We all love adorable, cute, snuggly animals, but sometimes those fluffy, squishy creatures just don’t love us back! For this installment, we’re going to ruin your image of some of Mother Nature’s most notably cute animals that may wind up killing you before showing you any affection.
Sorry, canine lovers, but according to cold hard facts, an estimated 4.5 million people in the United States alone fall victim to dog attacks. Of those, about 20 or 30 result in fatality, so the next time you’re snuggling up with dear sweet Maxwell, just remember there’s a cold-blooded killer in there waiting for the time to strike! Okay, okay, canine lovers. Calm down, I’m not serious. Dogs aren’t naturally deadly, but they’re also not entirely innocent. Whether provoked, rabid, trained, or just protecting their family, dogs can strike and do some serious damage. Breeds that are more commonly associated with being sweet but ferocious include Pitbulls and Rottweilers, though don’t discount the super fluffy Chow Chows and Huskies.
Whether or not you think chimpanzees are cute, we think they’re adorable; and as times have shown, they’re also deadly and deserve a spot with these 9 other deceptive creatures. In their natural habitat, chimps are believed to be naturally aggressive, a trait that doesn’t seem to disappear entirely when domesticated. As attacks like the well-known 2009 mutilation of Charla Nash by her best friend’s chimpanzee, Travis, shows, these belligerent humanoids can be unpredictable and highly dangerous, typically going for the face and hands during an attack.
They’re so cute that it’s almost impossible to not want to take home one of these wide-eyed nocturnal primates, but doing so would be potentially putting your life at risk. Despite being illegal to actually own, the Slow Loris is also extremely deadly and is known as being the most poisonous mammals in the world. The Loris releases a toxin from its elbows of all places, takes it into its mouth, and mixes it with saliva, creating a deadly bite that can lead to envenomation and anaphylactic shock. Even stranger, in 2013, researchers hypothesized that the Loris has evolved over time to mimic cobras, from hissing to defensive swaying motions.
Arguably the cutest fish to be found in the deep blue, the puffer fish is also one of the deadliest. Oddly enough, though, the puffer seems to be at its deadliest after it is dead and turned into a popular Japanese dish, fugu. While still alive, puffer carry a tetrodotoxin that is used for protection. Get stung by one of these Tetraodontidae and you’re likely to have a bad final day alive, but chances are this isn’t how you’ll become intoxicated. Instead, it’s more likely that a human will die from a puffer after it has been killed, mostly due to poor preparation that leaves behind the tetrodotoxin for ingestion. Once poisoned, a person will likely vomit, suffer muscle paralysis, rapid heart rate, and an inability to breathe. Mortality rate is said to be between 10-50%, depending on sources, and there is currently no antidote.
Poison Dart Frog
Thanks to scientific naming, the deadly nature of this sweet little amphibian should come as no surprise. There are different types of poison dart frogs, each one having its own level of toxicity. The Dendrobatid you want to avoid would be the golden poison dart frog, known to have enough venom to kill 10 adult humans. So long as you avoid touching the colorful skin of these tiny creatures, you should be fine, as the toxins are secreted through skin glands. Curiously, poison dart frogs raised in captivity don’t show signs of toxicity, leading scientists to believe that the frog concocts the deadly mix from its prey, such as ants and mites, which are likely to be carrying plant toxins.
Ah, finally something adorable looking that won’t slaughter you and your family. The Blue-Ringed Octopus is a cute underwater dweller known for a beautiful design of blue rings all over its body. Found primarily in the Pacific and Indian Oceans, this tiny Octopodidae is said to carry enough venom to kill 26 full-grown adults in minutes. Even worse than that is if you’re bitten by them, you may not even know it until the effects start to set in. The toxic mix of tetrodotoxin, histamine, tryptamine, octopamine, taurine, acetylcholine, and dopamine can cause respiratory depression, heart failure, total paralysis, and, of course, death. The only bright side is envenomation is rare and only 3 reported deaths have occurred.
They may have saved the day in Jaws 3, but there’s nothing heroic about these endearing marine mammals. Along with humans, bottlenose dolphins are one of the only other species known to kill for no reason, though that murderous instinct has yet to cause an outbreak of dead swimmers. That’s not to say they haven’t had the taste of human flesh in the past, as an attack in Brazil in 1994 left one man dead and another with a broken rib. Another man off of Sherkin Island was said to have been purposefully pushed underwater by a bottlenose that was “lashing out.”
Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water, this adorably spotted Phocidae comes speeding towards you, bringing with it an appetite for flesh. While the only recorded death by sea leopard occurred in 2003 when biologist Kirsty Brown was dragged 200 feet or roughly 61 meters underwater, these incredible sea beasts have been known to display aggressive behavior, especially towards black pontoons and inflatable boats. Other attacks on humans include Thomas Orde-Lees and Scottish explorer Gareth Wood, both of whom were able to escape death. Seals are also known to toy with penguins, chasing them around with no intention to eat them. The unusual “game” ends when the penguin escapes or dies from exhaustion.
There’s something fascinating about elephants. On the outside, they look like cute, docile, dopey animals, as seen with Dumbo, but really, under the right circumstances, they’re incredibly dangerous and super intelligent. From 2010 to 2015, there was reported to be over 37,000 wild elephant attacks on humans, 54 of which were fatal. An incident in Belwatand village in eastern India in 2013 was believed to be an orchestrated “revenge attack” by a herd of 15 elephants, after one of their own was killed by a passenger train. The group was seen around the scene of the accident for several days before rampaging into the village.
You’ve probably seen those videos of poor panda bears tumbling from a tree like adorable helpless stuffed animals. You just want to rush to their fluffy little sides, scoop them up, and heal their wounds. Well, we don’t recommend that. Panda may thrive off of a diet of bamboo but their temperament can turn violent if you happen upon their territory or if they feel threatened. One case in 2015 involved a panicked panda being chased by locals in Liziba village. The big floof ran into the farm of Guan Quanzhi and took a man’s leg between its powerful jaws. Quanzhi survived the attack but this is only one example of many that show that pandas, while cute, are equipped with the means to maim and kill.