Archive for category Animal Safety

Does Mace work on Geese?

Posted by Rob on Wednesday, 21 April, 2010

I monitor which keyword phrases produce hits to the blog off of Google for SEO. Every now and then I get an unusual phrase showing up that directs a Google visitor to the site. So far this week, the best one was “Does Mace work on Geese?”

I’ll have to admit, I never really thought about using pepper spray on a goose. I do have several geese living at our pond. We start out with our regularly returning goose family at the beginning of each spring, and they hatch about a 1/2 dozen chicks (which grow very fast in to fully grown geese). Then by the end of the summer, there are several other geese attracted to the pond. I haven’t ever counted, but we end up with a well over 50 goose gaggle.

I’m not going to go out and hose one down with pepper spray to see what happens. I don’t want a goose-hugging hippy PETA agent on me, and I like my geese as I have never been attacked by one. But I’d have to make the educated conclusion that – Yes, Mace and pepper spray would in fact affect a goose, if you are being attacked by one.

Pepper Spray is an inflammatory agent, when someone – human, canine or bird is sprayed with OC pepper spray, they would become temporarily blinded by the burning spray dilating the capillaries in their eyes. Additionally, if the target is capable of breath, the breathing tissues suffer instant inflammation, restricting all but life support breathing, as well as causing nausea and the target to cough uncontrollably.

So pepper spray should have little to no effect on a vampire or zombie goose, but a regular old Canadian goose would have a rough time.

The problem with pepper spraying an aggressive goose is that their heads are very small compared to a human. If you have a stream spray pattern on your pepper spray, you will find it extremely difficult to hit the target goose in the face. You would be much better equipped with a fogging model, which requires you to be less pin-point accurate.

It seems if there appears to be a goose attack epidemic somewhere requiring Mace, Alfred Hitchcock’s estate should be notified that The Birds may be ready to get remade into The Geese… I guess it could happen.

Have you ever been attacked by a goose?

Other Related Blog Posts and Information:
Pepper Spray for Lions, Tigers and Bears
Fake Coyotes cause a stir, Geese are Unimpressed
Pepper Spray FAQ, Pepper Spray Techniques Guide

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Start Packing your Bear Pepper Spray and Bear Mace

Posted by Rob on Tuesday, 16 March, 2010

Even if I forget to pay attention to what time of year it is, the seasonal influx of bear pepper spray and bear mace orders from those in bear country remind me that the bears are waking up from hibernation. I did notice my Canadian Geese have come back north and settled in our pond again, but if you frequent Yellowstone, Glacier National Park or any other areas inhabited by grizzly or black bears, you have no doubt noticed some of them stirring too.

bear-sprayWhether it is bear tracks, bear droppings, animal carcasses or an actual human-bear encounter, now is the time to pack the bear spray.

Coming out of hibernation, these bears are hungry and aggressive. Later on in the season, while still dangerous, bears are more peaceful unless there is an available food source. You do properly store your food while in the woods don’t you?

Since 1992, half of the people ended up injured from bear encounters when people defended themselves with a firearm, according to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services investigations. Those that defended themselves with bear formulated pepper spray ended up escaping injury most of the time, while those that were injured received less severe injuries and shorter attacks before the bears vacated the area.

Your best bear safety tip is to avoid the heavily bear populated area and heed all seasonal bear closure notices. Most of the time, the bear closures are only temporary, covering certain areas with increased bear activity that eventually lessens. If the park says stay out until June 15th or June 30th, wait until July. This is for your safety and the safety of your family, not the convenience of the park rangers.

This is still early on in the season, not all bears are out and about yet. And the temperatures may still be pretty cold in some areas. It is best to store your pepper spray for bears in a chest holster, which would keep the canister warmer than the frigid temperatures. Bear spray will still operate, but it may spray out slower and not quite as far. But make sure your bear spray is still readily accessible. You may only have a few moments to act, and you will not have time to dig it out from the bottom of your backpack.

I would always have at least 2 canisters on me, one readily available clipped to my hip or chest, and at least another can of bear mace in my pack. Have each person in your party carry the same. You never know if you are going to run in to one bear on your way in and one bear on your way out of the woods… If you do use at least a partial canister of bear spray, replace it when practical. You want a full 9 oz. can in the event you face a potential bear attack.

If you are deploying mace bear spray, take a quick account for the wind and adjust your aim accordingly. Pop the safety and aim towards the animal but slightly down, as the spray with fog out and upwards. Shoot off a brief warning shot when the bear is just out of range of your spray. If the bear continues advancing or charges, spray again creating a wall of fog between you and the bear so he runs into it.

Once the bear is distracted or turns away to wander off, immediately leave the area and seek shelter. Do not run, and do not take your eyes off the animal, but attempt to get back to your vehicle or nearby building or ranger station if available. Under no circumstances should you chase, follow or otherwise taunt the bear. Let him leave freely, and don’t give him a reason to return. Don’t forget to pull out your backup canister from your backpack and attach it to your hip or chest.

Campers, hunters, hikers, fisherman, and other outdoor enthusists be warned.

Watch out for the bear signs, check out the park webpage and as always, Be Safe, Be Prepared.

Related Blog Posts:
Pepper Spray for Lions, Tigers and Bears
Get the Bear Necessities
Pepper Spray for Bears – Hunters, Hikers, Campers be Warned
Woman Mauled by Bear, Yogi has Alibi
Not All Bears are Cute and Cuddly
When Bears Attack!

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Mountain Lion Pet a tad excessive?

Posted by Rob on Saturday, 13 February, 2010

I’ve heard of some strange pets in the past, but every now and then someone just feels the need to go against the grain.

I have a dog, which is about as common as a household cat. But this guy in Glocester, Rhode Island took housecat to the extreme. He had a 200-pound lion locked up in a cage, housed in a shed behind his home. Apparently no one knew of this unusual pet besides the guy and his wife.

