It is often said that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. And that saying has never been more true than when you’re talking about animals. Take the tarantula for instance. That giant, hairy arachnid is one of the more terrifying creatures that walk this earth. But they are relatively harmless to humans. Sometimes it’s the cutest animals that are actually the most dangerous. Check out this list of cute animals that have a secret dark side and be sure to use caution when you encounter them in the wild.
This adorable aquatic mammal seems harmless. But what if I told you that they are known to kill their own offspring and gang up on other dolphins? They don’t seem so harmless anymore. Just remember that the next time that you’re swimming with them on vacation.
These skilled builders may look cute, but they have a nasty side if provoked. There are multiple stories of people being bit by these large rodents and one man was even bitten to death after attempting to take a photograph. Feel free to admire their dams from afar, but don’t get too close.
3. Slow Loris
What could possibly be dangerous about these cute little guys? They don’t look like they have a single mean bone in their body. But in fact, the slow loris can do some damage if provoked. They are quite venomous and will mix their toxins into their saliva and go for a bite if they need to.
4. Polar Bear
Although they look big and cuddly, polar bears are the only bear known to stalk and hunt a human. Luckily, they live pretty far away from us, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t still make some kills. There have been 73 polar attacks in the last 130 years.
5. Domestic Cat
So no, your cat isn’t going to hunt and kill you if you stop feeding it. But it will try and kill every other little creature in the yard. It’s estimated that cats are responsible for 2.4 billion bird deaths and 12.3 billion mammalian deaths in the US in a single year. Who knew that your cute, cuddly friend was such a vicious killer.
For the most part, you should be pretty safe from raccoons as long as you don’t provoke them. But it’s the diseases that they carry that can harm you. They are known to carry diseases like rabies and mites which can prove to be pretty detrimental to your health. Next time that you see a raccoon rummaging through your trash, make sure to keep your distance.
These cool-looking creatures may look harmless but they can pack a punch. They have been known to attack dogs from time to time and this leads to altercations between them and the dog owners. With their long claws and powerful legs, a kangaroo is not an animal to mess with. Keep your dog on a leash and steer clear when you see one.
Although they seem like peaceful creatures, chimps are known to be very aggressive. That may not be surprising when you think about how much DNA we share with them. Humans seem to be in constant conflict with each other, and like us, chimps are known to harm members of their own species as well as members of others. Try not to get too close.
9. Mute Swan
These beautiful birds aren’t as sweet as they look. Mute sawns are very territorial, especially around their nests. If you find yourself between a swan and its nest, don’t be surprised if you’re attacked. People have been hospitalized after a swan attack so don’t take this warning lightly.
10. Panda Bear
Panda bears eat nothing but bamboo. But because of that, they have very strong jaws that allow them to bite through bamboo’s though exterior. Although they don’t want to eat humans, they have been known to attack them. And when they do, the results are bad, and sometimes even deadly.
Although moose seem peaceful, they are actually very dangerous. Becasue of their size, speed, and aggressive nature, trying to get too close to a moose can prove deadly. You’re best bet is to keep your distance and admire these magnificent creatures from afar. Get too close, and it may be the last animal you ever see.
These massive creatures aren’t as sweet as they seem. Movie’s like Dumbo make them seem loveable, but they can be very dangerous. And because they are so big, all they have to do is step on whatever it is that is bothering them. Should you ever come across an elephant, make sure to stay out of its way.
13. Komodo Dragon
Although they may seem less impressive than the dragons of folklore, these lizards are still very dangerous. They have extremely venomous saliva that will kill anything it touches within 24 hours. Needless to say, make sure to keep your distance from these guys.
Although it may remind you of your cat at home, a lion is much more equipped to kill you. With its massive fangs and big claws, this cat means business. They are known to kill about 100 people every years. So if you find yourself on an African safari, make sure to admire these amazing creatures from inside the vehicle.
Like the lion, the wolf may remind you of your dog pal. But don’t be fooled, these animals are ferocious. They aren’t known to attack humans very often, but they will if provoked. So once again, try and keep your distance.
These beautiful animals are engineered to kill. They are more unpredictable than lions are and often considered more dangerous to humans. In certain parts of India, they are known to kill more people than every other carnivore combined. I think those stats speak for themselves.
