Large carnivores have instinctive fear of humans so they avoid encounters as much as possible

That is also one of the reasons why they are so rarely seen in nature. These animals perceive human beings as potential danger and not as a prey.

Because of their good senses large carnivores usually notice our presence before we can actually see them. As soon as they scent that a human is near they try to move away. But there are still some situations in which moving away from humans is not an option. This encounters mostly happen during spring and autumn when human activities in nature are at their highest.

Such sudden encounters mostly happen when we surprise the animal so that it does not have the possibility to flee away. Even though, there is a possibility of encountering large carnivores in nature, it is important to know that we do not have to be fear of them, we just have to be careful and conscious about their presence. To avoid such encounters altogether is best to draw attention to our presence in nature. We can do this by calm conversation, whistling, hitting a stick against a tree trunk, so by making some kind of noise.

When doing this we have to be careful not to disturb other forest inhabitants.  If the encounter with a large carnivore still happens it is important to remain as calm as possible and afterwards slowly start to move away in the direction that we previously came from. If the animal spotted us we must try not to upset it even more, by being calm we increase the possibility that the animal will also move away from us. Even though our instinct would tell us to run that is not recommended because our sudden and fast reactions could cause that the animal will run after us. If we notice the animal before it sees us we should not move closer or in any way disturb it.

The most important things when encountering …



  • Do not run, climb trees or swim because bears can do all these things better than us
  • Running speed of bear can be up to 50 km/h
  • If bears stand on their last legs this signals curiosity and not a preparation for attack
  • If we draw attention to ourselves, with calm voice, bears notice our presence and move away
  • Direct attack of bears on humans are rare, bears may only attack when they feel endangered
  • Keep your dog on a leash. If your dog comes upon a bear, it will probably rush the bear directly and lead it to you when it seeks protection.
  • Sometimes bears perform so called false attack: they repeatedly charge towards us with no intention to attack us, they just want to repel us


  • Wolfs are very timid animals, they avoid humans even if they are in packs
  • Encounters with wolves are very rare, when compared to bears
  • For the last 100 years there was no wolf’s attack on humans in Slovenia
  • Very good senses, predominantly smell, enable them to move away from humans long before potential encounters


  • Because of their low population abundance and their great cautiousness, it is extremely rare to encounter lynx in nature
  • No attack of humans by healthy lynx were recorded


When encountering bear, wolf or lynx it is advisable to follow the rule of the most appropriate behavior: remain calm, make yourself noticed if the animal already spotted you, and slowly move away.

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