It probably wouldn’t have made the news except the guy recently died (unrelated to the lion) and his widow was unable to continue to take care of the wild animal. Or if the guy was still alive, and he got mauled or eaten by the lion, that would have gotten some press. I can hear the reading of the will now… “And to my wife, I leave my pet wild mountain lion.” The the wife is thinking, “Damn it! I was hoping the freakin’ lion would go to Cousin Earl…”

The widow ended up contacting an animal sanctuary in Florida last month to help, and experts from the Animal Planet television network came up and removed the female mountain lion from the home. The town’s animal control officer Michael Merchant didn’t even know what was going on until the whole ordeal was over.

So what would possess someone to capture a mountain lion and keep it as a pet? How much fun can a mountain lion possibly be? Its not going to play fetch, or cuddle up in your lap… And it’s probably not going to eat Purina One cat food either. What a pain. Unless you are Steve Irwin or something, he might have thought a mountain lion as a pet would work, although I think he prefers crocks.

Kinda reminds me of The Hangover movie when they kidnap Mike Tyson’s pet tiger. At least tigers are cool.

Related Posts:
Sometimes You Just Can’t Take the Bite out of the Dogs
Pepper Spray for Lions, Tigers and Bears
Fake Cougar Tasered in Michigan
Woman Mauled by Bear, Yogi has Alibi

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Sometimes You Just Can’t Take the Bite out of the Dogs

Posted by Rob on Thursday, 4 February, 2010

In this case out of Ljubljana, the dog’s bark is definitely not worse than their bite.

Slovenian authorities report a 52-year-old pet owner was mauled to death by his three bullmastiffs dogs after saving them from being put down for previously attacking other humans.

Talk about biting the hand that feeds you, the dogs attacked the owner in his garden Tuesday. The owner was dead before the police arrived. The dogs were put down immediately following this third attack.

Bullmastiffs (not actual animals from attack)

Apparently, some four years ago, the dogs viciously attacked and seriously injured someone walking past their owner’s house. The dogs spent years in custody awaiting legal trial, but then one of the dogs attacked another person, this time a dog handler. Authorities ordered the dogs to be put down, prompting an appeal by the owner.

Sparking a national controversy, their owner’s appeals succeeded last June and he got the dogs back. An opposition party is now petitioning that the agriculture minister resigns for allowing the dogs to be released.

Effective Self Defense Options for Aggressive Dogs:
Mace Muzzle Pepper Spray for Dogs
Ultrasonic Dog Chaser
Stun Master Telescopic Stun Baton

Other Dog Related Blog Posts:
Encountering an Unfriendly Dog
More Tips for Encountering Aggressive Dogs
Dogs Trap Postal Worker, Attack Car Tires

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Pepper Spray for Lions, Tigers and Bears

Posted by Rob on Saturday, 30 January, 2010

Pepper spray comes in many varieties. You have stream, fogger, gel or foam deliveries. You have 1/2 ounce to 1.5 ounce keychains, 2, 4, 9, and 12 oz. canisters, pepper spray exercise hand weights, pepper spray pens and pepper spray jewelry in the form of ring.

Most of the pepper spray and Mace products are specially formulated for use as an inflammatory agent against man. Pepper spray will induce coughing, choking and nausea in the target creep. It will dilate their eye capillaries causing temporary blindness. Their mucous membranes will swell causing all but life support breathing from functioning properly, rendering an assailant temporarily incapacitated. A mere one second burst of pepper spray is enough to stop an attacker for up to 45 minutes, all without permanent damage.

If you are looking to protect yourself from aggressive canines, we have Mace Muzzle pepper spray for dogs. If your concern is wild bears while hiking or camping in the woods, we have specially formulated bear mace.

But what about other possible attackers?

We specifically covered humans, dogs and bears. What about other dangerous wild animals, such as coyote, wolves, mountain lions, cougars, puma, panthers… I don’t know… dingos?

You would be hard pressed to find a canister of Mountain Lion Pepper Spray, or Coyote Mace. That being said, lets call a spade a spade, and pepper spray, pepper spray.

For the most part, any of these pepper spray products will work against any of the animals if you hit them in the face. All of these animals have an acute sense of smell, and very sensitive noses. Inflammatory agents such as pepper spray will wreak havoc on their eyes and noses.

Bear pepper spray has a unique deployment that shoots a wide area fog up to 25-30 feet away. Bears in particular will want to be kept at as much as a distance as possible, and typically lumber loudly enough through the woods to give to a small warning. Also the bear sprays are typically rated slightly hotter than human pepper spray. Usually 20% concentration, instead of the 10-18% concentrations you will find in the Mace, Pepper Shot and Wildfire pepper spray lines.

If you hit a human with bear mace (and I use the term human loosely when referring to a common street thug), you can be assured he will soon be hating life.

Also, if you are walking around the neighborhood, and you are carrying Mace Muzzle Canine Spray and are approached by a mugger, let him have it. If you are walking down the street carrying your Wildfire pepper spray key chain formulated for human incapacitation, and you confront a vicious dog, let him have it. Same with a coyote or mountain lion. We are pretty equal opportunity, race independent here.

You do however have an inherent problem with attacks by large cats, such as the mountain lion, cougar, puma, panthers, etc. These animals are stealthy and quick. More likely than not, you will be stalked. Like a ninja. Ninja cat. You will not likely know you are in danger until the last possible moment, when the animal pounces.

These animals are also ninja like in their art of assassination. The mountain lion will target your head or neck, quite literally aiming for the jugular, or attempting to break your spine. Not the ideal situation for trying to pepper spray in advance.

To your advantage, if you are able to get a fair warning, mountain lions can be persuaded to call off an attack. The mountain lion is fully aware that he is only 100-120 pounds, and an average adult male outweighs him. Not that it really matters, due to the cats superior speed, sharp claws and vicious teeth. Just don’t tell him that, and he may not bother calling your bluff.

If you are able to spot a mountain lion first, stand as tall possible and stick out your arms. You want to appear even larger. Talk loudly and aggressively, attempt to throw objects such as rocks and sticks.

Whatever you do, do NOT turn your back to the animal and run. He will beat you in a foot race. He has more feet than you do. If anything, attempt to threaten the mountain lion. Try to fake him out by advance toward it, slightly (Do not advance too close). All the while, have your pepper spray in hand and ready to deploy once the animal gets in range.

