Beast at Large: Wolf attacks bring fear to villagers

A wild grey wolf attacked and injured Artur Sargsyan in the face outside his home in the village of Brnakot.

The 30-year-old man was bitten as he went out to investigage his dog’s anxious barking on January 9th. After wounding Artur, the wolf attacked 55-year-old Armida Grigoryan, another resident of the village, and her son, who had responded to his mother’s screams.

The wolf went on to savage two young men in the street, causing bodily injuries. Brnakot is a village in Syunik province located some 220 kilometers south of Yerevan; the villagers say they can’t recall a previous case of a wolf attacking people.

“I am 50 years old but I can’t remember an incident like that. Wolves have attacked cattle, but never people,” Atom Arakelyan, the head of the Brnakot administration, told Armenianow.

“We have never seen a beast like this one. Wolves are cautious, they rarely approach people or houses. He is either very wild or very hungry.”

After attacking the villagers in Brnakot, the wolf moved on to other nearby settlements. Official records show that two people were injured in Uyts village in Syunik and taken to the military hospital in nearby Aghitu village at midnight the same day.

Police set up a hunting party comprising residents of Uyts and Brnakot to track down and kill the wolf. But by then, the wild animal had reached the town of Sisian and attacked Mher Poghosyan, aged 24, after entering a house.

Poghosyan’s father managed to kill the beast with several blows to the head with the butt of his rifle. Mher Poghosyan received injuries to his hands and face from the wolf and joined its other victims at Aghitu military hospital.

“No cases of wolf attacks have been registered in the republic for the last three or four years,” says Nikolai Grigoryan, advisor of the Armenian Rescue Service director. “We are still uncertain about what caused this particular incident.”

The service said that two of the seven injured people were allowed home after medical treatment. The other five have been transported to Sisian central hospital and are now under the supervision of doctors. All of the victims of the wolf have been vaccinated against rabies.