There’s a US marine biologist on BBC Radio 4 talking about the leatherback turtles that she and her team have been tagging. Apparently an adult leatherback grows to the size of a Volkswagen Beetle. Wikipedia concurs—and also points out that this makes the leatherback only the fourth largest reptile, after some crocodilians. I’m scared now.
25Nov08 — 7
Don’t be – running away is probably easy….
Is a Volkswagen Beetle to volume what Wales is to area?
Hmm. From this handy “Travel Safety—Crocodiles” Webpage:
Of course, if you’re there with me, Paulie, all I have to do is outrun you.
Other useful snippets from that page:
Apparently African crocs are more aggressive, but they’re smaller so you should concentrate on avoiding the hippos because they’re more dangerous, even though they…
There you go. Don’t let anyone tell you PooterGeek isn’t educational: Hippos are easy to see and don’t deliberately hide—presumably because the adults are the size of Volkswagen Beetles and there’s nothing bigger than they are for them to hide from (except perhaps humans with guns driving Land Rovers the size of Land Rovers).
Hippos kill sharks by dragging them out of the water and jumping up and down on them.
If you’re attacked by a tiger, you must never, ever run. Run and you die. The best thing to do is to stand tall and raise your arms up high and scream at the tiger, in an attempt to persuade it that you are more dangerous than it. It’s all very well reading that at home, isn’t it, but, faced with the tiger, would you? I suspect I’d have a nagging sensation of “Was that genuine good advice or a hoax? I bet running does work.”
I think I could just about manage the screaming part.
“GI Hippos versus Nazi Sharks in the Ancient Land of the Pyramids” would probably be the ultimate Discovery Channel documentary sequence.
Volume used to be measured in double-decker London buses until the bendy ones replaced them. That’s ZaNuLab’s Britain for you. Next thing you know, they’ll replace the traditional English football pitch as the standard unit of length with the Eiffel Tower.
We have lots of similar advice here on Sakhalin for bear encounters, which kill at least half a dozen people each year.
I can’t remember it very well, but you’re supposed to run if it’s hungry and play dead if it’s not, and you tell by either asking it politely or listening carefully for ursine belly rumblings. From what I can gather, most people who get attacked by a bear are extremely fortunate if they escape with horrific injuries. These things live a just a few hundred yards into the woods surrounding our work sites and town.