What To Do If You Encounter A Wild Animal

Wild animals
Wild animals

One of the reasons that we are so keen to get out into the wilderness is for the wildlife so that we can be close to it and see wild animals passing close to us, or just watch from a distance.

When it all works out and we take some nice photographs from a safe distance, we regard it as a great trip, but things can get scary when they get too close for comfort.

I had a run in with a Moose once, well, I say a run in but it was more a close call, I’m sure the moose would have mashed me if it had wanted to, but after a few seconds of panic it wandered off and I breathed again!


Sometimes you also may have a close encounter with one of our more dangerous wild animals, and your reactions in those situations could be crucial to your safety and survival.

There are many things that provoke wild animals to attack, so whatever you do, try to avoid doing them!

  • Do not approach and surprise an animal
  • Do not startle a mother with her babies
  • Don’t go off the trail after dark
  • Do not get close to their food source 
    It’s good to make noise all of the time so that you don’t surprise any animals.



And although you should follow the rules above, there are different ways to react with various wild animals. Here are few animals you might run into and tips on how to react if you do have a close encounter.



If you see a bear close to you, make sure you stay calm and stand your ground while waving your hands slowly above your head and do not try to run away or turn you back to the bear.

A bear is most likely to attack if it feels that her cubs are in danger. So if you see baby bears, stay away from them since the mother is probably very close by. Also, if the bear huffs or stomps a paw, make sure you give it space and back off.


If there’s a group of you all do it at the same time, having a group can be a very effective deterrent.

Mountain Lion


If you get in a close encounter with a mountain lion, make sure that you put yourself in the role of a predator. Standing close with your friends, waving your hands, and shouting should scare the animal and you will be safe. Whatever you do, do not run away from it, since it will run after you and attack you.



Same as the mountain lion, if you spot a wolf or a pack of wolfs, make sure you stand tall and big, open your jacket, wave your hands, and make lots of noises, or just slowly back away from them. The wolf attack very rarely, and they are not so aggressive as the other animals on this list and as media and films make out.



If you see a bobcat near, make sure you protect your children, since they often attack smaller prey. If the animal is still, just remain calm yourself, make an eye contact with it, and slowly back away. In the case of the bobcat attacking you, make yourself as big as possible, defend with everything you got, and make sure you protect your head and throat.



Make sure you avoid hiking at dusk since the coyotes tend to appear at that time, and if you see one, do not approach it. If a coyote is preparing to attack, you will hear it barking, rearing on its hind legs, or following you on your path. So, to defend yourself, you should make loud noises, scream, yell, clap, or throw something at its directions, like water, rocks, etc.



Unlike situations with other wild animals, if you get attacked by a moose, you should run as fast as you can, although it is very hard to outrun a moose. Also, try to find a tree to climb or somewhere to cover from the attack. If the animal knocks you down, make sure you curl into a ball and cover your head with your arms, and wait for the moose to go away.


If you are walking on the trail, the chances of getting in an encounter with a snake are very small, since they tend to stay away from noises and people. If, by chance, you see a snake crossing your path, make sure you stop walking, remain calm, and let the snake go away. The snake will not attack if it’s not feeling threatened by you.

If you want to learn more about how to prevent an encounter with a snake, click on the following link.

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We live in a beautiful world, get out there and enjoy it.

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tomi-stojanovik is one of the authors writing for Outdoor Revival