In the course of your travels, you might well cross paths with a potentially deadly animal. One wrong step could be fatal but there are methods you can use to ensure your survival. So — while we hope you never need them — we’ve compiled a list detailing the actions you’ll need to take in those situations.
You’d be hard-pressed to name a more beautiful animal than the leopard. However, that doesn’t mean that you should let your guard down around them. While they might not be the biggest of the big cats out there, these hunters can grab your neck with their jaws and take you out quietly in a worst case scenario.
Should you encounter a leopard, though, it’s not an automatic death sentence. According to the Daily Mail website, you must avoid looking them in the eye to ensure that they don’t misinterpret your presence as a “challenge.” Instead, you need to stay perfectly still at first, and show no signs of intimidation. If the animal does decides to attack, try and make yourself look as intimidating as possible. Shouting and yelling will help.
If you ever get up close and personal with an aggressive gorilla, you should follow certain steps to ensure your survival. According to adventurer Levison Wood, fleeing isn’t an option, regardless of how much you’d like to. He had some other useful advice to share too, when he spoke to The Telegraph in September 2017.
Wood told the newspaper, “With gorillas, the whole thing is you’ve got to be submissive. You don’t want to look them in the eye, don’t back away — and don’t run, whatever you do. Just look at the ground because it treats you as one of its own, so you’ve got to kind of adopt gorilla behavior.”
Alongside sharks, crocodiles are among some of the scariest predators that you’ll find in the water. However, unlike the former, these hulking creatures can also venture onto land, in pursuit of possible prey. Unsurprisingly, humans will fall into this category if they get too close, but here’s something to consider if you find yourself in this situation.
Surprisingly, crocodiles are deceptively quick on land and they can outpace you in a foot race. With this in mind, you should never flee from them in a single direction, as the animal will most likely catch you. Instead, Bright Side suggests that your best chance of getting away is by moving in a “zigzag” pattern.
If you ever find yourself out in the wild, herds of buffalo should be avoided at all costs. Even though they aren’t predators, these animals gather in their thousands and have a vicious streak when confronted. Indeed, thanks to their huge horns, they will go on the offensive against any perceived threats.
Buffalo attacks can be deadly, as they often stamp all over their victims as well as impaling them on their horns. Yet while these massive beasts are faster than humans, you can escape them if you get moving early. Then, the Daily Mail notes that you are best advised to head up the nearest tree.
While we don’t all harbor a phobia of snakes, these reptiles can be deadly when they get their fangs into a target. And if they are venomous, you could very well succumb to their bite without prompt treatment. However, Levison Wood believes that you can avoid such a situation by taking certain precautions.
Wood told The Telegraph, “Snakes are one of the biggest dangers because you’ve got to really watch where you’re going. You’ve got to make noise when you walk through the jungle because otherwise, if you stand on one it’s gonna bite you. Always make sure that if you’re in the jungle don’t wear shorts, wear full trousers.”
During an interview with The Telegraph newspaper in September 2017, BBC host and journalist Michelle Jana Chan looked back on a terrifying experience in Namibia. She recalled, “I was wearing ankle-high trekking boots, thick socks and safari pants. But the rain was coming and scorpions come out just before the rains. And he just chose my leg to crawl up.”
“I felt this shooting pain, [and] I knew it wasn’t a mosquito,” the travel writer continued. “The safari guy said — within a second — ‘scorpion.’” While Jana Chan and her party failed to identify the attacking arachnid, she didn’t succumb to the sting, which led her to share some advice. She added, “Tuck your safari pants into your big woolly socks.”
14. Mountain Lions
While big cats are magnificent creatures, most of us wouldn’t welcome the idea of encountering one out in the wild. Unfortunately for Nell Hamm and her partner Jim, though, they had very little choice in the matter. The couple were confronted with a terrifying stand off with a mountain lion in California.
Hamm’s husband was attacked, with the mountain lion clasping onto his skull. She then hit the animal with a piece of wood, recalling what happened next to Outside Online. Nell recalled, “She let go and turned on me. I waved the branch above my head and screamed and she turned and walked off the trail, disappearing into the ferns.” Thankfully, Jim recovered from his injuries.
In most cases, it’s highly unlikely that a domesticated animal such as a dog will try to kill you. But when certain breeds go on the offensive, it could be potentially fatal. For example, if one decided to zone in on your throat, you run the risk of suffering a torn artery.
Should you encounter an enraged dog, though, you can’t flee the area. If yelling doesn’t work, the Daily Mail suggests that you should aim boots and fists at the animal when it lunges. There’s a chance that you could end up on the floor at this stage, so be sure to cover your head and neck too. After that, look for an opening to hit the hound’s eyes.
Due to their size and quickness, it can sometimes be difficult to anticipate the movement of a spider. This is especially problematic when the arachnid in question is venomous, so there’s no real way that you can get ready for an attack. However, your actions after the encounter could be crucial.
According to the Daily Mail, you need to cleanse the wound with water and soap if you have access to them. From there, you should grab a piece of material to act as a compress, keeping your injury cool. Once you’ve done that, you must contact the emergency services as quickly as possible.
Even from a distance, rhinos are some of the most impressive animals in the wild. However, if you approach them, these hulking beasts can be incredibly dangerous. Jana Chan could certainly attest to that during a trip to Namibia, as she stumbled upon a couple of protective moms. She told The Telegraph, “We were suddenly very close. And they charged.”
Jana Chan continued, “We all ran in totally different directions, because there was really nowhere to hide and there was no vehicle to go to. I remember my heart hammering behind [a] tree. I waited there for about half an hour, and then finally I could hear a tracker calling us and we all kind of grouped together. My advice is you run if a rhino charges you.”
