People From Around The World Share Their Intense Encounters With Wild Animals

People From Around The World Share Their Intense Encounters With Wild Animals

Wild animals. The very word "wild" implies that they are out of our control, chaotic and possibly (or even probably, depending upon the animal) dangerous. Even normally domesticated animals can act feral under extreme circumstances!

While all animals do act on their own sets of rules and instincts, we humans don't know them and that makes every encounter with a wild animal uncertain for us. Most often, the animal is simply frightened of us and runs away, however, when that doesn't occur, the results could be just about anything.

The people in these stories had particularly intense encounters with wild animals, often placing them in dangerous situations. They then chose to get online and share their experiences with all of us so that we may learn from their stories or get a good laugh out of them. Hopefully, we'll all have a few, safe, wild encounters in our lives!


45. Hitting New Highs

I was hiking and climbing up a bunch of rocks that form almost like a small cliffside, so you couldn't really see where your hands were being placed. Went to grab the next rock to pull myself up and grabbed something that felt like leather and literally pulled a copperhead snake down onto my head. As a man, I did not even know my voice was capable of hitting such a high pitch. The snake didn't know what the heck happened either so it just went crazy and flew off after he hit the ground.

21793-1551324045102.jpgClark Weber/Flickr

44. Almost As Dangerous

I was working in Yellowstone one summer. One early morning, I went out to my car, parked in a small gravel lot at one of the ranger living areas near Yellowstone Lake. As I walk around to the driver side of the car, I see out of the corner of my eye a very large grayish-brown shape moving in the shrubbery about six to eight feet away from me. I quickly back away behind my car. Scared the crap out of me thinking it was a grizzly. Turns out it was a moose, but still extremely dangerous to be that close.

21794-1551324151420.jpgBrad Smith/Flickr

43. When Bananas Are Not Enough

A few years ago, I was at a monkey forest minding my own business, feeding some bananas to the animals. Then, out of nowhere, this rabid monkey comes flying on to me and attaches its teeth into my legs and bites me. I’m freaking out, mom is freaking out and we ended up having to send me to get emergency shots. Then they put me straight back on a plane home for treatment so I wouldn’t die of rabies.

21795-1551324233991.jpgKarra Rothery/Flickr

42. Tame But Hungry

I had to run from a domestic sow (pig) who decided that she should have been fed earlier. She saw the food bucket and came charging at me, making sounds that you hear in nightmares. The bucket went one way, I went the other and I cleared the fence in one leap. Pigs of any type are scary when they want to be.

21796-1551324494283.jpgLiquid emulsion/Flickr


41. Controlling 'Coons

The most dangerous call I've been on as an Animal Control Officer was responding to a report of a sick raccoon in the driveway of a home. When I arrived, I saw it lying on the driveway, not really responding to anything.

I got a wire mesh carrier and my ketch pole (metal pole with wire loop used to secure dangerous animals) off of my truck. I opened the carrier and set it down about 10 feet from the raccoon. It was still just lying on its side. I could see that it was breathing but there was no visible wound or injury.

I put my ketch pole out and when the second the loop of wire touched the raccoon it started to flail about and make the most god-awful hissing sound. It was sort of rocking on its back trying to stand up, but it wasn't able to coordinate its various limbs to actually get a leg under it.

I secured the raccoon on my ketch pole and it used every tooth, nail, and remotely chitinous bit it had to shred the wire. I lifted the thing and threw it into the carrier, slamming the lid closed as quickly as I could. Sure enough: the state tested the raccoon and it was rabid. In the middle of a medium-large city.

21797-1551324540390.jpgBonnie Shulman/Flickr

40. Mistaken Identity

I was once camping in the Zambian bush near the border with Malawi, sitting around the fire when my friend went back to his tent to get some more drinks. He was a little wasted when I heard him coming back, but stumbling about. I shouted, "You're going to wake up half of Africa" as I shone my Maglite in his direction. Only my friend wasn't there; it was a massive bull elephant. Who I had now just blinded. The only reason I am here now is because I can, apparently, run faster than an African Elephant. Or at least in a more zig-zag fashion.

