Avoiding and Surviving Animal Attacks

Humans are at the top of the food chain due to our intellect and social structure, not necessarily our physical prowess.  When you are in the wilderness, or even outdoors in your neighborhood, you can come in contact with animals that have the potential to kill you.  Here are a few tips on how to avoid, or if necessary how to survive an attack from some potentially deadly predators.

 

Dogs

You don’t have to be in the wilderness to come face to face with a deadly animal.  You could be jogging on the sidewalk in your neighborhood as usual and someone left the door open, and now you have a 100lbs chow-chow snarling at you.  First, try to avoid the attack, yell at the dog like you mean it.  The dog has a human authority in its pack and might respond by becoming submissive, or you might get the attention of someone who could help you.  Try to get a weapon, if you don’t have one on you look for a weapon of opportunity like a rock or a heavy stick.  If it’s a bad dog, chances are it’s not the first time a rock has been thrown at it, it will know it’s in danger if you just raise it in a threatening manner.  If it starts to attack fight back and protect yourself.  Try to keep distance while still facing the dog.  If it gets you on the ground, protect your neck at all costs and try to get your legs around the dog so you can control its ability to pull on you which is how it causes the most damage.

Mountain Lion

Mountain lions are used to taking down prey larger than most humans.  If they have decided to hunt you, you will have a hard time changing its mind.  Make yourself look as large as you can, make as much noise as you can, and back up while looking at the animal.  Get a weapon in the fight, if you don’t have a knife or pepper spray on you (which you should if you are hiking or camping) then look for anything you can use.  If attacked, fight hard, your life depends on it.  But if you can convince that cat that it might sustain injury while attacking you it will probably stop since it needs to stay healthy to hunt again.

Bear

As with the above animals, make noise and look large to avoid getting attacked.  You might have heard that you should play dead, but that is only with grizzly bears, people have successfully fought off and even killed black bears with weapons of opportunity like logs.  But both black bears and grizzlies can run at high speeds, unless you have something close by to take refuge in, don’t run.  If you are attacked, ball up.  Play dead if it’s a grizzly, if it’s a black bear attack the eyes and nose.

 

Avoiding the attack is always preferable.  Even if you survive the initial encounter you are in still likely to be in danger from the injuries sustained protecting yourself.  For this reason, and to protect yourself from humans, always carry a weapon when you can.  Pepper spray or a knife, or both, will go far to keep you safe from even top predators, with four legs, or two.

 

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