When I tell people about my fear of large birds and whales, I’m generally met with confusion. Probably because this information is offered without any context. Once I start explaining my position, the confusion turns to open mocking. “When are you ever going to see an ostrich?” “What have whales ever done to you?” “Wait, but you like sharks? You’re an idiot.”
The responses that I do not receive are those of sympathy and understanding. Despite this, I feel like it’s my duty to share with you some safety precautions designed to protect you against these two very specific types of animal attacks. I could hardly be blamed for sitting idly by and watching one of these former ridiculers get pecked to death by a giant bird. However, I’m not that sort of person.
Please peruse the below two links. It’s the least you can do, for yourself and your loved ones.
How to Survive an Encounter with an Ostrich
My problem with ostriches is this: if I’m going to get into a fistfight with a bird, I want it to be a bird with less than a 98% chance of killing me. And I am certain that an ostrich would eff me up beyond repair. A sparrow attacks me, it’s pretty likely not going to be in his favor. Also, the feathers. I hate feathers because they are musty and awful.
So right away we see that when confronted by an ostrich, the best thing to do is run. It doesn’t matter where: scale a fence, climb a tree like a cat, dive into some bushes, sprint into oncoming traffic. Any of those would be better than getting caught. Because, as you’ll notice, the graphic proves that ostriches have t-rex feet with talons bigger than a person’s head.
If there aren’t any cars around to leap in front of, you may be forced into a face-to-face encounter with feathered death. Should that be the case, your next line of defensive is a long stick or rake.
You’ll want to carry a gardening instrument with you when you go outside from now on. It’s sort of cumbersome, but a little inconvenience is a small price to pay for a solid 5 feet of wood in between you and Jesus.
You can also try putting a pillowcase over the bird’s head, or giving it a piledriver. These methods are a less effective. You should carry the pillowcase with your rake, though. Again, you hope you don’t have to use them, but just in case.
As much as I don’t like large birds, I’d never wish any animal harm. That being said, this site does have recommendations for last resort defenses. The kind you only use if your life is in immediate danger.
Here I will quote the site:
“If your life is in danger and you have a stout stick, a hard blow to the ostrich’s neck will usually break its neck and kill the animal. A well placed shot into the center of the main body (“center mass”) from a large caliber handgun (.44 or .45 caliber) will stop the ostrich. A machete blow to the neck will also kill the bird.”
I’d go on record as saying I’m pretty sure chopping any living thing in the neck with a big knife would kill it. It’s probably not specific to ostriches, but I guess you can’t deny it’s true. So an ostrich machete in your pillowcase might not be a bad idea.
If you’ve foolishly ignored this advice or aren’t one of the twelve people who read my site, all hope isn’t lost. There’s still a chance of surviving an ostrich encounter, even without a stick or a tiny sword. First step is to get down to the ground ASAP.
NO NOT LIKE THAT. That’s a really great way to get your wiener clawed off or your stomach disemboweled. You’re going to want to lay face down, like the ostrich is searching your for illegal drugs. Here’s why:
“Your back will still be exposed, but this is much safer than if your front were open to attack. Additionally, the ostrich is not able to kick very effectively at an object on the ground, and eventually it will lose interest if you play dead. The bird will still likely stand on you–it’s been described as dancing by some who’ve gone through the experience–and it may even sit on you for a while, but it will most likely not rip you open if you do this equivalent of burying your head in the sand”
You’ll look like a moron and every shred of dignity you have will slowly disappear with each dance move, but you’ll be alive. Maybe.
Follow these rules, and you may just live to tell the tale. Although if it comes to this:
“Ostriches have terrible ground fighting skills. If you can manage to get behind one, cinch your arm around its neck tightly and use your momentum to fall to one side. While on the ground and keeping hold of the neck, make sure to chop the throat repeatedly until the bird loses consciousness.”
… maybe don’t tell that story. I’m sure you’ll relive it enough in your weekly nightmares.
Surviving Being Eaten by a Whale
There unfortunately isn’t a similarly Wikihow page on whale attacks, so this will be to the point. I did, however, find this site that details the horrors that await you in a whale’s stomach.
I will admit that there’s been no evidence that this has ever happened, so that may be why survival tactic literature is scarce. Whales are a dark and mysterious force, though. I don’t think that something that big should be allowed to live underwater where you can’t see it. Even if they aren’t directly attacking a boat, an ill-timed surfacing could ruin a seaside excursion in a heartbeat.
That said, there are no step-by-step instructions or fun graphics showing you what to do if swallowed. There is simply this:
“Unless someone is looking for you, or you have a very large cutting implement and a strong stomach, you may have to be satisfied with simply surviving until starvation takes you or good fortune saves the day.”
That’s pretty much the best case scenario. You’re swallowed. You’re surrounded by tiny fish, flesh-eating stomach acids and what I’m sure if a horrific odor. It’s hard to breathe and your screams echo meaninglessly into the blubber. The you live long enough to get really hungry and die. There’s not even any mention of a specific whale–cutting machete you can use to slice your way to freedom. Your ostrich rake would be useless.
I’d rather be eaten by a shark and at least have an awesome heading for my gravestone.
I hope this has been enlightening. Every once in a while, I try to include content on this site that will prove useful in everyday life. If there’s one thing I want you to take away from these sites, it’s that these animals can and will murder you if given the chance. All we can do is learn how to protect ourselves.
Unless we’re swallowed by a whale. Then we’re boned.