Encountering dangerous creatures: an extract from my Tour Guide Course

What to do if you encounter a dangerous creature

(And I mean the non-human kind!)

In most cases freeze, and breathe in slowly and quietly.

Then move away steadily – in the opposite direction. Don’t run, or draw attention to yourself by shouting or waving your arms: the animal’s instinct is to chase. Most creatures, insects or snakes will not harm you if they sense no danger to themselves. Shrieking, jumping around or running will alert the animal into protecting itself – probably by attacking you.

If you encounter a wild animal, look it in the eye and try to make yourself seem bigger – open your coat, stand up on tiptoe. If you can, hide behind a tree, out of the wind (so your scent doesn’t carry).

Remember the most dangerous creature on the planet is the mosquito – killing more than any other creature on the planet – followed by the fly. Wear repellent!

By contrast, in Australia -which has the highest percentage of dangerous creatures of any country- there is only one death per year caused by a shark, and only two per year from snake bites.

Dangerous creatures, either from their poison, their sting or their bites:
Bears, sharks, jellyfish, snakes, spiders, elephants, buffaloes, scorpions, crocodiles, hippos, big cats, pufferfish (only if eaten), stingrays, frogs, flies…and mosquitoes!


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