In the unfortunate event you are attacked unexpectedly, just as if it were a human assailant, FIGHT BACK. It is very likely the attacker will decide you are not worth the trouble if you are able to FIGHT BACK hard enough. Even if you are only able to struggle for a short time, make them work for it.

Incidentally, your pet dog may only garner a little bit of help and quite possibly attract these dangerous animals. Children are also especially attractive targets, as the mountain lion may be larger than them and less cautious. Use extreme caution when hiking in known lion country with your kids. Stay in groups, and always, always be on the lookout.

Be Safe, Be Prepared.

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Fake Cougar Tasered in Michigan

Posted by Rob on Wednesday, 20 May, 2009

I usually tend to side with law enforcement on Taser use. Typically you have the cases of belligerent, drunk or otherwise unruly individuals resisting arrest or failing to obey the simple orders of a police officer. Then they get tased and wonder why. Don’t Tase me, Bro!

But this story out of Warren, Michigan leaves me puzzled.

Apparently, 911 was called when someone saw a huge cat, bearing resemblance to a 150-pound cougar in Bates Park. I suppose that report would cause some concern.

Local police dispatched 10 officers to the scene of the prowling cougar and the animal’s silhouette was spotted hiding in a cement drain pipe.

A Taser was deployed and the animal was zapped. It was then they realized it was only a toy stuffed animal.


Roar I Say!

The Police Commissioner said investigators now believe the incident was a prank that cost the police department about $1,000 in wasted police hours from responding to the scene and filling out associated paperwork.

Ashton Kutcher was not reported on the scene, so it probably wasn’t an episode of PUNK’D.

But now the citizens of Warren can rest assured that there is one less stuffed animal on the loose.

Be Safe, Be Prepared.

-

Related Taser Stories:

Don’t Tase the Emu, Bro!

Mixed Martial Arts Champ KO’d by Stun Gun

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“Neither snow nor rain… nor gloom of night…”

Posted by Rob on Friday, 15 May, 2009

You’ve heard that old US Postal Service slogan “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds”, or whichever other variation applies.

I suppose weather conditions are one thing, just don’t add a dog in the mix. Especially a 20-pound Jack Russell terrier.

Apparently a frisky Jack Russell terrier in Clarksburg, West Virginia has interrupted the mail delivery to at least seven homes on Milford Street.

A mail carrier was even injured after falling down trying to run away from the dog named Cozmo.

Cozmo’s owners have said the dog has never bitten anyone, but has escaped the yard a few times.

The owners and neighbors have been told their mail delivery will not resume until Cozmo is no longer residing there. Bad Cosmo!

Nothing a shot of pepper spray wouldn’t solve.

EPA approved Mace™ Muzzle pepper spray for dogs provides safe, effective and humane protection against canine attack. It is ideal protection for walkers, joggers, cyclists or delivery people and stops attacking dogs, forcing them to retreat.

You’ll never have to be scared of another dog if you keep >”Mace Muzzle with you whenever you’re out.

Mace Muzzle canine repellent is an excellent product for defending against attacking dogs.”

This specially formulated pepper spray is designed specifically for dogs and has been proven to be effective in encounters with aggressive canines. If a dog attacks you, spraying this repellent in it’s face will stop him in his tracks.

It will overpower the animal and he will retreat. If you jog or take walks, then you should carry this dog spray with you. It is lightweight, easily accessible, and will provide fast protection when you need it most.

I’m not sure why a canister of dog repellent isn’t standard issue for all UPS drivers, US Postal Mail carriers and all other delivery personnel that routinely encounter animals.

We aren’t spraying to hurt the animals, we are spraying to stop the animal from hurting us. It is normal for most dogs to roll on the ground and rub their eyes in an attempt to remove the spray from the facial area. The painful, irritating effects usually wear off within several minutes, leaving the dog unharmed, but perhaps a tad wiser…

Dogs aren’t stupid. They will get the point.

Protect yourself, Protect your family, Be Safe, Be Prepared.

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Farm Worker Defends Himself by Fighting Python in a Tree

Posted by Rob on Saturday, 18 April, 2009

Talk about a rough day at work…

Ben Nyaumbe, a Kenyan farm worker in the Malindi area of Kenya’s Indian Ocean coast went to work like any other day last Saturday.

“I stepped on a spongy thing on the ground and suddenly my leg was entangled with the body of a huge python,” Nyaumbe says.

The 13-foot python then dragged the victim up into a tree and attempted to swallow him whole. Luckily, Nyaumbe was able to use his t-shirt to smother the snake’s head and prevent it from eating him. At one point the man even bit down on the snake’s tail to attempt to break free.

After nearly three hours of struggling, the python momentarily eased its grip and Nyaumbe was able to reach his cell phone from his pocket and make a desperate phone call. Can you hear me now?

His employer received the call, and quickly arrived with police and villagers. They tied a rope around the python and pulled them both out of the tree and freed the man. “We both came down, landing with a thud,” said Nyaumbe.

Peter Katam, superintendent of police in Malindi district reported: “Two officers on patrol were called and they found this man was struggling with a snake on a tree.”

“The snake had coiled his hands and was trying to swallow him but he struggled very hard. The officers and villagers managed to rescue him and he was freed.”

“He himself was injured on the lower lip of the mouth – it was bleeding a little bit – as the tip of the snake’s tail was sharp when he said he bit it.”

The police officers took the snake to a sanctuary in Malindi town but it ended up escaping during the night, probably from a gap under the door in the room where it was being kept.

“If it wasn’t for the villagers and officers who helped him, he would have [eventually] been swallowed by the snake over the Easter holiday,” says Katam. “It’s very mysterious, this ability to lift the man onto the tree. I’ve never heard of this before.”

Nyaumbe told reporters about how he was forced to resort to desperate measures while fighting the python, which had apparently been hunting livestock before he stepped on it. “I had to bite it as I struggled, one hand incapacitated.”

Police officers originally considered shooting the snake, but were unable to fearing injury to Nyaumbe. Once the victim and snake were pulled from the branches and separated, the snake was tied up and bagged.

“We are still seriously looking for the snake,” said Police superintendent Katam. “We want to arrest the snake because any one of us could fall a victim.”

Arrest the snake?

