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What to Do if Approached by a Wild Animal

Camping trips and hiking trips can be lots of fun but caution must always be taken into consideration. Depending on where your trip takes you, going into the woods means you are going into animal territory. Keep in mind that you are treading into where animals make their homes and therefore you must be careful not to upset them.

Whether it is a coyote, a raccoon, a hog, a bear or some other kind of animal there are certain things you need to keep in mind in case you do happen to be approached by a wild animal. Bears are the most common animals that you are likely to encounter and you must always remember that bears are indeed wild animals and are nothing like your household pets. A bear can get particularly angry if he is disturbed on his own turf.

Resist the urge to run

If a bear approaches you, or any other wild animal for that matter do not turn and run, as running is liable to cause the animal to chase you in hot pursuit. Running will incite the bear to anger if he is not angry already. Be aware that a person cannot outrun a bear, as they are capable of running as fast as 30 miles per hour. If you are attacked by the bear pretending that you are dead is your best bet, but the key of course is to not let things get that far.

Slowly back away

If a bear has caught sight of you but is not acting aggressively then speak as softly as possible and slowly put your arms above your head and wave them back and forth. Stand up as tall as you are able to muster and puff out your chest to make it seem as if you are larger than you actually are. If a bear stands up on his hind legs but does not come closer to you he might not be planning to attack you but instead trying to figure out what you are all about.

If he comes closer

If the bear does decide to move toward you do not drop anything you have in your hands or on your back. If you drop something the bear will suspect that it is food and then he will definitely come closer to investigate what you have for him. In some cases bears are just curious and will move a few steps closer and then will become disinterested and will turn and leave. If the bear does make the decision to walk away then stand as quiet and as still as possible and once he begins to walk away slowly back away yourself.

Other suggestions

Never let your guard down when you are in the woods at any time. Bears are active animals that can be found wandering any time of the day or night and they like to wander all throughout the woods. Remember that bears do not like to be surprised so watch what you do and where you go in the woods!

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