Predatory animals in the USA: how to survive upon meeting
Sharks and alligators in the water, bears, coyotes, cougars in the forest, snakes, scorpions and spiders in the grass. The fauna in America outside the noisy metropolitan areas is so rich that you don't know who you will face next time and how it will all end. After killing a fisherman by a bear in Yellowstone ForumDaily compiled a survival guide when meeting wild animals and talked to those for whom such a meeting ended only with a slight fright.
For Pennsylvania resident Alina Mazina, meeting a bear is a common thing. Her summer cottage is located in a trailer town in Pennsylvania's Pocono Wildlife Refuge (3-4 hours from New York), home to many black bears. Trailers are scattered around the reserve and tourists are completely immersed in nature. Alina's family acquired the dacha last year. Alina remembers her first meeting with the clubfoot as if it were yesterday - during a walk the bear was a few steps away from her. The instinct of self-preservation suggested how to be saved.
“I knew that it was impossible to run, so quickly - as far as possible - I went to our open veranda near the house. I didn’t make any sudden movements, ”Alina recalls. The bear went his own way and did not follow the girl.
After this incident, Alina discovered that a special siren had been left in the house from her previous owners, scaring bears. Although she had often seen predators not far from her home, she had never used a siren.
Alina advises: the most important thing is not to attract the attention of the beast, if you see each other during the walk. “For several decades, bears have not attacked people in this reserve, and the main task of the walker is not to provoke the bear with the cubs,” she says.
Alina likes the trailer in this reserve very much and in no case does she think of selling it because of an unexpected neighborhood. The girl realized that she could easily coexist with clubfoot, deer, marmots and other animals that freely walk around the reserve and even go to her site. Moreover, a person is usually not interested in a bear.
There are three types of dangerous bears in the USA: black bear, brown bear and polar bear. Brown grizzly bears are the most wary of humans. They are found primarily in Alaska and western Canada, but there is a small population in the continental United States - in Montana, in the Yellowstone region and in western Washington. Also, about 4000 black bears inhabit the forests of New Jersey. In 2015, in Yellowstone Park in Wyoming, where there were about 800 bears the year before, one of them killed a park worker. Since 1990, only 67 people have died after encountering these predators.
How to reduce the risk of meeting a bear:
- During the walk, make noise or speak loudly. The bear has a good ear and he will definitely try to avoid contact with you.
- Try to navigate the open area so that you have an overview of the 300-500 meters ahead.
- Remove food and waste in tied cellophane bags or special containers and leave them no less than 60 meters from your tourist parking lot. Even the clothes in which you cooked, for the night, it is better to take them off and put them in a bag that will be far away from you.
- Stay away from carrion and animal remains. If the bear notices you near its "prey" - a collision is inevitable.
- Do not take gasoline and chemicals with you. Bears are very fond of the smell of gasoline: there were cases when they found crumpled or crumpled barrels of fuel in winter quarters that the bear clearly liked.
- Always look back. A bear can follow you without posing itself.
- Children should always be kept close.
What to do if you meet a bear:
- When meeting with a predator do not give in to the desire to escape. The bears reach speeds of up to 40 km / h. Climbing a tree is also not worth it, because these predators are good climbing trees. The safest option is to quietly move back without making any sudden movements.
- Do not look a bear in the eye. This can be perceived as a manifestation of aggression. It is better to turn and bow your head, using the submission position.
- Use pepper spray against bears. It is much more efficient than a gun, say experienced travelers and hunters.
Cougars and lynx
Stepan Perfilev lives in the wilderness of North Texas. The backyard of his house has access to the forest. And from there, coyotes often wander. And several times even lynxes and puma came up to the house - fortunately, the house is fenced off.
“The cougar and the lynx could have jumped over this fence, but thank God it didn't. Although they thoroughly scared my wife and children with their presence. When I saw these predators near our house, I called Animal Control. Their employees set traps to catch predators, but nothing came of it, ”the man shares.
