Do Wolverines Attack Humans? [Explained]

Yes, sometimes wolverines can attack a human. However, there is no accurate report of a human being killed or assaulted by wolverines. But it doesn’t mean wolverines will not attack humans. Wolverine is aggressive, and hunting is all they do for a living. If you offend wolverines, it is obvious they will attack you.

I will discuss wolverine characteristics, how dangerous it can be for humans, what to do if attacked by a wolverine, and some more interesting facts in this article. If you are frightened about wolverine attacks, consider continuing reading for better understanding.

Wolverine Characteristics: How Aggressive Is a Wolverine?

Wolverines (scientific name is Gulo gulo, meaning “glutton”) are very dangerous, medium-sized animals. They eat the meat of their hunted animals. Fish is also on their favorite meal list. Many video recordings show a wolverine being aggressive when hunting or fighting.

There have been some researchers on wolverines, and this predator has proven to be very dangerous. But luckily, wolverines are not aggressive toward humans. 

The researchers confirmed wolverines only attack human beings when it comes to saving their lives. However, your cattle can be their perfect target.

Do Wolverines Fear Humans? 

Yes, it can be stated that wolverines fear humans. Wolverines can be found in Northern America, Russia, and Canada. They prefer living in cold areas. Wolverines usually live around humans. But they hide in the woods and do not often show up. There is evidence that wolverines fear humans.

There are no specific reasons why wolverines fear humans. Probably the fight-avoiding nature of the wolverines can be a significant fact. Another cause of wolverines’ fear of humans can be the human traps and hunters. Every year some wolverines lose their life in human hands. Maybe that’s why they keep a safe distance from humans.

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In Laponia (northern Sweden), it was reported that, out of 94 adult wolverines, 25 died during the study period (1993–2008). The percentage of illegally killed wolverines was 36% ~Animal Welfare in Predator Control

Do Wolverines Attack Humans?

The answer is tricky because any living animal will attack you if they sense danger. Wolverines are also the same. They are frightened of humans and avoid interaction with us.

agreesive Wolverines

There have been many researchers who researched the Wolverine lifestyle. They don’t even attack humans in the lab. But to save themselves, sometimes wolverines become arrogant.

So, there is no chance of a wolverine attacking a human being out of nowhere. But if someone tries to hunt them down or offends them continuously, wolverines will indeed attack them.

Has A Wolverine Ever Killed a Human?

No, there is no recorded evidence of wolverines killing a human. After all the myths and legends about wolverines, it’s hard to believe that they didn’t kill a single human.

But the fact doesn’t guarantee wolverines will not kill any humans in the future. Wolverines are around 20-45 inches long generally and genetically very strong. 

They got strong and sharp teeth with long sharp nails. Wolverines don’t hesitate to fight with bears or wolves and are recorded to attack humans sometimes. So, the chances of wolverines killing humans remain possible.

“Though wolverines rarely present a true danger to humans (i.e. there are no official records of a wolverine attacking a human), they have maintained a strongly negative reputation among the public (Thibault et al., 2013) exceeding that of nearly all other northern species (Fortin et al., 2005; Woodford, 2014)” ~Andrew Harbicht (Department of Environmental and Life Sciences. Ph.D.).

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What To Do If You Encounter a Wolverine?

If you live in cold areas, wolverines are often marked there. You better know what to do if you encounter a wolverine. Your actions will decide whether you are going to see them the next morning or not.

1. Keep Calm

The wolverines fear humans more than you fear them. So, keeping your cool is the first fact of your safety when attacked by wolverines. They don’t like screaming or shouting, and those sounds might frighten wolverines more. The screaming sounds may make them attack you more aggressively.

2. Don’t Run

Maybe the first thought that comes to your mind if you are encountered with wolverine is to run and flee. Most wild animals chase humans if you turn your back on them and run. 

Calm your mind and look straight into the wolverine’s eyes. Then try to step back one after one slowly. Don’t break eye contact until you are at a safe distance.

3. Leave the scene 

If you suddenly stepped in between wolverines, leaving the scene just the way you came in would be wiser. Don’t rush yourself, as wolverines will not attack you if you don’t do anything foolish.


Can a wolverine be friendly?

Yes, wolverines can be friendly to humans. You can find human pet wolverines. But it always includes some risks, as wolverines can be aggressive to humans. So, it will be nice if you don’t try to go near the wolverines if you are not an expert.

What animal kills a wolverine?

Wolves are the top listed animals when it comes to killing wolverines. The larger predators like bears and wolverines kill the smaller ones if they are starving.

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Is Wolverine the most vicious animal?

Although there are myths about wolverines being the most vicious animal, they indeed indexed their position in the list of most vicious animals. 

According to a study, it is counted that wolverine is one of the fiercest creatures on earth (Ferguson 1969), and “vicious.” It is also known as an aggressive fighter and a dangerous killer who “will drive bears away from their kills” (Winkley and Fallon 1974) ~(Source). 


Wolverines will not randomly attack humans if you don’t do anything. But in the northern woods, you can easily interrupt wolverines without knowing. They fear humans more than humans fear them. So, it would help if you quickly get out of the scene by being calm and taking the mentioned steps. 

To reduce your fear, I cleared all the doubts and myths about wolverines killing humans. If wolverines took your pet or cattle, don’t panic about wolverines killing you. You are safe if you don’t try to attack them!

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