While scrolling through what has become my disorganized reading this morning I began thinking about human interaction with animals. I’m guilty of assuming people think as I do; that is a major mistake. I realized everyones lifes experiences, education and upbringing is not the same from person to person. I was raised in a part of the country where people are very aware of nature, natural resources and how to act around them.
Once again I came upon an article written on one of the nature sites I frequent about a man approaching a huge Bison at one of our national parks. Of course the Wild Animal chased him and attempted to dis-assemble the guy. Lowering his head the Buffalo apparently unknown to the man was about to launch him skyward.
I thought a Turkey Vulture would fit in this section nicely.
In another article I watched on video a Lady approaching a Grizzly Bear; people were taking videos of the encounter. She had her cell phone camera at the ready, hunched over to lower her stature I suppose she thought it was a sneak-up maneuver. Needless to say the Bear found no humor in the event at all. The Female Grizzly; may have had cubs nearby, made a few lunges from 50 or so feet away until making the full charge. Again the Lady really had no idea there was even a slight chance of it happening? She luckily made it to her car and left uninjured physically but monetarily wounded.
Several years ago when I lived near the gates of Yosemite and the Sequoia National Parks I read a transcript written by a man who had an encounter with a Mountain Lion. He attempted to approach the animal while on the tourist trail up Half-Dome. It didn’t go particularly well for either of them actually; but better for the Puma. After snarling, clawing and the visitor at a lose of what to do. He was not hurt nor was the Mountain Lion maybe because the Cat was a resident of the Mountain; the tourist was not. He sued the State of California, really, his complaint was wild animals here are not controlled properly.
I as many others have been taught from early childhood to respect the wild ones existence. If a Bear is encountered it’s not because the animal is presenting itself for a photographic session but is most likely hungry. Along with the Bruin is most likely if she is a female with her is her offspring. Or on the other hand if the Cubs are crossed upon first do not find yourself between the Female and her Cubs; it’s a life and death situation.
All animals will defend their brood with their lives; Geese will act in the same way but they are not quite so deadly.
My family spent one weeks vacation camping in the North Woods of Minnesota. One State Park we camped out several times was Itasca the headwaters of the Mississippi river. It is a beautiful park or it was I haven’t been there in over 50 years. During those years a Buffalo herd roamed a large area at times nearing the visitors. I had the family pet a Labrador mixed dog “Sam” he was out for a good time; he could not leave the big beast alone. At first he barked from a safe distance however as time went on his bravery exceeded his ability. He charged the Bull; whom in turn charged him. The Buffalo weighed most likely around 2,000 pounds while the dog weighed no more than 40. The Buffalo lowered his head expecting the attack, waiting for the exact correct moment he hooked Sam with his horns and sent him sky ward which looked to be 20-30 feet. He made what is known around airplanes as a “hard” landing. Limping off as fast as he could with the Bull chasing him he made it back across the fence while the Buffalo gave up the chase.
I backpacked all over the central Sierra Nevadas encountering many animals, Bears, Mountain Lions and Deer were all very common. Never once did it occur to me to experience a “close” encounter with one. I’ve had several with the animal either sprinting off or studying me enough to determine I was no threat. After an encounter with a Lion there is an overwhelming feeling of being watched however; one must be on alert following it. The main tact to take is just simply leave them alone, don’t offer them food as it has an opportunity to become an unfortunate encounter for the human; one result is the innocent animal my be destroyed if the human is injured.
Jacques Lebec Natural Self Reliance