“Excuse me Mr. Python, You are under arrest. You have the right to remain silent and anything you hiss may be used against you in a court of law.”

So again we had the perfect situation to test out a stun gun on a python, but again this guy was unprepared. If only he had a cell phone stun gun on him, he could have laid some juice into the snake and see how it liked the voltage.

Don’t they at least carry machetes out there? Perhaps Ben should consider something other than a mere mobile phone…

Better luck next time.

Be Safe, Be prepared, Don’t step on snakes.

.
Past Python Blog entries:
Bah, It’s only a 16 foot Python. No Worries Mate on June 17, 2008

Beware: Attack Python on Duty on Feb. 28, 2008

More Runaway Amphibians on Feb.03, 2009

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Kangaroo Intruder Terrorizes Family in Australian Home Invasion

Posted by Rob on Monday, 9 March, 2009

Only in Australia…

An unsuspecting Australian couple thought they were being attacked by an intruder this past Sunday night. It turned out that it was a kangaroo that crashed through their bedroom window and started bouncing on their bed.

Only half awake, Beat Ettlin and his partner Verity Beaman had no idea was going on in their bedroom. “I thought it was a lunatic ninja coming at us through the window,” said Ettlin. “That seemed to make about as much sense as anything else that was happening. I just couldn’t comprehend what was going on.”

Cowering under the blankets, Beaman thought to herself, “This is one big possum.”

“When Beat said ‘It’s OK, it’s just a kangaroo’, I thought it’s really not OK. I thought – now this could be really dangerous. I was absolutely terrified.” said Beaman.

The family was asleep in their Canberra home in the early hours of Sunday morning, when their terrier started to bark and alerted them that an intruder was in their courtyard.

Ettlin got up to investigate what the dog was barking about and a large dark figure smashed through the window. It began jumping up and down on the bed while his terrified wife and 9-year-old daughter remained huddled under the blankets.

39-year-old Beaman said “I just pulled the covers over our heads and screamed. It jumped on my shoulder, bounced across the bed and onto the bedside table. Can you imagine how close it was to my head?”

“I really didn’t know what was happening,” said Ettlin. “I just saw this black thing jumping on the bed and bouncing against the wall. The bed collapsed on one side under his weight. When I realized it was a kangaroo at first I was relieved but he was going crazy trying to escape.”

The animal, also terrified, gouged holes in the bed and smeared blood on the walls before it took off out of the first bedroom. It then bounded down the hall and found the bedroom of their 10-year-old son, Leighton. The boy hid behind his teddy bears screaming, “There’s a kangaroo in my bedroom!”

“That was enough for me,” Ettlin said, “I thought I have to do something about it. There is no way I can let him jump in there and hurt my son.” Beat Ettlin was forced to lay a beat down on the rampaging ninja kangaroo.

“I knew this was a big threat to my family, it could really have hurt us. My wife and daughter were terrified, they were screaming as they hid under the blankets and my son was trying to hide behind his little teddies. I had to do something.”

Wearing only his underwear, the 42-year-old Ettlin jumped on to the kangaroo’s back and wrestled it to the ground. Using his entire body weight to pin the approximately 6-foot-tall, 90 pound kangaroo down, he slapped a headlock on the marsupial and was able to drag it down the hallway and out the front door.

“I had to push with my full body weight and I got him as low as I could. It was quite aggressive and tried to escape of course. I could feel how powerful it was. said Ettlin.

Ettlin was able to open the front door with one hand and push the animal outside. It was then the kangaroo bolted away and vanished into the bushes.

“It took only a few minutes,” Ettlin said. “And all that time there was no sound at all. I could feel the kangaroo breathing really hard and fast against my body but he didn’t make a sound. All I could hear was Verity’s screams.”

“When it was all over I had a few scratches on my legs, and there wasn’t much left of my underwear” said Ettlin. The kangaroo left a trail of blood through the house and claw gouges in the wooden frame of the bed.

This unusual incident occurred in Garran, a suburb of Canberra near a wildlife reserve that is home to a number of grey kangaroos. Coincidentally, the family had recently moved to this home three weeks ago, and believes that their housewarming intruder may have been one of the local kangaroos.

“The poor thing, he was terrified,” Beaman said. “He must have got stuck in our courtyard, and was terrified by the dog’s barking so leapt for a dark space to escape. But that dark space was our bedroom.”

Describing Ettlin as a “hero in torn underwear”, Beaman said, “He’s quite burly, but it was a struggle for him to control the kangaroo.” She added “I don’t know many Australian men who would do the same thing. We all know kangaroos are very dangerous. But Beat knew there was a real threat to his son, his male instinct was to protect his family.”

Some of the neighbors had previously reported seeing at least one large kangaroo grazing on their front lawn.

It is not unusual for eastern grey kangaroos to invade the city, and are known to look for food and water during droughts. Normally these animals are timid, but can become aggressive if they feel threatened. Able to reach a height of six feet, kangaroos can seriously injure humans.

Four years ago in the same area, a kangaroo attacked a woman while walking her poodle down a Canberra street and another incident involved a kangaroo killing a golden retriever while the owner helplessly watched.

Kangaroos rarely invade homes but have done so in the past when panicked, says Greg Baxter, a lecturer at Queensland University and expert on native animals in Australia.

“It is very unusual, but when kangaroos become panicked they lose all sense of caution and just fly for where they think they can get away,” Baxter said.

Well, we already know a Taser works on an emu, so I would imagine you could effectively tase a 6-foot-tall kangaroo? Pretty sure I wouldn’t want to find out, especially after growing up watching all of those Bugs Bunny episodes with the kangaroo boxing. You never know when you might need to know how to fight a kangaroo.

Be Safe, Be Prepared. Watch out for crazy ninja kangaroos.

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Get the Bear Necessities

Posted by Rob on Wednesday, 11 February, 2009

If you are going to venture anywhere near bear country, you may be safer carrying a 9 oz. canister of Guard Alaska Bear Repellent or Bear Pepper Mace than you would relying on a gun. But you don’t have to take our word for it.

How about the recommendation of Thomas Smith and Stephen Herrero?

