Wild animals are simply using their innate instincts to survive. Very similar to humans, wild animals consistently seek to avoid dangers or threats and simply want to go about their daily lives. With that basic background, following is what should be done when confronted by a bear, tiger or aggressive dog in the wild or an urban setting. Any of these animals could potentially kill you and depending on their environment will kill you. These animals are stronger than you, may have huge claws and sharp teeth.
The general rule is to give all of these animals plenty of space. Generally when animals attack humans they do so because they fear the human. There may be bear or tiger cubs around or the animal may feel as though it is under attack. Therefore, the animal must be given plenty of space to "escape" and continue about their daily business. Many people, whether they are at the zoo or in the wild feel as though they can approach wild animals. STAY AWAY FROM THEM! The chance of a priceless picture with a bear is not worth your priceless life.
Many people engage in a variety of outdoor activities including hiking, backpacking, kayaking and mountain biking. These exceptional activities are great for the body, however present some unique challenges within the habitat of the wild animals.
Familiarize yourself with the environment including the routes you will be taking and all of the animals within the region. For example, when you are kayaking down the Colorado River, you most likely will not come into contact with wolves, however a rattlesnake could be waiting when you exit your kayak on shore. Use the internet as well as local wildlife and forestry departments to find out what predators are in the area and what specific areas to avoid.
During breeding season, nearly every animal from bears to dears to birds are far more aggressive as they protect their young. An ordinary encounter is highly elevated during this period. BE ON EXTRA ALERT during breeding season. Within many forests, bears and mountain lions could be a very real possibility. These animals are highly attracted to streams and creeks. Bears are omnivores, whereas tigers and mountain lions are carnivores. These animals are also highly territorial and will defend their territory violently. Therefore, though attacks are rare, if the situation presents itself, a human being could be on the menu.
Encountered animals in the wild or rural areas can happen in numerous ways. The first way is when you see the wild animal at a distance and it appears that the animal has not seen you. In this case, DO NOT BRING ANY ATTENTION TO YOURSELF! Remain calm, gather your thoughts and move in a different direction. If you are traveling in the direction of the animal, take a wide arc around the animal and give the animal plenty of room while continuing to watch the animal closely.
If the animal should see you, perform the same task. Continue to give the animal plenty of room, therefore not giving it an opportunity or reason to attack you. Several wildlife biologists have stated that if you talk calmly to the animal and waive your hands a bit, therefore indicating that you are human, the animal may simply leave you alone. Either approach you take, please remember to give the animal ample room. Most animals have no interest in attacking you.
A difficult situation occurs when you see an animal (bear, tiger or mountain lion), the animal sees you and you also see the animals cubs. THIS IS A HIGHLY DANGEROUS SITUATION! Leave the area while keeping your ey on the animal. Should you see the cubs run up a tree, still leave the area! The mother will still be very close by and the cubs will now be frightened. The mothers will defend their babies viciously. NEVER EVER APPROACH ANY CUB, EVEN IF IT APPEARS TO BE INJURED ABANDONED OR LOST! To do so would be suicidal.
Should you encounter an animal that takes an aggressive stance like standing on its hind legs or charging you and backing off then charging you again, do the following:
If the animal is a bear, it is not advisable to flail your arms around or run because you will probably upset the bear more and you will certainly not outrun the animal. If there is a tree around to climb, do it immediately. Though black bears are efficient tree climbers, other bears are not and black bears strength and dexterity is diminished on the tree. If you cannot escape the animal, fall into the fetal position closely protecting your neck and stomach. Leave your backpack on for protection. It is also advisable to play dead at the last moment, however never play dead if there is still time to run away or climb a tree. PLAYING DEAD IS THE LAST CHOICE!
If the animal is a Mountain Lion or Tiger, fight back. Do not run as running will signal the natural chase instinct of the animal. NEVER ROLL INTO A BALL OR SUCCUMB TO THESE ANIMALS. Consistently hit the head area as hard as possibly. Grab anything you can from sticks to rocks to use as a weapon. While facing the cat, strike the animal in the eyes with your fists and nails. Throw sand in the animals face. PROTECT YOUR NECK! Never succumb or roll into a ball. Hit as hard as possible especially to the head area. If you can retrieve a stick or large rock ,use it as a weapon. If face to face with the cat, go for the eyes by clawing or throwing sand in the face of the cat. Try to remain standing, face to face throughout the attack.
When attacked from the back, position yourself to be face to face with the animal. If the animal is on your back, try to throw it forward and off your back and then retrieve a weapon as this may startle the animal.
NEVER FALL TO THE GROUND AND ROLL INTO A FETAL POSITION. Should you do this, your chances of survival are limited as the animal will treat you like small prey.
Being attacked by a wild animal is terrifying, however it is extremely rare and should never stop you from enjoying wildlife and nature. Animal attacks generally happen when a bear is startled and feels it must protect itself. As you proceed through nature, talk softly to let animals know that you are approaching. Hopefully if you do encounter these beautiful animals, each will be walking in the opposite direction to get away from you.
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