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Behavior in the presence of wild animals

It’s not uncommon for people to feel anxious when encountering wild animals, especially if the experience is unexpected.

Although many people are fascinated by wildlife and want to see these animals up close, the sudden appearance of a raccoon in the yard, a skunk under the porch, or a bear in the backyard can be frightening.

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What should you do if you see a wild animal?

If you encounter wildlife while hiking, camping, or walking in the neighborhood, be careful not to get too close. Observe the animal from a safe distance and give it space to avoid a dangerous situation. Such situations can occur, especially with wild camping, if you move away from the official campsites.

Wild animals could feel threatened just by your presence in your habitat and, in the worst case, attack you. Of course, there are different behavior tips depending on the animal species, we have collected some principles for you below.

Don’t feed the wild animals

Do not feed wild animals even if you find them cute or funny. Feeding these animals will cause them to lose their natural fear of humans, which can lead to dangerous and erratic behavior.

Feeding wild animals can also lead to food shortages and overpopulation as the animals do not migrate to other areas to forage. It can spread disease, undermines wildlife conservation efforts, and is illegal.

If you want to photograph wildlife, at most use a bit of food as bait to get close enough to take a picture, but don’t leave anything behind.

Recognize the signs of aggression in wild animals

While aggressive behavior in wild animals is rare, it can occur. Learn to recognize the signs of aggression to avoid encountering an aggressive animal. Aggressive animals make loud noises, stand up their hair and show their teeth. If you encounter an aggressive animal, remain calm, avoid eye contact, and walk away slowly.

Some animals, such as bears , can also be scared away by singing loudly – but if the animal is already aggressive and willing to attack, you should keep your eyes on it and, if necessary, walk backwards.

Be prepared to act

If a wild animal is showing signs of aggression, or if you are bitten by a wild animal, remain calm and move away slowly. Do not try to grab the animal or lock it in a cage. Instead, slowly walk away from the animal and exit the premises. If necessary, find someone who can help you remove the animal safely.

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