ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

When Wild Animals Attack

Updated on December 27, 2012

Each year hundreds of interactions between people and black bears occur with no injuries. However, that appears to be changing. Along with human population growth, so do the number of serious attacks by black bears and other wild animals. According to recent studies fatal black bear attacks have risen in the last half century, most occurring in Canada and Alaska…about 85 percent occurring since the 1960’s. And contrary to the popular view of deaths caused by a mother bear protecting her cubs, about 90 percent were committed by predatory lone male bears. Still, never get between a mother bear and her cubs.

Fatal attacks don’t usually involve bears accustomed to humans encroaching on their habitat, although it does happen. And those that have killed people are apt to do so again. Remember bears are short tempered and should be taken as a serious threat. Any animal is likely to attack if they think they are cornered, so, always leave them a way out.

A few tips to remember are:

  • While in the wild those traveling in pairs or groups are less likely to face an attack than a lone individual.
  • Food and garbage attracts bears and may increase chances of an attack by a hungry bear foraging for something to eat.
  • Hikers and campers are advised to take along some bear pepper spray and some have found wearing a cowbell works well in alerting animals to their presence. The majority of wildlife creatures will avoid human contact if they know they are around.

Many injuries sustained by humans in the wild are often due to a lack of understanding about wild life. Most have occurred by well intentioned persons trying to care for a sick or injured animal. Never take a wild animal home. The proper course of action is to contact the local wildlife agency or park authorities.

Of course there is other wildlife besides bears. There are cougars, moose, large cats, coyotes, wolves, snakes etc. Precautions for each may have a different approach, however there are some common rules everyone should observe.

  • Keep campsites clean from garbage and store food out of reach. Some throw a rope over a limb, put the food in a secure container and pull it up out of reach. Another good place is the car trunk. Obviously, never keep food in the tent.
  • Never approach or feed a bear
  • Never make direct eye contact as it might be taken as a threat.
  • Make lots of noise
  • Never run or try to climb a tree, black bears can run and climb faster than people.
  • Black bears might retreat if challenged, but if they do attack drop to the ground and become as small as possible by rolling into a ball and clasp both hands behind the back of the neck and remain still. Backpacks should be left on as added protection.
  • Be alert for bear tracks and freshly killed animals and if a musky strong odor can be smelled, leave the area cautiously.
  • Avoid streams during salmon spawning
  • Be extra careful around berry patches and bushy areas.
  • Never go near a freshly killed animal carcass. A nearby bear may attack trying to guard their meal.
  • If a bear is confronted back away slowly, don’t run. Bears may associate running with fleeing game.
  • Never approach or attempt to pet any wild animal.
  • If accompanied by a dog, keep it near. A dog can see, smell and hear things long before people can.

In the case of snake encounters there are some rules that have changed over the last few decades. Like many animals, snakes will avoid humans if they have a choice. Making noise will convince most to get out of the way. Most snake bites occur when a person places a limb near a cornered snake. Although less than 10 percent of snakes are poisonous, if bitten most physicians suggest:

  • Don't let the injured person drink any alcohol
  • Cut the wound in any manner
  • Suck the poison out
  • Use a tourniquet
  • Use ice on the injured area

However, for any injury do:

  • Wash and clean the bite with soap and water, then disinfect it
  • Immobilize the wound
  • Treat for shock
  • Seek medical attention, since there is always a possibility of rabies or infection

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • That Grrl profile image

      Laura Brown 

      5 years ago from Barrie, Ontario, Canada

      So much is made of the few animal attacks which occur. We don't really think about all the animals killed by people. I'm not a member of PETA, just someone who thinks it's ridiculous how human beings think they own the entire planet.

    • mattheos profile image

      mattheos 

      5 years ago

      teacherjoe, are you saying that you personally hit a bear in the nose and it worked to drive it away? I'm only asking because I've read several stories where the victim repeatedly punched the bear in the nose, to no effect...

    • teacherjoe52 profile image

      teacherjoe52 

      5 years ago

      Good morning JY3502

      I agree with most of what you say.

      However playing dead is the worst thing you can do.

      Always carry a can of bear mace and a solid stick. If a bear attacks first try to spray it, then hit it on the nose as hard as you can.

      I worked in the bush for thirteen years and have had a LOT of experiance with bears. By the time I retired the method I just suggested is what was FINALLY taught.

      God bless you.

    • Barbara Bergen profile image

      Barbara Bergen 

      5 years ago from Nelson, BC, Canada and Sarasota Florida, USA

      Excellent article, good information - thank you! Barbara Bergen, http://www.cremation-urns-legacy.com.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)