Questions tagged [animals]

Questions about animals likely to be encountered outdoors, whether from the perspective of food (hunting, preparing, eating); shelter (skinning); avoidance (bears, lions, other dangerous animals); enjoyment (bird and other animal watching, care, understanding of behavior).

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51
votes
1answer
8k views

Why would a seal be flinging an octopus around above the water and then slapping a kayaker with it?

There is a video of a seal sucker punching a kayaker with an octopus, Source I suppose the seal wasn't exactly trying to hit the kayaker, but why would it be flinging the octopus around above the ...
33
votes
5answers
94k views

How dangerous are kangaroos?

After watching this video of a man punching a kangaroo to rescue his dog, I am wondering how dangerous a kangaroo is to a human on foot? I am sure that there are a lot of other things in Australia ...
33
votes
7answers
141k views

How dangerous is a band of coyotes to a lone, unarmed human?

There's a delightful thrill to the call of a band of coyotes when you're alone in the dark woods. Do they present a danger? That is, have healthy coyotes (that is, not rabid) been known to attack or ...
28
votes
6answers
20k views

What animal could strip all the bark off the lower 7 feet of this tree?

I was out in the woods the other day and I came across a tree. It had all of the bark around the bottom removed, and a good layer of wood removed as well. I estimated the damage was a good 7-8 feet ...
28
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2answers
5k views

“Due to the sheep in the settlement the surrounding area has no mosquitoes”

I was surprised by this Visit Greenland statement on Qassiarsuk: Due to the sheep in the settlement the surrounding area has no mosquitoes. Does that make sense? Is there any reason why the ...
27
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4answers
8k views

What is wrong with the rabbit living under my shed?

So there is this rabbit that lives under my shed, and I've been watching it through my window for the past few days. It comes out in the mornings, and sits next to its hole crouched in a tight ball, ...
25
votes
9answers
35k views

How to humanely kill an injured rabbit?

My girlfriend was walking the dogs this am when she came across what she thought was a road kill rabbit. One of the dogs ran over to the "dead" rabbit and tried to take a bite out of the stomach. The ...
24
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7answers
4k views

What hazardous wildlife is there in the UK?

And what situations should I try and avoid in regards to wildlife and areas prone to hazards in the UK? Edited my question to cover the other answers more as they were very good additions to the ...
23
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1answer
1k views

Do I need to worry about feral dogs or even wolves if I camp in random areas while hitchhiking in Georgia (the country)?

After almost half a year working in a hostel in Tbilisi, spring has come and it is far warmer than anywhere further west in Europe so I'm going to hitchhike around Georgia with my tent in warm areas. ...
21
votes
1answer
4k views

What is this weird mechanical thing I found in the woods?

I hope this is the right community. I was walking through the woods and found this weird thing, it was in front of a hunting tower, and a wildlife cam was pointed at it. There where traces of deer(?) ...
20
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4answers
6k views

Dozens of earthworms came on my terrace and died there

We've had a harsh weather turnaround lately in central Europe. It went from a pretty warm late summer to a pretty cold autumn in nearly one single night. As this happened, earthworms started to come ...
19
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3answers
5k views

Should a hiker be concerned about wolves in the back-country?

In this question, it was asked whether bear-spray was effective against other animals, such as wolves. I know the old adage that "there has never been record of a healthy wolf attacking an adult" is ...
18
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5answers
4k views

What are the benefits of saving bats?

I'm fascinated by bats. I love to watch them fly around, although I've never seen more than a few at a time where I live in a suburban area in Massachusetts, Northeastern Unites States. I'd love to ...
15
votes
2answers
3k views

When is it a bad idea to follow a game trail?

If you are walking on trail, and a game trail heads off in an interesting direction is it ever a bad idea to follow it? If so how would you know when it is OK to follow a game trail? This question ...
14
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5answers
14k views

Why do you not aim for the head while archery hunting?

In 3D archery and while hunting we're aiming for the lungs and the heart most of the time. At least this is true for bobcats, lynxes, deer and other similar animals. See this target for example: ...
14
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2answers
772 views

What is the most effective way to flee from an alligator?

I've heard that running in a zig-zag pattern makes it more difficult for the alligator to keep up with you. Is that true?
13
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2answers
3k views

How can I avoid an encounter with a tiger?

