Travel Advice And Advisories For Gambia

Sting

To most people, stingare inconsequential though sometimepainful and annoying. The threat of stmgiusually considered to come from bees, scorpionand other insects, but box jellyfish sting too and they have fatal consequences. Any number of small sea creaturecan cause you harm, for example blue-ring octopus, coneshell and stonefish. A sting can result in an itching annoyance, a painful swelling or a quick and agonising death.

Poison

Many creatureuse poison aa defence mechanism. Some like snakebite to inject their venom, otherspray or squirt it, while some have poisonouskin glands. Some ot the most toxic and most potent substanceknown are found m animal venom. The poisonvary in strength and effect. Some are deterrentthat are designed to make a creature taste bad so it won’t be eaten by a predator. At the other end of the scale are nerve toxinthat can kill an adult man in seconds.

Experttell me that animaldo not attack because they are malicious. They attack because they are:

• Hunting for food

• In pain

• Defending themselves

• Protecting young or a nest

• Seeking a mate

• Startled.

Whatever the reason for an attack, the resultcan be devastating. If not fatal, a victim could easily be crippled, disabled or blinded. Even a simple bite could infect you with potentially fatal diseasesuch arabies.

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Animal attack – countermeasures

Though some people are used to being around or working with animaland are able to read their moods, many people never come closer to an animal than walking past a cat or stray dog. To these city dwelleran animal ian alien creature, and they have no idea how to deal with it. I have therefore targeted these countermeasureat people who are devoid of animal experience.

Avoid any animal that you don’t know. Given the right circumstanceany animal can and will attack. Though the consequenceof being nibbled by an irate hamster and being mauled by an angry lion are totally different, both attackresulted because the animal waprovoked in some way.

Be aware that animalhave a variety of wayof attacking. For instance, small dogsnap, cameland horsebite, and llamakick and spit. An elephant could tosyou around using ittrunk and then trample you, goatoften nibble, and even a little old beach donkey can kick or chew your hand if it takeexception to you.

• Respect any animalyou come across. Don’t be fooled by cute and fuzzy cartoon lookor behaviour. An angry kangaroo could disembowel you with one kick. A disgruntled swan could break your leg. Even a cute chimpanzee haphenomenal strength – an adult chimp could easily rip a man’arm off.

Don’t be fooled by other people. The man in the bazaar may be handling the snake, but it doesn’t mean that it will let you touch it. The trainer might be able to take libertiewith the ‘tame’ wolf, but you shouldn’t copy him. Some animalhave been conditioned to tolerate humans. They may participate in gameand tricks, but inside they are a free spirit with their own driveand nature. In other words, they are still wild animalwith the potential to revert to natural behaviour, operating on instinct.

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