Animals are, quite literally, the living treasures of our planet. Except when they're trying to kill you.
Luckily for us humans, that doesn't happen too often. When it does though, we are often left with nothing but our inferior instincts to protect us. But each of these potentially dangerous animals have their own kryptonite. Whether it's running against the wind, standing up tall and screaming like hell, or simply opting to groom and primp your attacker, you should be ready—just in case.
Here are some tips to escaping (and fighting, if necessary) 11 beasts you might run into during your life. But it doesn't take a professional pet detective to figure out the easiest way to avoid getting mauled, eaten, and overall roughed up by our animal friends, is to respect their space, and leave them alone.
You may have heard the best way to defeat a shark is to sock it right in the nose. This is decidedly untrue. In the first place, when you are underwater (you know, where most sharks tend to live) you can't really put a lot of force behind your right hook. If you really need to attack, go for the eyes (this is mainly true for every animal on this list) and the gills, located just above their pectoral fin. In all honesty, you probably aren't going to win a fight with a shark in open water (we can't all be Richard Dreyfuss), your best bet is to swim away...very slowly, with no sudden movements. Do not turn your back to the shark, and do not swim directly in its way. Above all, find some way to get out of the water (duh).
If you find yourself in a sticky situation with a boa constrictor, step one is to not panic. While that may seem impossible when a fire hose-sized snake is wrapped around your windpipe, the boa will constrict (get it?!) every time you exhale, so take low, steady breaths. The best defensive measure you can take, is to bite the snake's tail as hard as you can. This will cause ridiculous amounts of pain for the snake (I for one, hate when people bite my tail) and might coerce it into loosening its grip. Aside from that, try to use a free arm to beat it's head with a rock or any other blunt object. The snake wants an easy meal, so putting up a fight will only make you less seem less delicious.
Dogs are normally adorable, and one of man's best—if not the best—friends. But they're still animals, and anyone who has skimmed through Cujo can tell you, they can be dangerous, even deadly. If you find yourself in a compromising position with a rabid pooch, make your body rigid, and don't move, hopefully, this will make the dog in question lose interest. Keep appendages close to the body, and do not make eye contact or smile (they might think you are "bearing your teeth"). Whatever you do, don't run —dogs love to chase their prey, and you aren't winning any footraces with a German Shepard. If you have to fight the dog, attack the eyes, use your weight advantage to pin the dog, and if all else fails, go fetal and protect your vitals (face, throat, chest, and privates...obviously).
After a lengthy investigation, we are fairly certain bears do in fact shit in the woods. If you happen to run into a one doing its business up close, there're a few things you can do. For smaller bears, avoid your instinct to run and pee your pants, back away (face first) very slowly and if the bear still approaches, stand up tall, with your arms above your head, making low-pitched, growling noises...basically, be a bear. If you don't show any venerability, there's a good chance the bear will back off. But don't make eye contact, as this will be seen as a direct challenge to the bear's bearhood. If it's an extremely large bear, like a polar or grizzly DO NOT CHALLENGE IT. Instead curl up into a ball, and pray the bear loses interest in you, puny human. Also, don't climb a tree, as most bears are really good climbers.
First off, you definitely don't want to disturb a hive of killer bees. If you're wearing a heavy perfume, shiny jewelry, or dark clothing, you are making yourself more susceptible to killer bee attacks. Step one: run. Run very fast. And as far as you can. While you are running, try to protect your face, and run against the wind, (you know, Bob Segar-style) because bees are light, and the wind will knock 'em around. Don't get into the water. Despite your instincts, the bees will just hover above the surface, wait for you to come out, and sting you to death. Really, your best bet is to find shelter quickly, and keep your skin as well covered as you can. Don't flail your arms or roll around, as motion will just attract them even more.
Gorillas, they're just like us! Except they're not as smart, much stronger, and are naked all the time. Despite the fact that gorillas are herbivores, they occasionally attack humans. If you should come across a pissed off gorilla, be submissive, there's a good change he/she is just goofing around. If you try to get it off you, or fight back, you'll just make things worse. Keep your eyes and head low, and try to remain still. Crouch down, and hold still. If the gorilla grabs you, start grooming it, it may take this as a sign of respect and make friends with you instead of killing you. This particular trick also works well with the cast of Jersey Shore.
Elephants are probably my favorite animal, so it pains me to think any of them would ever attack me. That being said, an elephant never forgets, so if you pissed one off when you were a kid (as I did, re: Busch Gardens), watch out—elephants are known gossips. They're also known pranksters...so a lot of the time, when they charge, they are just playing a massive elephant practical joke on you. You can determine if the charge is real or phony by looking at an elephant's ears. If they are out and floppin' in the wind, they're just playin'. If their ears are pinned back, they are pissed. You have two options: stand your ground and scream, or run. If you DO choose to run, go in zig-zag routes. Elephants' bulky frames make it hard for them to change directions quickly. That being said, they are deceptively fast. Your best option is to seek higher ground (elephants aren't the best climbers, unsurprisingly).
Not every tiger is as friendly as the guy on the Frosted Flakes box, as most are more likely to brutally rip you to shreds than deliver a (semi) balanced breakfast. Tigers like to sneak up on their prey, so if you act big, loud, and proud—defusing any element of surprise— it might ruin their appetite. It doesn't help that tigers are probably the most adept killing machines in the world (now that velociraptors are strictly doing film appearances), but if attacked, you have a few more options. Tigers pounce on their prey, and if you are quick enough you can dodge their pounces and end up gaining a little bit of ground on them. The only other option you have, is to use a blunt object like a rock, tree branch, or bat to beat them—like boas, tigers will choose to leave more difficult prey alone, and seek out an easier target. And if Disney's Jungle Book has taught me anything, it's that tigers hate fire. But so do most things, I guess.
If you're unfortunate enough to run afoul of an angry gator, DO NOT RUN IN A ZIG-ZAG PATTERN. This is useless, as your main objective is to get away from the gator as fast as possible, and going in zig-zags will only slow you down. Do run away from the water, though, as alligators really hate venturing far into land, and will eventually give up on you if your chase drifts too far away from that high-quality H2O. Their little legs are pretty muscular though, and despite popular belief, they run just as fast as a human can. If they manage to catch up to you, and you need to fight back, go for the eyes, nose and ears (yep, gators have ears), but more importantly, if you are in the gator's gaping maw and they are trying to drag you under water (bad news, all around), you can free yourself by hitting their palatal valve, a small flap of skin behind their tongue that seals their throat when they are submerged. Hitting this will flood their airway with water, forcing them to release you. But only use this as a last resort. Remember, alligators are onry, because of their medulla oblongata, so it's best to keep your distance.
If attacked by a mountain lion, stand still—don't let the mountain lion circle around your bag. Your best move is to make as much noise as possible, in an attempt to make the lion think you are more impressive than you really are (it's kind of like being at a frat party). If it comes down to a fight, it will try to get on top of you and rip your throat and soft underbelly, so try and roll on your back if he/she pounces, and get into the fetal position. From that position, you can try to pick up a stick or rock, flip over, and hit the lion in its guts or face.
American Bald Eagles
There is no defense. Let freedom ring.