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How to Survive an Animal Attack in General

Learn how to survive animal attacks in general and for specific species, including animal attack prevention

The best way to survive an animal attack is to avoid it in the first place. Unless they are crazy, most animals do their best to avoid humans. We are, after all, at the top of the food chain. But like humans, they will fight for their survival and their children. So the best thing to do is not threaten either one.

Never get between an animal and its food or children.

The other obvious thing to do is not antagonize or surprise them. In general, if you leave them alone, they will leave you alone.

Sometimes you will "corner" an animal by accident. Give it a clear path of escape.

A good thing to note is that animals become more aggressive when in distress. If it is starving, wounded, dehydrated, etc, it is more likely to attack.

To make sure you stay safe from smaller creatures, never put your hands or feet in places you can’t see. Use sticks to turn over logs, rocks, etc.

If you need to scare off an animal, most are afraid of fire and loud noises. Making yourself appear taller may also help.

How to Prevent Large Animal Attacks

Small animals are unlikely to chase after you. It is rare for larger animals also. The difference is that smaller animals are usually quicker. As soon as they spot you they will run. If you happen to encounter a larger animal, it may see you as a threat and is more likely to attack.

If you do encounter a medium to large animal in the wild, keep calm, freeze, and slowly back away.

It is important not to startle the animal. Do not make any sudden movements. If it starts to approach you in an aggressive manner, being loud and big may scare it away.

If you decide to run, zigzagging is best. The larger the animal, the larger its turning circle. Making sharp, sudden turns is better than trying to out-run it in a straight line.

Be cautious of climbing trees. It may be able to climb also. And if it can't climb, it might wait at the bottom for you.

Alligators and Crocodiles

Alligators and crocodile are one of the oldest predatory creatures on earth. Very little has changed of them since prehistoric times.

The headings here refer to alligators, but the information applies to crocodiles also.

How to Avoid Alligator Attacks

The obvious way is to stay out of their territory. If you happen to be in a boat where they live, don't dangle anything over the edge.

It is not a good idea to fish in alligator territory. They will also find the bait appealing.

If you see baby crocodiles, chances are the mother is nearby. Stay clear.

How to Catch an Alligator

Trying to catch an alligator is not recommended under any circumstance. Even if I was starving to death I wouldn't attempt it. But if for some reason you want to anyway, the first step is to get on its back. You can force its head an jaws down by applying downward pressure on its neck. Covering its eyes will help to calm it.

Trying to catch an alligator in water is much harder than on land. You are likely to end up as its dinner.

How to Survive an Alligator Attack

An alligators skin is super tough. Your best chance of fighting it off is by going for its eyes and nose.

If it grabs your arm or leg, tap it on the snout. If you are lucky it will open its mouth.


How to Avoid Bear Attacks

Like all animals, bears will come to food. If you are camping in bear territory, don't leave any around. This includes pet food. It is a good idea to hang all edible supplies and garbage in a tree.

Never sleep in the same clothes you cook in. The bear will smell it and may "taste test" you by accident.

What to do if You See a Bear

If you see a bear, slowly back away so it has an easy path to escape. Making noise may help to scare it off.

Do not try to outrun it or climb a tree. It will catch you.

When in a car, keep the windows up and don't get out.

How to Survive a Bear Attack

If a bear becomes aggressive, attack its eyes and snout. Use anything you can to fight it off.

What to do When Bees Attack

Unless you are very allergic, you may not think a bee sting is a big deal. Well, you are wrong. Anyone can have a bad reaction to a bee sting. And if it is many bee stings, death is not out of the question.

If a swarm of bees decides to attack you, run. Don't bother trying to swat them. Get inside, and if that is not an option, run through bushes or high weeds for cover.

Another option is to go underwater, but don't resurface at the same spot. They are likely to wait around, at least for longer than you can hold your breath.

Most bees will only chase you 50 meters or so, but some may go as far as 150 meters.

If you get stung by a bee, remove the stinger as soon as possible. Do this by raking something across it in a sideways motion, e.g., your fingernail or a credit card.

