I give many lectures about my adventures in nature and the impressions of untouched wildness inspire not only the many interested people, but also inspire me again and again. However, the most common question I am always asked is, “What should I do in an encounter with wolves or bears?” The simplest and blanket answer to that is, “Do nothing.”
All right, depending on the wild animal and the situation, of course it is not that easy. But doing nothing is the first right step. In encounters with one or more wolves, you can remain relatively relaxed, if it is possible with the rising adrenaline level. Humans are not viewed by wolves as potential prey, but rather as equal and unpredictable predators. If wild animals have noticed me and they have not already fled, I address them in a friendly manner in a calm voice. I greet them and apologize for disturbing them. It’s not the words that matter. It is the voice itself and my intention, which I additionally convey with body language. With bears, I increase the distance at the same time. Under no circumstances should one attract wild predators, feed them or go after them in order to be able to take a better photo.
During my research work and expeditions, I have encountered many wild animals, or they have passed my tent during the night. Apart from ticks and other bloodsuckers, however, I have never had any problems in encounters with wild animals. If you behave carefully and prudently, nothing will happen to you. Take care of yourself and nature!
Text & Photos: