How to survive deadly animal attacks

Hippos are killers. So are lions, jellyfish and tigers. We've even got you covered in case of otter attack.

Joal Ryan
1 of 23 Facanv/Shutterstock


You're being attacked by a deadly animal. There's not much time, so, here are your essential survival tips in lightning-fast form.

If it's a shark: Look your predator in the eye. Don't flail like something it might like to eat. Make your way to the shore backward... or, if you have to fight, go for the gills.

2 of 23 Jason Whittle XS Light Photography, Getty Images


In Australia, these marsupials with "nasty claws" have been known to leap out of the bush. If you have time and space to react, turn sideways (to protect your face and organs) and slowly walk away.

3 of 23 Jim Cumming/Shutterstock


If you've invaded the reptile's personal space -- a radius of about 3 feet -- freeze. See if the snake retreats. If it doesn't or can't, then back up, slowly.

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Mountain lions!

Job No. 1 is to deter an attack by showing the lion you're boss: Stand tall, wave your arms, etc. If that doesn't work, fight back with whatever you've got: hands, rocks and, should local laws allow it, firearms.

5 of 23 Sergey Uryadnikov/Shutterstock


With these guys, rock-throwing will likely provoke an attack. The key to survival here is to act cool so that the chimps stay cool. Don't run, and don'tlook them in the eye.

6 of 23 Jaco Eksteen/Shutterstock


Remember: Bees are communal. If you get swarmed, don't stand there and swat. You're only giving them time to bring in reinforcements. Just run!

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Keep your distance. Some stinging tentacles can grow as long as 165 feet! Best advice: Stay out of water where jellyfish have been spotted.

8 of 23 Scott E Read/Shutterstock

Grizzly bears!

If an attack ensues, play dead. If the attack continues, fight back. (That's grizzly bears; don't play dead for a black bear!)

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A gator's first priority is to drown you, so either stay on land or get to land and then run. If it's got a hold of you, then flail and fight.

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Stay at least 20 feet away. Should you encroach on a bull's personal space, back off -- slowly. If you turn and run, you're going to get chased.

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Polar bears!

These guys are big, fast and hard to scare. If one spots you, try your best to stand tall -- and pray you packed bear spray.

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These birds don't fly, but they can run -- fast -- so you don't want to get into a race. Instead, back away, slowly, or else its claws might rip into your meaty flesh.

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Unpredictable and testy, hippos kill nearly 3,000 people a year. If one charges you, you don't have a lot of options. Look for the nearest tree or termite mound, and hide.

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Black bears!

Unlike grizzly or brown bears, black bears can be intimidated, so go for it -- after you've tried to flee. If you get jumped, fight back. Punch it in the muzzle.

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Read the ears. If they're fanned out, the elephant's probably bluffing. If they're back, "Be worried." Because this is another beast you don't want to get into a footrace with, back away slowly, or climb a tree.

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Running away plays to the tiger's instincts -- its killer instincts. Instead, act like you're bigger: Stand your ground and wave those arms.

17 of 23 Joseph Eid/AFP/Getty Images


Panicking will only fuel an out-of-control canine's aggression. So, stay calm. If you're jumped, protect your head, throat and thighs, and try to give the dog something to latch onto that's not you -- like your shirt sleeve.

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They may look big and bad, but leopards are cautious and rarely attack people who appear bigger in size. So, stand tall.

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As with other predators, don't let the hyena "see you as prey." Playing dead is out; instead, use intimidation tactics.

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Cape buffalo!

This one's tough. "No one survives a cape buffalo attack," it's been said. Even climbing a tree isn't foolproof because the buffalo may just wait for you to come down. Your best chance is to shoot it in the brain with the trusty rifle you should have packed.

21 of 23 Gregor Fischer/AFP/Getty Images

Wild boars!

The wild boar wants nothing to do with you. If you stumble across one, back off, slowly but steadily.

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Like other canines, wolves respect pack order. So, be a pack leader and make yourself look as big and scary as possible. The wolves may back off.

23 of 23 Shaun Wilkinson/Shutterstock


Can otters kill us? It happens. That's because their bites are nasty. In the event of a sneak otter attack, a shovel will do.

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