How to Escape an Attacking...

Baboon, Moose or Elephant. You can thank us later.

Feb 15, 2012
Outside Magazine

Beware the angry baboon    Photo: belgianchocolate/Flickr

a. Baboon: Notoriously fast and wily, baboons sometimes assault people, have snatched crying babies, and can open car doors. TROUBLE: If you're standing between a female and her baby, watch out—the troop will gang-attack. Neither stare nor yawn; both mean "I want to fight" in Monkey. Stay out of the way, and never, ever feed one. TACTICS: Stand, shout, and clap. Still coming? You're holding food. Drop the Twinkie. Slowly back away. Never let them see your bum.

b. Moose: The bull, one of the largest mammals in the U.S., can top out at 1,600 pounds, stand six feet tall, and sport 50 pounds of antlers and six-inch hooves. This ornery ungulate has been known to kill; winter, with its tiresome snows, and autumn, when bulls are drunk on testosterone, are the most dangerous times. TROUBLE: If its ears lie back, the hair on the hump of its neck stands up, or it clenches its teeth, it doesn't like you. TACTICS: Run or get behind something big. Take off and most charges will end as bluffs. If not, says moose biologist Terry Bowyer, "you could be playing ring around the tree for 20 minutes."

c. Elephant: The world's largest vegetarians are responsible for an estimated 500 deaths a year. Get one riled up and as much as six tons could be steamrolling your way at 25 to 30 miles an hour. TROUBLE: You smell eau de rotting flowers, urea, and Obsession. It's a bull in musk. Angry elephants kick up dirt, swing their trunks, trumpet, and hold their floppy ears straight out. TACTICS: Get behind something really big. Nothing around? Run. Heading down a steep hill will slow Jumbo down.