Dangerous Animals, FM 21-76

Dangerous Animals

The threat from animals is less than from other parts of the environment. However, common sense tells you to avoid encounters with lions, bears, and other large or dangerous animals. You should also avoid large grazing animals with horns, hooves, and great weight. Move carefully through their environment. Caution may prevent unexpected meetings. Do not attract large predators by leaving food lying around your camp. Carefully survey the scene before entering water or forests.

Smaller animals actually present more of a threat to you than large animals. To compensate for their size, nature has given many small animals weapons such as fangs and stingers to defend themselves. Each year, a few people are bitten by sharks, mauled by alligators, and attacked by bears. Most of these incidents were in some way the victim’s fault. However, each year more victims die from bites by relatively small venomous snakes than by large dangerous animals. Even more victims die from allergic reactions to bee stings. These smaller animals are the ones you are more likely to meet as you unwittingly move into their habitat, or they slip into your environment unnoticed.

Keeping a level head and an awareness of your surroundings will keep you alive if you use a few simple safety procedures. Do not let curiosity and carelessness kill or injure you.

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