What to Do if You Encounter a Crocodile

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Hopefully, you'll never have to come face to face with a wild crocodile. If you do, however, what you must do in response depends on the situation and your chances of escaping. Fighting off a crocodile is not easy task -- and one you're not very likely to win. Instead, staying away or running away are your best options.

Stay Away

If you can see the crocodile from far away -- rather than bumping noses with him -- keep your distance. Never feed crocodiles, as this can actually incite them to attack. If you suspect the area has crocodiles or if there's a sign warning of crocodiles' presence, stay at least 20 feet away, as recommended by the National Park Service.

Get Out of the Water

Most crocodile attacks occur in the water, because that's where crocodiles naturally attack and kill their prey. In fact, according to the Discovery website, crocodile attacks on land are very rare. The problem with water attacks is that you rarely see them coming -- crocodiles are masters of "staying quiet and staying hidden" until it's time to attack. The best thing to do is avoid the crocodiles in the first place by keeping your arms and legs into the boat if you're on the water.

Run for Your Life

If you see a crocodile on land, run. Crocodiles can run at a maximum speed of just 10 miles per hour. Humans can easily reach speeds of about 15 miles per hour, according to Yoga Wiz. In short, you can usually outrun a crocodile pretty easily. Although there's a myth that running in zigzag can keep you safe, the truth is that it doesn't matter if you run straight or in zigzag, according to Discovery -- you can probably outrun a crocodile on land.

Fight If You Have No Choice

If you get caught in the crocodile's jaws, fight. Your best chance is to aim for the croc's eyes. Poke them if you can, as the pain will cause the crocodile to release his grasp on you. Ears and nose are also sensitive, though not to the same level.

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Author

Tammy Dray has been writing since 1996. She specializes in health, wellness and travel topics and has credits in various publications including Woman's Day, Marie Claire, Adirondack Life and Self. She is also a seasoned independent traveler and a certified personal trainer and nutrition consultant. Dray is pursuing a criminal justice degree at Penn Foster College.