21840-1551328733740.jpgJenny S/Flickr

39. Wake-Up Call

A few years ago, a buddy and I decided to hike into the woods the night before opening day of deer hunting season so we would be in our spots nice and early. Our plan was to just throw sleeping bags on the ground and sleep for a few hours before the sun came up.

So fast-forward to first light. I wake up in my sleeping bag and there is a coyote about 10 feet in front of me just staring at me. I look over at my buddy who is about 75 yards to my left and he still in his sleeping bag with his rifle pointed straight at the coyote, laughing at me. Once I moved, the coyote ran away. My buddy said he was watching the thing get closer and closer to me and wanted to see how close it would get.

21799-1551324752128.jpgDavid Ellis/Flickr

38. Kittens Always Win

Coyotes are incredibly docile and timid; mountain lions, however, will mess you up. I'd spend summers on my grandparents' chicken farm in Northern California. My job as a kid was to, pull dead chickens out of the cage and dispose of them.

So I'm about 10 years old, stuffing these dead chickens in a hole, when out of nowhere a mountain lion cub just appears. he was probably 30 lbs. So I gave him the dead chicken, which he proceeded to rip it to pieces.

My grandpa just happened to walk around the corner. He yelled out, "Kid, that cat will kick your butt!" The cub took off running, but I'll never forget my grandpa telling me a cat will kick my butt.


37. Rodent Cannibalism

Two summers ago, I was working in a campground when I saw an average-sized chipmunk dragging something in its mouth along the ground. I got closer as it approached the base of a tree; now I could see that the thing in its mouth is another chipmunk, although just slightly smaller and obviously dead. The chipmunk dragged the dead chipmunk up the tree onto a branch about 10 feet up the ground and stood over it, like it was going to eat it.


36. Stamping Fear Into It

Walking up to a viewpoint Pagoda in Myanmar -- my friend in front of me suddenly stops dead and says “heck no.” I look down and his foot is about an inch away from a freaking 4m long, big, black viper. Having never encountered a wild snake I had no idea what to do either, not to mention the fact he is terrified of them. It suddenly moved (they’re fast), and its head pointed towards us. Without really thinking I started stamping my feet, and it got scared and shot off. That was terrifying.



35. Accidental Squishing

When I was about 9 and living on a farm, I had to go feed the bull, who lived in a shed. It was a large Hereford bull, relatively calm and safe as bulls go. But big.

I climbed the gate and tipped out the food into its trough, which was next to the gate. The bull was close enough and stepped over to eat before I could get back over the gate. I got pinned up against that gate pretty tight and the bull didn't even notice my puny punches. I was struggling to breathe and couldn't even shout for help.

Thankfully, he moved a little, shifting his weight to his other leg and it was enough for me to wriggle down and under his belly to safety. The bull wasn't in the slightest bit interested, he was just chomping down his food.


34. The Scared Scarer

When I was little, I went to the zoo with my parents. Apparently, a deer escaped. Now, when you think of a deer, you kind of think of Bambi, or some cute little baby animal. Well, this is crap. Try seeing a big, well fed, scared deer running in circles among human beings. It was scary.

21809-1551325449826.jpgReid Kasprowicz/Flickr

33. Between A Snake And A Hard Place

I grew up in an area with many natural caves and old mines. One day, I was exploring an old mine up the canyon with some friends. The opening to this mine was pretty small and you had to crawl on your hands and knees to enter and exit. Anyhow, on our way out I was the first in the group to exit and about half way out I see this rattlesnake at about the same time it sees me. It perks right up and starts rattling. This thing is maybe two feet from my face. I nearly poop myself and start backing up only to be hindered by my friends who are right behind me also trying to crawl out (they don't know what's up there yet).


