With the summer months coming quickly upon us, many of us will be camping in the great outdoors. With that camping, the probability that we will run into a wild animal increases drastically.
We put together this document to highlight some of the things you should and shouldn’t do when encountering a wild animal. Take a look and tell us what you think!
1. Do not approach unfamiliar animals even if they look friendly.
2. Stay calm and do not scream or make loud noises if the animal approaches you
3. If the animal is demonstrating odd behavior, remember that you are a predator - act like it!
4. Animals are more likely to attack children - pick them up if you see an animal.
5. Usually animal attacks occur because people don’t make enough noise, get too close to a carcass or other food source or startle an animal with their babies.
6. Don’t hike at night.
Statistically, a bear attack is very unlikely. Bears tend to avoid humans except to steal food. A grizzly bear is more likely to attack than a black bear.
If you encounter a bear, don’t sit around to watch it. The bear is most likely doing its business and encountered you too. Continue along your business but begin to create space between you and the bear. Do not run directly away from the bear or at the bear.
If the bear follows you, separate yourself for the items of food that you have. If the bear seems uninterested in the discarded food, turn around and face the bear. Usually the bear will back down. If it doesn’t, bring your arms to your side or above your head to make yourself look larger in an effort to scare the bear.
As a last result, play dead. Cover your head and face with your hands. The bear may sniff and paw you. You may even get a few bumps or broken bones but he probably won’t eat you. Humans don’t really fall anywhere in the fish and berry diet of a bear.
Do not run away from the bear, he can run faster than you. You can also climb a tree or try to out swim the bear.
If you come across an aggressive dog, avoidance is the best plan of action. As you back away from the dog, locate a stick or something to arm yourself with. Try and use calm, soft language that shows that you are not a threat.
If the dog lunges at you, try to stay tall and erect. Use your legs to try and kick the dog in the face or ribs. Avoid laying down or stooping.
Snakes will usually sense vibrations in the ground as you approach. They will typically hide behind rocks, logs or thick brush. Usually they do not attack unless provoked.
Be sure to watch your path if you are turning a trail corner quickly or picking something up that has fallen in a hidden area.
Cougar & Mountain Lions
You should try and avoid mountain lions just as much as any other animal. However, it’s been reported that some mountain lions have made unprovoked attacks on humans. However, this is also very unlikely.
If you are attacked by a mountain lion, use anything and everything to fight back. Try and stay standing and protect your face, neck and head. Try and scream as much as possible for help.
Usually alligators and crocodiles will avoid humans by retreating back into the water. If you happen across a nest they will usually chase you out.
If you need to run away from an alligator or crocodile, run in a zig-zag motion away from them. They run well in straight lines but not usually from side to side.
Scorpions & Other Insects
Be sure to shake out your shoes or clothing before putting them on. Insects and scorpions like to nestle into closed, dry locations like that.
Firstly, avoid shark infested waters! If you’re in the water, be sure to keep an eye out for sharks and if you see one, get out of the water.
If you can’t get out of the water, remain calm and stay in a defensive position. Try and reduce the shark’s angles of attack by using other obstructions as protection. Sharks also don’t like bubbles from scuba divers.
If the shark attacks you, don’t play dead. Fight back as much as possible by hitting them in the gills, eyes or snout.
If you come across a velociraptor and they seemed surprised to see you, don’t be fooled! This is a trick they use in their hunting techniques. Jump and weave your way out of the area as quickly as possible. According to the Jurrasic Park movies, all velociraptors are girls and they are very clever.
Be sure to use locks on doors. They have evolved to use door handles so that will not help you. Install smooth round door handles in your home if you fear an imminent velociraptor attack. Your best bet is to trick the velociraptor using mirrors or other reflective surfaces.
Boy Scouts Handbook: Original 1911 Edition