When ferrets attack

Published 3:56 pm Thursday, June 14, 2007

Every year we hear of more and more animal attacks. This very morning a report on CNN told of an iguana attack in Chicago. Iguanas in Chicago?
Several summer’s ago, it was if the sharks were having a feeding frenzy on human beach lovers with each bite reported by every news media outlet causing us all to return to the anxiety of the summer of Jaws.
Back in the late 70’s, I felt a tinge of fear for several summers after seeing the great shark movie. It affected people deeply, causing some to be afraid of getting in their own bath tubs. Ironically, your bathtub is more dangerous than the beach.
The now classic flick came on television a couple of weeks ago and I just had to start watching it because it is one of those kind of movies and before I realized it, the twins were also watching, captivated by the story of the shark against man. It was edited for television, so I allowed them to continue watching. After all, they watch nature shows with about as much violence.
Little did I realize, my fear of swimming in the ocean due to the movie had dissipated, but for two six year old boys it was fresh.
This I realized while in Long Beach this weekend, we hit the beach for a few minutes. During the movie Conner had asked how deep the water had to be for sharks to swim. I of course expounded my shark knowledge and answered as little as three feet.
While we waded in ankle deep coastal water, a nervous Conner asked if the water was three feet yet. He was worried about shark attacks.
At least he is not asking me if there are any stingrays in the water anymore. We had to deal with that when the Crocodile guy got it.
At least the kids move on to newer fears, not long ago Conner was concerned about ferrets.
You never realize what you say around kids can make an impression. I happened to mention to my number two son about a hilarious commercial I had seen about a crazed, ferret dressed as Jason from Friday the Thirteenth wielding a chainsaw, attacking campers in the woods. The action freezes while an announcer implies ferrets attack more people than grizzlies.
Conner immediately wanted to know what a ferret was.
The little creatures have been known to attack small pets and infants but then so do dogs and cats. I hope we as a society do not become paranoid about being attacked by ferrets because of a mountain dew commercial.
You might wonder what homicidal ferrets have to do with mountain dew. I am not sure, but have you ever hyped up your kids on mountain dew? Beatings and killings usually follow.
More and more black bears are in the news because they are attacking, entering homes and disturbing suburbia living, and it will only get worse as we encroach upon their territories and teach them the joys of our tasty garbage. 
Even our kids are being taught about the invading animals with movies like Over the Hedge. Can we blame the animals for liking our waste products? It is hard to go back to grub worms and termites when French fries and doughnuts could be easily obtained.
Pets and children are being attacked by coyotes, wolves, and foxes. This is the one that bothers me, especially when my home borders Boley Creek or when we are visiting the family farm way out in Perry County and you hear the howling chorus of the coyotes at dusk. That totally freaks me out. If that isn’t scary enough, there are giant rattlesnakes we have discovered on our property.
And what about crazed mad cows! A white-tailed deer killed a guy last year too. Now we have to add ferrets to the list?
In our crazy society, you even have to watch out for the wildlife in Hollywood. You never know when Celebs will attack.
Even the tame animals are attacking. It seems once in awhile I read a story about someone doing a film, or shooting a photo with wild animals and they attack. These trained animals go berserk. Let’s face it, animals are unpredictable. I know of folks whose dog never did a single thing that would have foretold the future of it attacking someone, nearly ripping them apart. But, it does happen.
Most dog owners will always say after their animal has bit you that he or she has never done that before. I say the same thing about the twins, but I know better.
Wild animals deserve to roam free and normally are not out to get us. So, why are they attacking?
One reason is that mothers are more hostile protecting their young. Cows seem so dumb and so laid back, but I give a lot of room to a new mother. Humans are the same way. Some new mothers wash their hands, make others wash; take major precautions to protect their young. But, by the fourth kid, you just figure a little dirt and germs help the infant get used to them.
Animals attack when you move in on their turf like gang members. If they use the bathroom on it, then it is their space. Maybe we should use outdoor plumbing more and the wild animals will not bother us. If so, with the twins utilizing the bushes in my yard, we can be assured of no attacks.
Never get too close to a wild animal. Which always brings me back to my mom in Cade’s Cove creeping ever so closer to a black bear to get a great shot, dad yelling angrily that it was a wild animal and mom snapping away only to find out later she forgot to load the camera. Dumb animals.
When creatures are hurt or ill they might be more aggressive. Like humans, when we hurt we get meaner. Don’t think so, then take a walk along the baby corridor at the hospital and listen to all the women in tremendous pain and what they are saying to their lovers, not to mention the pain they are inflicting on the poor guy. When birthing mothers attack makes for great film footage.
You never want to surprise a wild animal nor do you want to bother it when it’s eating. Be very careful at the family dinner table when you reach for a piece of chicken you could come back with a nub.
If you find you are in the position of being attacked, hold your ground and face the animal. Keep it in front of you and try to keep something in between you and it. Do not run. Unless there is a second person and you know you can out run them….or trip them as you take off.
I have always heard if a bear attacks, you are to play dead which concerns me greatly, since that is just cutting out one more step to eating me. Let me see, the bear’s agenda is kill the food and then eat the food. If I am dead, all he has to do is take a bite. I have only achieved the first item on his agenda. Playing dead may not be the best chance for survival. My plan is always go hiking in the woods with a slower runner.
Whatever happens, we are going to have to live with the creatures from the forest who may find themselves over the hedge. They may eat our pets, bite our children, and terrorize our neighborhoods but at least when it comes to the food chain we remain at the top….unless we are tripped or are slow runners.

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