Thomas S. Smith, associate professor of wildlife science at Brigham Young University, “is highly respected among bear biologists, naturalists and educators. His one-on-one experience with bears in the field is an enormous resource to the bear management community,” said director of the Center for Wildlife Information, Chuck Bartlebaugh, who runs “Be Bear Aware” and other wildlife safety campaigns. “This new study is important information that is needed by hunters, hikers or campers to understand the value of bear spray and how it can protect both people and bears.”

Dr. Stephen Herrero is Professor of Environmental Science and Biology at the University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada. He is recognized throughout the world as a leading authority on bear ecology, behavior, and attacks, writing several books and papers on those topics.

Smith has faithfully carried bear pepper spray while conducted fieldwork among bears for over 16 years but admits he has never had to actually deploy bear spray. Caution and wisdom are the best prevention of bear attacks, and being a bear biologist, you would expect nothing less. “I wish I had more scary stories to share, but I’ve behaved myself.”

Non-experienced, non-bear biologists don’t quite have the luxury of knowing bear behavior inside and out.

Many hikers, campers and other outdoors people have expressed concern, as well as unfounded doubt and criticism over the effectiveness of that little can of pepper spray on a ferocious bear. “Working in the bear safety arena, I even found a lot of resistance to bear spray among professionals,” says Smith. “There was no good, clean data set that demonstrated definitively that it worked, so that’s why we did this research.”

Sensing the need for some answers and reassurance, Smith and colleagues analyzed data from 20 years of bear spray incidents in Alaska, home to 150,000 bears.

From their findings, pepper spray specially designed for bears effectively halted 92% of the cases of an aggressive bear encounter, whether attacking or rummaging for food.

Only 3 individuals were injured by bears out of 175 people associated with the study, with none requiring a trip to the hospital.

“People working or recreating in bear habitat should feel confident they are safe if carrying bear spray,” says Smith.

Smith had some previous research of the effectiveness of guns in similar situations. Only 67% success. It was noted on average it takes four hits to even stop a bear, and the accuracy needed “during the terrifying split seconds of a grizzly charge is extremely difficult”. On top of the physical issues, many national parks have restrictions on bringing guns in the first place.

The research debunks some of the common misconceptions about using bear spray:

- “Bear spray doesn’t work when it’s windy.” Wind was reported to have interfered with spray accuracy in five of the 71 incidents studied, although the spray reached the bear in all cases. A wind meter was used to test the speed of the bear spray as it shot out of the canister and repeatedly averaged 70 miles per hour. Smith also noted that bears and humans can easily see each other in open, windy spaces. The surprise encounters tend to occur in wooded areas in which vegetation blocks wind.

- “The spray will also disable the person using it.” In the 71 incidents documented in the study, only 10 times did a user report minor irritation and two reported near incapacitation.

- “The can might not work.” There were no reports of spray can malfunction among the 71 studied incidents.

It is believed that one of the primary reasons bear spray works is that it gives users a reason to stand their ground. Running is the worst response to an aggressive bear, Smith says, “but it’s hard not to. Just picture the meanest dog in your neighborhood and multiply his size by ten. It’s very hard to keep your feet from running, but bear spray gives you an option. When you stop and plant your feet, that makes them stop.”

This is because even though humans are much smaller than bears, the animals still view us as risky. “Having seen bears with porcupine quills in their faces, I’m sure that most bears learn at an early age that size is not a good indicator of threat,” Smith said. “There’s always this fear of retribution that keeps them in line. They could take any person they wanted. But they don’t know that.”

It was also noted that the hissing sound and sight of the expanding pepper spray cloud are often enough to frighten away the animal. “I have data to show that if you sprayed water, they often would run,” Smith says.

It was also reported that there were 11 incidents where bear spray was applied to objects like tents in attempt to repel curious bears. Do not attempt this, as it actually backfired and attracted bears instead. You should also discard practice spray canisters before entering the woods.

Other findings reported in the paper include:

– On average, the spray was used when the bear was about 12 feet away (Bear spray typically covers 20-30 foot range)

- 35 percent of incidents involved hikers, and 30 percent involved bear management activities

- 60 percent of the incidents occurred between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m.

- Nearly 70 percent of the incidents involved brown (grizzly) bears and 28 percent involved black bears. The study also reports the first two documented uses of bear spray on polar bears in Alaska.

Besides Smith and Herrero, Terry D. Debruyn of the National Park Service, and James M. Wilder of Minerals Management Service were also involved in this study. The paper also relies on an earlier publication of a decade’s worth of bear spray data by Herrero and Andrew Higgins. The research was funded by the U.S. Geological Survey, Alaska Science Center. Source

So in conclusion, a study reviewing bear incidents in Alaska over a 20-year period, involving 175 people, and found that pepper spray deterred bears (including grizzly bears, black bears and polar bears) in 92% of cases. In 98% of cases, people who used bear spray were uninjured by the bear; in the remaining cases, injuries were minor. In only 7% of cases did wind interfere with accuracy, and in only 3% was the person using the pepper spray incapacitated by the spray. (Report did not state if user error was involved.)

Clearly as we have stated in the past, bear spray is a highly effective defense against aggressive bears. Nothing is 100% effective, but if the possibility of encountering a wild bear presents itself, I’d rather be safer than sorrier.

Obviously, we want to prevent criminal use of bear spray, but we must also bear in mind that this product saves lives and protects people from serious injury in the woods. Or anywhere a bear may wander.

Be Safe, Be Prepared.

bearspray

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More Runaway Amphibians

Posted by Rob on Tuesday, 3 February, 2009

Following the lead of the 10 rare turtles missing in Singapore, two snakes in San Luis Obispo, California decided to take in the sights Sunday night and stroll out of their terrarium.

This time, one big python and another freaking huge python escaped from their owner’s home and wandered away. Luckily the smaller, 12-foot python got bored and only made it under the owner’s porch before it decided to camp out.

The larger one, a 23-foot, 130-pounds of orange reticulated python, coincidentally the world’s longest snake species, was more adventurous and was found in someone’s backyard several blocks away, basking in the sun.

While the snakes were loose, Police quickly warned the residents that though domesticated, these pythons were large enough to make meals of small children or pets.

