A Creswell man was bitten this week by a trapped red wolf in Washington County.
A spokeswoman for the Alligator River/Pea Island National Wildlife Refuges says it happened Monday as the man was attempting to secure the animal and remove the trap. The man was bitten on his upper lip.
"This was an unfortunate accident; it was not an attack," explained Red Wolf Recovery Coordinator David Rabon. "Though we use every possible precaution, people who handle live animals with any frequency are susceptible to this type of accident. This animal happened to be a red wolf. The same situation could have occurred had it been a coyote or bobcat, or even a dog."
Authorities say the red wolf had current rabies and inoculations for other common canid diseases. They say as a precautionary measure, the red wolf will be kept in captivity for a few weeks to monitor its behavior.
The trapper, who authorities say was trapping on private lands, was treated at a local hospital. When contacted today by WITN News, the woman that answered his phone said he couldn't speak about it.
Eastern Carolina is the only site in the world where a wild population of red wolves exists. Red Wolf Recovery biologists estimate there are currently 130 red wolves living in the wild.