How to Stay Safe Around Wild Animals - Panergy

by Regina Wu
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How to Stay Safe Around Wild Animals - Panergy

Practice wildlife safety when you camp and explore the great outdoors. Taking caution around wild animals is important because it helps you and the animals stay safe while you explore the environment they call home. Viewing beautiful wildlife is a great way to experience the outdoors, but only when you do so responsibly.

Most wild animals naturally avoid humans, but they can attack if they feel threatened. Exploring with caution will allow you to enjoy the outdoors and witness wildlife safely.

MAINTAIN DISTANCE

When exploring the outdoors, try to stay on trails as much as possible, especially at night. You are exploring animals’ habitats, and you never know where an animal may be resting. While animals occasionally wander across trails, they typically avoid areas with high human traffic, so staying on the trails will help keep you safe.

Maintain distance anytime you see or encounter a wild animal. If you love animals and hiking, you may feel tempted to approach a wild animal on your journeys. However, getting too close could result in serious injury or death. Wild animals can become defensive if you invade their space, so maintaining distance will help you stay safe. This is especially important if you encounter baby animals. A mother is sure to be close wherever there are babies, and mothers attack if you get close.

AVOID FEEDING WILD ANIMALS

Avoid feeding wild animals to protect both yourself and the animals. If you approach a wild animal with food, it may bite or attack you. Keep yourself and food away from animals if you encounter them. Keep trails and other outdoor areas free of human food, even when you are not near animals. If you leave food on the ground or forget to clear a picnic table at night, it can attract animals to the area and put you or others in danger.

Additionally, food can put animals at risk. Wild animals may start to rely on human food when hikers or campers provide it for them, which can harm their survival skills.

MAKE NOISE

Making noise is another way to practice wild animal safety. You can easily startle a wild animal if you are not careful, and they may try to attack if they feel threatened. Make noise when you walk or encounter an animal so they know you are nearby. Never sneak up on an animal or try to provoke them. If you encounter an animal, talk calmly so animals identify you as human and not mistake you for prey.

WATCH FOR ANIMAL DROPPINGS AND TRACKS

Look for animal droppings and tracks as you explore the outdoors. Droppings and tracks indicate that animals may be nearby, so you can stay alert, practice caution and maintain a safe distance. Take extra safety measures by learning how to identify tracks and scat of different animals.

Portrait of a big brown bear in a colorful forest looking at side in autumn

HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF FROM WILD ANIMALS WHILE CAMPING AND HIKING

Exercise safety while camping and exploring the outdoors. Camping is a fun and safe activity, but it is important to take extra precautions on your adventures because the outdoors can be unpredictable. You can take caution and maintain a safe distance from wild animals by avoiding them. However, if you do come into close proximity with a wild animal, there are ways to protect yourself. Remain calm and use the following safety tips if you come into close proximity to any of these wild animals:

1. BEARS

Knowing what to do if you see a bear while hiking can help you stay safe if you ever encounter one on your travels. Bear spray is a great form of hiking animal protection if you plan to explore bear-populated areas, but you can also keep the following bear safety tips in mind:

  • Talk calmly.
  • Slowly wave your arms above your head.
  • Do not scream, make loud noises or make sudden movements.
  • Make yourself appear as large as possible.
  • Do not run or climb a tree.
  • Walk sideways.
  • Never get between a mother bear and her cubs.

Talk calmly and slowly wave your arms above your head to let a bear know you are human and not prey. Avoid making loud noises or running because this can prompt a bear to chase you. Black bears and grizzly bears can climb trees, so do not use a tree as an escape route. Carefully move to higher ground and make yourself appear larger if possible.

If the bear stands still, you can slowly walk away sideways because this movement isn’t as threatening to bears. If a bear charges you, use your bear spray or play dead by lying face down with your elbows over your face and your hands across the back of your neck.

2. MOOSE

If you are wondering what to do if you see a moose while hiking, the most important precaution is to maintain distance. Moose are not inherently aggressive, but they will defend themselves if they feel threatened. If you end up close to a moose, do not show any aggression. Walk away if the moose does not notice you, or talk softly and slowly move away if it does. If the moose shows any signs of charging you, run away or take cover.

3. DEER

It is important to know what to do if you encounter a deer while walking, even though they seem like very docile animals. Deer typically run away when they encounter humans, but they may also charge if they feel threatened. Run away or climb a tree if a deer charges you, or play dead if you are unable to flee.

4. SNAKES

If you encounter a snake, maintain distance. Back away slowly and quietly, and avoid sudden movements. Seek immediate medical attention if a venomous snake bites you. You can avoid snake encounters by checking rocks and logs before sitting.

by Regina Wu

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