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Tuesday, July 4, 2000 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Camper wakes up as wolf attacks

The Associated Press

VICTORIA, B.C. - A 23-year-old man is recovering in Victoria General Hospital after an extremely rare wolf attack on a human.

Scott Langevin, 23, required 50 stitches to close a wound on his head. A third of his scalp was shaved to allow for a crisscross of gashes to be treated.

The wolf also bit Langevin on his left forefinger. The University of Victoria student said he was asleep early Sunday morning outside his tent on Vargas Island near Tofino when he was awakened by something tugging at the foot of his sleeping bag.

He told a local television station he awoke to find a dark-colored wolf.

"I yelled to try to spook it off, and I kicked at it," Langevin said.

"It backed up a bit, but then it just lunged on top of me, and it started biting away through my sleeping bag."

Langevin said he rolled over in an attempt to get the campfire between him and the wolf, but the animal jumped on his back and began biting his head.

He said he yelled to attract the attention of the rest of his camping buddies, members of a kayaking excursion.

Boaters Dave Leblanc and Doug Leys responded to the call about 1:30 a.m. Sunday.

Langevin was losing blood quickly but was conscious when he was loaded aboard the boat. He was eventually airlifted to Victoria.

Wolf attacks on humans are extremely rare, said Bill Woodhouse, a recreation officer with British Columbia Parks.

"There has never been a wolf attack in a park," Woodhouse said. "Wolves normally stay away from man."

Conservation officers tracked and killed two wolves in the area yesterday.

The animals were shot out of concern for public safety, Woodhouse said.

Copyright (c) 2000 Seattle Times Company, All Rights Reserved.

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