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How to survive a bear attack (and more!)

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How to survive a bear attack (and more!)

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We’ve all gotten into situations that weren’t exactly ideal. We often hear the advice: “don’t get into trouble in the first place.” That is all well and good, but sometimes you simply are in a bad spot and need to deal with it. If you can’t see where I’m going with this: how do you fight a bear?

Yes, yes. The best solution is to avoid bears and play dead or make yourself bigger, but if you have an angry, aggressive bear, playing dead is not going to save you. You are going to have to fight. The Internet is full of memes that tell you that you’ll just die, and you probably will. However, if you know how to fight them, you might have a better chance. We’re going to explore just how to actually defeat a bear. In fact, we are also going to explore what to do if you are attacked by a pack of wolves, a moose, a tiger, gorilla, elephant, and even a dragon. Buckle up!

Round 1: The Bear

Let’s start with the basics: how to fight a bear. The first step is to identify what type of bear you are fighting. Black bears are usually smaller and do not have large hunches on their backs. A grizzly will be larger and have a large ridge on its shoulders. Do not base it solely on color, as grizzlies can be black and black bears can be brown. Additionally, a sloth bear, found in India, have black shaggy fur with a long, extended snout. Additionally, they will have long, curled claws resembling a sloth. A polar bear’s defining feature is its white fur, and it will likely be longer than other bears in body and in head.

You will need to identify possible weaknesses within the bear. If it is injured, you may have a better target. Be careful, though. Your goal should be destruction, not irritation. If you simply scratch a bear’s wound, it will become even more enraged and more deadly. You should also use the terrain to your advantage. Try and bring the bear to a sloped area where it can not balance on its hind legs. Once it is on its hind legs, it is in an excellent position to swipe, so steer clear of dangerous paws. Also try to stay on a higher elevation than the bear, making you seem more intimidating and preventing the bear from attacking as easily.

Bears are predatory animals, so their eyes are located in the front of their heads, making it easier to see their prey. The bear can not rotate its head easily, so attacks from the side are more beneficial. Be cautious, however. Bears can still attack horizontally, so you will still meet ursine resistance.

When attacking, try and use your legs as much as possible. A solid kick to the bear’s gut can help you. Be sure to pull your leg in quickly after you’ve attacked, as the bear may try and take out your legs. Attacking the bear’s head may allow you to inflict whiplash on your opponent. If you do punch, make sure to punch squarely on the nose. Avoid punching, however. Your arms are vulnerable, and standard punches will do nearly nothing to the bear.

You need to grab anything you can to use as a weapon. Avoid bending over or squatting, as you will make yourself look smaller and less intimidating. Use rocks or sticks to attack at the bear’s sensitive spots: eyes, nose, belly, neck, and haunches. When fighting a bear, the goal is not to kill the beast; you won’t be able to. However, if you can get enough hits in and tire it out, the bear may just give up and leave you alone.

Round 2: The Wolf

Let’s see how we would fend off a wolf attack. Wolves are much smaller than bears, clearly, but are still fierce predators. They have sharp teeth and are much faster than bears. The coyote is smaller than the wolf, but dangerous as well. If you ever are attacked by one of these animals, act as aggressively as you can. This may intimidate the wolf and cause it to run off.

If the wolf is not scared, use weapons or kicks to hit the wolf’s face or stomach. Wolves are aggressive attackers, so always be watchful. Back yourself into a large stone or tree when fighting a wolf. Otherwise, the wolf may be able to get behind you and attack. One-on-one, the wolf is not a particularly difficult animal to fight, however a pack of wolves may be more challenging.

When fighting a pack of wolves, the key is to be aware. Quickly find a large surface to back yourself into. A pack of wolves will seek to attack you from behind and bring you down. Try to cover as many sides around you as possible to provide as few openings. Use swift sweeping attacks to hit more than one wolf at once. Be extremely careful, as overly extending your arms during attacks will lead you vulnerable. Only use jabs and stabs if you are sure your exposed sides are safe. Fending off a pack of wolves is extremely difficult and unlikely, but remember to keep your sides safe. There is a reason they hunt in packs.

