Mom used to say, “look but don’t touch”. While she was probably referring to that very delicate toy in the store that she knew you could destroy in less than 30 seconds, it is extremely valid when it comes to the animal kingdom. Too often we forget that animals are not cute toys for us to play with, they are, well, animals. Of course, they can be adorable, and I know it’s difficult to resist the impulse to pet their soft fur or even grab them and kiss them, but we should always remember that animals don’t perceive our affection in the same way. The main reason is they are afraid of us! So, if approached, they naturally tend to defend themselves and, if they can’t run, they can become very aggressive. If you have ever been to a zoo, you probably noticed the warning sign “don’t feed the animals” the reason is not only that they can get sick if fed the wrong food, but also, they can accidentally bite you while trying to get what you are gently offering. Of course, I’m not saying that animals are mean, I’m saying that most animals will do whatever it takes to remain free, protect their babies, and keep their territory safe. This is their nature, not too different from ours if you think about it, so as you wouldn’t try to hug a shark, I assume, consider that there are many incredibly cute and apparently sweet animals that you want to stay away from…they might be deadlier than a shark.
6. Slow Loris
With those huge round eyes staring at you they seem to say please coddle me! Well very bad idea, if you consider that this cute little guy is the only venomous mammal in the world. Slow lorises have a toxic bite. The toxin is obtained by licking a gland on their arm, and the secretion is activated by mixing with saliva. Their venomous bite is a deterrent to predators, and the toxin is also applied to the fur during grooming as a form of protection for their youngest. Slow lorises move slowly, making little or no noise, and when threatened, they stop moving and remain still. Their only documented predators – apart from humans – are snakes. Males are highly territorial, if endangered, their bite can cause death by anaphylactic shock.
5. Leopard Seal
What a cutie…think again, while other seals are generally playful and harmless to humans, the Leopard Seal is a natural born killer. He lives in the icy waters of the Antarctic and is considered by scientists as one of the top predators along with killer whales. Usually, his favorite meal is penguins, however, is known to hunt humans as well. The reason is not clear, in most cases might be self-defense or same as sharks and killer whales, he might confuse divers with penguins. In any case, I wouldn’t swim with him if I were you.
4. Mute Swan
Can you imagine anything more elegant and graceful? They slide effortlessly on the water and they seem so peaceful like nothing can touch them. However, you can’t imagine how aggressive they may become if disturbed. Especially Mute Swans can be quite fierce in defense of their nests and are highly protective of their mate and offspring. Most defensive attacks from a mute swan begin with a loud hiss and, if this is not sufficient to scare off the predator, are followed by a physical attack. Swans can literally smash at their enemy with bony spurs in the wings, accompanied by biting with their large bill. The wings of the swan are very powerful, and mute swans regularly attack people who invade their territory. The cob is responsible for defending the babies while on the water and will sometimes attack even a canoe to keep it away from them. So, don’t get too close to these beautiful creatures.
3. Dart Frog
How dangerous could a frog really be? I agree, but only if you are talking about common little green frogs. Some others, instead, can be deadly and guess what? The most dangerous ones are the cutest ones. In fact, the Poison Dart Frogs take their name from the Amerindians’ indigenous use of their toxic secretions to poison the tips of blow darts. It means that these tiny amphibious are among the most poisonous creatures in the world – lethal weapons in disguise – They bear beautiful bright colors but often in nature bright colors are a warning. In this case, the coloration is correlated with the toxicity of the species, making them aposematic. The most toxic ones are golden, scientists say their venom can kill up to 10 human adults.
2. Blue-ringed octopus
This colorful small animal, at a first look, appears to be docile and shy, but I wouldn’t provoke him if I were you. As Dr. Roy Caldwell, University of California at Berkeley, point out in his Cephalopod Articles, Blue-ringed octopuses are among the deadliest animals in the sea. In Australia where blue-rings occur in shallow coastal waters, there have been dozens of reported bites and several deaths. He explains “typically, the victim is unaware of the danger and either picks up the innocuous looking octopus or inadvertently contacts it. Bites are usually reported as being painless. Often the victim doesn’t even know that he had been bitten”. In fact, the pretty blue rings are a warning when threatened. If the predator doesn’t leave the octopus attacks by ejecting venom that causes paralysis, and then death.
Ok, who didn’t fall in love with Bambi back in the days? Deers, as well as moose, are pretty and gracious, but not as sweet as Bambi was. They can be quite wild towards predators and humans. Mother Nature gave them strong wide horns and believe me, they are not afraid to use them if bothered. In addition, deer are very fast and powerful so when they attack they can seriously make some damage. In fact, the deer is responsible for an average of 120 human deaths per year. This obviously occurs mostly because men continue to invade their territory scaring them or threatening them.
So please if you like these animals just follow mom advice: Look but don’t touch.