Both snakes ended up captured by Monday afternoon, and no injuries or missing pets were reported. Local authorities said the owner of the reptiles will not be cited as “There is no leash law for snakes.”

Nice…

Can you imagine looking out your sliding glass door and seeing a 23-foot orange snake lounging around your backyard? Or worse yet, if you were lounging around in a chair in your backyard and the snake slithered past you?

Not sure what pepper spray or a stun gun would do to a snake that big… And I wouldn’t want to be the one to find out.

Past Python Blog entries:
Bah, It’s only a 16 foot Python. No Worries Mate. June 17, 2008

Beware: Attack Python on Duty. Feb. 28, 2008

peppergel

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Pepper Spray for Bears – Hunters, Hikers, Campers be Warned

Posted by Rob on Monday, 10 November, 2008

We have been saying it for awhile, but another grizzly bear expert is urging hunters and hikers to carry bear pepper spray when entering the woods. It just makes sense.

This time, Mike Madel, a bear management specialist from the Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks has reported an increase in hunter bear encounters over the past few years. As if you needed another reason to defend and protect yourself from an angry, 8 foot bear in the woods.

“Hunters like to rely on firearms, and things do happen pretty quickly,” Madel says. “But if both backcountry hikers and hunters have red-pepper spray on the hip, it can be accessed quickly and used.”

A mother grizzly was shot last month on Summit Trail between U.S. Highway 2 and the South Fork of the Two Medicine River near East Glacier. A hunter was imitating a female elk call, or “cow talking” when the mother bear and two cubs investigated the noise.

Madel says the mother charged the hunter who ended up shooting and mortally wounding the bear. The two cubs were not captured and a warden who responded to the scene and shot the seriously wounded bear, decided the two cubs were to fend for themselves. Pepper spray may have prevented the death of that mother bear.

The bear isn’t the enemy, we are invading their home. Most of us would rather deter the bear from approaching and leave the scene with both parties unscathed.

A year prior, a different hunter was attacked by a grizzly bear near Dupuyer in Montana, and then another hunter shot and killed a female grizzly that charged him near East Glacier. A third hunter was unharmed, although shaken up by a close encounter along the Rocky Mountain Front.

Madel believes a large number of elk along the Front is attracting many hunters, which in turn, leads to more encounters with the local grizzlies.

This is true with more than just the elk hunters in Montana. Anywhere hunters are in the woods hunting elk, moose, deer, wild turkey or any other hunting season prey, an encounter with a grizzly bear, brown bear or polar bear may be possible.

Even wilderness hikers and campers need to be careful and prepared for a bear encounter. Even when meticulous bear encounter prevention measures are and should be taken, a chance bear-to-face meeting could occur.

I have seen many bears at a rather close distance. Luckily the fences and zoo enclosures protected me quite well. In the wild, I’d rather have a can of bear mace strapped to my hip, with a back up can in my pack. I hope all my companions have their bear spray readily available too. Just in case.

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Score 1 for the Puppy, 0 to the 3 Bears

Posted by Rob on Wednesday, 27 August, 2008

An 8-month-old cockapoo (cocker spaniel-poodle mix) scared three bears out of his back yard this past Sunday. The mere 15-pound puppy named Pawlee was let out for his normal morning rituals and immediately started to bark his tiny little head off.

With all the fuss the dog was causing, the family’s 9-year-old son went to investigate the commotion. He quickly ran back into the house to report two bear cubs and a mother bear wandered into their yard.

Fortunately, the pup’s bark chased the two cubs up a tree and kept the mother bear at bay. After a few minutes, the cubs climbed down, hopped a fence, and the three bears eventually took off into the woods. Pretty courageous for a pint –sized pup. The mother bear could have easily wiped the grass with the wanna-be guard dog, but decided to let this dog have his day.

Local officials report that while bears are not uncommon in the Wyckoff, New Jersey area, this family has not seen any during the 10 years they have lived there until now. Good thing Pawlee was on patrol.

Anyone living in an area where bears may frequent would benefit from having some Guard Alaska or Mace Pepper Spray for Bears handy. Just like that story the other day when the lady was mauled by a bear while tending her garden, you just never know what a wild bear is thinking. Even trained bears can go postal for no apparent reason.

Be Safe, Be Prepared.

Bear Spray Squidoo

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Fake Coyotes cause a stir, Geese are unimpressed.

Posted by Rob on Thursday, 14 August, 2008

A bunch of fake wooden cutout coyotes are fooling motorists on the islands in Wolf Lake near Hammond, Indiana. However, the ducks and geese that they are supposed to be scared off are not discouraged. These islands in Wolf Lake are protected wetlands, and two-dimensional phony coyotes were set up to try to prevent the fowl from eating seeds and fresh shoots from the local flora. I would have imagined decoy wolves would have been chosen for Wolf Lake, but they opted for coyotes.

It is reported that the geese were fooled for a short time, but within a few weeks were on to the ploy. However, motorists and neighbors are continuing to be fooled and keep reporting dogs trapped on the islands. Even PETA and city officials got involved to inspect the wooden coyotes that an Army Corps of Engineers contractor devised over two years ago.

“The geese are very wary of them, then eventually they figure it out,” said a spokesperson for the contractor. “They’re very striking when you first come upon them. I could see how it would be for someone driving by at 70 miles per hour.” Yeah, looking at the picture, they are very “realistic”… Guess you need to be smarter than a goose.

Apparently, the wetland plants are now past the point where the fake coyote guards are necessary, so they can be safety removed and the plants will continue to thrive. “They don’t seem to be doing any good anymore and it appears they are upsetting some people,” said the spokesperson.

I say leave them up. The ducks and geese seem to like them.

I wouldn’t suggest using these diversion coyotes to protect your home, but if you are looking for a unique option to fake out burglars, you may consider our specially designed diversion safes.

Security experts estimate that most burglars will only spend about 8 minutes in your house. They are in a hurry and will attempt to grab the most obvious valuable items. The burglar certainty isn’t that bright, and may have even been fooled by a wooden coyote, but will follow the course of least resistance in ransacking your home.

That’s why Diversion Safes work so effectively. Sure some idiots who break into your house might know that these Decoy Safes exist, but they are going to be scared and in a hurry. These creeps just want to get in and out, grabbing what they can quickly.

