Surviving an Animal Attack

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Surviving an Animal Attack

Post by ThreeperMan on Thu 16 Jul 2009, 03:13

A number of people lose their lives each year or are severely injured, as a result of animal attacks. Here in the UK, it is rare for a human to be attacked by an animal in a wilderness setting as we have no natural predators to fear because of our climate and terrain. In fact, you are much more likely to be bitten by a pet dog.

In other parts of the world, however, if you venture into the wilderness, you might encounter bears of numerous varieties, alligators, lions, tigers, elephants, poisonous snakes and many other dangerous species which might attack you. There is plenty of useful information out there to help you learn how to survive if a specific species attacks you but, for the purposes of this article, it will discuss what you should do in general terms, if you are the potential victim of an animal attack. Remember, even in the UK, we are not immune. We are nation known for being dog lovers, yet we’re all aware that dogs can attack humans as some horrific news stories have demonstrated. Therefore, it’s important to understand the basics.

Why Do Animals Attack?
There are many valid reasons why an animal might attack a human being. Apart from those which are trained to attack, an animal may attack if it thinks you’re a threat to its young, to protect its territory, it could feel threatened if you’re in too close a proximity, it could be in pain, injured or ill, if you’ve surprised it suddenly, if you’ve disturbed it whilst it’s eating, if you’re teasing it, if it’s frustrated or tired, if it’s perceived you’re a direct threat to it and finally, if it’s hungry. Hunger has been left until the end of the list as it’s less common for animals to attack humans for food and whilst some species do kill humans for food, it’s far more likely that you’ll be subject to an attack for one of the other reasons stated than because you’d make a hearty meal!

What to do if You Think You’re About to be Attacked?
In countries where there are far more dangerous animals than in the UK, there are often specialist guidelines to help you cope with different types of animal if you think you’re going to be attacked but, in general terms, you should move slowly and quietly away from the animal, always facing it as you move backwards but try to avoid direct eye contact. Don’t make any ‘jerky’ movements which may startle the animal and don’t try to run away from it. It is likely to be far faster than you and by running away; its natural instincts are to view you as prey. If you are carrying something or can reach for an object or can get behind an object to put some distance between yourself and the animal to aid protection, do so.

What if it Starts to Make an Attack?
Don’t yell or make other loud, threatening noises or any threatening gestures. Don’t keep running, just throw yourself to the ground and curl up into a ball, protecting your head and face. If you ‘play dead’, the chances are the animal may lose interest. If you’ve no other choice but to fight back, try to aim any blows on the animal’s nose or right between its eyes but you should only fight back if you have no other alternative.

After the Attack
Assuming you’ve not been killed or badly injured, you should wash any wounds thoroughly and apply first-aid if you’re not able to seek medical help immediately. Try to remember as much information as you can about the animal which you can pass on to the relevant authorities later. What species it was, how big it was, whether it was a stray or wild animal. Try to remember the exact time and location of the incident and basically, any details you can remember about what happened. It may be that you’ll probably need to have a rabies shot and the more information you can give about the attack, the easier it will be to identify and isolate (or kill) the animal and for it to be tested for rabies.

How you Can Minimise the Risk of Being Attacked
Most animals do not attack unless they’re provoked or have been frightened. For the most part, even some of the most dangerous animals on the planet would rather shy well away from humans as opposed to confronting them. To minimise the risks, you should stay away from any animal who is accompanied by offspring, keep away from them when they’re eating or sleeping and try to get to know the terrain you’re in and likely spots where they may choose to build a shelter and try to keep your distance at all times.

Fresh animal droppings and footprints are a clear sign that an animal is not too far away and, if you’ve learned a bit about tracking animals, you can often ascertain the species and the size of the animal simply by observing animal faeces and footprints.

The most important thing to prevent you from being attacked is to respect animals at all times. The outdoors is their ‘home’ after all and you are simply a ‘guest’

http://www.thesurvivalexpert.co.uk/SurvivingAnAnimalAttack.html

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How to Survive Animal Attacks

Post by ThreeperMan on Thu 16 Jul 2009, 04:49

Steps

1. Know your area. Use a field guide and information from the local parks department to find out what wildlife lives in the area, and if any attacks have been recorded.
2. Bring supplies. Bells, pepper spray, a knife, a snake stick and extra clothing can help you fend off attacks.

Mountain Lions and Other Large Cats

1. Prevent an encounter by wearing a bell or other noisemaker to scare off any mountain lions that might be nearby.
# Stand your ground. Mountain lions, like most cats, don't want to attack prey that will fight back.
# Make yourself scary by yelling, holding out extra clothing like wings, or climbing onto someone's shoulders. If your hiking companion is smaller than you, hoist them onto your own shoulders.
# Fight back by throwing rocks and spraying pepper spray if the mountain lion doesn't back off.
# Protect your neck if the cat attacks. Cross both arms behind your head to shield the back of your head and neck. Crunch your shoulders up around your ears to protect your neck and throat.

Bears

# Prevent an encounter by wearing a bell or other noisemaker to scare off any bears that might be nearby.
# Avoid bear cubs as mother bears will attack viciously to protect their young.
# Play dead if a bear approaches you further.

Wolves and Wild Dogs

# Avoid eye contact with the wolves, as eye contact is a sign of aggression.
# Slump your lower body and lower your head in a submissive gesture.

Venomous Snakes

# Avoid an encounter by keeping alert for snakes.
# Wear protective clothing such as long pants, tall hiking boots, long sleeves, and gloves.
# Watch the snake for signs it might strike, while backing away. Snakes must coil before striking.
# Fend off the snake with your snake stick if it moves towards you, while backing carefully away from the snake.
# Administer first aid if you or your companion are bitten. DO NOT attempt to suck the venom from the wound!

Constricting Snakes

# Avoid an encounter by keeping alert for snakes.
# Fend off the snake with your snake stick if it approaches.
# Stay calm if the snake loops around you. If you relax, it may not attempt to constrict you-- in fact, it may just be curious. Struggling, however, prompts the snake to squeeze.
# Wrap your non-dominant arm around your ribs for stability and protection.
# Take slow, shallow breaths as the snake uses breathing as a cue for constriction.
# Grab the snake's head with your free hand, and pull it backwards to unwind the coil.

Alligators, Caymans and Crocs

# Prevent an attack by keeping your arms and legs out of water where these animals live.
# Watch out for "nervous water, eyes poking above the surface, or other signs of crocs.
# Hit the animal on the nose if it grabs a limb. Avoid being shaken or pulled into the water.

Sharks

# Avoid lying on the surface in areas frequented by sharks. In profile, you will look like a seal or other tasty prey. Try to keep vertical in the water.
# Stay calm if you see a shark. Move slowly towards shore and keep your head above water. Excessive splashing or activity attracts sharks.
# Remain still if you feel the shark brush against you. Sharks often investigate unknown objects by nosing them, then swimming away.
# Signal for help above water by waving your hands, shouting, etc. You'll want to be extracted from your situation if you're surrounded by a swarm of sharks.
# Fight back if the shark bites you. Punch and scratch at the eyes and gills. The shark will often let go.

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