I'm backpacking through a national park in India, which also happens to be a tiger reserve. I understand that chances of even spotting a Bengal tiger are slim, but still, what precautionary measures ...
13
votes
1answer
33k views

How can I tell if a opossum is truly dead?

I saw a opossum (the North American kind) on a golf course the other day. It looked pretty dead - there was foam coming out of its mouth and flies buzzing all around it. However, I know opossums can ...
13
votes
1answer
768 views

What to do when a snake blocks a narrow trail?

Some time back I was on a very narrow mountain trail with a cliff rising to my right and a steep gorge dropping to my left. The trail was blocked by by the viper below (with the gorge just out of shot)...
12
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2answers
3k views

What breed is this very large, black, turtle/tortoise found in the Northeast United States?

My husband found this very large turtle (or tortoise) crossing a road from an industrial park towards a wooded area. It was in June, in Massachusetts, USA, at 8:00 in the evening. He didn't touch it, ...
12
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2answers
1k views

What are these round, spiny, puffy, green things from the ocean in Northeast United States?

Last October, we were on a road above a beach in a small town near Bar Harbor, Maine, in the Northeast United States. We looked down and saw two fishermen loading their trucks with piles of something ...
12
votes
2answers
26k views

Is “scat” used to describe the droppings of any animal?

I understand that when you see animal droppings in the wilderness, it's referred to as "scat." I have heard scat referred to when referencing bear, coyote and mountain lion droppings. Is this the ...
12
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2answers
4k views

Should you avoid handling lambs?

On a recent walk we ended up with a lamb following us. I picked it up and took it back to its mother. As I walked past someone else on the trail shouted that I shouldn't touch the lambs as "it ...
12
votes
3answers
2k views

How can I prevent animals from marking my camp as their territory?

Often, when I leave my tent during the day, cats and other animals come and pee in the corners and on the carpet. They probably do this to mark it as their territory. They don't come at night when I ...
12
votes
2answers
325 views

Do animal trails have switchbacks?

When hiking in a rarely frequented area, trails may be very faint to the level of being essentially invisible. In such situations, it has happened more than once that I accidentally followed an ...
12
votes
1answer
889 views

What should I do if I get sprayed by a skunk?

There are times when I just barely miss getting sprayed by a skunk (there are a lot of them in my area). I haven't actually gotten directly sprayed, but I would like to be ready in case that happens. ...
11
votes
4answers
7k views

Are elk and deer colorblind to blaze orange/pink clothes?

During rifle season, hunters are required to wear blaze orange (some states also allow bright pink). I have heard that deer and elk are color blind to blaze orange, is there scientific evidence to ...
11
votes
3answers
11k views

Can you tell the gender of a chipmunk from a distance?

We have a large number of chipmunks, probably mostly Eastern Chipmunk, Tamias striatus, in our yard in Massachusetts. There are different sizes and a large variation in markings. The behavior appears ...
11
votes
2answers
509 views

Is sunscreen toxic to marine life, especially coral reefs?

As part of an effort to be a responsible user of the world's waterways, I've been thinking about ways to reduce marine pollution. A friend told me that certain chemicals in common brands of sunscreen ...
11
votes
2answers
4k views

Any dangerous animals attracted to fire?

While we are out in the wild it's good practice to keep a fire up to hold back several kinds of dangerous animals, isn't it? I wonder if there are any (for humans dangerous) creatures out there which ...
11
votes
1answer
9k views

What determines whether the young of a cat is called a kitten or a cub?

The young of cats are called kittens or cubs, depending partly on how large the cat is, and apparently partly on informal custom. Wikipedia, kitten says: The word "kitten" derives from the Middle ...
11
votes
1answer
178 views

Why should lights be turned off on beaches where turtles breed?

I have a friend who lives in Orlando, Florida. She and her husband are avid sailors and travelers. They also hunt lighthouses, and have seen over 100 different ones. They're currently on a trip from ...
11
votes
1answer
757 views

Which types of animals would peel bark off this tree?

