Animal attacks are on the rise. We can clearly see this every day. True it is not in the mainstream media but there is a reason for that. The wildlife officials do not want us to know. Outdoor recreation is a 60 billion dollar per year business. Parks and resorts play a huge role in that business model. If the public fears an animal attack, they will not go out to these locations and thus revenue will go down. Considering that factor then it would make sense for them to keep it quiet. This is not only wrong but it also endangers those who have no clue what is going on.
Our goal here is to educate the public, make them aware that those predators are there in numbers but at the same time try not to instill fear of the outdoors. Man has existed with predators for centuries, we have simply forgotten how to live with them. Learning to co-exist with these animals is the key. Learning their behavior is critical and today people just want to take pictures and call them cuddly and cute. Sooner or later these types find themselves facing an animal that will kill you if threatened. Once they are in that situation they realize that they have no idea what to do next. in most cases they have 4 Seconds Until Impact. This is the average time it takes for an attack to take place. There are three steps in this encounter.
(1) The encounter: This is where you are walking a trail or what ever it may be and the next thing you know is there is a predator in front of you. The animal is as much surprised as you are.
(2) Realization: After a moment both you and the animal come to the realization you are facing a potential enemy. This is where the brain decides fight or flight
(3) The Attack: If flight is considered to be useless due to many factors such as distance, state of alarm etc. The animal may decide to fight and then an attack takes place.
The scary part is that most predators can be on top of you once you reach that 4 second mark. A full grown male grizzly can dash 50 yards in 3 seconds or a speed of 40 MPH. A Cougar can run up to 55 MPH making that spring in under 3 seconds and they can jump 20 feet high. By the way contrary to popular belief the mountain lion and panther are the same animal. The horizontal jumping distance of a cougar is between 20 and 40 feet. So if you are in that range, you could be dinner. In the podcast below we discuss some possible ways to avoid attack as well as way to minimize injury if you are attacked, plus a preview of a possible audiobook version.
Podcast: 37 Mins.