Do You Know How To Survive Encounters With Dangerous Animals?

By: J. Reinoehl
Image: Shutterstock

About This Quiz

Unless you're starring in yet another sequel to "Planet of the Apes," it's very likely that you will go your entire life without being in an encounter with a dangerous animal - without a thick wall of glass, some bars, or the chassis of your car between you, anyway. Sure, you might see a few on safari or at the zoo, but generally speaking, dangerous creatures want to void us just as much as we want to avoid them. That's a win-win situation for everyone.

Still, sometimes things go awry. You might be out on a hike in Colorado's Estes Park and find yourself nose to nose with a mountain lion, cycle around Jackson Hole and stumble upon a family of coyotes, or simply go for a walk in Pasadena of all places and suddenly there's a bear on the path and it's between you and your car - and just when you thought it was the biggest darn bear anyone ever saw, one twice the size pops up behind it and you realize that it's not even fully grown. Then there are the hazards of smaller creatures, from spiders to snakes to jellyfish, who might get you without you even realizing it. Knowing what to do in such situations could save your life, or someone else's. So, let's see how well prepared you really are!

What would you do to survive an encounter with a black bear?

“Some days you go bear hunting and you get eaten. Some days you come home with a nice rug to roll around on, and bear steaks. What they don't tell you as a kid is that sometimes you get the rug and steaks, but you also get some nice scars to go with them.” –Laurell K. Hamilton, American writer

What would you do to survive an encounter with a cougar?

Cougars will attack if you run or show them your back. It is best to back away slowly, avoiding any quick movements, but it is also important to remain upright.

What would you do to survive an encounter with a bison?

“To use the power of the bison, I had to perform that part of my vision for the people to see.” –Black Elk, American Indian leader

What would you do to survive an encounter with a moose?

Moose are, like most animals, extremely protective of their offspring. They also tend to kick with their front legs.

What would you do to survive an encounter with a wolf?

“Liberty for wolves is death to lambs.” –Isaiah Berlin

What would you do to survive an encounter with a shark?

Only about 10 people die from a shark attack each year. If a shark comes toward you, you should prepare to fight and keep fighting. Your first hits might not be enough to get it to leave you alone.

What would you do to survive an encounter with bees?

“When you go in search of honey, you must expect to be stung by bees.” –Joseph Joubert, French essayist

What would you do to survive an encounter with a leopard?

Leopards are only found in a few habitats throughout the world and are generally more shy of people than any of the other big cats. Still, they manage to kill about 15 people each year.

What would you do to survive an encounter with an elk?

“If you take away the predators in the prairies and the national parks, you suddenly have an explosion of elk, and then you have a lack of the food source for the elk. So, they strip all the ground bare and that takes away the cover on and on and on and on. The whole food chain is disrupted.” –Peter Benchley, American author and screenwriter best known for Jaws

What would you do to survive an encounter with fire ants?

Fire ants are not deterred by chemical repellents, but socks can prevent painful bites. Although ants may seem harmless because of their size, they kill about 30 people every year. Many people die from an allergic reaction to the bite.

What would you do to survive an encounter with a gorilla?

“It never gets easier, you just go faster. To put it another way, training is like fighting with a gorilla. You don’t stop when you’re tired; you stop when the gorilla is tired.” –Greg Henderson, professional track and road racing cyclist

What would you do to survive an encounter with a black (grizzly) bear?

A little more than two people die each year from a black or brown bear attack. Although black bears attack aggressively and intend to kill you, brown bears usually only attack when food is involved or when they feel threatened.

What would you do to survive an encounter with a crocodile?

“My favorite animal is steak.” –Fran Lebowitz

What would you do to survive an encounter with a tiger?

Tigers kill about 85 people each year. Most attacks are unexpected and survivors were saved because someone else hit the tiger over the head with a big stick.

What would you do to survive an encounter with a rattlesnake?

“After a hard day of Basic Training, you could eat a rattlesnake.” –Elvis Presley, musician

What would you do to survive an encounter with an elephant?

Every year about 500 people are trampled to death by elephants. Although elephants can’t climb trees, they have been known to easily pluck humans out of them.

What would you do to survive an encounter with a jellyfish?

