On Sunday and Monday former Houston Texans running back Arian Foster claimed he could beat a wolf if he found himself fighting one.
After the story blew up on the internet, the International Wolf Center released a statement based on the claims that Arian had.
The release, titled “Arian Foster vs. The Wolf“, talked to Arian truthfully about what a wolf is.
Here is the full release:
Minneapolis, MN. Retired NFL running back Arian Foster thinks he can beat a wolf in a fight. As ridiculous as his tweets may sound, we suggest he consider some facts about wolves before trying to prove his theory or convincing his buddies to place wagers on the victor.
Weighing in at 230 lbs., Arian certainly would have the wolf beat in size. But that may not be to his advantage. North American grey wolves typically weigh a lot less (65-130 pounds), and it is common that they are significantly smaller than their prey. That said, an experienced wolf can kill a half-ton bison or musk ox all by itself, although in the wild wolves more typically hunt as pack.
But would a wolf engage Arian in a fight? In the wild, wolves typically go great lengths to avoid humans. A healthy wolf in the wild would not engage with Arian unless it was being attacked or threatened by him and it could not get away.
To Arian’s point, wolves do not have thumbs, nor do they need them. Wolves use incredible upper body features and strength to take down their prey. Their bite is intense and crippling; they crack the bones of their prey and have powerful muscles in their neck to take down and disable animals that can be five to ten times their size or more. This is where Arian’s theory of being able to go after them by the neck would likely not work.
While Arian’s confidence may be advantageous in intimidating a wolf, the wolf didn’t get to be an apex predator by being easily intimidated. And as incredibly fast as Arian was on the football field, he is no match for a wolf able to run 40 miles an hour for extended periods.
All joking aside, wolves are a top predator in the wild. They look for vulnerabilities in the deer, moose, and other ungulates they hunt and typically pursue older or weaker individuals that pose less of threat. (Not you, Arian.) They are strong, intelligent predators that should be respected and left alone in the wild. We hope that Arian never comes in contact with a wild wolf, but if he does, we encourage him to admire its beauty and leave it alone for the safety of both himself, and the wolf. Just a sighting would give Arian a pretty terrific story to tell.
Great job by the Wolf Center seeing an opportunity to get their name out there and creating a fun, engaging press release that also informed people about wolves. [Editor’s Note: Still scared of wolves. Would not ever want to even see a wolf.]