I can think of a few things I’d rather do than be attacked by a wild animal. It may be cool for the first couple seconds, until you realize you’re getting attacked by a certified killing machine, and then that novelty wears off in favor of piss-down-your-leg fear. I bet some of them are chill AF, but the majority don’t care about how many Twitter followers you have or that you’re an organ donor. They are wired to kill.
With that said, MailOnline Travel consulted numerous survivalist experts and African safari guides to put together a survival guide for nature’s worst case scenarios. Check them out below. And stay safe out there.
What to do: Make direct eye contact, and don’t break it. Back very slowly away. Never turn your back, never run. Lions will often do one or two mock charges before a full-on attack, running towards you but suddenly stopping a few paces away. If it does this, throw your arms out to make yourself look bigger and make as much noise as possible. Most often, this will make them reconsider and run off.
How they kill: A lion will get their jaws around your windpipe and suffocate you to death.
Lions are responsible for 250 human deaths a year.
What to do: Stand your ground and pretend to be brave. The elephant will flap its ears aggressively and toot. Don’t move. It will almost always do one or two mock charges. Make yourself appear as big and loud and possible. Hope that works, then get downwind if possible so the others can’t smell you.
How they kill: An elephant gores its victim with its tusks and tramples them to death.
About 500 people a year are killed by elephants every year.
What to do: Run like the wind and accept almost certain defeat. Buffalo don’t mock charge. They give no warning at all. You’ll never outrun a buffalo, nor survive them in combat, so your only option is to get a head start and climb a tree.
How they kill: As with an elephant, it will gore you with its horns and trample you into an early grave.
Buffalo kill an estimated 300 people a year.
HIPPOS (YOUR MOM)
What to do: Hippos can reach running speeds of up to 30 miles per hour, so it will catch you every time. Still, your best bet is to sprint to the closest cover or climb a tree.
How they kill: Its jaws and teeth somewhat resemble a giant hole punch, and a hippo won’t do the decent thing and bite off your head, it will go for your mid-section and bite you clean in half.
Hippos kill an estimated 500 people each year. Your mom just kills my sperm count.
What to do: Sharks will generally only approach you out of curiosity, or if it mistakes you for a seal in distress. So don’t thrash about. But it’s probably too late for that. If at all possible, punch it in the nose with all your might. It’s the most sensitive part of its body and might lead it to swim away defeated. Remember though, only an average of four fatal great white attacks take place each year worldwide.
How they kill: This death is catastrophic. A shark probably won’t bother killing you because they aren’t fond of the taste of humans. Most commonly they will take a chunk out of your thigh or abdomen, and if that severs an artery you’ll bleed out.
Sharks kill an estimated 100 people each year.
What to do: You have zero options if a crocodile ambushes you from a riverbank, unless it happens to miss, in which case run away before it goes for round two. If you see one on land, it’s unlikely to approach, but if it does, again, run away – not in zig-zags as the common myth dictates. Crocodiles can only reach ten miles an hour on foot.
How they kill: This is about as bad as it gets. Because they can’t chew, crocodiles bite down hard on their prey then spin it round to tear chunks of flesh off, which they gulp down whole – and they don’t care that you’re not dead yet. Incidentally, they are far more likely to attack humans than alligators are.
Crocodiles kill an estimated 5,000+ people a year. Yikes.
What to do: Don’t climb a tree, for obvious reasons. Don’t run either, bears are fast. And don’t yell at it, it will spook the bear into believing it is threatened. As hard as it seems, try at least to appear calm, slowly extend your arms to make yourself bigger, speak to it in a low voice to identify yourself as human, and shuffle gradually away to show you’re retreating.
How they kill: Bears generally maul their victims to death – as anyone who’s seen The Revenant will know – especially since they’re not attacking you to eat you, they’re doing it because you’ve enraged them.
Bears kill an estimated 5-15 people each year.
[h/t MailOnline Travel]