32. How Long Can A Human Hold Its Breath?

Worked at a zoo. Had to get the tiger's toy (a beer keg) out of the water. Tiger jumped in and a big paw came right down on my head on the water. I was 99% sure I was gonna drown.


31. Drop The Bag!

I was 12 or something and went horse riding. I remember walking the horse through the woods and we were feeding them. There was feed in my hand and one horse came galloping towards me. I got scared and ran. As I ran, there were two horses chasing me. All the while, my friend was yelling in the background, "DROP THE FEED." I finally dropped the feed, but that was scary as hell. A couple of animals that weigh a ton chasing you is not pleasant.


30. How To Beat A Bear

In the Smokey Mountains, I was driving up a very steep 30-40 degree incline to get into our cabin. At the very top around the curve, was a black bear just chilling in the middle of the dirt "driveway." I couldn't back up because I'd almost definitely fall over a cliff and I couldn't stay still cause the incline was so steep that if you took your foot off the gas you'd roll back down over a cliff. I had one option, gun it right at the bear and lay into the horn. This is how I won a fight with a bear.

21814-1551325775307.jpgDJANDYWDOTCOM AKA NOBODY/Flickr


29. Kicking For Dear Life

When I was about 13, I was checking the waves on my bike on a cold winter day in the northeast. The beach entrance was an alleyway with high cement walls on both sides. On my way through the alley, I was confronted by an angry German Shepherd with no owner in sight. I froze and we had a stare down. He charged, snarling and when he was within reach he took a leap. Without thinking I field goal style kicked him as hard as I possibly could in the throat. He yelped and hightailed it the heck out of there.


28. Stumbling Into Danger

Back in the summer of 2007, I was part of an Ecology research team that went down to Costa Rica to count the poison dart frog population, take measurements of trees and extract soil samples to try and measure the amount of deforestation over the span of a year. The research in the rainforest would be conducted during the daylight hours and at night we would regroup back at the lodge, eat dinner, and partake in a little drinking of some adult beverages.

This particular night I felt especially sauced from the Cachaca and decided to take an adventure with my best friend away from the lodge to the Caiman filled lagoon. As we approached the lagoon, I dropped my flashlight on the ground in front of me. I was in the midst of bending over and reaching out to pick it up when my friend jerked me back violently. We both landed on the ground and I asked him what the heck did he do that for.

As we made our way back on our feet, he shined his head lamp right next to my flashlight on the ground and there coiled up, looking like it was ready to strike was a Fer-da-lance snake. There are 22 species of snakes in Costa Rica and that is the most venomous. The closest hospital to us was a four to five hour drive away. My professor and the locals said I would have died well before ever reaching that hospital had that snake bit me.

21817-1551326048233.jpgCarol Foil/Flickr

27. Hiding Evidence Of Danger

I backpack a lot in the Western US, so I have had a few run ins with mountain lions. They say that if you see them, then you don't need to be worried.

I took a friend out backpacking, and we were in the tent at night and could hear that crazy mountain lion scream - sounded like it was in the distance but kept going for a while. We pass out, but I wake up in the middle of the night and am very aware there is a large animal/animals outside the tent sniffing around. I freeze and wait it out without waking up my friend, who would have lost it.

I got up before dawn and all around the tent there are mountain lion tracks - it must have been inches away from our heads separated by a sheet of nylon. Not wanting my friend to see, I scuffed them up. But I was watching my back the whole hike back.

21818-1551326139293.jpgJon WIley/Flickr

26. Jogs And Hogs

A whole family of wild pigs with little ones barely missed me while jogging. Three or for beautiful little wild piggies ran across almost in front of me and I thought, "Sweet, how ..." and then a couple of meters in front of me the mom crossed. She was big alright; thankfully, she didn't take my approach as an attack and followed her group to protect the little ones somewhere else. But you do not want to get a momma pig riled up.

