Near death experiences with Wild Animal Encounters

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midoxidil
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Joined: Fri Apr 16, 2021 12:18 am

Near death experiences with Wild Animal Encounters

Post by midoxidil »

Full disclosure, I have Irish heritage. As with all Irishman, I have 9 lives. Problem is that I lost count of the number of lives I lost. Not sure if it is 7 or 8?

I was in the Army for 10 years. Doing dangerous things was part of the job. Risk was mitigated as much as possible, however, was still dangerous compared to the average person. There is a certain thrill to danger. When I got out, I noticed the general population to be more fearful of most things that I had no concern about.

At 56 years old, I am no longer the indestructible youth that I was. I feel the mortality ahead of me and no longer want to push it. I look back on a few things that haunt me, mostly wild animal encounters.

1. Alligators.
At 7-8 year old went to Gatorland in Orlando FL in 1970's. Times were differ back then with less on personal security. Left my parents and walked around the park. There was a wall with a 20 ft pit full of alligators. To get a better look, I climbed on the wall. Lost balance and fell in. Last second, I slapped my hand against wall and grabbed ledge with my finger tips. I looked down and saw the alligators looking at me with mouths open hissing. Pulled myself out. No one me saw me. Never said anything to parents until 10 years latter.

2. Shark (1)
Panama, mouth of Shagrass River. Was swimming at a beach (brackish water - mix of salt & fresh water). Went out to chest deep water. Was bumped on leg by large Bull Shark (man eater). When it bumped my leg, it took my legs out. I could feel how large it was as it slide down leg. It was bigger and heavier than me. It's skin was rough as sandpaper which scrapped my skin and was bleeding in the water. I could not get out of water fast enough. It was like running in slow motion trying to get out.

3. Shark (2)
Wilmington Beach NC. Learning to scuba dive. First dive in ocean. Jumped off boat into open ocean and was trying to get boyant. Dive buddy came by and helped me adjust my weight belt. Straight ahead, out of the muck I see a LARGE shark w/ big teeth approach. Out of primal fear, I panicked. My dive buddy was between me and shark with his backed turned. I lost fear and watched it approach and swim by at arms distance away. As it swam by, I watched its big black eye lock on to me and move. I swam to the surface and told the dive crew that there was a big shark in the water. They told me not to worry about it and to keep diving. When we got out, they asked me if I was kidding about the shark. I told them - no. They said they thought I was joking and would never of dived there if they thought I was serious.

On the same dive, 60 ft down, I ran out of air. I looked at wrist gauge and it registered 1/2 tank of air left. I tapped it a couple times and the needle shot to zero. Defective gear. There was no way I could hold my breath long enough to make it to surface. I swam to dive buddy and made slicing signal across my throat that I had no air. He grabbed my vest, took out his regulator and buddy breathed with me, sharing his air until we made it to the surface. Slowly, ascending at a speed behind the rising air bubbles. This was his first dive as well. He saved my life.

4. Mountain Lion.
Boulder CO. While attending college, I used to hike foothills in Rocky Mountains, usually with group of friends. This day I decided to go for hike by myself. It was about dusk, sun setting. I came along a trail that was disturbed. I looked up the hill, bushes and foiliage was torn up and went across the trail. Curious on what would make such a large mess I followed it on the downside of hill. A few steps off the trail on the downside, there was a large elk with its guts torn open. It was still alive, fresh and was looking at me panting heavily. What ever attacked the elk was still here. I was between it and its meal. I never saw it, however, I knew it was there. I could not get back to my car fast enough.

5. Tiger
Phenom Penn Cambodia. 1990's. Removing landmines. (Demining Operation). Had a Vietnamese girlfriend that I would spend time with on weekends. Took her on date to the world's most wretched zoo. There was all sorts of endangered species caged up in makeshift cages. You are at your own risk if you do anything irresponsible. I wanted to get a picture of Tiger in field behind cage. I gave my girlfriend (spoke no English) my camera and gestured to take a picture. I squated down, back against cage to pose for photo with Tiger. There was no sound, or indication from her that the tiger came in from field and was behind me. I felt a large paw slap my back. Then its claws extended and it ripped my shirt as it clawed down my back. Bleed like a stuck pig, but was not serious. There was no medical assistance. Your pretty much own your own.

There was still remnants of a civil war going on. Was looking into getting a civilian demining job after I got out. There was a British NGO company with a demining contract. I went to their office to see if they would be interested to hire me. The British guy told me he had no interest in hiring Americans. He told me to get a job with my own country. A few months later, I read in Cambodia Daily newspaper that he and his team were captured by Khemer Rouge while demining in Siem Reap. He was later killed. While he was being executed, I was thinking how much he was probably regretting decision not to bring on a trained American with expertise in weapons and demining. We always set up security when ever we went out to field.

What are your near death experiences with Wild Animal Encounters?
Flyer24
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Re: Near death experiences with Wild Animal Encounters

Post by Flyer24 »

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