Bulls and Cattle

How to Avoid a Charging Bull

A staring bull is the first sign of aggression. Stay still and quiet and start looking for an escape route. If the bull starts to charge and you can make it to your escape, run.

If you can't reach your escape, play the matador. Remove your top and wave it to distract the bull. As he charges, remain still then throw the article away from you. Hopefully, it will go for the clothing.

How to Survive a Stampede

If you are in a stampede of any kind, determine where the herd is going and get out of the way.

Your second best option is to run beside them.

How to Survive a Mountain Lion Attack

Mountain lions are more active at dusk and dawn. They are also more likely to attack individuals as opposed to groups of people.

If you encounter a mountain lion, don't run. Back away slowly or wait until it moves away. Being loud will help. So will 'being big". You can do this by standing tall, opening your coat, putting a child on your shoulders, etc.

If the lion keeps coming or starts to circle you, throw stuff at it. As it comes in for the attack, go for its eyes and mouth. Protect your throat at all costs.


Thanks to Hollywood, sharks have a very bad rap. No doubt they are dangerous, but almost all attacks on humans are due to mistaken identity. In most cases, they think humans are food so they have a taste. They then realize that we taste disgusting and leave.

What Attracts Sharks

If you are in the ocean, the best things to do is not attract sharks in the first place. Curiosity and the smell of food are what attracts them the most. Some examples are:

  • Blood
  • Human waste
  • Bright colors
  • ​Schools of fish
  • ​Shiny objects
  • ​Trash

How to Repel Sharks

If you spot a shark, be loud. Hopefully, it will get scared and swim away.

If it starts circling inwards and making sudden movements, it is a sign that it is going to attack.

How to Avoid a Shark Attack

To avoid a shark attack, you need to stay out of its feeding grounds. These include inshore of sandbars and areas with steep drop-offs.

Any school of fish will also attract them. Especially when near the surface and/or in shallow water.

Like most predators, sharks prefer easy prey. Being in a group makes you less of a target.

They will also try to catch prey off-guard. Hunting is easier when lighting is poor, so be warier in twilight and darkness.

How to Survive a Shark Attack

Your chances of outswimming a shark are very slim. It is better to make rapid changes of direction.

Slapping the water with cupped hands may deter it. Shouting underwater can also help.

If you are in a group, bunch together and face out. Everyone should shout underwater and slap the surface.

When it gets close, make quick strikes at its gills and eyes. If you can't reach those, go for the nose. Use anything you have as a weapon, and if you have nothing, use your palm heel.


Most snakes will run before long before you see them, and even if you get close, them trying to attack you is rare. But that's not to say they won't. As with any animal, if they feel threatened they will defend themselves.

What to do if You See a Snake

If you spot a snake, freeze, and then back away slowly. Give it lots of room to escape.

How to Escape a Python

If a python starts to wrap around you, it will attempt to crush you. Act fast before it gets a good grip. Try to keep calm and unwrap it off you by the head.

Surviving and Animal Attack Conclusion

There are many dangerous animals in the world, but the old saying is mostly true. They are more afraid of you than you are of them. This doesn't mean you shouldn't take precautions though.

You can avoid most animal attacks by leaving them alone. Never threaten their survival or their children. Otherwise, they will have no choice but to attack. Instead, give it plenty of room to escape.

If you do have to fight an animal off, go for their weak spots. In most cases, it is their eyes and nose.

Did you find this article about how to survive wild animal attacks useful? If so, please share it with your friends.

Article by Sam Fury

Sam Fury 3 png
Sam Fury 3 png

Sam Fury is the creator and owner of the Survival Fitness Plan.

He has had a passion for martial arts and outdoor pursuits since he was a young boy growing up in Australia.

As a young adult he joined the military and studied outdoor leadership in college. After that, to further his skills, Sam started traveling to learn from the best in the world in various fields related to the Survival Fitness Plan including various martial arts in China, SE Asia and Brazil, Parkour in Singapore, Surf Life Saving in Australia, and others. 

These days, he still enjoys learning new things, traveling and sharing what he has learned via the Survival Fitness Plan. 

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