Worst Places for Animal Attacks

From sharks to polar bears, animals can strike at any moment. Here’s where they’re most threatening.

California:Mountain Lions

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The mountain lion range spans from the Yukon to the Southern Andes, but California is home to the most terrifying encounters, mostly due to the state’s swelling human population. In the U.S. and Canada, there have been 80 attacks and 12 fatalities in the last two decades, with half of those deaths in California. The elusive cats—which usually attack when injured and/or hungry—pounce on prey and often lock the head of their victim in their mouth.

Survival Tip: To avoid attacks, don’t bike or run alone in wooded areas. If provoked, stand up straight, swelling your chest, making eye contact and lots of noise. Never run, crouch, or turn away.

Safe Spotting: Arizona Outback Adventures is staffed by wildlife and survival experts and customizes and arranges ranger-guided group trips through Arizona mountain lion territory. Attacks usually happen to solo hikers, so your best bet is to stay in a group.

Worst Places for Animal Attacks

California:Mountain Lions

The mountain lion range spans from the Yukon to the Southern Andes, but California is home to the most terrifying encounters, mostly due to the state’s swelling human population. In the U.S. and Canada, there have been 80 attacks and 12 fatalities in the last two decades, with half of those deaths in California. The elusive cats—which usually attack when injured and/or hungry—pounce on prey and often lock the head of their victim in their mouth.

Survival Tip: To avoid attacks, don’t bike or run alone in wooded areas. If provoked, stand up straight, swelling your chest, making eye contact and lots of noise. Never run, crouch, or turn away.

Safe Spotting: Arizona Outback Adventures is staffed by wildlife and survival experts and customizes and arranges ranger-guided group trips through Arizona mountain lion territory. Attacks usually happen to solo hikers, so your best bet is to stay in a group.

All Canada Photos/Alamy
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