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12 Wild Animals that Seem not to Be Dangerous, but they Actually Are

Dangerous wild animals

Big cats in the wild are not the only threat to us. There are all kinds of other creatures that pose harm to humans, and one should keep a safe distance from such animals at any cost. Even if these animals do not seem to be harmful, they can give some serious, regretful experiences in certain circumstances. Physical aggression is just one of the few modes of threats. Others offer venom, infections, diseases, etc., for you. Below is a list of 12 such wild animals that seem not to be dangerous but actually are.

1. Seals

These slow, cute, and cuddly sea animals might look harmless, but they have mouths full of bacteria that will give you nasty infections if their teeth scratch you. The infection is called “seal finger.” If untreated, the infection causes loss of the finger or hand function.

Seals
Seals

“Seal finger” is generally caused because of seal bite, but direct contact with seal bones can also facilitate the infection. Common symptoms noticed after contracting seal finger are swelling, pain, and joint damage. The infection is even resistant to some antibiotics. 

The infection has been observed commonly in Norway and Canada among fisherman, seal hunters, and people handling seal meat. The primary mode of transmission of the disease is by the seal’s blood or saliva. 

The structure of the bacteria is such that it does not have a cell wall, the target for most antibiotics. So, first-line antibiotics. like penicillin, do not work on it at all. Alternatives like tetracycline usually can effectively treat them. (1, 2, 3)

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2. Caterpillars

The small creatures appear completely non-poisonous, but there exist some handful species of caterpillars that do have poison on their spines, barbed hooks, or hairs. When in contact with human skin, it can create terrible problems like rashes, itching, burning, swelling, blistering, and unbearable pain.

Saddleback caterpillar
Saddleback caterpillar

The small creatures appear completely non-poisonous, but there exist some handful species of caterpillars that do have poison on their spines, barbed hooks, or hairs.

Some of them are saddleback, io moth, puss, gypsy moth, flannel moth, and buck moth caterpillars. When in contact with human skin, it can create terrible problems like rashes, itching, burning, swelling, blistering, and unbearable pain.

Usually, other insects like ants and bees sting to defend their nests, but a caterpillars’ pain-inducing mechanism is quite different. Most of the caterpillars do not have this defense mechanism, but a handful of them in various shapes, sizes, and colors do have poison on their back.

It is better to keep a distance from these caterpillar types because of the “setae,” the hair-like structures with poison. It may even blow on the breeze and land on the eyes or other parts. Sometimes the caterpillars might not have setae but contain poison directly on their back.

We are fortunate that the caterpillars abandon these poisonous structures in later stages of their life cycles.

To treat the infection, one must first remove the hairs from the skin and then treat the symptoms. (source)

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3. Beavers

The friendly and toothy-faced rodents are very protective when they, their young ones, or their territory is threatened. During a beaver attack, their sharp and long teeth can pass clear through your limbs and cause extreme bleeding. They may also carry rabies.

Beavers
Beavers

Beaver attacks are uncommon but are increasing day by day as their natural habitat is being more disturbed. Instances have been recorded of beavers ferociously attacking pets and humans. In one of the cases, a man in Belarus approached the animal to take a snapshot and was bitten in the leg. He literally bled to death. 

As an indication of their aggressive behavior, beavers usually slap their paddled tail on the water to create a loud noise. 

The beaver’s teeth are really strong; they look orange since they are made up of iron and can cut through a tree. 

Beavers are herbivorous, which means that they only charge in circumstances when they sense or perceive danger in the air. (1, 2, 3)

4. Monkeys

These primates look in perfect health, but if they bite or scratch you, it may cause a variety of health issues. Monkeys carry certain parasites and zoonotic diseases that can give you bacterial or viral infections like herpes B encephalitis and SFV.

Monkeys
Monkeys

Diseases spreading through monkeys are prevalent in Asian countries and “monkey temples.”

When visitors from various other countries visit the monkey temples, the interaction between humans and non-human primates increases, which helps the transmission of monkey’s bodily fluids to humans. The fluids carry a host of infectious agents. 

The primates also show aggressive, unpredictable, and dangerous behavior and rigorously increases when they hit puberty. They often tend to bite and scratch humans. (1, 2)

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5. Catfish

Inflammation is caused when a catfish stings, but the real danger is from the secondary bacterial and fungal infections. The pathogens could enter through puncture wounds or their pieces of the spine or other tissues break off into the wound. At times, the venom released by the catfish through its spine can cause reduced blood flow, muscle spasms, and respiratory distress. 

Catfish
Catfish

Catfish are not generally aggressive, but direct contact can trigger them to deliver a sting. People have been stung by catfish usually when they step on them while bathing or while handling the fish after capturing it when fishing. 

Every catfish has three spines and a stinging apparatus near its fins that causes severe pain and inflammation. 

At times, the venom released by the catfish through its spine can cause reduced blood flow, muscle spasms, and respiratory distress. 

The bacterial and fungal infections released via spines could even last for months. 

To cure a sting, the affected person should first remove the spines with the help of tweezers, and then the wound should be scrubbed with fresh water. Immersing the affected area in the highest tolerable hot water and taking antibiotics also helps. (1, 2)

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6. Zebras

This beautiful black-and-white species is actually a lot more hostile than we think. They don’t hesitate to savagely bite humans with strong front teeth who come too close to them. They are very defensive regarding their herd and are always ready to put up a fight.

Zebras
Zebras

Zebras and horses share a common family but not the same temperament. Zebras are a lot more aggressive. They are known to kill each other and their predators, including lions, by merely kicking. 

Instances have also been recorded when they didn’t hesitate to literally bite humans in the head. They have strong front teeth that can give a fatal bite. 

They have been living with deadly predators like lions, cheetahs, and hyenas all along so they have developed a strictly defensive nature. So, when a human tries to get close to zebras and they attack, the human will try to defend himself with their limbs, but if a zebra gets a chance, they’ll just bite it off. (1, 2)

Also read: 11 Important Facts About Animals That We Must Know

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