Africa's Deadliest Creatures
The Danger: Forget the happy hippos of cartoon fame: the real beasts are some of the meanest and most dangerous creatures out there.
Survive It: Sure, they're fat and they waddle, but they'll outrun you on land. The key: never get between a hippo and the water. Your best bet may be to just stand still. If you're in a canoe, they generally won't attack unless you float over them. Bang your paddle on the canoe to let them know you're coming.
The Danger: Despite their enormous size, these huge codgers are Olympic-level hide-and-seekers. If they hear or smell you coming, they'll charge without provocation and trample you to death.
Survive It: The buffalo's weakness? Eyesight. While his sense of smell is terrific, poor vision means you might be able to get away by climbing a tree or sidestepping at the last minute. Some experts even suggest that you stand still and take your chances that he'll miss you.
The Danger: You really don't want to happen upon the king of the jungle. 'Nuff said.
Survive It: Watch the giraffes. If they're standing still and looking the same way, they might be keeping an eye on lions. If you do encounter a cat (this includes the cheetah and jaguar), the"here, kitty kitty" approach
ain't gonna work. First, freeze. Back away slowly, making lots of noise and moving your arms. Then pray you don't see the warning signs: dropping to a crouch, flattening the ears, and flicking the tail tip.
The Danger: Old bull elephants are crankier than, well, just about anything. They're full of sound and fury, and heavy enough to make humanburger out of you.
Survive It: Like the cape buffalo, elephants' eyesight could stand some laser surgery, but these beasts can smell a pie cooling from far away. Stay downwind of them so they can't pinpoint you. And move slowly out of the way. If he pins his ears back, lowers his head, and curls his trunk, you're in trouble. Get up the closest tree.
The Danger: Stick a horn on the head of any animal and it becomes dangerous. Add in the rhino's huge size and nasty temper, and you're in for one unpleasant ride.
Survive It: Because rhinos have been heavily poached, the odds of running into one are pretty slim to begin with. But if fortune is frowning on you, you won't be able to outrun him. With his poor eyesight, you can try to dodge him. A better idea? Climb a tree.
The Danger: It's a face and a gait that only a mother could love. And these ugly creatureswhich are scavengers and huntershave jaws that can crush bone.
Survive It: Hide the bones and the flesh. Lock up the food and don't sleep out in the opena protruding leg would look mighty good. Even a mosquito net or any other cloth might offer some protection: There's a chance that the hyena won't be able to distinguish fabric from a solid wall.
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication
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