Who and What are Wolves Scared of? – How To Scare them Off

Wolves are scared of humans, cars, tigers, and other things that they’re not used to in the wild. They’re generally shy and will prefer to stay hidden unless they need to hunt or if they are attacked or threatened.

what are wolves scared of

Wolves are generally very scared of humans and human civilization, and will actively avoid it altogether. That’s why you don’t cross paths with a wolf too often. Human noises or signs of humans nearby will often be enough for them to steer clear. But they’re also scared of some other animals.

Who are Wolves Scared Of?

First, let’s take at who the wolves are scared of.

They’re scared of humans and tigers, as well as bears if the large beasts try to charge at the wolf and attack it. 

1. Humans

Despite many people believing that wolves will hunt people and kill them for food, the truth is that wolves are actually scared of people.

The probability of a wolf attack on humans is pretty low, and it has been diminishing every year as new roads, cities, and buildings are being built, which forces the wolves to change habitats.

But there are also a few reasons as to why wolves are primarily scared of humans not just because of the modern infrastructure and the incursions into their habitats, but also because of psychological and more importantly, physical reasons.

Humans are seen as superior by wolves and they are afraid of humans first and foremost because we’re much larger than wolves physically.

While they’re not afraid of other animals that are larger than them, especially when they are together with their pack, wolf packs will actively avoid contact with humans whenever possible.

The other reason is thousands of years of evolution, which has shaped them to become scared of humans.

Throughout history, humans have had to defend themselves against predatory attacks from other animals, including wolves.

But ever since the prehistoric times, humans have always found a way to fight these animals with weapons and tools. And this evolution has shaped wolves in such a way that they’re scared of humans even today.

Because of those two main reasons, wolf attacks on humans are diminishing every year and have gone from about 4% of all animal attacks at the beginning of the 20th century to close to 0 percent.

Industrialization, new infrastructure, and loss of habitat have all contributed to the lowered numbers of wolf attacks.

Read Also: Do People Eat Wolves?

2. Tigers

Tigers are one of the few animals that wolves are scared of in the wild. This is especially true for the Alaskan Tiger, which is causing the wolf population to lower wherever the tiger is present – especially in the northeastern part of Asia.

These numbers indicate a trend: Siberian tigers, or Alaskan tigers, as they are sometimes called, are one of the rare animals in the wild that predate on wolves.

The reason for that is because they’re more powerful but also larger in size, making the battle between a single wolf and a single Siberian tiger seem unfair.

And that’s why wolves are scared of tigers, and will avoid them at all costs. This loss of habitat and also decrease in population numbers is most evident where the two animals exist in the same habitat.

But it’s also becoming more apparent with more research that it’s highly likely that wolves are also scared of almost any tiger species that might be present in its habitat, although the two species will rarely ever coexist in the same habitats.

Read Also: What are Male Wolves Called?

3. Bears

Wolves are scared of larger bears, particularly grizzly bears, which can single handedly kill a wolf with a maul.

Again, the main reason as to why wolves are scared of larger bears is because they’re both apex predators, but larger bears are much stronger than wolves and can fend off an entire wolf pack.

Yet despite that, some wolf packs predate on smaller bear cubs that seem to be left alone and without a mother, but are actually looked after while the mother is away and is still keeping an eye on her cubs.

If wolves attack the cubs then, the mother will step in and strike back at the wolves, which can mean that some wolves might get hurt or even killed by the larger bear.

Read Also: Does Bear Spray work on Wolves?

What are Wolves Scared Of?

Let’s take a look at what the wolves are scared of.

1. Fire

Wolves associate humans with fire.  It was one of the first coping mechanisms that humans used to protect themselves against larger beasts, including wolves. I have a whole article on why they’re afraid of fire here.

2. Cars, Roads, Industrial Objects

If there is one single thing that has been causing wolves (and many other animals) to lose their habitats, it is roads and industrial objects created by humans.

Wolves are scared of things they don’t know, and cars and roads are relatively recent in their evolutionary history, so they might not yet have gotten used to these changes. It might take them hundreds of years before they are comfortable with them.

How To Scare off a Wolf

When you’re out in the woods and you’re worried about wolf attacks, here’s what you can do to scare them away:

  • Make as much noise as possible to begin with. This is a good way of letting wolves know that you’re there so they can safely retreat to a safe place, keeping both you and the wolf safe.
  • In case you spot a wolf, back down slowly and easily, don’t panic. The worst thing you can do if you see a wolf in any case is run away, because it will inevitably catch up to you if you get too close and try to run away.
  • Make yourself as loud and big as possible if the wolf starts charging at you.

Read Also: Do Wolves have Whiskers?

Conclusion

Wolves are known for their courage and they’re a formidable opponent to face in the wild, but they’re not without fear, either. They’re scared of humans as well as many recent human technologies like cars and industrial objects. But if you’re scared of wolves, there’s very little reason to be – wolf attacks are very rare and won’t happen if you do all the things right.

Read Also: Do Wolves have Webbed Feet?