Some of the most beautiful and innocuous creatures can be surprisingly deadly to humans. Be wary of their beauty. Deadly creatures are not like dogs or cats wanting to be petted. There are also deadly creatures that are not at all appealing or attractive and are just as deadly, if you are unlucky enough to come across them.
Chimps are our closest relative on earth having a nearly identical genome to humans. They are very intelligent and create bonds with humans. And they are so cute. However, they can be unpredictable if frightened. Chimps can bite and transmit the Hepatitis C virus, which is life threatening and often requires a liver transplant. Chimps can maul a human if they feel threatened. In 2009, a chimp named Travis mauled a woman in Connecticut leaving her in critical condition. He ate both of her hands and kept eating her until he was shot and killed by policemen. He mauled her face to where she was unrecognizable as a human being. She has undergone several surgeries and remains terribly scarred.
While he may look like Bullwinkle with his cartoonish grin, the moose is the most dangerous animal routinely encountered. They attack people more often than bears by charging with aggression. They are especially aggressive when defending a calf. At 1,500 pounds and with six feet antlers, all you can do is turn and run to avoid being trampled. A moose can outrun a human but sometimes won’t chase you far if you are running away from them. If you don’t get away fast enough, the moose will knock you down. Don’t struggle, curl into the fetal position, and cover your head with your arms. If the moose licks its lips, it is not because he wants to kiss you. It means run as fast as you can.
Being more than a nuisance by causing itchy welts when they bite us, mosquitoes are the deadliest creature on earth. Approximately two million people die each year from diseases transmitted through mosquito bites, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Mosquitoes transmit diseases to more than 700 million people every year in Africa, Mexico, Asia, South America and Central America. Several types of encephalitis, elephantiasis, poly-arthritis, malaria, West Nile virus, Dengue Fever, Yellow Fever, Ross River Fever and Rift Valley Fever are transmitted through mosquito bites.
Slugs can be more than a nuisance feasting on your beautiful perennial plant leaves and tender young vegetables. Humans have contracted parasite induced meningitis from eating unwashed vegetables that slugs have munched upon, or by eating the slugs as in escargot. Escargot is a routine appetizer in France as they are high in protein and low in fat. Escargot was a 3 billion dollar business in the United States in the 1980’s.
The horned owl or tiger owl is beautiful with feathers that appear stripped. They are the most widely distributed of all owls in the Americas. They can be distinguished from other owls by their low-pitched but loud call of four syllables versus the five syllable call of other owls. The horned owl is ferocious if it thinks someone is trying to interfere with its nest. It will prey on things three times bigger than itself earning the nickname of “flying tiger”. They are big and strong enough to poke holes through skulls. These owls have talons with approximately 300 pounds per square inch of crushing power.
Swans are graceful, regal powerful birds gliding across tranquil waters. Swans mate for life and are extremely vigilant of their nests. If they or their nests are threatened they will team up and go in for the kill. They attack people on boats, knocking them over and attacking the boat’s passengers as they try to swim away. They will peck painfully and beat with their wings. They can cause drowning. It is difficult to defend yourself against two eighty pound birds. On land they will chase you as fast as you can run. Once they feel you are no longer a threat they will retreat leaving you to tend to your bloody pecks.
How adorable are Panda bears? Don’t think they aren’t deadly. They are about the same size as the American Black bear and just as deadly. They stand about 3-4 feet tall at the shoulders on all four legs, and are 4-6 feet long. Males weigh around 250 pounds and females weigh around 220 pounds. They have large molars and strong mandibles which allow them to easily crush bamboo. Pandas are easily capable of killing people. They will eat meat and they will attack if their cubs are threatened.