While most people have very little experience with wolves in general, researchers have found that these creatures are not only incredibly adaptable, but also misunderstood. As one of the closest relatives to the modern dog, wolves are found in a variety of environments, and there have been a number of reports of wolf pups actually playing with children and acclimating to human society over time. With that said, wolves that are raised by humans from young ages tend to be more docile as they grow, while wolf pups that are brought into human contact at later stages of development often become more aggressive as time goes by.
In the wild, wolves tend to avoid humans and direct confrontations with humans, but they are known to seek out human food. Incidents involving wolves attacking humans often involve rabid wolves or those that are on the verge of starvation. In many cases, stories about crazed packs of wolves attacking hunters are unfounded and based on legend and myth, but this doesn’t mean that humans should let their guard down when near a wolf or wolf pack. Just like other wild animals, wolves can be unpredictable, and although they can adapt to new environments and situations, the potential for danger still exists.
To make this point more clear, you need only to consider a wolf’s endurance. When seeking prey, most wolves will embark upon chases that only end when the food has been captured or the wolf simply can go no further. Because wolves are natural predators, their instinct to survive can lead them to run 100 miles or even longer in an attempt to capture a deer or other animal. This shows that, while the wolf can adapt to all types of terrain and new situations, they can also become dangerously tenacious if aggressive or provoked. In fact, some wolves have been known to ignore other potential prey in order to pursue a specific animal, and such chases can even lead a wolf right through the middle of a herd of caribou without it stopping.
Finally, it’s important to point out that, while there are various types of wolves, they all display the same traits. Many stories have been told about white wolves or timber wolves being more dangerous than other types, but the truth is that all wolves can be docile, aggressive, tenacious and adaptable. If you happen to encounter a wolf in the wild, remember that it is far more likely to leave you alone if you carry on your way. Avoid a confrontation, but always be prepared to make an escape if necessary. While one wolf will likely avoid you, a pack may challenge you if the leader is suffering from rabies or severe hunger.