Surviving the great outdoors: How to avoid unexpected animal attacks

We’ve all seen expert adventurers attacked by crocodiles and and lions on T.V. Given that they are knowledgeable in their chosen profession, most of them manage to survive it. However, for the younger, inexperienced crowd, the outcome may not be as nice. Let’s admit it: Most of us don’t know how to avoid animal attacks or otherwise survive it.

This guide will cover some of the most dangerous wild animals that are known to attack people. Some of these animals lunge at the slightest provocation, while some of them take a little bit more effort to annoy. Easily provoked or not, wild animals can still be dangerous, and subsequently fatal. Most people are unaware of the actions that might cause these unfortunate events, so it is better to know beforehand rather than find yourself in a dire situation.

Felines and canines

If you own a cat, then you know how playful and troublesome they can get. You might also have observed that they have excellent predator instincts. Imagine bigger cats with the same, yet enhanced instincts, and you’ve got yourself a wild cat. A wild cat is any animal of the feline species: lion, tiger, leopard, to name a few. Coyotes and wolves come from the canine family. Canines are pack animals, meaning they work and stay together, so seeing one means that there are several others nearby.

  • Don’t be stupid – Keep your distance. Do not go near them. Unless you’re a professional wild animal wrangler, you’d better stay away from imminent death.
  • Keep yourself safe – During nighttime, make sure you stay secure, especially if your camping location is frequented by wild cats. Keep your eating utensils clean to avoid them becoming bait. Children are often the targets; so if you have any with you, make sure they get in the tent at night, way before you do.
  • Stand your ground When charged by a wild cat, make yourself appear bigger by flapping your jacket wildly or by shouting really loud. Running with your back turned on these beasts will make you look more vulnerable and easier to catch. Some of them may just mock charge, so make sure to keep your composure. Flinching or other sudden reactions may trigger a real attack. More often than not, most animals have a specific prey observation pattern that you can learn to your advantage.
  • Make noise – Anything louder than their own growls will scare them away. The larger the sound, the bigger the prey is, so make sure to stretch those pipes!
  • Get ready to fight – Unlike playful felines however, wolves and coyotes are less likely to be intimidated and are more determined to kill their prey. Once surrounded by the pack, you’ll have to fight your way out the best you can. Quick reflexes and hard punches may save your life, but chances are better with a long staff-like weapon that can hit them before they reach you.


The average weight of most types of bears are around 70 to 120 kilograms, while human beings average at 60 kilograms. If mauling doesn’t kill you, the weight sure will. Carnivorous bears inhabit a lot of places in the northern hemisphere of the globe, so you’re likely to find one in North American forests and mountains.

  • Speak softly — In case you meet a bear on your trail, your first reaction should be to calmly tell the bear you’re not a threat. It’s likely that you’ve made a sudden loud sound, and the bear was just going to investigate. Keep talking in the same manner while moving away from the bear.
  • Don’t be fooled – Bears, especially before hibernation, need to fatten up. Like most sleepy or hungry people, bears get cranky too, and you’d want to avoid those encounters as much as possible. When they move away from you, make sure you leave the area as soon as you can, since they might suddenly exchange their sleepiness for hunger and go after you anyway.
  • Keep your company – When traversing areas that are known to have bears, make sure you travel with a group, and stick with them. Making constant noises, or conversing with the group while on the trek will avoid surprising the bear and keep it away from you.
  • Pepper spray is handy – It doesn’t only work on human attackers, but animal attackers as well. You’ll be surprised how effective pepper spray can be when attacked by a bear. As an alternative to pepper spray, you can use any pressurized spray cans like deodorants or perfume.
  • Go down, not up – You’ve always heard of this one, but just to clarify, playing dead decreases the amount of threat you project to the bear. You won’t want to go up a tree though, bears can climb up to a certain extent, you know.
  • Have a stick in hand – When trekking, it’s always helpful to have a long stick in hand. You can use it for walking and defending yourself. Keep the stick stretched out between you and the bear to fend of or block incoming scratches.

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