Wild Animal Safety
Wild animals are fun to watch. They interact differently than our domestic pets; they look cute and cuddly; and they are intriguing because they seem so untouchable. However, no matter how cute and cuddly a kangaroo or bear may seem, it is very important to always remember they are wild animals capable of causing you major harm. For the animal’s safety and for the safety of all humans around the animal, humans should respect the animal’s need for space and power to harm. The following are some important tips to remember when dealing with wild animal safety.
Children and Wild Animals
It is very important that children learn to leave wild animals alone. No matter if the animal is a tiny squirrel or an elephant, children should never approach a wild animal. Since they may harbor diseases or may attack if threatened, wild animals should be respected. Some ways to encourage children to respect animals include:
- Introduce them to wild animals at the zoo. Point out that the animals are in the cages so they can feel safe. Let the children know that animals can be scared easily, so they need space to feel loved. Explain to older children that animals can be dangerous if they feel threatened.
- Warn children of the dangerous wild animals that may exist in your area. Explain to the children that they should stay away from the animals and respect their space.
- When out together, point out wild animals and maintain your distance. Children learn by example.
Tips for Encountering Wild Animals
In addition to learning general respect for animals and their habitats, children and adults should both be aware of some tips and tricks to avoid an animal attack and tips on what to do if a wild animal does attack.
- First, as a precaution, no one should ever hike alone: The buddy system will deter most wild animals from attack, but if attacked, a buddy can run for help.
- Carry a walking stick, and make a lot of noise as you walk. Giving the animals fair warning that you are on your way will keep them from attacking out of surprise, and a walking stick can become a weapon or deterrent.
- Never run from any animal. Wild animals may instinctually attack, and domestic animals may chase and attack in play. Instead, back away slowly.
- Never scream or yell around a wild animal. Loud noises can induce an attack. Remain as quiet as possible if you encounter an agitated wild animal.
- Do not approach wild animals, and if you happen upon them on accident, give them room to escape immediately.
- If you encounter a wild animal and it seems agitated or ready to attack, make yourself appear bigger. Stretch your arms and legs out wide, and if you have a walking stick, extend it in the air. Anything you can do to appear larger will make the animal retreat.
Wherever you live, wild animals share your space, and they deserve our appreciation and respect. Beautiful, natural and dangerous, wild animals can provide our world with a stunning natural splendor amidst a stunning natural danger, so respecting the animals while understanding how to protect ourselves can best keep humans safe from harm.