Getting up close to wildlife and birds in their natural habitat is one of the great joys of hiking. Although the number of predators, some of which are protected, is constantly increasing, aggressive or violent encounters with the population in Kyrgyzstan is very rare.
The code of conduct we have adopted is as follows:
- Do not feed the animals. Feeding wild animals can put you at risk of injury or worse.
- Don't touch any wild animals you see. It's not safe for you or for them.
- Don't get too close. Believe it or not, you are on their territory. Most wild animals don't like you invading their space.
- Do not provoke or frighten animals. Wild animals are unpredictable and even though he looks innocent, he will protect himself at all costs.
- Don't stray off the trail after dark.
- Don't surprise a mother who is with her babies.
- Do not leave any litter in a camp or around the camp. Dump rubbish far enough away from camp or from a path, or bury it.
What to do if you encounter a wild animal
Snake, scorpions and spiders: Back off! The most common poisonous snakes in Kyrgyzstan are pit vipers. There are also scorpions and tarantulas. Give them as much space as possible. Be calm and quiet and move away from the area. If you are bitten, try to take a picture of the animal and go as soon as possible to the nearest hospital, Kyrgyz hospitals have the antidotes in their possession. You can avoid snakes by checking logs and rocks before sitting down. Do not put your hands in logs or large piles of stones. When stepping over a log, do so with care.
Boar: give him space. Unless he has a baby nearby, he'll probably leave you alone. Stay calm, continue your journey in an opposite direction, without looking at him. Don't run unless he charges at you, zigzags, or climbs a tree.
Bear: Back up slowly if he hasn't seen you. If he saw you, talk to him softly. If he charges, act like the predator, not the prey. Often a bear charge will be a bluff. If the bear makes contact with you, drop to the ground and play dead by covering your neck with your hands and your face with your elbows. Play dead longer than you think because a bear will try to sniff you. Getting up too early will attract the bear's attention again. In the rare event a bear begins to bite you, fight back with all you have.
Snow panther or wolf: Cases of attacks are so rare that the wild cat would be more dangerous. If you come face to face with an individual, stand up straight and make loud noises while backing up slowly. You have to play the role of a predator. Do not turn your back, run, or crouch to pick up anything in front of the animal. If it attacks you, retaliate and protect your head and neck.
Ticks:From May to October ticks wake up from their hibernation and go in search of fresh prey. In the spring, it is therefore not uncommon during a walk in the forest to be bitten by one of these blood-thirsty mites that live in forests, tall grass and bushes. Preventive measures are knowledge of where ticks can be found, dress to cover your body, check your body every day, especially the hairy parts. A tick bite is not to be taken lightly since these little beasts can carry many bacteria, including the one responsible for Lyme disease. If you have been bitten by a tick, remove the tick entirely, with tick tweezers if possible, then with the tick if possible, check the rest of the body and especially the hairy parts, disinfect, go to the doctor as soon as possible close, then watch yourself, symptoms usually appear after a week.
In the majority of cases, encounters with wild animals are not a problem. While you are on the trail it is fun to see animals. But you should always use common sense and know what to do if an animal encounter goes away.