I'm just curious which animals would peel bark off a tree like this: It's a riparian setting in the Mid Atlantic region. I was thinking maybe a beaver?
11
votes
1answer
1k views

Butterfly Migration over Lassen Peak

Roughly 10 years ago I hiked up Lassen Peak in Northern California, and there was a huge (hundreds of thousands) butterfly migration going right over the top of the peak around this time of year. It ...
11
votes
1answer
287 views

What should I do when I find a dying dog?

A few years ago I was on a cycling holiday - on my own - in remote mountainous countryside in the north of Greece. One day, I came across a dog lying by the side of the road. I had passed quite a few ...
10
votes
5answers
2k views

Protecting Food Supplies from wild animals While Backpacking

A group of 4 plan on hiking across Michigan's UP's Ottawa National Forest. We are finishing up our plans and have one last issue with food that we aren't sure how to handle. We know you are supposed ...
10
votes
3answers
1k views

How to keep away animals from my camp without setting a fire?

I'm new in Camping, and recently I have camped in France, in the Vosges region, in the locality called "Le bonhomme". Well it's not the pure wilderness but it was very unusual for me, as it was ...
10
votes
2answers
285 views

From the point of view of wildlife, what is the most dangerous component of roadside litter?

As my other litter question stated, I live on a semi-rural road, and about twice a year pick up litter from the verge. Others pick up litter too, but there are swathes of floodplain land, ...
10
votes
2answers
1k views

Storing food in the desert

I'll be doing some backpacking in sections of desert in Eastern Washington, U.S. and I was wondering if anybody has tips on food storage while hiking? There will be no trees to hang the food in. I'm ...
10
votes
2answers
2k views

Where do white tigers live?

We saw this magnificent white tiger in a wildlife rehabilitation center in the United States. I don't like seeing animals out of their natural habitat, but all of these animals were rescued from ...
10
votes
1answer
16k views

How to clean bones found outside?

On a recent walk my girlfriend and I discovered a decomposed horse carcass, nothing but bones left. We took some photos and moved on. She's now decided that the bones would make great ornaments and we ...
10
votes
1answer
173 views

Guy Ropes and Wildlife

A few years ago camping in Dorset, England we had an issue with the wonderfully cute local wildlife nibbling away at our guy ropes. At the time, we didn't have a replacement. So with a guy rope ...
9
votes
3answers
2k views

Is there a reason for seeing a lot of roadkill badgers in the spring?

I spent much of today cycling around quiet country lanes in South Gloucestershire, Wiltshire and Oxfordshire, and saw at least 6 dead badgers on the road. I saw a few others earlier in the week on ...
9
votes
3answers
3k views

Is playing musical instruments like Harp/Harmonica, Flute unsafe during backpacking trips?

Along with trekking and camping, I am too involved in musical instruments that I play. And, I always have had a thought of carrying my six-string with me on some long hike for entertainment during I ...
9
votes
2answers
3k views

Camping with a tarp, what are risks about animals?

I have never camped using a tarp (and just a sleeping bag under), and I am wondering about it. I am thinking about camping in Canada, and the animals around there are apparently mostly bears and other ...
9
votes
3answers
9k views

Should I run if I come across Hyena?

Question prompted by: Should I run if I see wild dogs? Since Hyenas physically resemble Wild Dogs, more or less, is the advice in that discussion applicable for encounters with Hyenas too? Are there ...
9
votes
5answers
408 views

Where can we see genetically pure American Bison, including Yellowstone National Park?

Most species of bison have been bred with cattle at one time or another during history. The American Bison (bison bison) is unique because it's genetically pure, having only the DNA of the bison, with ...
9
votes
1answer
1k views

Does it help to play a fake sound when confronted with a wild animal?

I was thinking about heading to a place where there is a chance to confront a coyote. It worried me a lot then..this question popped up. If I have big enough speaker that can play sound of coyote's ...
9
votes
1answer
1k views

How to avoid dangerous encounters with hippopotamuses?

I'm going on an adventure to Africa next year. We'll be in the savanna and thus I'm wondering how to behave in sight of hippopotamuses. What are the most common mistakes people make around ...
9
votes
1answer
509 views

What built these mud structures (Ohio, USA)?

I found these structures while hiking in Wayne Township, Clermont County, Ohio, USA, on June 7, 2016, at approximately N 39° 12.5 W 084° 04.0. I only had my phone, and not a real camera, so sorry for ...