General Safety and Wild Animals

In the modern world, people are less and less likely to encounter danger in a wilderness setting. Outdoor buffs and people in specialized careers still face danger from wild animals. Wild beasts, even ones that are not typically seen as dangerous, are unpredictable and should be avoided at all costs.

Approaching wild animals is as dangerous for them as it is for you. They can run into traffic, abandon their young, or abandon their natural habitat trying to avoid human contact. For humans, the reasons to avoid contact with wildlife are legion. Animals carry disease and are prone to bite to defend themselves. Animals can also cause illness by contaminating food or water supplies. Keep food locked up and inaccessible to animals. Finally, many animals are capable of inflicting harmful and mortal wounds. Some animals may even try to eat humans.

You should know what to do if you accidentally surprise a wild animal. Visit the park ranger’s office when going to a national or state park. Even if the office is closed, there should be visual representations of local wildlife and the dangers that they pose. Familiarize yourself with the wild animals you may encounter. Bears are common in many parks. Never run from a bear. Back away slowly. People should not run from mountain lions, either; although, if attacked, it is wise to fight a lion. Some parks include other dangerous creatures like bison, moose, alligators, and other large fauna. The best course of action is to make your presence known on the trails by making noise, as most animals will avoid you. Be careful to stay in open areas to avoid the danger of snakes and spiders that may be venomous.

When planning hikes and camping trips, families should prepare themselves for any eventuality. Parents should carry whole life insurance to protect their families in the case of death. After all, wild animals are not the only danger posed by nature. More people die from losing their footing, getting lost, or exposure to the elements than from wild animal attacks.


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