Why Do Animals Attack Humans In The Wild? A Lot Of The Time, It’s Kind Of Our Fault

Facebook, Twitter and Instagram always seem to be full of photos of people’s outdoor adventures. But not everyone who likes spending time in the wild really knows what they’re doing out there — and according to a study published this week in Nature.com’s Scientific Reports, that’s why humans are increasingly being attacked by wild animals.


A photo posted by Jen (@jentwen) on Jul 19, 2014 at 2:28pm PDT

A group of researchers from Europe and Canada analyzed data on 697 documented attacks on humans by large carnivores, including bears, cougars and coyotes, in North America, Russia and two countries in Europe.

They found that nearly half of all the observed attacks, which occurred between 1955 and 2014, involved risky behaviors on the part of the human victim.

The most common of those risky behaviors? Leaving a child unattended in the wilderness.

The researchers also found that as populations of large carnivores recover in developed countries (a result of successful conservation efforts), the number of “bold individuals” engaging in outdoor activities has also increased.

The data suggests that most people who explore the outdoors have no idea just how dangerous these habitats really are, according to the researchers.

For evidence, look no further than Lake Tahoe, California, or Water Canyon Park in Colorado, where officials have had to issue official warnings because too many people were trying to take selfies with wild bears.

“A lot of what people do is based on a total lack of knowledge about what is dangerous and what isn’t,” Stephen Herrero, a researcher from the University of Calgary who was involved in the study, told the Canadian Broadcasting Company this week.

“Half of the attacks could have —> Read More