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Nearly everyone understands that wild animals, especially predatory ones, can pose a considerable threat. However, many people are unsure of what to do when this occurs. There is a right way and wrong way to deal with these situations. If you ever encounter a wild animal or are in a position where it could happen, here’s what you should know.

Wildlife Safety: What To Do If You Encounter A Wild Animal

Deaths due to wild animal attacks are fairly rare. In fact, deadly attacks by the family dog are far more common. However, when wildlife does attack and kill humans, it’s usually because the victims behaved in an ignorant or careless fashion when they encountered the animal. That’s why it’s important to know how to react when you come face to face with a wild animal while hiking or camping.

Stay Alert and Take Precautions

Before setting out, you should make sure you’re prepared for the possibility of encountering a dangerous wild animal, such as a bear, wolf, mountain lion, moose, deer or wild pig. Many experts recommend carrying an air horn with you as these will often scare the animals away or make you seem dangerous yourself. When walking through the woods, try to make as much noise as possible to alert any nearby animals to your presence. Many animals become aggressive when startled, and hearing you ahead of time gives them an opportunity to flee.

Don’t Try to Pet It

In places like Canada that have high populations of wildlife, more people are killed every year by deer than bears. It’s not because the deer ran out in front of cars. Shockingly, it’s because people tried to pet them. After all, deer are herbivores, so they’re gentle and placid creatures, right? Unfortunately, this is incorrect. Deer may eat plants, but when approached by a human, they can become highly aggressive. They won’t hesitate to attack with their hooves or antlers, sometimes causing fatal head injuries, internal bleeding and stab wounds.

Control Your Dog

If you’re taking your dog camping with you, be sure to keep them restrained at all times. When a dog sees, hears or smells a wild animal, chances are good that they’re going to take off after it or anger it with incessant barking. This sort of behavior can make the animal feel threatened and may provoke an attack on you, your pet or both.

Don’t Run

When you’re faced with an animal like a bear, wolf or cougar, your first instinct may be to run away.

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