We live in a world where wild animal attacks are fatal to human life. Almost 100,000 people die every year due to snake attacks. More than 500 die due to lions and elephants. While there’s not a single, standard way to defend yourself against attacking animals and survive the encounter, you can choose the best strategy based on the animal that’s confronting you. So here are 15 tips on how to survive wild animal attacks which can be vital for survival in tricky situations.
1. Sharks: We hope you never have to face a shark in your life but in case you do here is what you an do to get away-
- In order not to attract sharks, avoid getting blood or urine in the water. Sharks can sense the smell from several kilometers away.
- Don’t flail like something it might like to eat.
- If you meet a shark face-to-face, don’t turn your back and don’t try to run away in panic. By doing this, you will look like prey. Move slowly.
- If you are caught, aim at the eyes and gills. Those zones are sensitive.
- If you’re vertical in the water, sharks will not be sure what you are. Consequently, they’ll be less inclined to think that you’re food.
2. Kangaroo: Though a kangaroo does not sound as dangerous as other wild animals, it can fatally injure you. Here is what you can do if you face one-
- Cough. Short and quiet coughing is perceived as a sign of illness, and you are likely to avoid an attack.
- Slowly move back. You will look smaller and, therefore, less dangerous.
- Don’t turn around, and don’t run. If you do, you will provoke an animal that can jump really far and reach you in a moment.
- Kangaroos tend to jump at you out of bushes. If you have time and space to react, turn sideways (to protect your face and organs) and slowly walk away.
3. Lions: If you have to survive against the King of the Jungle, here are some useful tips-
- If you meet a lion, look into his eyes. Don’t turn your back, and don’t look away because discontinuity in eye contact will give the predator time to attack.
- Try to look bigger. Lift up your arms or a jacket. If you look big and dangerous, the predator will try to avoid contact.
- Talk to the lion in a moderately loud and confident voice. Also, make sounds and gesticulate. This kind of behavior is not typical for a victim. It will mislead the animal, and he will perceive you as an irritation that it is better to stay away from.
- If that doesn’t work, fight back with whatever you’ve got: hands, rocks and, should local laws allow it, firearms.
4. Elephants: Elephants kill more humans than sharks in a year although they seem like peaceful giants. Here’s what to do if you come face to face with one-
- If you meet an elephant, pay attention to its body language. A twisted trunk and ears looking back mean that he is going to trample you. Read the ears. If they’re fanned out, the elephant’s probably bluffing. If they’re back, “Be worried.” Because this is another beast you don’t want to get into a footrace with, back away slowly, or climb a tree.
- If the animal is attacking you, don’t run away. Instead, try to find something that will serve as a barrier between you and the elephant. It can be a rock or a tree.
5. Rhinos: Rhinos have very bad eyesight. that is why it is easy to frighten them, making them attack. You cannot outrun them as they are extremely fast. The only way to hide from a rhino is to stand behind a tree or hide behind a mound– it is a significant obstacle for him. This animal will not follow you through bushes or high grass.
6. Hippos: Although hippos seem like nice creatures, more people die from them than crocodiles! Let us see what you can do to prevent dying from one. If the weather is hot, try not to go into brush-woods. During a drought, the level of water goes down, and hippos hide in the tall grass. To make a hippo leave you alone, climb up a tree, a big rock, or a sharp hill. Wait there until the animal leaves.
7. Bulls: Bull attacks can be highly fatal and need to be avoided under any circumstances. Here’s what you can do to avoid one:
- Bulls react to motion, not to a red (or any other) color. That is why if a bull is running to you, stand straight and still. Use your hat, T-shirt, or any other clothes as bait. Once the bull comes close enough, throw this item of clothing aside – the bull will run after it.
- Stay at least 20 feet away. Should you encroach on a bull’s personal space, back off — slowly. If you turn and run, you’re going to get chased.
8. Jellyfish: The sting of a jellyfish brings incredibly long and dull pain. Follow these tips to protect yourself.Keep your distance. Some stinging tentacles can grow as long as 165 feet! Best advice: Stay out of water where jellyfish have been spotted. If you get stung by one here is what you can do:
Right after getting the sting, wash it with salt water. Freshwater will only worsen the situation. Then, using a stick or tweezers, remove the leftovers of the tentacles. If you have an antihistamine cream, apply it to the sting. Do not pee on the sting as it is a common myth.
