Most everyone has had the pleasure of having a pet or working with an animal at some time in their life! This can be a very rewarding relationship and teaches children all about responsibility in taking care of another being.
However, there are certain times when animals pose a risk to their handlers!
An animal that is protecting its young needs to be approached with extreme caution. A cow looking out for the safety of its calf can quickly charge at a person that may be coming too close. Even a cat protecting her kitten can inflict some nasty scratches on an intruder. Children have a hard time understanding why their pet dog or cat can become so aggressive!
Male animals like bulls, stallions or boars are territorial and will defend their right to be in charge. They can be very aggressive and should be admired from behind a sturdy fence. A small child is no match for a large animal and can easily be run over and hurt.
An animal that is sick or is eating should also be approached with caution. They do not want to be disturbed and can quickly deliver a bite or nip at the closest person.
Animals can let us know by their actions what they are thinking! A horse will lay its ears back, paw with its hoofs and lower its head when it is feeling threatened. A dog will growl, show its teeth and snarl to signal an imminent attack! Even a rooster or gander can let you know that you’re coming too close!
Working with animals can be a very rewarding experience, but they must be treated with respect and kindness.