Stepan Perfilev more than once saw coyotes, cougars and lynxes near his home. Photos from the personal archive
No special action to protect their possessions from the invasion of predators Stepan does not take, except that does not let the children walk to the back yard.
The man advises to carefully study the area in which you live, to know what animals you may encounter and what actions you need to take in case of an unexpected meeting.
As statistics show, cougars rarely attack people - for more than 100 years in North America, only about 20 cases have been faxed. Most of the attacks were carried out by young cougars, who were probably forced to hunt on their own. In other cases, they prefer to bypass the person.
What to do when meeting a puma or lynx:
- In an area where feral cats are found, go for walks in groups and make more noise. Take a stick with you - it can scare away the cougar.
- When meeting with a predator, do everything to appear larger. Open the jacket, spread your hand, get together with other people.
- If the cougar behaves aggressively, throw stones at it or whatever comes handy. Do not squat or turn your back to her.
- When attacking a cougar, actively resist. Beat her, push and shove. There are cases when people managed to escape from the puma, offering resistance even with their bare hands.
Coyotes, which are dangerous predators, have settled almost all of North America, gradually adapting to the fact that humans have always wanted to exterminate them. Coyotes can be found both in deserts and on the outskirts of metropolitan areas such as Los Angeles.
What to do when meeting a coyote:
- Keep eye contact with the coyote, do not lower the eyes for a second and slowly move back.
- Take an impressive look to touch a coyote larger than you are.
- Rumble and throw coyote sticks and any other items to scare him.
- If you met coyote puppies on your way, try to get away from there as soon as possible. Otherwise, the coyote may attack, regarding you as a threat to their babies.
If you have repeatedly seen a wild animal near your house, call the service Animal control - 1-888-488-7720.
Scorpions and snakes
A resident of Texas Ruslan Brovarsky met a poisonous scorpion while repairing his car on the street. A nut fell out of his hands and rolled away. When Ruslan bent over her, he met “face to face” with a dark pink scorpion. He stung Ruslan right in the finger and jumped away. The man killed the animal, but the finger was swollen and lost sensitivity. Ruslan jumped into the car and drove home. Within 40 minutes, it is admitted, the arm was numb to the elbow.
“At home I rummaged in the medicine cabinet and found nothing. I decided to fight the poison with another poison and drank a glass of rum. Then I felt bad, and I don't remember what happened next. I didn’t go to the hospital because I don’t trust doctors, ”Ruslan admits.
After a few days, the discomfort disappeared, the finger began to bend, and everything returned to normal. Scorpions and now a man often meets on his site in Austin and mercilessly crushes them with a shovel.
What to do if bitten by a snake or stung by a scorpion:
- If you are stung by a scorpion or bitten by a poisonous snake, you should not take alcohol, put a tourniquet on the pinned surface, incise the injured place or burn the wound.
- The best course of action in this case is to dial 911 and report your problem. The 911 operator will tell you if a rescue team will be sent for you or if you need to get to the hospital yourself. Until that time, you cannot hesitate - suck out the poison, wipe the wound with alcohol and apply an antiseptic bandage on top.
- If you need to go to the hospital, put another person behind the wheel, since the action of the poison can deprive you of consciousness.
For the first time, Tonya Tarasenko saw the reef sharks closely while snorkeling in the city of Key West, which is located in the southernmost point of Florida. The captain of the boat in which she sailed to the dive site, calmed her down, saying that the reef sharks are harmless and she can safely swim. However, the girl was not alone, and she returned to the boat. Other tourists continued to swim with masks and snorkels surrounded by sharks.
“The water in the lagoon where we swam was very clear and I saw 10 meter sharks that were at a depth of about 12-XNUMX meters. It was unpleasant for me to swim there, and we went aboard with the child. In the same lagoon on the same day we met an alligator. We were told that he was wounded and swam here by accident, but we went to swim on another beach, ”Antonina said.