“I’ve never been hurt by a sea creature—except for jellyfish and sea urchins.” –Peter Benchley

What would you do to survive an encounter with a Komodo dragon?

Walter Auffenberg was the first to study Komodo dragons beginning in 1969 and popularized the myth that bacteria in the Komodo dragon’s mouth takes down its prey. More recently, Brian Fry performed an MRI on the animal’s head and discovered venom glands. Since the venom prevents blood from clotting, 90 percent of the animals bitten die within four hours of the attack.

What would you do to survive an encounter with a leopard seal?

“The penguin doesn’t know it’s cute, and the leopard seal doesn’t know it’s kind of big and monstrous.” –Paul Nicklen, biologist and photographer

What would you do to survive an encounter with a Cape buffalo?

Cape buffalo kill more hunters than any other safari animal. Not only will they stalk hunters and follow them, but they can also remember injuries for years and attack the person who inflicted them.

What would you do to survive an encounter with a hippopotamus?

“I found in one of the tombs an inscription saying, ‘If you touch my tomb, you will be eaten by a crocodile and a hippopotamus.’ It doesn’t mean that the hippo will eat you. It means the person really wanted his tomb to be protected.” –Zahi Hawass, Egyptologist

What would you do to survive an encounter with a dog?

Dogs kill 25,000 people each year worldwide. Although many of these deaths occur because the dogs were infected with rabies, 4.7 million people are bitten in the U. S. each year by non-infected dogs and 30 die.

What would you do to survive an encounter with a polar bear?

“We were working under very harsh conditions on ‘Zero Kelvin.’ We were up there in the Arctic, closer to the North Pole than to a hospital. Sometimes you had to sleep in small Arctic tents with guns to protect yourself from the polar bears and stuff.” –Stellan Skarsgard, Swedish actor

What would you do to survive an encounter with a lion?

Lions are the only felines to live and hunt in groups. They are responsible for about 250 deaths each year.

What would you do to survive an encounter with a deer and its baby?

“A wounded deer leaps the highest.” –Emily Dickenson

What would you do to survive an encounter with a python?

It can take over 30 minutes to fight off a python or anaconda. People who keep pythons as pets are frequently warned to never handle them alone if the python is more than 8 feet long, but in some cases, it has taken five men to pull a python off its victim.

What would you do to survive an encounter with an alligator?

“Never insult an alligator until after you have crossed the river.” –Cordell Hull, American politician from Tennessee

What would you do to survive an encounter with a coyote?

Coyotes rarely attack humans and only two deaths have been directly caused by the animals because they are generally shy. As with bats, you should be treated at a hospital for rabies if you are bitten by a coyote. With prompt treatment, rabies is 100 percent curable, but once symptoms begin, 99 percent of patients die unless treated with the Milwaukee protocol—then only 88 percent die.

What would you do to survive an encounter with an ostrich or cassowary?

“If I were a cassowary on the plains of Timbuctoo, I would eat a missionary, Cassock, band, and hymn-book, too.” –Samuel Wilberforce

What would you do to survive an encounter with a rhinoceros?

When a rhinoceros charges, it can only run in a straight line. Running on a diagonal to it will require it to get reoriented between charges and slow its pursuit down.

What would you do to survive an encounter with a hyena?

“A fly is untamable as a hyena.” –Ralph Waldo Emerson

What would you do to survive an encounter with a yellow jacket?

Yellow jacket nests can have around 5,000 workers and more than one queen inside. If you hit one, it will release a pheromone that will bring the others running to its aid. It is best to deal with nests at night when most of them are inside.

What would you do to survive an encounter with a wild boar?

“I was terrified that the wild boar might be attacking my father, and so I prayed to God (if He existed) to protect him and to direct the boar against my uncle instead, who believed in heaven and therefore was more willing to die.” –Marcel Pagnol, French author

What would you do to survive an encounter with a chimpanzee?

Chimpanzees are about five times stronger than men of the same size and seem to single out elderly and young children to attack. Aggressive actions, such as throwing objects at the chimps, or submissive actions, such as running away, can trigger attacks. Chimpanzees have been known to break car windows to get at the people inside.

What would you do to survive an encounter with a piranha?

“People eat fish, Grogan. Fish don’t eat people.” –Dumont, Piranha (1978)

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