In a bizarre incident, a 70 years old retired professor was killed by his daily companion stray dogs! Can you imagine why? Because he had stopped giving food to them!
A retired professor killed by friendly stray dogs
You must have seen such scenes (as in the above featured image) here and there. It is a regular thing that people feed different stray animals in a friendly manner on a routine basis. But, an incident from Aligarh shocked everybody because a pack of stray dogs killed their regular feeder.
A retired Aligarh Muslim university doctor used to go for an early morning walk daily in the large green area of the University campus. As a routine, he used to bring some eatables with him and distribute them among the stray dogs. Since for a few days, he was on Roza (fast) he was not bringing food for the dogs also.
As many days passed without any food, the dogs loosed their patience that day. Those were not his pet dogs, they were stray dogs but were friendly with him daily. But, this is the tendency of dogs, they start scratching such people who offer them food daily and stop giving after a few days.
The entire incident was captured on a nearby CCTV camera. 1-2 dogs approached him and started scratching him, and within seconds more dogs came running and joined. It is evident from the video that the dogs had planned the attack in advance.
The dogs didn’t know the reason why he had stopped giving them food, and they wanted to force him anyhow to give food. When the number of dogs increased and he fell, the dogs became more violent and aggressive.
Being a vast campus and a bit odd timings, nobody was nearby, the professor could not get any help in time. He later succumbed to injuries because of a large number of wounds and bleeding.
Stray dogs behavior – Friend or enemy?
Dogs are basically wild animals but since they have been living with humans for a long time, so they have developed a friendly relationship with humans. The present generation of dogs has been born between humans and since they have seen humans from their birth, they have learned to co-exist with humans.
Further, dogs are loyal by nature and this quality has been used by humans for ages. You can observe a clear difference between dogs and other similar animal species like cats, etc. Dogs get friendly easily while cats do not. Once a bonding is developed, dogs can even die for their owners/feeders. So, by and large dogs have been loved by humans (only some people hate them).
However, there is a difference between a pet dog and a stray dog. Even then, stray dogs living on streets between a large number of humans (ie. outnumbered) do not become attacker, unless they get mad.
But, this is just a temporary arrangement for food and protection, their inner instincts are just subdued by love, affection, and outnumbering. In dog groups also, some are more aggressive, they lead the attacks. Others are followers, they follow (have to follow) the boss, or else they can’t live in that particular lane. After all a system has to be there 🙂
Why stray dogs attack humans?
Now comes the basic question that dogs are considered as best friends of humans, then after all why do stray dogs attack humans? Is the human-dog friendship a reality or just a myth?
The stray dogs live in groups and they behave in a peculiar fashion. They behave differently in different circumstances, it’s all number game. When between crowd of humans, they are outnumbered, then their behavior is different, they are begging for food. While in the night time or in deserted places, they tend to dominate and get violent quickly.
Have you ever faced such a situation of passing between a pack of stranger(unfamiliar with you) stray dogs in a deserted place? Look at their eyes, they look into each other’s eyes and calculate the power balance. If they feel that the balance can go in their favor they start charging. Basically, it’s a struggle for food and dominance. They are meat eaters, they can eat human flesh also if they get the chance.
So, it’s all number game. If they can dominate, they will. Another thing, dogs in a group behave differently then while alone. However, a lot of other factors are also there like the breed of dogs, proximity with human settlements, time, past experiences, etc.
What to do when stray dogs attack?
Always try to avoid such situations of going in such deserted places all alone. But, if trapped in such a situation, never panic, maintain balance. Being calm and cool in such a situation would prove to be your biggest defense.
This will keep your mind working properly and you can coolly think about coming out of this situation. Further, dogs may also sense your fear and may try to dominate as they watch all your moves and body language. In such a situation, experts suggest to take the following steps:
Firstly, avoid any direct eye contact with them because they may take this as a direct threat and may become more aggressive. Secondly, try to show yourself busy with something, unaware of them, and keep moving backwards slowly to safety. But, do not turn your back on them, or else they will dominate and chase.
Thirdly, try to disperse the dogs in a loud voice like “NO” or “GO AWAY”, this may attract the attention of other passers-by also and they may come for help. At the same time, try to pick some stick or stone, or take out your belt or backpack to protect yourself. Use such a item as a barrier between you and the dogs.
However, I have observed that, in the initial stage, when the dogs are gathering or gaining momentum for the attack, making loud noises like clearing your throat, or talking loudly to somebody far away, as if talking to them, may distract the dogs. This will give a signal to dogs of your dominating and powerful nature.
If still they attack and pull you down, curl yourself and protect the vital organs. Pick a sharp stick and forcefully attack their EYES, this technique works with all the animals. They will immediately weaken their attack.
How to prevent stray dogs attack?
The best strategy is to read the signals at an early stage and avoid the attack situation. Coolly remain watchful of their eye interactions with each other. They gain momentum by sending signals to each other. They observe your every step, you can also do the same with awareness.
As discussed earlier, avoid going to such deserted places or taking unsafe shortcuts. However, if very necessary, take some strong stick with you for protection.
What are your views on this stray dog problem? How have been your experiences with the stray dogs? Have you ever faced any such situation? Do you think petting them is the only solution or some centers are needed? Share your views in the comments and join the discussion.
Featured Image Credit: Photo by Prashanth R