As the second heaviest land animal, Rhinos are clearly powerful enough to kill. They tend to steer clear of humans, but will charge if provoked. They also charge when they are protecting their young. And because they have poor eye-sight, it sometimes doesn’t take much to set them off.
Although they aren’t the biggest animals out there, rats can be deadly in other ways. Namely, in spreading disease. They were responsible for spreading the Black Plague around Europe which was devistatingly deadly. If you see one out in the wild, do your best not to touch it.
Deer are cute animals, but they are responsible for a surprising number of deaths. But it may not be in the way that you think. Deer are responsible for so many deaths because of how many car crashes they cause. Not only that, but they carry a lot of disease-carrying ticks as well. So if you see one in the wild and have the urge to pet it, think again.
If you are old enough to remember Steve Irwin, then you probably remember how he died as well–by stingray. It was said that the ray stabbed him with it’s long, sharp tail-bard. Altough not usually deadly, they can leave you with a nasty sting should you step on one while at the beach. So watch out for these cool creatures.
21. Domestic Dog
I know, I know, you love your dog. We all do. But dogs did come from wolves remember? And they are still responsible for some deaths in the US and Canada. Make sure that you trust a dog before you approach it and don’t assume that they are all friendly and awaiting your belly scratches.
22. Poison Dart Frog
Although this little frog looks cute, it is known to be one of the deadliest animals on earth. It holds enough poison in its body at any given time to kill 20,000 mice. That’s definitely not a frog you want to be holding or playing with. Admire these amazing creatures from afar, but don’t get within its jumping range.
These cuddly creatures aren’t as cuddly as they seem. Even though they are a bit smaller than the other deadly canines and felines that live in the area, hyenas are still known to eat humans. Since they are scavengers, they will eat almost any meat that they can get their paws on. So watch your back when you’re out on the savannah.
These awesome birds mainly eat fruits. But they are known to eat insects and lizards as well. And should they get hungry enough, they aren’t above eating other bird’s chicks as well. As a human, you are probably safe from the toucan, although it may try to peck you if get too close.
Penguins have a painful surprise inside of their beaks. Their entire mouth, along their tongue, is filled with tiny, sharp teeth. They use these teeth to secure the fish that they catch. Once a penguin has a good hold on a fish, there is no escape. So should you find yourself around a penguin, don’t give them the chance to bite.
26. White Stork
Storks will eat anything from fish, to other birds, to snakes. They’ve got a strong beak that helps them secure almost any small animal that they are hungry for. Also, these birds are known to adopt other bird’s chicks and toss their own out of the nest. The ruthless birds seem more concerned with themselves than anything else.
Although these cute little creatures mainly eat nuts and seeds, they are known to eat meat when they get hungry enough. In the winter, when food is scarse, these little guys will eat small reptiles, other rodents, and birds. They have very sharp teeth and strong jaws so catching prey isn’t too difficult for them. Keep your fingers away from squirrels!
28. Freshwater Snail
So no, this little snail can’t hurt you directly. But it can hurt you indirectly. Freshwater snails are known to carry the disease, schistosomiasis. This is a very common tropical disease and it can be transferred to you from something as simple as swimming in the same water as these snails.
Dingoes are very cute and very cool animals. They went from wild, to domesticated, to wild again. They try and hunt the sheep in Australia and the farmers do what they can to run them off. Unfortunately, people do get attached by these awesome canines because they treat them like domesticated dogs–tyring to pet and play with them. But remember, dingoes are more closely related to wolves than they are to domestic dogs.
This cool little creature is actually much more dangerous than it looks. It has very venomous saliva which can kill the animals that it feeds on. Surprisingly, solenodons aren’t immune to their own venom. They will often die if bitten by a fellow solenodon during a fight.
Although they are huge and heavy, hippos are also very fast. They will attack humans for no apparent reason and are responsible for nearly 500 human deaths every year. If you find yourself near a hippo, get as far away from it as possible. They are very deadly animals.
32. Tasmanian Devil
Living exclusively on the island of Tasmania, the Tasmanian devil is the largest marsupial preditor in the world. Its strong jaws and sharp teeth allow it to attack animals that are 4-times its size. Although they don’t attack humans often, they will at times. This happens mainly during mating season or when they are protecting their young.