Statistics The Museum of Natural History testifies: over the past 180 years, Florida has the most cases of unprovoked shark attacks on humans - 748 (most of all cases were in Volusy County, Brevard and Palm Beach). Hawaii is in second place with 143 attacks (the most attacks were recorded on the islands of Maui and Oahu), and California is in third place - 117 cases, most of which were in San Diego and Hamboldt.
And if sharks usually attack one by one and do not swim to the shore, then in February 2016 in Florida, whole flocks of predators swam right along the coast in Palm Beach County. Prior to this, 2015 was a record year for the number of shark attacks in the world: the largest number of attacks happened in the US - 59.
George Burgess, director of the International Organization of ISAF in Florida, recognized as one of the best shark researchers in the world, believes that predators can attract tattoos and bright nail polish. In addition, in the aquatic environment, where people find themselves, there are places with a large accumulation of fish, which also attracts aquatic predators.
How to reduce the risk of encountering a shark:
- Swim in the ocean in a group.
- Do not swim too early in the morning and at night.
- Do not enter the water with bleeding wounds, and women should refrain from bathing during menstruation.
- Avoid swimming near fishermen - fish attract sharks.
- Get out of the water immediately if you see a flock of seagulls above the water or a school of fish - a shark may be nearby.
- Try to avoid bright swimsuits and shiny jewelry that can resemble sharks fish scales.
What to do if you meet a shark:
- Do not panic. Keep the shark in your field of vision, even if you swim away from it. The predator can attack and retreat again and again. You must be ready to repel the attack.
- If the shark is nearby, it is better not to swim away, but to prepare for protection. Remember, the shark swims faster than you.
- If you are underwater, press yourself to the reefs, piles, or rocks so that you have to fight the shark in front of you. In open waters, if you are not alone, pull your back to the back with another swimmer so you can defend yourself from any direction.
- In case the battle cannot be avoided, try to scare the predator. Aim at her head, especially at the gills, the eyes and the tip of the nose - these are the weakest points of the shark. Use any items you have (camera, mask, etc.) to strike.
In June, 2016, the whole world was shocked baby story, who was dragged right from under the noses of his parents by an alligator at a hotel at Disneyland in Florida.
In Florida, there are about 1,5 million alligators. No wonder that in this state the famous Everglades Park is located, where excursions take place, during which you can watch cold-blooded predators. They can also be found in Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, Mississippi and Texas.
Alligators spend most of their lives in water (rivers, lakes and swamps) and rarely attack people. According to the organization Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, from 1948 to April 2016, 348 cases of large crocodile attacks on humans were recorded. Of these, the 23 case ended in death.
How to reduce the risk of meeting an alligator:
- Stay away from water. Especially if there are signs prohibiting swimming near the water source, or signs warning that alligators are found in this area.
- If you are swimming in a boat in an unfamiliar body of water, do not dip your hands or feet into the water.
- Try not to move along the rivers and lakes in a canoe. Alligators most often attack these watercrafts.
- Crocodiles and alligators are able to memorize tourist routes and parking. If you go camping and will do parking in a place where there may be alligators, make a camp at a great distance from the water.
- Alligator's jaws are very powerful at closing, but weak at opening. If you squeeze his mouth with two hands, then he will most likely not be able to open it.
What to do if you meet an alligator:
- If you do meet with the alligator, try to run away from it in the direction of the water. Despite the fact that these predators develop speeds up to 17 km / h, the alligator will not be able to catch up with you, because it quickly gets tired while running and feels vulnerable outside the water.
- If the predator was able to grab you, get ready for it to drag you into the water and do a deadly torsion in order to tear off the limb. When torsion, be prepared to roll in the same direction.
- Do not pull the time and attack the predator, if he already grabbed you. Aim in the eyes, nostrils and ears. This may cause the alligator to let you go. Use everything that comes to hand.
- Crocodiles have the lapel of the skin behind the tongue, which closes his throat when immersed in water. Thus, the water does not fall into the throat and does not allow the predator to choke if the mouth is open. If your hand is in the mouth of an alligator, try to feel for the palatal valve and open it. Water will begin to flow into his throat, and it is likely that the alligator will let you go.
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