21819-1551326260954.jpgMike Gifford/Flickr

25. Momma Moose

I was hiking by myself in Alaska. I went round a curve on the trail and came face to face with a moose and her two babies. Was probably only about 10 feet from them and I literally had to look up to look at her head. I just froze with her looking at me for what seemed like an eternity (probably only a few seconds). She and her calves then bolted off into the woods. It could have so easily gone badly, as mothers can be very protective.

21820-1551326379925.jpgAnders Fongen/Flickr

24. Stampede On The Alp

I was hiking, and coming back to the cottage from the summit. I was kind of dragging along my girlfriend who was already destroyed from the two days of hiking, and because of her ill-fitting hiking boots.

In order to get to the cottage, we had to cross the mountain. No dangerous animals in sight. A cattle herd was grazing several meters uphill, but I figured the distance was enough. When we had crossed the mountain halfway, we noticed the herd of cattle coming in our direction from uphill. Suddenly, the leading cow started to gallop towards us, head lowered and all. The rest of the herd blindly followed her.

My girlfriend started to panic as she couldn't run due to her cramping feet. Also, I think running would have startled the cow even more. So we just walked fast to the cottage. When we reached the fence surrounding the cottage, the cow was about only 10m behind us, in full gallop. In that moment, I was genuinely afraid for my life.



23. Pet Panic

My cat got stuck in my window blinds one day and was dangling upside down. He is an aggressive little mammal that bites if you pet him anywhere else than the head. He was screaming and I tried to release him while panicking. The cat was clawing me and biting, not understanding I was trying to help. I know cats are small, but I am sure they could kill a human if they really tried.

21822-1551326531790.jpgFoma Padshewscky/Flickr

22. The Bull Beater

My husband was helping his dad separate some of the cows (which the bull didn't like because they were taking away his ladies) while I stood back and watched. All of a sudden, the bull decided he had had enough and came charging towards me and my father-in-law. I prepare for the worst but my father-in-law casually picked up a 2x4 and nailed the bull right in the nose with it. I couldn't believe it... And frankly neither could the bull. He stood there stunned for a moment, then sneezed and shook his head a little bit, and trotted back to his original spot.

21842-1551328944567.jpgDavid Floyd/Flickr

21. Soothing Words

A stray dog probably, over 150 lbs, bit into my arm for about two minutes or more and growled like a beast. I believe he weighed about as much as me at that point. While I was, initially, very frightened, I almost immediately just remained as calm as I could and started talking to it like it was my own little puppy and eventually he let go. I handled it far better than I would've imagined.


20. Unseen Murder Log

I was walking on a hotel beach in Georgia when I was 10. I came up to the end of the hotel’s property where they had set up big concrete median strip blocks to keep the beach separated from the salt marsh on the other side. So I decided to climb up on them and walk around.

When I climbed down to go back, my foot landed several inches in front of a large alligator that I hadn’t seen until just then for some reason. Luckily for me, murder logs are notoriously lazy, and this one apparently wasn’t hungry. I don’t think I’ve ever run that fast in flip-flops though.


19. Encountering A Mountain Lioness

I walked a fire service road near the campground to watch the sunset. It was the end of summer, so the forest had far fewer visitors. Walking back at dusk, I saw two shadows walking towards me down the road. The shapes were still 150 feet away. I realized they weren't deer, coyotes, large wild turkeys or any other of the wildlife I had seen.

It turned out it was a mother mountain lion and her large cub. Shoot. I couldn't hide and I didn't want them to come upon me suddenly and get scared. So I made myself big and loud. They ran up a small hill into the trees. Still being big and loud I walked off the road to put distance between them and me.

The mother came back down the hill to put herself between me and her cub, maybe 50 feet away. She growled the entire time, a sound I won't forget.