We have a wide variety diversion safes that look like personal care items, household products and food containers. Your valuables can be secretly hidden inside these look-a-like diversion safes and kept in their seemingly rightful places. These diversion safes are indistinguishable from the genuine product and are even weighted to feel full. Out of our soda cans, cleaning products, books or flower pots, pick the ones that will blend in best with what’s in your home.

And if you end up coming across a real coyote, you may be interested in having one of our ultrasonic dog repellers or Mace Pepper Spray for dogs. Designed for canines, these products work effectively on most dog-like animals including coyotes.

Be Safe, Be Prepared, and Be smarter than a Goose. Don’t be fooled by scary wooden cutouts. Grrr.

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Woman Mauled by Bear, Yogi has Alibi

Posted by Rob on Thursday, 7 August, 2008

There are plenty of good-natured bears in the world. Yogi Bear and Boo Boo do steal picnic baskets, but I’m not scared of getting physically mauled by them. Winnie the Pooh is harmless, unless you choke on one, Gummi Bears are fine. Who else? Paddington Bear and Corduroy from the children’s books are nice. Bear in the Big Blue House is kinda of weird, but safe none the less.

Unfortunately, it was not one of these bears that showed up in a Canadian woman’s front yard in Vancouver, British Colombia the other day. Reportedly without any provocation or warning, while simply attending her garden, she was viciously mauled by a black bear.

Hearing the woman screaming, some neighbors rushed to her aid and threw rocks and drove the bear from the scene. The bear was later shot and killed by the police. Apparently it is well known that black bears can often be found wandering out of the nearby mountains and into these suburbs looking for food.

It is also reported that attacks on humans are rare occurrences, but let’s not be taking the risk lightly when you know you are in bear country. If I ever saw a bear wandering around the neighborhood, you can be sure several cans of Bear Pepper Spray would be close at hand from that day on.

Isolated incident or not, bears and humans do not mix well, as this black bear has proven. With some bite and claw wounds to her arms and skull, the woman is in serious condition in the hospital, but the injuries are not life threatening. Life changing, but not life threatening.

It is not immediately known exactly how much of a surprise this attack was. The woman may or may not have had the time to back away. The woman may have missed warning signals that might have prevented this attack. The woman might have been in better shape if she was more aware of her surroundings immediately before the attack occurred. But it is too late to prevent the situation now, only future attacks may be thwarted by applying some basic bear-awareness and self defense strategies when encountering bears in the wild. Or even bears in your backyard.

For more information about handling encounters with bears, check out our tips here. For purchase details on Bear Mace, Guard Alaska Pepper Spray for bears and bear spray holsters, check out our selection of products.

Bear Pepper Spray Squidoo

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Dog Bites Boy, Boy Bites Dog. Take That!

Posted by Rob on Sunday, 27 July, 2008

An 11-year-old boy in San Paulo, Brazil is recovering after being attacked by a pit bull dog as he played in his uncle’s back yard. But this isn’t just one sided, the boy actually retaliated and bit the aggressive canine back. A group of stonemasons were working nearby and intervened, chasing the dog away before it could do any serious damage to the boy.

Or perhaps saving the dog from serious damage from the boy. Gabriel Almeida, broke his canine tooth as bit into the dog’s neck. “I grabbed him by the neck and bit,” he told a reported. “It’s no big deal. It’s better to lose a tooth than to lose your life.”

Gabriel needed four stitches in his arm but other than that, came out of the incident only slightly shaken up. Pretty amazing story, pitbull attacks can get pretty ugly.

Mace Muzzle is a specially formulated pepper spray designed specifically for dogs. It has been proven to be effective in encounters with aggressive canines. If a dog attacks you, spraying this repellent in it’s face will stop him in his tracks.

Using the latest ultrasonic technology, the Super Dogchaser uses two ways to repel a dog. One is the discomforting but not harmful high frequency sound, audible to dogs but not to humans. And, the second is a super bright LED flashing strobe that temporarily blinds and confuses the dog. It helps stop the approach of unwanted dogs up to about 40 feet.

If all else fails, don’t be afraid to take a bite out of crime.

It would be nice to believe that nothing will happen to you, but the reality of it is that an ounce of protection could be worth more than a pound of cure. What is Worth Protection to you? Your belongings? Your family? Your personal well-being?

Yours in safety,
Rob

Popularity: 4% [?]

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Not All Bears are Cute and Cuddly

Posted by Rob on Saturday, 26 July, 2008

A man claims he killed a black bear in self defense but he has to defend himself in court as he has been charged with shooting an endangered animal.

John Tanksley says his dog attempted to chase the animal off his property at Newcomerstown, Ohio but the 165 lbs bear kept coming back. While trying to get the dog back in the house, the bear charged the man and his girlfriend.

If Tanksley is convicted of the misdemeanor offense, he may face up to one year in jail and could be fined $1,000.

That $1000 could have bought a lot of Guard Alaska or Mace Bear Pepper Spray. Almost twenty-nine 9 ounce cans worth to be exact.

The proper use of bear pepper spray can help reduce human injuries caused by bears, reduce the number of grizzly, black or polar bears killed in self defense, and help promote the recovery and survival of these animals.

On average, 35 individuals are mauled by bears every year in the US. Kinda justifies $34.88 and maybe the extra $9.88 for the holster. I hate to hear the stories of animals having to be killed needlessly, but everyone has the right to defend themselves from harm.

Don’t become another statistic! Protect yourself with bear deterrent pepper spray and arm yourself against possible bear attacks with safe, humane Bear Pepper Mace.

It would be nice to believe that nothing will happen to you, but the reality of it is that an ounce of protection could be worth more than a pound of cure. What is Worth Protection to you? Your belongings? Your family? Your personal well-being?

Yours in safety,
Rob

Bear Pepper Spray Squidoo

Popularity: 5% [?]

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Beware: Attack Python on Duty

Posted by Rob on Tuesday, 17 June, 2008

A man in Bridgeport, CT as arrested after he attempted to order his 9-foot-long albino python to attack two police officers. Lucky for the cops, pythons rank near goldfish on the pet obedience scale. None-the-less, the 21-year-old man was charged with disorderly conduct and threatening the police after the incident.

