If a human or animal is infected by rabies, the virus first enters the Central Nervous System before inflaming the brain. This inflammation invokes bouts of mania and galvanizes animals to attack anything within sight.
For a dog or raccoon, this could be dangerous, but for a mountain lion, rabies could be deadly if humans are around.
This was the situation a group of campers faced in the fall of 2004. The four campers were woken at their cabin in Northern California by a fight between their collie and a mountain lion. To scare off the mountain lion, they hastily built a fire outside.
The mountain lion disappeared and it seemed like they were safe until the lion charged out from underneath the cabin and attacked Kathleen Strehl. Mountain lions aren’t usually overtly aggressive against people, but later tests revealed this one was infected with the rabies virus. Animals with rabies are extremely vicious and voraciously persistent.
With the 60-pound beast mauling Strehl, her husband Chuck Strehl and Troy Winslow wrestled the cat off her.
This is the part of the story where having a knife handy prevented the situation from getting uglier.
On June 5, 2003, Canadian farmer Bruce Osiowy was getting ready for another hot day in the field using his new machine that picks up rocks, which he used to have to do by hand.
To the cash crop farmer, life seemed good.
However, what started out like another day on the farm would soon turn into a harrowing 66-hour ordeal for Osiowy.
After picking up a few loads of rocks with his machine, the transport arm of the rockpicker malfunctioned.
So, he tried to release the transport arm with a wrench, but when he did, the whole thing came crashing down on his hand.
Despite screaming for help and banging a hammer against the machine, no one came to his aid. He was stuck all alone in the middle of the field on a Thursday night.
For the next two and a half days, he went without food and water. At night when it grew cold, his collie dog would curl up on top of him to keep him warm.
This is the sixth post in a series that explores cases around the world in which a knife is used to save someone’s life or prevent serious injury.
You never know when something bad is going to happen. Chanda Davis was in one of these unexpected situations in her usually safe South Carolina backyard.
Earlier this month, she was outside her home with her 2-year-old daughter getting a grill ready when all of a sudden two pit bulls skulked into her backyard.
According to an interview, Davis’ daughter shouted “mommy” and when she turned around the two pit bulls were making a move toward her.
Davis instantly picked up her little girl and tossed her on the hood of the car so the pit bulls couldn’t reach.
That’s when the dogs turned on her. Luckily, Davis’ English bulldog came running to her side and the three dogs began viciously fighting one another, so Davis sprung into action.
In the third post of our series documenting how knives save lives, we see that tragedy can strike instantly at any time.
On July 19, 2009, even a routine drive became a frightening life or death situation for one family, after their SUV flipped on its side and burst into flames in Milwaukee, Wis.
Inside the car was a mother and two small children. Fortunately, the mother was able to escape with one of the children, but the second, D.J. Harper, was trapped inside the burning vehicle.
As you can seen from the footage below, the people watching were trying but failing to get the boy out and the SUV was rapidly filling with smoke and fire.
Remarkably, the wife of a firefighter was walking by the scene, so she called him to come down. Within a minute brothers John and Joel Rechlitz, two off duty firefighters, arrived at the scene and took control.
Even though they were getting burned, they bravely peeled back the shattered windshield and saw that then 4-year-old D.J. was strapped in by his seat belt. The first thing that popped into their head was to get a knife to cut him out, but that day they weren’t carrying their pocket knife as usual.