21826-1551327016255.jpgTambako The Jaguar/Flickr

18. Evil Deer

My sister's mother-in-law lives on a barrier island turned resort town. She invited us all down there for a week once. It's illegal to hunt deer on this island, so there are just thousands of them. And they're evil. They will run after anyone that they think might have food. We had to chase them off this woman they'd rammed, causing her to spill all her groceries. I don't think they're docile and majestic anymore.

21827-1551327089257.jpgPeter Davis/Flickr

17. Blueberry Competition

I was picking wild blueberries and had a bear walk up and start snacking from the same bush right next to me. He even pushed me out of my 'better' spot. I just walked away, very slowly.

21828-1551327174606.jpgsteve mcnicholas/Flickr

16. Just Scouting The New Build

I moved into my first home a year ago. It was in a new development and there are still a few wooded areas around the house. One very early Sunday morning, I was getting ready to go to work. In the summer, I bike because I'm less than five minutes away. I open the garage door and while I'm lifting the door, I have both arms up in the air so I'm completely exposed. Unbeknownst to me, a coyote was on the other side of the garage door. He walked right into my garage. I was paralyzed with fear until I realized he had no interest in me.

21801-1551324840310.jpgLuke Jones/Flickr

15. Boar Is The Boss

Walking on a trail in east Texas, I saw a wild boar the size of a tractor wheel. We both froze up and stared at each other. Boar walked off like a boss because he knew he would be the winner in this confrontation.

21829-1551327225747.jpgElroy Serrao/Flickr

14. Hello, Neighbor!

I found myself in a rather bizarre situation where I didn't have anywhere to stay for the last two weeks of my contract, so I decided to set up a tent and live where I worked (I was doing field work, so it wasn't too big of a stretch). Sitting in said tent one Saturday, waiting for my buddy to come pick me up to go fishing, I heard footsteps approaching. I smelled his/her stench before seeing the black shadow it cast on my tent as a black bear walked around to the door. I have a tendency to keep the window thingy in my door open, so we shared a very tense eye-to-eye moment. Luckily for me, that glorious creature had no real interest in me and kept on her merry way after the little stare down.

21830-1551327440450.jpgGeorge Pankewytch/Flickr

13. Never Assume They're Harmless

I was taking pictures of hummingbirds at my feeders. Camera on tripod, remote in my hand. The flash angered one particular bird who zoomed over to me, hovered for a moment, then rapidly stabbed me twice in my left temple and zipped away. I may be the only person in the world left bleeding by a hummingbird.

21831-1551327510314.jpgMike Lewinski/Flickr

12. Midnight Picnic

I was awoken in the middle of the night by two big brown bears helping themselves to the tuna salad in our cooler. It was hot, so we were just sleeping on the ground. I sat up and shined a flashlight in the direction of the noise. Saw two pair of eyes shining back over the picnic table. First sleepy thought, "Hunh. Why would deer be interested in our cooler?" Don't remember much between that thought and getting ourselves settled enough to breathe once we were in our car. All good. No injuries.

21832-1551327781849.jpgMervyn Chua/Flickr

11. Distraction Turned To Panic

I volunteered as an assistant canoe guide in the Boundary Waters over the summer when I was 16. A couple of coworkers and I were lost in conversation as we followed the winding trail out toward the staff cabins. The trail curved around a hill and I kid you not, there was a massive moose less than 10 yards in front of us.

Just staring us down, it stomped its hoof and let out a grunt. As we froze, paralyzed in surprise, a calf poked its head out from behind its mother. Without anyone saying a word, the three of us slooooowly stepped backward while maintaining a staring contest with the ground. I’m still awestruck by the intensity of that moment more than six years later.

21833-1551327899646.jpgJared B/Flickr

10. Aggressive Heavyweight

I worked at an animal hospital as a vet tech for many years. We had this family that had this MASSIVE Cane Corso. He was 120 lbs at nine months. He was also unstable and always made me a little nervous. Very aggressive towards other dogs and just generally sketchy behavior which isn't unusual at the vet's office when they're stressed.

