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Do’s and Don’ts of Wildlife on the Trail

merrell

Are you thinking of going on a trail run? Or even just looking to get some fresh air on a casual hike. Well there are a few critical do's and don'ts you should know about. Having fun and enjoying the outdoors is great, but you need to be prepared for a few unexpected encounters along the way.


Puff adders


Puff Adder

The Puff adder is one of the most common snakes you will come across on the trail, but be careful as they are remarkably camouflaged. The head is large, flattened and triangular. Their colour ranges from blackish to brown and variations of the two. They are so dangerous because they do not move out of a human's way. The best thing to do is not to disturb it and take a different path or try to go around it instead. Do NOT irritate or deliberately try to provoke them. 

If a Puff Adder bites someone, call for medical help immediately. Apply a bandage starting at the bite site and working up the limb. A lightly applied bandage may help stop the spread of the poison. Do not remove the bandage until the anti-venom has started to take effect.


Spiders 


Spider

We have all walked or ran through a spiderweb, and it is one of the scariest feelings in the world! But don't panic, there are a lot of common spiders that are harmless. With that said, let's talk about the ones you should be worried about. 

Widow spiders are highly dangerous, and their appearance varies highly, ranging from black with distinct red markings on the abdomen to brown with only a slightly darker stripe across the rear. Widow spider bites are extremely painful and require immediate medical treatment, so please don't go and try to catch a widow spider; this is a definite NO. 

If you are afraid of spiders, then you can wear long sleeve tops to protect your arms and even long-running pants. Doing this won't just protect you from spiders but also from other insects and even from a bad sunburn!

A pro tip will be to use a branch to clear the path in front of you while you walk or run outdoors.


Impala/Buck


Bushbuck

Have you ever wondered what you would do if on your relaxing walk or run you come across a buck? Yes, I'm talking about Springbok, Impala or even Kudu. Well, firstly, they are just as scared as seeing you as you are of them and secondly, you are in their home. 

Do not go and antagonize the animals as they can and will defend themselves if need be. Bushbucks are known for attacking if in distress and will charge with horns at the aggressor. If you come across any buck, rather stay clear and do not put them in any stress. For the most part, they will run at the sight of you, but we advise not to take any chances.

The last tip on the list is that you should always be aware of your surroundings; this is probably the main thing to remember as you can see what is going on around you. Now a journey of nature is awaiting, enjoy and be safe!