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4 seemingly harmless but absolutely dangerous wild animals to avoid during hikes


When hiking in the mountains, it is likely that you will encounter some wild animals. And while some of them will be cute and relatively harmless, some are definitely dangerous. Listed below are four unnoticeable dangerous critters in the wild, according to an article by LoveOutdoors.com:

  1. The poison dart frog – Poison dart frogs are “small, but terrible.” Although these amphibians are only over a centimeter in length, they carry enough poison to kill over a dozen people. They excrete the toxin through their skin, so getting poisoned is as easy as just touching them. Poison dart frogs are usually brightly colored; they can come in neon-looking blues, yellows, and reds. Their bright color is a warning sign for predators not to eat them. Because they are highly poisonous, they do not have many predators in the wild. Many animals can become gravely ill from just licking a poison dart frog. Poison dart frogs are found in moist and humid forests. There are over 175 different species of poison dart frog known to be living in the tropical jungles of Central and South America.

  2. Feral hogs – Feral hogs are native to the Midwest and Southern parts of the United States, but they are spreading. They live in bottom lands such as rivers, creeks, and drainage areas. They don’t have a lot of hair and are less pink than domesticated pigs, and often exceed 200 pounds. Aside from being aggressive when threatened or guarding baby hogs, they also carry different diseases such as pseudorabies, tuberculosis, bubonic plague, tularemia, hog cholera, foot and mouth disease, anthrax, swine brucellosis, and trichinosis. Some states have created a “shoot-on-sight” policy to stop their widespread population growth.

  3. Yellow jackets – People generally avoid bees and wasps. Yellow jackets are characterized by their yellow and black color. Their nests can hold thousands of adult populations. Unlike most species, yellow jackets live underground. They are commonly found throughout all of North America. These wasps are highly dangerous because if you step on or even just get near one of them, the whole colony will come after you. They can be extremely aggressive and can sting you multiple times, especially the females. Their stingers stay attached to their abdomen even after stinging, making them very different from honeybees. Their venom is also more poisonous and their stings more painful than honeybees.

  4. The whitetail deer – The whitetail deer is one of the most commonly hunted animals in the United States. It is often viewed as a victim instead of an antagonist. They may seem harmless, but they are actually dangerous to motorists and they can turn aggressive during their mating season. Every year, there are reports of deer attacks involving hunters, hikers, and campers. The whitetail deer is usually tan or brown in the summer and grayish brown during winter. It has white fur patches around the eyes, muzzle, throat, underbelly, and under the tail. Male whitetail deer have antlers and weigh around 150 to 300 pounds, while females do not have antlers and weigh around 90 to 200 pounds. The whitetail deer can be found in the southern part of Canada and most of the United States, except for the Southwest, Alaska, and Hawaii. An alarmed whitetail deer may stomp its hooves and snort as warning signs for other deer. Moreover, it may raise its tail, showing its white underside in response to a threat. (Related: Adventurous Camping Locations: Washington State.)

Find more survival tips at Preparedness.news.

Sources include:

LoveOutdoors.com

A-Z-Animals.com

TPWD.Texas.gov

InsectIdentification.org

AmericanExpedition.us

NHPTV.org

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