Round 3: The Moose

According to employees from Glacier National Park, moose can be more dangerous than grizzly bears. This may be because moose attacks are more common than bear attacks. The key to an aggressive moose is to let it know you are not a threat. Stay calm and slowly back away. However, if the moose charges at you, you’ll need to take action. Most moose charges, like bear charges, are bluffs. Put something between you and the moose, such as a rock or a tree.

If a moose actually attacks you, it may be possible to feign death for it to leave you alone. If the moose is determined to gore you to death, however, you’ll need to fight back. The moose is equipped with large antlers and razor sharp hooves. An attacking moose can be quite deadly. Because of this, you need to keep as much distance between you and the moose as you can. A moose’s weak spots will be their face, belly, and possibly their skinny legs.

The tactic best employed in such an encounter will be to lob projectiles. Look for sharp rocks and possibly javelin-like sticks. If you are up close with such a persistently hostile moose, stay low to the grown and stay away from its front hooves. Try and reach its side and keep low. The moose’s antlers can still hit you if you stand at full height. Once you are on the side of the moose, target the moose’s ankles and knees. If you can incapacitate the moose and prevent it from regaining its footing, you’ve won the fight.

Round 4: The Tiger

Note: this is a lion

Tigers and lions are infamous for killing humans. They are basically bears, but faster and smarter. Beware of tiger paws, as they will swipe at you. A key thing to remember whilst fighting a tiger or lion is that, basically, if you are touched, you lose.

The key to surviving a tiger attack is that a tiger may retreat if it feels threatened or injured. Thus, your best bet is to make as much noise as possible and try to injure it when you can. Attack defensively, however, as tigers are very aggressive fighters. A tiger also will not leave you alone if you play dead.

A tiger’s weak points will be its face and belly, much like other animals. A good first step in fighting off a tiger or lion is to find something to use as a shield. A tiger swipe can be devastating, so you need to make sure you are properly defended. The tiger is one of the most difficult animals to survive an attack from, but it is not impossible.

Round 5: The Gorilla

Imagine fighting a sumo wrestler with the punching ability of a championship boxer. That is a gorilla. To be clear, gorillas are far stronger and faster than you, and their low center of gravity makes it hard to catch them off balance. However, it might not be impossible to take down our taxonomical cousins.

Once again, a gorilla’s weak points are its face and belly. Be careful when striking at a gorilla. If one grabs your striking arm, you can be in huge trouble. It also has sharp fangs that can be devastating on your puny flesh. However, quick strikes against its eyes, nose, and mouth may hurt the gorilla enough for it to give in and leave you alone. Use anything you can to fight against a gorilla, so any weapon will serve as a huge advantage. Do all of this, and you may have a chance.

Round 6: The Elephant

If you are being attacked by an elephant, you’ve probably done something wrong. However, can you survive an attack from one? Probably not. However, here are some tips to help you.

Female elephants are more aggressive than males, but males sometimes can be affected by musth (pronounced must), which causes them to be very aggressive and about 60 times stronger than a normal elephant. Sorry, but if you encounter a musth elephant, you’re pretty much out of options.

Elephants have thick skulls and sharp tusks. You could be impaled or thrown around if you’re not careful. However, a parkour expert could possibly climb onto an elephants head. An elephants weak points are most likely its bellies and ankles. A weapon will be particularly useful here. Be watchful of elephant’s feet, as you can easily be crushed. There are very few things you can do to survive an elephant attack, but I would personally get behind it and hold onto its tail for dear life.

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2 Responses to “How to survive a bear attack (and more!)”

  1. Ben Durrant on June 7th, 2018 12:02 pm


  2. Nguyen Phuong le on December 9th, 2018 9:34 am

    Very entertaining, indeed!

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.


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How to survive a bear attack (and more!)