When Animals Attack – A Survival Guide

closeup portrait of a wolf

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Encounters with wildlife can be exciting and, at times, terrifying. While most animals prefer to avoid humans, some situations can lead to aggressive behavior when humans encroach on their territory or provoke them unintentionally.

To ensure your safety and the safety of the animals, it is essential to know how to react when faced with an animal attack. In this guide, we’ll discuss various animals, from the largest land mammals to the tiniest insects, and provide insights on how to react in case of an encounter.


Angry bear
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

Encountering a bear can be a daunting experience. To survive a bear attack, stand your ground, make yourself look bigger, and speak calmly to the bear. Do not run, as bears can easily outrun humans. Use bear spray if you have it, and if the bear charges, play dead by lying on your stomach with your hands protecting the back of your neck.


Cougar, North American Mountain Lion, Puma Concolor
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

Mountain lions or cougars are stealthy predators. If you spot a cougar, maintain eye contact, make noise, and look as big as possible. Do not run, as it may trigger their hunting instincts. If the cougar attacks, fight back with everything you’ve got.


Angry wolf
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

Wolf attacks on humans are exceedingly rare. In the unlikely event of a wolf encounter, stand tall, make noise, and maintain eye contact. Back away slowly and avoid turning your back on the wolf. Do not run, as they might chase you.


Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

Moose are known for their size and unpredictable behavior. If a moose charges, seek shelter behind a tree or any solid object. Otherwise, move away slowly while keeping an eye on the moose. Do not provoke or approach them.


Two aggressive male mammal fallow deer, dama dama, fighting against each other in the summer with copyspace. Pair of angry stag in duel in forest from side view with blurred background.
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

Deer, while generally not aggressive, can become so if they feel threatened. If attacked by a deer, cover your head and neck, and play dead until the deer loses interest. Once it leaves, seek medical attention.


An angry looking rhesus macaque or monkey, Maharashtra, India
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

In the rare event of a monkey attack, do not make direct eye contact, as it can be seen as a challenge. Slowly back away and avoid sudden movements. Monkeys are opportunistic and may try to steal your belongings.

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Tropical water with dangerous bull sharks
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

Shark attacks are infrequent, but they can be deadly. If attacked by a shark, aim for the sensitive areas like the eyes and gills. Swim slowly and steadily towards the shore.


Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

Raccoons are not typically aggressive, but they can carry diseases. Avoid getting close, especially if they seem agitated. If bitten, wash the wound thoroughly and seek medical attention.


Angry Buffalo ready to charge on the red dirt prairie in Thermopolis Wyoming
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

Bison are massive and fast creatures. If a bison charges, seek shelter or evade it by running at a right angle to its path. Do not attempt to outrun it.


Alligator Ready to Snap Mouth
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

Alligators are swift and powerful. If an alligator grabs you, fight back by hitting its snout, eyes, or throat. Avoid swimming in areas known to have alligators.


Swarming bees. The capture of the bee colony. A large swarm of bees in the hands of the beekeeper.
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

If attacked by bees, run to get away from the swarm and seek shelter indoors. Remove stingers by scraping them away with a credit card or fingernail. Seek medical attention if you’re allergic.


the two male red kangaroos are fighting for the dominant position in the mob
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

Kangaroos may box or kick if they feel threatened. Keep a safe distance, and never approach or corner them. If attacked, protect your head and face.


A rattle snake about to attack, with jaws open and fangs about to protude (visible)
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

When dealing with a snake bite, stay calm, keep the affected limb immobilized, and remove any constrictive clothing or jewelry. Seek immediate medical attention and try to identify the snake if possible.


little charming adorable chihuahua puppy on blurred background. Attacking a persons hand
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

When confronted by an aggressive dog, avoid eye contact and stand still with your arms at your sides. Do not run, yell, or make sudden movements. Protect your neck and face if the dog attacks.


Angry cat
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

Cats can be unpredictable, so give them space and avoid provoking them. If attacked, use a jacket or blanket to shield yourself from their claws.


Young male and female 4 weeks old ferrets of various colors laying and posing on background
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

Ferrets are generally not a threat to humans. If bitten, clean the wound and consult a doctor, as ferrets can transmit diseases.

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Angry Bull
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

Bulls can be highly aggressive and dangerous. Stay out of their path, and if charged, seek cover and protect your head and neck.


Mediterranean Sea, U.W. photo, jelly fish - FILM SCAN
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

Jellyfish stings can be painful. Rinse the affected area with vinegar and remove tentacles with a credit card or tweezers. If severe symptoms occur, seek medical help.


Angry goose
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

Geese can become aggressive when they feel threatened. Maintain a safe distance and do not approach their nests. If attacked, protect your face and eyes.


Angry elephant
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

Elephants are large, powerful animals. Do not approach them closely, and give them plenty of space. If charged, seek shelter or move away at a right angle to their path.

Concluding Animal Attack Survival

American Alligator (mississippiensis) swimming in the Florida Everglades
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

Encounters with animals can be both fascinating and scary. Knowing how to respond when animals attack is vital for your safety and the welfare of the animals involved. Always prioritize peaceful coexistence, respecting wildlife and their habitats.

In the event of an attack, stay calm, follow the specific guidelines for the animal in question, and seek medical assistance if needed. By being prepared, you can increase your chances of surviving and enjoying your encounters with the natural world.

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Co-Founder and Content Creator at
Hi! We are Jenn and Ed Coleman aka Coleman Concierge. In a nutshell, we are a Huntsville-based Gen X couple sharing our stories of amazing adventures through activity-driven transformational and experiential travel.



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Meet Ed & Jenn

Hi! We are Jenn and Ed Coleman, and together we are Coleman Concierge. It is our goal to inspire you to get out, expand your world, and to seek adventure, even in your own backyard.

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