• Lantana. • Manchineel. • Oleander. • Pangi. • Physic nut. • Poison and water hemlocks. • Rosary pea. • Strychnine tree. 10-18. Appendix C provides photographs and descriptions of these plants. Chapter 11 Dangerous Animals The threat from animals is less than from other parts of the environment. However, common sense tells you to avoid encounters with lions, bears, and other large or dangerous animals. You should also avoid large grazing animals with horns, hooves, and great weight. Move carefully through their environment. Caution may prevent unexpected meetings. Do not attract large predators by leaving food lying around your camp. Carefully survey the scene before entering water or forests. Smaller animals actually present more of a threat to you than large animals. To compensate for their size, nature has given many small animals weapons such as fangs and stingers to defend themselves. Each year, a few people are bitten by sharks, mauled by alligators, and attacked by bears. Most of these incidents were in some way the victim's fault. However, each year more victims die from bites by relatively small venomous snakes than by large dangerous animals. Even more victims die from allergic reactions to bee stings. These smaller animals are the ones you are more likely to meet as you unwittingly move into their habitat, or they slip into your environment unnoticed. Keeping a level head and an awareness of your surroundings will keep you alive if you use a few simple safety procedures. Do not let curiosity and carelessness kill or injure you. INSECTS AND ARACHNIDS 11-1. Insects, except centipedes and millipedes, have six legs; arachnids have eight. All these small creatures become pests when they bite, sting, or irritate you. 11-2. Although their venom can be quite painful, bee, wasp, and hornet stings rarely kill a person who is not allergic to that particular toxin. Even the most dangerous spiders rarely kill, and the effects of tick- borne diseases are very slow-acting. However, in all cases, avoidance is the best defense. In environments known to have spiders and scorpions, check your footgear and clothing every morning. Also check your bedding and shelter. Use care when turning over rocks and logs. See Appendix D for examples of dangerous insects and arachnids. SCORPIONS 11-3. You find scorpions (Buthotus species) in deserts, jungles, and forests of tropical, subtropical, and warm temperate areas of the world. They are mostly nocturnal. Desert scorpions range from below sea level in Death Valley to elevations as high as 3,600 meters (12,000 feet) in the Andes. Typically brown or 107
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