So I was the tech taking care of him one day. I went to go hold the dog for the exam and he whipped around and tried to bite me. I jumped backward and he missed. The owner proceeds to laugh it off and we tried to get a muzzle on the animal for the exam. This dog was lunging, growling, and just generally being scary. The owner was barely hanging on. Needless to say, we gave up on an exam and the owner took the dog home. I haven't been that scared of an animal ever. The dog weighed as much as I did.

21834-1551327968901.jpgSteve C/Flickr

9. Hovering Giant

In Saitama prefecture (Japan), I had a Japanese giant hornet hover about five feet in front of my face. It just hovered, looking right at me. It was at least two inches long and an aggressive orange color. Over what felt like the next 17 years, I slowly walked backward, then around it and finally towards my destination. The entire time I circled around it, it rotated in the air to face me. I've read about the pain of their stings (tremendous and requiring hospital treatment) and the fact that they can fly much faster than I can run, release attack pheromones to summon friends, etc. I also know that at least 30 people die every year from hornet encounters in Japan.


8. Uninvited House Guest

A few years back, I walked into my apartment holding my baby daughter. And right across from me, staring at me with its beady eyes was a pigeon. It started flying and flapping around me, and there was no way out! All the windows were closed. So I did the only logical thing -- I escaped out the front door and went to call my next door neighbor.


7. Camel Kicked

I worked two summers at a wildlife park and the most dangerous encounter I ever had was a camel that kicked me. I had been employed as a camel walker for about two months at that point and my job was to walk the camels from their big home to the pen and harness them so that people could ride them. Then I would walk camels (with passengers) around the enclosure. We had salt licks and food and water for them (the camels) in their off time, but once they were in the pen they were expected to give rides to the guests.

There were a total of four camels. Their shifts were two and two, so they worked every other day. One of them (a dromedary) decided that morning that he was not going to work with me. I was walking him to the pen. He was in front of me (lead in my left hand) while the other camel was in my right hand. He got spooked or something and full-on bucked me in the chest. I was a high school football player at the time. I had been hit by big, bad people. That camel kicking me was something else. I was sent flat on my back. All my wind was gone. He took off while the other camel was content to just kind of stand there and look at me.


6. The Baddest Blue

I was swimming at a beach in Sydney and was grabbing seashells under the water at the deepest point where I could still stand. I had just started grabbing random old oyster shells when I saw something squishy inside one of them. When I went to touch it, I saw something bright blue. It was a blue ring octopus -- one of the most poisonous creatures on Earth. I have never thrown anything so fast in my life. Thank goodness it was in a shell or I would probably be dead now.

21838-1551328492919.jpgSteve Childs/Flickr

5. Pack Hunters

I once went for a run in the afternoon, but misjudged the amount of sunlight I had left. I thought I'd be fine, but as I hit the halfway point, I noticed that the sun was going down a lot faster than I expected. The place I was running was a very large park, which is surrounded on all sides by hills and wooded areas.

As the sun went down, I started to hear something following me. Not closely, but I was aware of its presence. Around the six mile mark, I saw something in the dark ahead of me. I was nervous but knew that you're supposed to be loud and make yourself seem bigger to scare most animals off. So I did, and whatever it was got scared and vanished.

Around the seven mile mark, I heard it again, but this time it seemed to be accompanied by the sounds of several other animals, making yelping and cackling noises. That's when I started to panic. Knowing I had about a mile to go to get back to my car, I started hauling butt, running as fast as I could.

When I finally made it back to my car at a dead sprint, I pulled my keys out, unlocked it and hopped in as fast as I could. Less than 10 seconds later, an entire pack of coyotes materialized out of the darkness and surrounded my car. As I caught my breath, they just sat there staring at me through my windows, seemingly trying to wait me out and see if I'd leave the car. They finally scattered when I started my engine.

