be Walked in Wolf Territory, People!

  3. avatar dave says:

    It’s always the dogs. Almost every one of these stories of wolves threatening humnas incidentally mentions that there was a dog accompanying the humans. People don’t seem to understand that wolves are obsessed with dogs, wolves hate dogs, wolves kill dogs. And yet, people continue to walk with their dogs in wolf country. Too bad there can’t be warning signs posted on all these paths and trails. I swear, there’s a story out of Alaska every few weeks just like this one. You’d think the Alaskans would eventually get the message..

    • Dave,

      Most people can’t image that when a big animal like a wolf sees them, it isn’t necessarily interested in them — not as food or anything else. How embarrassing that the wolves wanted to settle things with the dog, not the critters with it.

    • avatar Maska says:

      Dave,

      I’d be interested to know if these kinds of encounters spike in the late winter and spring, during wolf mating and denning seasons.

  4. avatar Gregg Losinski says:

    Here are some sad facts from the USA that have hardly made a blip, it all depends what type of canine you are.

    2011 USA DOG-RELATED FATALITIES.

    11. April 25, 2011 – Age 48 – (4) PIT BULLS (neighbors)
    Margaret Salcedo, Truth or Consequences, NM
    10. April 22, 2011–AGE: 50-PIT BULL (non owner).
    Virgil A. Cantrell, Ardmore, OK.
    9. April 13, 2011–AGE: 7 months-ROTTWEILER (owner’s).
    Annabelle Mitchell, Frankfort, Maine.
    8. March 6, 2011–AGE: 47-PIT BULL (owner’s).
    Jennie Erquiaga, San Bernardino, Ca.
    7. March 5, 2011–AGE: 3-ROTTWEILERS (2) (grandparent’s).
    Vanessa Husmann, Hopkinton, Iowa
    6. February 19, 2011–AGE: 10 day-old-PIT BULL (owner’s).
    Unknown Baby, Kalamazoo, Mich.
    5. Febuary 17, 2011–AGE: 66-ROTTWEILERS (2) (neighbor’s).
    Sirlinda Hayes, Dillon County, SC.
    4. January 26, 2011–AGE: 51-PIT BULLS (2) (neighbor’s).
    Ronnie Waldo, Randolph, Miss.
    3. January 24, 2011–AGE: 9-AKITA (owner’s).
    Kristen Dutton, Modoc Shores, SC.
    2. January 12, 2011–AGE: 5-PIT BULLS (2) (neighbor’s).
    McKayla Woodard, Waxhaw, NC.
    1. January 4, 2011–AGE: 51-PIT BULL (owner’s).
    Linda Leal Castillo, Colusa, CA.

  5. avatar ProWolf in WY says:

    I see that lobo watch, saveelk, and the black bear blog haven’t eaten this story up yet.

  6. avatar mikepost says:

    Then press is suppossed to be liberal…but then they are really just greedy corporations in the end…headlines for dollars…is there a Pulitzer there?

  7. avatar I love wolves and elk says:

    This reflects my own experience in our neighborhood, where a wolf was attracted to my dog’s barking. When I first went outside, I crouched down and saw a wolf approaching. When I stood up, the wolf recognized me as human and took off up the creek.

    I often notice how experiences are interpreted through our own belief systems. For example, the snowmobiler who had to overnight in a tree well was “surrounded” by wolves “circling” him – a wolf supporter would probably describe this as curiosity and enjoy the experience.

  8. avatar Shahram says:

    Two days ago a young man walking his dog to get his morning paper encountered a wolf in the same area. The wolf approached him and when he was only two meters away, the young man threw the newspaper at him and shouted. The wolf jumped to the other side of the ditch, but he didn’t run away, and stood instead and just glared at the dog and the man.
    I live in Stockholm and frequently visit Riala where this happened. What is interesting and worthwhile to note, is that the pack of six wolves to which these two wolves belong, is a very new pack, and their territory is very new as well. This is by far the closest wolf territory to the Swedish capital, and although it is farmland woods, I think it’s much more dense population-wise than other territories of Swedish wolf packs. The reason these wolves are becoming bold could be that they’re getting used to seeing so many humans, so that they’re loosing their natural fear of humans. I myself have encountered a lone wolf in the capital Stockholm while jogging one late night many years ago. He or she stood about two meters away from me and just glared at me until I calmly walked away – nothing more happened.

    • Shahram,

      Thank you for this interesting news from Sweden.

      Here in Idaho (also the other states with wolves, except Alaska), there have been no wolf attacks on people.

      However, the wolves have killed many dogs. The two kinds of animals do not get along.

      • avatar Shahram says:

        Yes, that is the case in most areas with relatively lot of wolves. In the case of the Riala wolves, what could happen is that they will get used to eating dogs, and will find that it’s an easier prey than the wild animals they normally prey on. This would not be a good thing, as it could create a lot of anti-wolf sentiments among the locals.

  9. avatar Stoner says:

    What a strange comment on a correctly typed headline. The woman was indeed attacked. First the wolfs took her wachtel hound Tajson, then one of the wolfs came for her and her child, but she avoided the attack by yelling and waving. Wolf attacks come in increasing numbers in Sweden as the wolf is back for the first time in over a century.

    • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

      Stoner, having a great deal of experience with wolves here in the United States, I am skeptical that there have been any real attacks on humans in Sweden from its tiny wolf population.

  10. avatar Stoner says:

    The mother was clearly attacked. I live there and heard all about it the same day.

    • avatar Peter Kiermeir says:

      You´ve been eyewitness? Because just hearing and re-telling something does not improve credibility. Why did you dig out this old and cold story? What about increasing wolf attacks in Sweden? Where did you get this from? Can you proof it? How comes, not even the Swedish press knows about? I´d say: A troll from Sweden (how fitting!)oooh, this long dark winter….

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‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey

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