A man in Saskatchewan is recovering after being attacked by a timber wolf on New Year's Eve.

Fred Desjarlais was coming home from his job at Key Lake, about 550 kilometres north of Saskatoon, when the wolf lunged at him from the ditch.

Desjarlais said the wolf bit him several times on the back, arm, leg and groin.

He grabbed it around the neck and tried to wrestle it into submission. A busload of his co-workers showed up and helped chase the wolf away.

Desjarlais received stitches and was taken to hospital where he has been undergoing a series of rabies shots. The wolf was later shot and is being tested for rabies.

Desjarlais said he thinks the wolf was hungry and sick. It was limping when it approached him.

"He wasn't a young, healthy one," Desjarlais said. "If he was he wouldn't have been there. He wouldn't have done what he did. It was just an older wolf that was doing what he had to do to survive and I just reacted, thank God, the way I did and survived it."

Unprovoked attacks on humans by healthy wolves are rare among the roughly 70,000 wolves that live in Canada and Alaska, according to a 2002 study by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.