If an an­i­mal attacks you

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - LIFESTYLE -

THANKS to a plucky woman from French­town, Mon­tana, we now know how to deal with at least one an­i­mal men­ace.

At­tacked at home last week by a 90kg black bear, she sent it lum­ber­ing back into the night sim­ply by throw­ing a zuc­chini at it. Lo­cal po­lice de­scribed this as “im­pro­vis­ing”.

The veg­etable-pro­jec­tile ap­proach will prob­a­bly fend off all sorts of crea­tures. But if you don’t fancy putting it to the test, here are some al­ter­na­tives.

Hun­gry mon­keys: You could sim­ply give the macaque your ice-cream. Fail­ing that, try the “open-mouth threat” – make an O with your mouth, lean for­ward and raise your eye­brows. Then back away slowly. If that doesn’t work, open a can of beer and talk about foot­ball (they’re a bit more afraid of men than of women).

Killer bees: African­ised hon­ey­bees aim for your mouth and nose first. So pull your top up over your head, then run, run, run away. Don’t give up too soon – they’ve been known to chase vic­tims for more than 400m. If pos­si­ble, shut your­self in a car or build­ing. Div­ing into wa­ter won’t help – they’ll wait till you come up for air.

Crocodiles and al­li­ga­tors: What­ever some id­iots tell you, crocs and ga­tors can­not run faster than race­horses. On land, even hu­mans have a good chance of out­pac­ing them.

For­get any­thing you’ve heard about zigzag­ging – just leg it. If the rep­tile gets you into its mouth, don’t waste time try­ing to pry its jaws open. Stick your thumb or fin­ger into its eye. The pain and shock should make it re­lease you.

Sharks: If it’s try­ing to take chunks out of your boat, hit it with a pad­dle or a pole. The vul­ner­a­ble spots are the eyes, gills and snout. If you’re in the wa­ter, you may be able to es­cape by rapid changes of di­rec­tion. Sharks are not very ma­noeu­vrable. If you’re in its mouth, do not play dead. Eyes, gills, snout, re­mem­ber.

Ele­phants: Plan A – climb a tree, first mak­ing sure it’s big enough that it can’t be pushed over. Plan B – play dead in the hope that Jumbo will get tired of toss­ing your body around. – Guardian News & Me­dia 2010

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