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What To Do If You Encounter An Aggressive Wild Animal

If you are someone who spends a lot of time outdoors, especially in the woods, you may have had this question cross your mind a few times. What should you do if you encounter an aggressive wild animal? While the answer may vary depending on where you are and which type of animal it is. However, most of the time, you can take some basic steps to keep you and everyone else you might be with safe. This blog post will give you an essential guide to what you should do if you encounter an aggressive wild animal!


Stay Calm

The first and most important thing you can do if you find yourself face-to-face with an aggressive wild animal is to stay calm. It may be easier said than done, but it is crucial. If the animal senses your fear, it will only worsen the situation. Depending on the type of animal, they may see you as a threat or something to be preyed upon. Either way, it will not end well if you let your fear take control. So, take a deep breath and try to remain calm. This will help you think more clearly and might also diffuse the situation.

Identify The Animal

The next thing you need to do is take a step back and identify the animal. In North America, four animals are most likely to be aggressive towards humans: bears, coyotes, mountain lions, and moose. Each of these animals has different behaviors and characteristics. For example, bears will usually only attack if they feel threatened or if you get too close to their cubs. On the other hand, coyotes are more likely to attack if they are sick or if you come between them and their prey. Once you have identified the animal, you can look at its behavior to see what it might be doing and why. This will help you to determine the best course of action.

Back Away Slowly

When you encounter an aggressive wild animal, the best thing to do is to back away slowly. Please do not make any sudden movements and keep your hands up so the animal can see them. If possible, try to move away from the animal in a direction it is not facing. If the animal starts to come closer, continue backing away until you can safely run away. Do not fight the animal or use weapons to defend yourself; this could lead to serious injury. Instead, focus on staying safe and getting away from the animal as quickly as possible. If you are with a group of people, do not crowd together; spread out, so the animal has less opportunity to target one person. If you have small children with you, pick them up so they cannot run away and attract the animal’s attention. Remember, the goal is to get away from the animal calmly, do not let your fear turn into panic, which can only worsen the situation.

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Make Yourself Appear Larger

If you feel an aggressive wild animal will attack you, one thing you can do is try to make yourself appear more prominent. This will hopefully scare the animal away. You can do this by standing tall and spreading your arms or clothing. If you have a backpack or other item with you, hold it up high, so the animal sees it as a threat. Screaming or making loud noises can also help to scare the animal away. Remember, you should only take these actions if the animal is charging towards you and you have no other options to get away safely. Otherwise, you could put yourself in even more danger.

Never Take Your Eyes Off The Animal

Something you should always remember is to never take your eyes off the animal. This will give the animal a sense of dominance and could incite an attack. If you must look away, do so quickly and return your gaze as soon as possible. Maintaining eye contact shows the animal that you are not afraid and are in control. This also allows you to see the animal’s body language for warning signs of an impending attack.

If The Animal Does Attack

In the unlikely event that the animal does attack you, there are a few things you can do to protect yourself. First, make sure to protect your head and neck as well as cover your throat and vital organs. This will help to minimize the injuries you sustain in an attack. If the animal starts biting you, try to fight back and push it away with all your strength. Do not pull away as this will only cause further injury. Another thing you can do is to try and gouge the animal’s eyes or hit it in the nose, as these are both weak spots. Remember, your goal is to survive the attack, so do whatever you can to inflict damage on the animal.


While there is no one-size-fits-all answer for what to do when encountering an aggressive wild animal. However, following these tips will give you the best chance of staying safe. Remember to stay calm and use your head; if you panic, you’re more likely to make a mistake that could cost you your life. By being proactive and prepared, you can hopefully avoid any dangerous encounters with wildlife.