By Harriette Halepis
As the warm weather approaches, more and more people will be heading outside to get some exercise. While fresh air is great for your body, it also means sharing your space with some wild animals. From small creatures that roam urban neighbourhoods (raccoons, skunks, etc) to large animals that might cross your running or hiking path, it’s a good idea to know what to do when you meet a wild animal.
Wild animals don’t want to cause a problem. They don’t want to meet you any more than you want to meet them. Thus, most animals will go out of their way to avoid you. However, if you come too close to them, then they will instinctively attack. So, the first rule of thumb is to give animals their distance.
If you happen to see a bear or a moose on a trail, don’t run towards it – no matter how badly you want to snap a photo. Instead, leave the animal alone, don’t approach it, try to breathe normally, and let the animal go about its business. Most of the time, these animals will simply wander away after awhile.
If the animal that you see does not appear to have seen you, then breathe normally; walk away from the animal; and find another way to get around the animal. The worst thing that you can do in this situation is to draw any kind of attention to yourself.
If the animal has seen you, then it is even more important to walk in the opposite direction. Every animal is different. However, most animals really don’t want to fight you. Still, it never helps to familiarize yourself with the various ways to deal with different animals that are preparing for an attack.
Know about the creatures that surround your area. Learn how to fight back against them. Carry a GPS tracker that will help authorities find you if you become injured by an animal. Try and keep in mind that wild animals share our world, so we must learn to live in harmony with them.
Lastly, try and avoid any wooded areas during mating season. When animals are breeding (no matter what kind of animal it might be), it is never a good idea to bother them. From a distance, wild animals are majestic and awe-inspiring, but you don’t want to get too close.
What kinds of wild animals are in your area? Do you cross any of these parts on a regular basis? Do you know where these animals are likely to hide? Find out the answers to all of the questions listed above, and it just might save your life if you come face to face with a wild animal.