Both for the welfare of the animal and our own safety, most of us know we shouldn’t approach a bear or wolf. When it comes to cute animals we see around home, while on vacation, or on the exotic pet market, however, we may be fooled by their cute appearance. Today’s guest author covers seven animals you may be tempted to approach, feed, or keep as a pet, but shouldn’t.
7 Cute Animals with a Mean Bite
Don’t let those cute looks fool you; there are some animals that will tempt you to pet them with their cuddly appeal but pack a mean bite or can even kill you. Those cute looks are really a secret weapon that give you a false sense of security.
Beware of the Slow Loris
While this big-eyed furry animal might look harmless, it’s actually one of the few poisonous mammals in the world that gives a deadly bite. Its laid-back nature makes it popular in the underground pet trade, but people should stay clear of this animal. If the slow loris feels threatened, it may bite. A poisonous toxin mixes with its saliva, potentially causing death via anaphylactic shock. Of course they’re cute, but make sure to only admire from a safe distance.
Don’t be Fooled by “Bullwinkle”
Unlike the cartoon character Bullwinkle, the real-world moose is extremely dangerous. Perhaps it’s the grin that will fool you the most. Moose prefer to stay away from humans. If you threaten or disturb them, expect an aggressive charge. As a matter of fact, these large animals attack more humans than bears on an annual basis. These animals are even more aggressive when it comes to their calves.
Watch Out for Those Monkeys
With their charming antics and friendly smiles, monkeys can easily create a natural bond with humans. However, even the smallest monkey can bite. Monkeys become even more unpredictable during adolescence. In addition to potentially transmitting serious diseases like hepatitis C, these furry creatures have been known to unexpectedly dismember and maul humans.
Elephants Aren’t Always Gentle Giants
Although often portrayed as gentle giants, elephants aren’t always easygoing. These wild animals can display surprising bouts of rage and charge with determination. In India, rampaging elephants kill hundreds of people every year. It’s best to leave these animals to the zookeepers and trainers, if taken out of their natural habitat at all.
Don’t Swim with the Leopard Seals
While you may think of seals as playful, with their flapping hands and whimsical sounds, leopard seals are actually hunting predators, who are strong and curious. Even though these seals typically target penguins, they have been known to attack humans. Scottish explorer Gareth Wood was dragged on the ice and bitten twice by one in 1985. Unfortunately, biologist Kirsty Brown was pulled underwater to her death by a leopard seal in 2003.
Take Heed with Giant Anteaters
With their long snouts and furry bodies, giant anteaters make you want to take a second look. Just keep in mind that these large creatures have hidden weapons. With its long, powerful claws, an anteater can disembowel a human with just one swipe. To stay on the safe side, walk away if you spot one.
Poison Dart Frogs are Not Meant to be Caught
Poison dart frogs sport an eye-capturing yellow color and an interesting skin texture that you might want to feel. However, its bright yellow color is really nature’s way of warning you to stay away. Its poison toxin can be deadly. American Indians were known to poison the tips of blowgun darts with this frog’s toxic secretions.
Although these animals may look cute or intriguing at first glance, it’s best to admire them with your eyes and keep your hands off. And if you come into contact with them, just make sure you know where the closest urgent care center is.
Have you ever learned a hard lesson about respecting wildlife? Please share your experience in the comments below.