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What to do when attacked by a wild animal

Although the occurrence of being attacked by a wild animal is a very rare occurrence, wild animals can and will attack people. Animals that are capable of inflicting such harm on a human should be avoided no matter how curious you are about them.  Remember, they are wild, untamed and unpredictable, and if provoked can cause serious harm to you if not death.

There are also some really crazy people out there that have decided to keeps wild animals as pets in their own homes. These animals haven't been domesticated over thousands of years like dogs and cats have, so we highly recommend against bringing one of these beats home with you. Even when raised from a baby, these animals still have wild instincts in them that often can't be controlled, and have resulted in numerous injuries and deaths over the years.

If you are attacked by a wild animal, there often are tactics that you can use to either defend yourself, or evade further harm. Here are some of the most common wild animals that have been known to attack people and how to survive such an attack.


Bears are one of the most powerful wild animals out there, they can be very dangerous and you should try to avoid them. They are naturally shy of humans and will go out of their way to avoid coming in contact, but if you live in the country or go camping a lot you should be prepared if such an encounter does occur.

  • if you have bear spray, use it, the bear will most likely run away
  • if it attacks you play dead, hopefully the bear will get bored of you and move on
  • don't run, bears are extremely fast, there's no way any human can out run one.

cougar / mountain lion

Cougars or Mountain Lions are some of the biggest cats in the wild. They're fast, ferocious and can be very deadly. Although an encounter with one is extremely rare, if you live in a place where they are common, it's a good idea to know what to expect if you run into one.

  • yell for help, noise will distract and confuse the cougar, and if help comes it will most likely run away as it will not attack groups of people
  • try to make yourself as big as you can, they won't attack what they don't think they can take down
  • If you are attacked by one, fight it, grab anything you can in your surrounding like a stick or rock, and fight it
  • aim for the eyes if it comes within close range, if it gets really close and starts mauling you, go as far as using your thumbs to jab it's eyes.
  • do not run, cougars can run up to 35 miles per hour and can jump up to 25 feet in distance, running will also only make them want to hunt and kill you even more

wolf / coyote

Wolfs and coyotes are pack animals, and very shy of humans. Deaths from wolfs and coyotes are extremely rare, and they will avoid running into humans unless they are hungry to the point of starvation. If you are unfortunate enough to run into one of them, and face the possibility of being attacked here's what to do:

  • stand your ground
  • don't run, wolfs are very fast and if they're in a pack you cannot out run them
  • back away slowly, do not run, but if you stay still they will most likely attack you, keep moving but no sudden movements
  • try to make yourself as big as you can
  • make lots of noise
  • don't show any fear, they can sense fear and will attack if they see you as being weaker than they are
  • if you're attacked grab a stick or a rock and don't let it get near your neck or head, if it grabs a hold of your neck you're basically screwed

Alligators / Crocodiles

Alligators and Crocodiles are some of the most powerful reptiles in the world, responsible for killing hundreds of people every year, they are to be avoided at all costs. Always try to stay at least 15 feet away from them if you're in a boat, or near the water where they may be present.

  • If you're attacked, run away if you can, they don't fare as well on land as humans do, and don't usually stray too far from water.
  • If you're in the water when attacked, fight back, go for the eyes, nostrils and ears.
  • Make lots of noise if they are attacking you on a boat, hit them with oars if you have any, or any kind of sharp object