The roots of French wolf hatred
That is not the only incidence of wolves attacking humans, according to a French Historian, Jean-Marc Moriceau. His 2010 journal article, "A Problem of Rural Environment: The Danger of the Wolf in France from the Middle Ages to the Twentieth Century," contains a map which shows a total of 5,379 reported wolf-related human casualties from 1400 to 1918. His findings were contested by some French conservation groups and a debate ensued.
When asked about such attacks, the well-respected Italian wolf biologist, Luigi Boitani, told an interviewer for Spiegel Online: "Of course, wolves killed people in the past. But that was before we had firearms. Wolves have learned that people can also be dangerous when they're far way, which is why they normally make a wide berth around us."
Though returning wolves have not attacked any humans, wolf hatred is ingrained in the French culture, and hate-based killing has decimated wolves. In 1800, 5,000 wolves roamed the French countryside. Between 1818 and 1829, about 1,400 wolves were killed per year as the use of firearms became more widespread. By 1900 the French had added strychnine to their arsenal and reduced the wolf count to 500. By 1937, wolves were extinct in France.