On the Road

Guide to Dangerous Animals


How to avoid and deal with the bad guys of nature on your travels

We may be at the top of the food chain thanks to our reversible thumbs but in hand to hand combat with a hyena the smart money isn’t on us. We nibble at our claws and hardly any of us show our teeth when we’re angry. We have no protective fur and we can’t get around on four legs before our bad backs play up. Moral of the story? Don’t get into scraps with wild animals unless all negotiation has failed.

At the same time humans have done a good job at destroying most of the wild habitat out there and even most creatures, even the dangerous one, tend to make a run for it when we show up. Pretty lucky when you think about it. Imagine if each time you went for a walk in the park you were attacked by squirrels.

Animal bites may pass on infections caused by bacteria in the animal’s mouth. The most serious of these is rabies which is quickly fatal if you don’t get to a hospital for the jab. Tetanus is also possible and is worth being vaccinated against.

Clean all wounds with soap and water and apply a loose bandage if in an area with flies. Otherwise you’re probably best letting the wound open to the air to heal.