There are many situations you don’t want to find yourself in, and one is in the hands (or mouth) of a human-eating animal. While most of us are unlikely to have to fend ourselves against an angry crocodile or hungry shark, you’ll want to know these handy tips if you do.
Australia is home to some of the most lethal sharks in the world, including the Great White, the Tiger Shark and The Bull Shark. If attacked in open water:
- If possible, back up against pylons, rocks or reef to reduce the shark’s angles of attack and make it easier to defend yourself.
- Grab the nearest hard or pointy object (rocks, sticks, cameras) and use this as a weapon against the shark.
- Regardless of what you have heard, the most sensitive areas of the shark are its eyes and gills and not its nose. Apply quick, repetitive jabs to these areas to fend off the shark.
If a crocodile runs at you, run away. Run hard and fast and you’ll probably escape; on land the crocodile is slow and can’t run far. Your chances of escaping from a crocodile in water aren’t as good. Usually a croc will stalk its prey and wait for the perfect moment for a surprise attack. In this situation you’ll probably be caught by surprise and have no option but to try and defend yourself. Your first reflex should be trying to gouge its eyes with whatever is at your disposal. If the croc tries taking you for a death roll; don’t resist. Go with the movement and you’re more likely to survive.
Should your hand find itself in the croc’s mouth, there’s a valve on the back of its throat that prevents water from pouring in. There are stories of people surviving by grabbing this valve and ripping it open, effectively drowning the croc.
Grizzly bears are large, fierce and extremely dangerous to humans. Without bear mace or a high powered weapon, you’re unlikely to fend off a grizzly. Instead, drop to the ground and play dead, putting your hands over the back of your neck. Don’t resist and stay silent.
Black bears are smaller and can often be scared off. If you see a black bear approaching make as much noise as you can and put your hands in the air. DO NOT climb up a tree. When a black bear attacks, fight back and direct your blows to its face and eyes.
Australia has some of the most venomous snakes in the world. If bitten, your chances of survival are high if you do the right thing and find quick access to medical treatment. Here are a few pointers:
- Do not wash the wound. If you do this the hospital may not be able to identify the species of snake and this could cause complications. Take a photo of the snake to be sure.
- Apply a constriction band to reduce the spread of the venom.
- If possible stay calm and still; the more movement you make, the faster your blood flows and the easier the venom spreads.
- Try getting help to come to you.
5. TYRANNOSAURUS REX
While most dinosaurs died out of sixty-five million years ago, there remains a moderately sized population of Tyrannosaurus Rex living near Albury in southern New South Wales. Standing two storeys tall and as long as a school bus, the T-Rex is commonly known as the ‘king of the lizards’. In recent years the T-Rex has been portrayed in the media as a savage, bloodthirsty killer – in actuality these lizards tend to avoid interacting with humans. Australian bushwalkers regularly encounter the T-Rex and, catching it by surprise, observe the beast attempting to conceal itself behind rocks, trees and shrubbery or flee into the bush. The T-Rex is particularly sensitive to high-pitched noises and more often than not a high pitched squeal will scare it away.
Have you ever had to fight off a dangerous animal?
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