The research student was at a Okanogan County campground when she came across a wolf, and tried to use pepper spray on it. But another wolf appeared and then she climbed a tree.

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LOOMIS, Okanogan County — Thirty feet up a tree, a research student. Below, wolves.

Okanogan County Sheriff Frank Rogers said a woman was performing research near the Tiffany Spring Campground northwest of Conconully when she came across a wolf.

She tried to use pepper spray on it, but another wolf appeared and then she climbed a tree.

Authorities were notified of her situation about 12:30 p.m. Thursday.

“The information we received was that she was 30 feet up a tree with a pack of wolves surrounding it,” Rogers said in a news release. 

The sheriff said it would’ve taken his deputies about two hours to hike to her location, but the state Department of Natural Resources volunteered a helicopter that could be there in 14 minutes.

Rogers said when the helicopter arrived, the pilot told dispatch, “We’ve got wolves on the ground.”

The pilot landed and the wolves scattered. The woman climbed aboard safely.

It was not clear Thursday who the woman worked for or what type of research she was conducting.

Rogers said it’s not like wolves to attack humans, so he’s worried there may be a den or kill site nearby, and others might not handle an encounter as well as the researcher.

“We are concerned that some may not be prepared for or even know of the possible encounters with wolves, which may result in the danger to human life,” Rogers wrote in a news release.

“If these types of situations are going to become a common occurrence, we would like to be prepared for potential encounters in the future.”