It’s a good day when you come home from the wilderness in one piece. It’s an even better day when you’re not eaten by a wild animal.
Sure, it’s rare, but human attacks by wild animals do happen. We’ve all heard the stories. Some real. Some wildly exaggerated. Some completely made up.
So, what’s the real story behind wild animal attacks? What’s a myth? And what are the facts?
Just The Facts, Ma’am!
First of all, don’t let your imagination run wild. And don’t let it keep you from enjoying a hike in the woods. You’re at greater risk of injury in your own neighborhood than you are on a wilderness trail.
Simply arm yourself with the truth about wild animals, how to avoid them, what to do if you encounter one and, heaven forbid, how to survive an attack.
A little knowledge goes a long way. And a great place to start is with Dave Smith’s book, Don’t Get Eaten: The Dangers of Animals That Charge or Attack.
I’ve shared this book with lots of people over the years and every one of them has returned it relieved and at ease about wild encounters.
At less than one hundred pages, this informative book is a quick read and written in a very matter-of-fact style. Smith even provides references, which makes me feel better knowing he didn’t make things up.
In the midst of teaching you how to avoid and safely coexist with wild animals, Smith also dispels many of the myths and misinformation surrounding them.
For example, he addresses things like:
- Should you fight back or play dead?
- What wild animal kills more humans?
- Do menstruating women need to be concerned?
- When’s the best time of the day to avoid cougars?
- Does Bear Spray really work?
Even though Smith’s book deals with North American animals, much of what he teaches about personal space and avoidance can be applied to many wild animals around the world.
Use Your Head
A lot of what Smith teaches is common sense. Don’t temp fate by seeing how close you can get for a photo op. And don’t assume that cuddly looking animal begging for food won’t rip your arm off.
There’s a reason why they’ve never been domesticated!
In other words, don’t be stupid! Most attacks are caused by human foolishness or negligence! (See video below.)
Do yourself – or someone you love – a favor and read Smith’s book, Don’t Get Eaten. It could save a life.
Have you had a close call with a wild animal? Tell us in the comments below how you avoided being injured.
See ya’ on the trail,
A quick search at YouTube will provide you with enough examples of what can happen when humans don’t respect the personal space of a wild animal. Here’s just one example. This woman was lucky – and she knows it.