It is important that parents who spend time in the mountains with their children know what to do if an animal attacks. This knowledge, while hopefully never needed, may keep you and your children safe one day.
The Rocky Mountains are full of wildlife, some of which are cute and some are dangerous. When my family goes for a hike we often hope to see wildlife. On those lucky days we do encounter wild animals in their natural habitat it is thrilling. But, at the same time we are careful and know how to behave around these animals and what to do if one attacks.
How Common Are Animal Attacks?
Luckily for us, animal attacks are rare. Generally, all of the wildlife that we may be afraid of want nothing to do with us. The odds of being attacked by a wild animal in the mountains are far lower than being in a car accident.
That does not mean that all bears or all mountain lions will avoid us. Sometimes, just like in human populations, there are certain individuals that for some reason attack people. Most of the time though the animal will attack if it is surprised, confused or provoked by the person.
Parents – Neither you or your kids should do anything to provoke a wild animal. Remember they are wild animals and are unpredictable.
Tips On What To Do If An Animal Attacks
Here are some tips on what to do if a few of the common animals in the Rocky Mountains attack. Try to keep this in mind whenever you and your family go exploring the mountains.
Mountain Lion or Cougar –
- If you are attacked you should fight back with everything you can.
- Do not play dead.
- Attempt to protect your neck and try to remain standing.
- Fight with anything you have, such as a stick, rock, hiking pole, or your fists.
- Here are more mountain lion safety tips with kids.
- If a moose charges at you try to quickly run behind something solid such as a tree or boulder or climb a tree. A moose is faster than you, but you can run around something faster than it.
- If a moose knocks you on the ground, curl up into a ball and protect your head and the back of your neck. Try to cover your children with your body and hold still.
- Once the moose sees you are not a threat it will probably leave you alone. Stay still until the moose leaves the area.
- Read this for more moose safety tips when hiking with kids.
- How you respond to a bear attack depends on what kind of bear it is. First, figure out if it is a black or grizzly bear.
- If a grizzly bear attacks you should play dead.
- If a black bear attacks you should fight back.
- If a rattlesnake attacks you by biting you, you should seek medical attention immediately.
- Read more about what to do if a rattlesnake bites you here.