21839-1551328643329.jpgQUOI Media/Flickr

4. No Physics, Only Rage

Some years ago, I lived on an acre and a half outside city limits in Colorado along the Front Range. The property had a paddock, such as it was, with a small barn. The neighbor asked if we could keep his horse there until they built a fence to keep the horse.

One day, my significant other noticed a prairie dog was digging in the paddock. She said that was my job for the day: to get rid of the prairie dog. Hoofed animals can step in prairie dog holes -- they dig elaborate tunnels and mounds -- and break their legs.  I took the garden hose with a spray nozzle out to the prairie dog hole and sprayed the full blast setting above the hole to force the water to flood whatever the prairie dog was building underground. It had only been there half a day, so how deep could it be?

I sprayed that darn hole for a full 10 minutes and saw no evidence that I was making a difference. I stopped for a moment, then started again. After a couple more minutes, I heard some insane babbling coming from the hole. I sympathized, but there were many other places for this dude to build a home other than our paddock. As I continued spraying, the babbling got louder. That prairie dog shot straight up out of that hole and didn't seem to touch the ground before shooting toward me.

I did a weird little what the heck is happening dance but kept hold of the hose, my only weapon, and directed it at the prairie dog that was somehow flying towards me without the aid of worldly physics. I blasted that little guy in the face for what seemed like 30 minutes but in reality, was about two seconds, and it went screaming off into the distance. My life flashed before my eyes.


3. Snappers Interrupted

I live in rural Georgia on a large horse farm. Below our main lake, I've been transforming a marshy swamp area into a duck pond with the help of my friendly beaver, Cooter.

My wife and I were admiring the work Cooter had been doing on his dam when I noticed, far out in the middle of the pond, something very large slowing rolling. As it rolled, a flash of pink and orange would show. We stared at it for a while and couldn't figure out what it might be.

Curiosity got the best of me, so I stripped down naked and crawled into the water over the beaver dam. There is a beaver channel carved down the middle of the pond where the creek bed had been, so I submerged except for my head and slowly worked my way along the channel back to where this "thing" was rolling in the water.

As I got within about 15 feet, I could see that it was two VERY LARGE snapping turtles mating. The male was huge. His head and neck were as big around as my thigh. The female was smaller but still a good 30-35 lbs.

I got the crazy idea to see how close I could get before they would notice/react to me. At that point, I was also wondering what would happen if I grabbed the big one by the back of his shell. Only exposed from the nostrils up, I slowly continued to move toward them.

Both the turtles stopped rolling and stared at me when I was a little less than 10 feet away. They separated and the female quickly submerged, swimming away from me. But the big male took another second or two to size me up and then submerged much more slowly, swimming toward me.

21821-1551326461437.jpgStan Lupo/Flickr

2. Knock, Knock It's Bear

I was 13 at the time and home alone. I came up from my room in the basement to get a drink when I heard a knock on the door. It wasn't common, but sometimes people got lost and needed directions. So I went to the door, but just as I was about to open it my dog started barking like crazy. Not his usual friendly barking, but a snarling angry bark. All of a sudden, a full grown black bear stood up at the door and took off running. I was two seconds away from coming face-to-face with a 400 lb predator.

21823-1551326754849.jpgMark Round/Flickr

1. The Moose's Spit

I got cornered by a bull moose during rutting season (when they’re mating and are very territorial/aggressive) while I was working in a remote northern New Brunswick wetland. I had gone out onto a long narrow spit that separated two deep ponds to do a survey. When I turned around, a moose had come out of the tree line, walking towards me. It stopped at the end of the spit, maybe 10-15 feet away then snorted and reared its head to show me it didn’t like me there.

It spent about 10 minutes displaying the same aggressive behavior. While this was happening, I slipped my boots off and put all of my equipment down, ready to jump into the wetland if I had to. Fortunately, it never charged me, and eventually turned and walked back into the woods.