Unlike a number of other animals, moose will normally be quite tolerant of people if they approach. But that can all change in an instant should the creatures feel intimidated. When that happens, they could attempt to knock you off your feet and trample your body with their powerful legs.
Moose are also deceptively quick, so you’ll never be able to outpace them in a foot race. Yet according to the BePrepared website, you can escape by hiding behind solid barriers, like a sturdy wall or a tree. Meanwhile, you should ball your body up on the floor when the animal gets you down, shielding your cranium and torso.
It can be easy sometimes to mistake certain animals as affable creatures, when in reality they’re actually very dangerous. Elephants definitely come under this particular category in the wild. These towering beasts have short fuses and aren’t afraid to attack if you get too close, utilizing their tusks as sharp weapons.
However, it’s possible to escape a dangerous encounter like this in one piece. The Daily Mail notes that you have to stand firm, in front of the elephant. Then, puff your chest out and start to shout at the animal, showing no signs of intimidation. After that, you need to get far away from the area — preferably downwind, so that the rest of the herd can’t detect your scent.
With their black and amber striped fur — and fearsome teeth — tigers are one of the most beautiful animals and deadly animals on the planet. You’re well advised to keep your distance. In a worst case scenario, though, you have to ignore the urge to flee the big cat, as big cat expert Frederic Edelstein explained.
Edelstein, the man in charge of Cirque Pinder, told the Daily Mirror newspaper, “In this case, [the tiger’s] instinct would be to chase after its prey. If you see it coming towards you, make as much noise as you can in order to frighten it. If this doesn’t work, you should start waving your arms, but without moving away, or it will only move closer.”
Perhaps surprisingly, according to The Telegraph, Africa’s most dangerous animal is the hippopotamus, outranking lions by a fair distance. Incredibly, these massive creatures kill just under 3,000 individuals every year. So on that note, Levison Wood shared his knowledge of hippos to the newspaper, as he detailed what you should and shouldn’t do around them.
Wood said, “The most deadly place in Africa is between the hippo and the water. If the hippos want to get to the water, they won’t take any prisoners; they’ll just come straight for you. And they can run. Hippos are relatives of the horse. To defend yourself against them, you need to climb a tree or get over something that they can’t get over, because they will outrun you.”
Thanks to Steven Spielberg’s Jaws many of us can’t help but feel a little nervous about a possible shark attack when we go swimming in the ocean. Jana Chan had a close encounter with a tiger shark while swimming near the Seychelles. She told The Telegraph, “It was about two or three meters away from me. It was hovering, kind of levitating.”
“I thought the idea of turning my back to a shark and swimming as fast as I could for a kilometer and a half just seemed quite insane,” Jana Chan added. “So I stayed there for a minute or two. Then, while still looking at him, I started to retreat backwards.” In cases like that, it would be ideal to have a weapon on you as well for added security.
Unlike some of the other big cats, cheetahs rarely show an interest in launching an assault against humans. However, according to wildlife researcher Stefan Pociask, they might strike if you get too close to their cubs. When that happens, you have a real fight on your hands.
“You will be on the receiving end of anger, teeth and claws,” Pociask wrote on the Quora website. “To put it bluntly, fight like hell. You can’t play dead. That won’t work if the cat is in full attack. So punch, kick, scream. Avoid what claws you can. Go for the eyes if you get a chance. You’ll know what to do.”
Alongside sharks, piranhas are arguably some of the scariest aquatic creatures out there. These tiny freshwater fish boast incredibly sharp teeth and can be found in the lakes, rivers and reservoirs in South America. But while attacks against humans are few and far between, they still occur from time to time.
With that in mind, the YouTube channel RealLifeLore outlined some survival tips in one of their videos. According to them, piranhas are drawn to blood in the water, so you should make sure any cuts are bandaged up beforehand. Furthermore, the clip also advises you to swim as tentatively as possible, avoiding “sudden movements” that could attract their attention.
Perhaps the most famous big cat of them all, lions are only active for around four hours every day. Despite that, the animals still claim the lives of roughly 250 people a year, as per The Telegraph. If you find yourself in a situation where your name could be added to that list, Levison Wood shared some pointers.
Wood told the newspaper, “You’ve got to be careful with lions. They will chase you if you run, so again you’ve got to fight that fear not to run away because the moment you turn your back, it will pounce on you. So you’ve got to slowly walk back, make noise [and] make yourself look big.”
2. Grizzly Bears
In certain parts of America, there’s a good chance that you might spot a brown bear in the wild. Otherwise referred to as grizzlies, these hulking animals have started to attack more people in recent years due to population increase of both bear and man. Yet according to the Treehugger website, you can survive a grizzly attack by implementing a plan of action.
Before heading out, you need to grab a canister of bear spray, keeping it on your person. Then, should a bear cross your path, you have to resist running away. Instead, the website recommends that you puff your chest out and remain still. But if it decides to pounce, you must hit the deck in a flat position, protecting your stomach, while using your hands to shield your neck. From there, don’t move — play dead or risk the real eventuality.
Although hyenas are significantly smaller than several other predators in the wild, they’re arguably just as dangerous. These cackling creatures are capable of reaching tremendous speed during their hunts, as they zone in on a number of different animals. And regardless of size, a hungry pack can incapacitate their target.
With that in mind, you should try to avoid groups of hyenas searching for food. However, if you come across them during a safari, you may be able to escape with your life. According to the Wired website, trees are your best bet to get away. By ascending a tall branch, you’ll be out of reach from their powerful jaws.