The cops were called to investigate a call that the man was threatening his girlfriend with the pet snake. The building superintendent opened his apartment door for the police officers and the man allegedly threatened them with the animal and told it to “Get them!” Although the python did not comply with the order, the man was taken into custody and the python was relocated to the city’s animal control shelter.

I’m sure the officers shared laugh after the incident, it can’t be very often that a lazy “attack” snake is used to protect its owner from authorities. Even with laser sighting, it would be rather hard to taser a 9-foot-long python if it did become aggressive.

It would be nice to believe that nothing will happen to you, but the reality of it is that an ounce of protection could be worth more than a pound of cure. What is Worth Protection to you? Your belongings? Your family? Your personal well-being?

Yours in Safety,
Rob

Popularity: 5% [?]

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More Tips for Encountering Aggressive Dogs

Posted by Rob on Thursday, 22 May, 2008

Being a lead animal services worker for Public Health
in Wisconsin, Pat Comfert has a number of suggestions
on what you should consider if ever confronted by an
aggressive dog.

If approached by a dog and you are not sure of its
intentions, Comfert advises “stand like a tree”. Offer
the animal a decoy, such as a jacket, backpack or
briefcase – anything on hand that may be used if the dog
intends to bite. Anything other than your leg, arm or
other body part.

Dogs will usually use quite a bit of energy when they
bite and then back off. A small tear or hole in your
jacket may satisfy the animal and save you from getting
bit yourself.

Pitbulls tend to bite and lock on to the object, says
Comfert. If you encounter a dog that latches on the your
decoy object and does not want to let go, keep the dog
interested in the object by shaking or pulling slightly.
While the dog is still occupied, back towards a safe
place, such as a building or car. When close enough to
flee, drop the decoy object and slip inside the safe
place.

“Most dogs can run faster than you can bicycle,” so most
people should not attempt to outrun or out ride a dog. If
attacked by a aggressive dog while you are on a bicycle,
Comfert recommends getting off the bike and keeping it
between you and the dog as a barrier or shield. If
necessary, you may even need to use the bicycle as a
weapon.

Some people end up getting bit while intervening when a
dog attacks another. If possible, Comfert recommends
keeping your dog away if a strange or aggressive dog
approaches. If practical, pick up your dog before any
confrontation can start and leave the immediate area.

Specially formulated canine Pepper spray is known to be
effective to stop most dogs. “But on the odd dog out, it
will make him more angry,” Comfert said. Namely, some pit
bulls were bred to fight and may not be as sensitive to
pain as most normal dogs. “Pepper spray won’t necessarily
have the same stopping power with them,” Comfert said.

If you routinely encounter a dog on your regular travel
route who behaves aggressively, you may opt to change to
a different route. “You shouldn’t have to, but sometimes
it’s the best thing to do” offers Comfert.

Your morning jog or walk may not be a big deal, but if
you are in the delivery business, this might not be an
option afforded to you. Mace Muzzle canine repellent is
an excellent product for defending against attacking dogs.

This specially formulated pepper spray is designed
specifically for dogs and has been proven to be effective
in encounters with aggressive canines. If a dog attacks
you, spraying this repellent in it’s face will stop him
in his tracks.

It will overpower the animal and he will retreat. If you
jog or take walks, then you should carry this dog spray
with you. It is lightweight, easily accessible, and will
provide fast protection when you need it most.

https://worthprotectionsecurity.com/dogrepellent.htm

Another option is using the latest ultrasonic technology,
the SUPER DOGCHASER uses two ways to repel a dog. One is
the discomforting but not harmful high frequency sound
(20,000Hz-25,000Hz), audible to dogs but not to humans.
And, the second is a super bright LED flashing strobe
that temporarily blinds and confuses the dog. Helps stop
the approach of unwanted dogs up to 40 feet.

https://worthprotectionsecurity.com/dogchaser.htm

Nothing is foolproof, but when in danger, every little
advantage could help.

It would be nice to believe that nothing will happen to you,
but the reality of it is that an ounce of protection could
be worth more than a pound of cure. What is Worth
Protection to you? Your belongings? Your family? Your
personal well-being?

Yours in safety,

Rob

Popularity: 9% [?]

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Grizzly Bear Attacks and Kills Trainer

Posted by Rob on Wednesday, 23 April, 2008

A 7 1/2 foot tall, 700 lb. grizzly bear killed one of
his trainers with a bite to the neck yesterday. “Rocky”,
the 5 year old bear was recently seen in the movie
“Semi-Pro” where he wrestled Will Ferrell’s character.

At the time of the attack, 3 experienced animal handlers
were working with Rocky in a training center in
California. Pepper Spray was used to subdue and contain
the grizzly immediately after the attack, and no other
injuries were reported.

This bear was known as one of the best bears in the
business and seemed to obediently follow cues and
instructions. “You can train them and use as many safety
precautions as you can, but you’re still taking a chance
if you’re putting yourself in contact with them, It’s
still a wild animal,” says a zoo worker.

If you ever come across a bear in the wild, be assured
he probably isn’t trained to play nicely with humans.

The Sierra Club wants the Forest Service to require
everyone who enters a national forest in grizzly bear
country to carry bear spray Spokeswoman Heidi Godwin
said in a news release…

“The proper use of bear pepper spray will reduce human
injuries caused by bears, reduce the number of grizzly
bears killed in self defense, and help promote the
recovery and survival of the grizzly bear.”

We don’t necessarily approve of making new laws, but it
does show how effective bear spray is against bears.
Also, make sure that the spray you are using is registered
with the EPA for use against bears. There is a special
formula for this and ordinary pepper spray is not
recommended.

Carry on your belt so you’ll always be ready or set it
out at the camp so everyone has easy access to it. Some
states now have hunting laws requiring possession of a
defensive spray where bears are common. Check with your
local authorities.

It would be nice to believe that nothing will happen to
you, but the reality of it is that an ounce of protection
could be worth more than a pound of cure. What is Worth
Protection to you? Your belongings? Your family? Your
personal well-being?

Yours in safety,

Rob Cook

Popularity: 6% [?]

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