Protecting Yourself From a Wild Animal

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You're far more likely to be attacked by a domestic dog than a wild animal, but the recent animal attacks could certainly scare some people away from enjoying nature this spring.

The black bear that is believed to have killed a young girl and mauled her mother and brother on April 13 near Benton, Tenn., has been captured. Meanwhile, the 7-year-old boy who was attacked by a mountain lion during a family hike on Flagstaff Mountain in Colorado is still recovering in the hospital.

"This is prime mountain lion habitat," said Tyler Baskfield of the Colorado Division of Wildlife. "These occurrences are very, very rare."

Tips for Dealing With Wild Animals

Wild animals are more likely to attack children than adults because kids look more like prey to them. "It's always a good idea to know where your kids are. Keep them close and be aware that you're sharing the environment with wild animals," said Walter Boyce, director of the University of California Davis Wildlife Health Center.

Never try to attract wild animals with food or interact with them in any way. "We perhaps have the 'Bambi' approach. [We] think these animals are our friends," Boyce said. "Well, they're really wild animals, and that's what we have to remember."

If you or anyone you're with is attacked by a wild animal, experts say you should fight back. "Fight back with everything you have," Baskfield said. "You want to be the most formidable opponent as possible."

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