9. Snakes: Snakes are one of the deadliest reptiles in the world and snake bites can be fatal to human life. Here is a list of things to save yourself:
- Wear protective clothing when you’re in snake territory. Long pants and hiking boots will prevent the snake’s fangs from penetrating your skin if one happens to bite you. If you notice that you are being followed by a snake, stomp. The vibration will mislead the snake, and it will leave you.
- Back up from a venomous snake if it’s in striking position. If the snake is coiled and has reared its head up, it’s in striking position and could strike at you at any moment. Don’t turn your back on the snake and don’t run. Instead, back away from the snake at a normal walking pace until you’re at least 20 feet away.
- If you are bitten, don’t try to suck the poison out of the wound as we often see in movies. It’s better to wash the wound with tap water, fix a tourniquet, and call the rescue service.
- A gator’s first priority is to drown you, so either stay on land or get to land and then run.
- If you are caught, hit the animal’s eyes. The eyes and throat of these animals are the most sensitive areas. So aim right there to free yourself.
- If you notice this predator crawling to you by ground, make as much noise as you can and run in a zigzag. This is a case where running and shouting are the best solutions.
- If you see a crocodile while swimming, don’t make splashes and don’t shout – it will attract his attention. Try to swim away as quietly as possible.
11. Gorillas: Gorillas are very protective of their families and will eliminate any threat to their kind. Here are some tips to escape from the clutches of this gigantic creature:
- Sit down so as not to look bigger or taller than a gorilla. Try to whisper, and avoid looking straight into its eyes.
- In case of an attack, roll into a ball. Gorillas are proud animals, and, as a rule, they will not attack the weak and defenseless.
- Don’t run, and don’t look them in the eye.
12. Bees: Bees will protect their hive and can sting you even if you are simply passing by. Let us see how to avoid these fatal creatures:
- Dark colors attract the attention of bees. So if you are wearing a dark T-shirt, the chance of getting stung by a bee is much higher.
- If there is a swarm or just a couple of bees chasing you, hide in a dark place. The lack of light will mislead them.
- Bees are communal. If you get swarmed, don’t stand there and swat. You are only giving them time to bring in reinforcements. Just run!
13. Grizzly Bears: It is very tough to face these dangerous creatures in the wild. But here are some ways to ensure your survival against grizzlies:
- Stop, remain calm, back away slowly while speaking in a calm voice. You are trying to show the bear that you are being submissive and yielding to his territorial supremacy.
- Do not turn your back on the bear or run; that will stimulate an attack.
- Avoid direct eye contact, because that is considered an act of aggression.
- Submit. Lie face down on the ground, cover your head with your arms and hands and play as dead as possible. You might be bit or clawed, and then the bear might leave… or not.
- If the bear continues to maul you, in spite of your playing dead (an indication that it wants you for food), you might have to fight for your life using any available weapon (knife, stick, rock, fingernails), focusing your counterattack on the bear’s eyes and nose with as much violence as you can muster.
14. Wolves: Wolf attacks on humans are becoming more common day-by-day. Here is what to do if you encounter a pack of wolves:
- Don’t run, because that might trigger an attack. You can’t outrun these animals, as they can hit speed above 30 mph.
- Yell at the animal to make it back off.
- These animals often run in packs and engage in coordinated attacks. If you’re surrounded and you’re alone, it time to start shooting to kill, or you’ll end up on the dinner plate. These are carnivores and you are carne.
- Do not lose your footing. Once you go down, the pack will rush in and rip you apart.
- If you are surrounded and are in a group, position yourselves back to back, facing the animals. Use clubs, knives, sharpened sticks (spears), rocks, or anything else you can grab to fend off the attack.
15. Cougar: Cougar is one of the biggest cats who can have a human or two for lunch. Make sure you take these precautions to stay safe from them:
- Stop and stand tall. Do not run.
- Try to appear larger than the cougar.
- Never take your eyes off the animal or turn your back.
- Do not crouch down or try to hide.
- If the animal displays aggressive behavior, shout, wave your arms and throw rocks.
- If the cougar attacks, stay on your feet. If you go down, you’re in trouble.
This was an exhaustive list of things you can do to survive during violent wild animal attacks. So keep these things in mind the next time you encounter a hungry lion or have a violent confrontation with some other wild animal. Also, do read our blogs on Ghana, Zimbabwe, South Sudan, Mozambique and Kenya to know more about African wildlife.