The sharp teeth and venomous venom may seem terrifying, but wildlife authorities have known for decades that some of the deadliest creatures in the United States are the least suspected innocent-looking ones.
This week, North Carolina officials warned locals to keep themselves and their pets safe from a deadly invasive species, native to South America, with a very gentle name: the ‘apple snail.’
The snail joins the toxic, mucus-covered hammerhead worm on the list of unintimidating but dangerous invaders that have spread across the United States over the past year.
Not to be outdone, the United States has many of its own dangerous species and unexpected threats worth paying attention to.
Below are five deceptively deadly animals across the country that could be in your backyard. This is how they kill and how you can protect yourself.
While some celebrities, such as Mike Tyson, have claimed that the hallucinogenic secretions of the Colorado River toad have brought them to the afterlife and back, the toad’s exudate has proven to be a real killer for the unfortunate pets that have gotten in its way. path.
Colorado River Toad (Incilius alvarius)
The Colorado River toad, sometimes called the Sonoran Desert toad, has become famous in recent years for its psychedelic secretions, including 5-methoxy-dimethyl-tryptamine, sometimes called the “God molecule.”
While some celebrities, such as Mike Tyson, have claimed that these hallucinogens have brought them to the afterlife and back, the Toad’s exudate has proven to be a real killer for the unfortunate pets that have gotten in its way.
“This slow-moving, deadly amphibian is easy prey for a playful pup,” according to the Tuscon Adobe Veterinary Center.
“More dogs die from these things than from rattlesnakes,” said Amy Burnette of Arizona Game and Fish. NBC affiliate KING-TV.
“So, it’s definitely something to keep an eye on.”
Burnette’s advice to dog owners in the desert Southwest is to be prepared to aggressively wipe their dog’s mouth if it tries to eat the psychedelic toad.
‘Take a garden hose and grab it from the corner of [your dog’s] mouth and expel it towards the front of the mouth,” he said
‘Keep eliminating those toxins […] You want to get rid of all that poison and get your dog to the emergency vet as soon as possible.’
Forget their smell, skunks are just as deadly a rabies vector as animals like raccoons and stray dogs, which are more commonly associated with the disease.
Striped skunk (mephitis mephitis)
Forget their smell: Skunks can be just as deadly a rabies vector as animals like raccoons and stray dogs, which are more commonly associated with the disease.
While bats remain the most common carriers of rabies in the U.S., accounting for 33 percent of all animal cases, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), ., the modest skunk takes third place.
skunks wear makeup 20.3 percent of all recorded rabies cases in animals, behind raccoons (30.3 percent) and bats.
In August, three rabid skunks led health officials in Macomb County, Michigan, to euthanize several pets who struggled with rabid skunks in their area.
“Given the proximity of the skunks in question, residents are strongly encouraged to exercise caution around themselves and their pets when seeing a skunk due to the possibility of localized transmission,” county health officials said.
The CDC and other agencies note that abnormal drooling, aggressive behavior, and “biting imaginary objects” are possible signs that a skunk, or any other animal, could be infected with rabies.
Humans can kill and eat them in record numbers, but cows have proven adept at responding in kind. Each year, a cow kills approximately 22 people, according to data collected between 2003 and 2007 by the CDC.
Humans can kill and eat them in record numbers, but cows have proven adept at responding in kind.
Each year, a cow kills approximately 22 people, according to data collected between 2003 and 2007 by the CDC.
The typical cause of death, according to research by both the CDC and the livestock charity Heifer International, is kicking or trampling, but most of those human lives are only lost when the cow’s hooves crash into the head or the chest.
Dr. Joseph Forrester of the Medical College of Wisconsin crunched the numbers from the CDC’s animal death data for the magazine. Environmental and wildlife medicine in 2012.
It turned out to be a daunting task, as 655 deaths in CDC records were grouped into a generic category called “other mammals.”
“We looked at previous papers in this category and it looks like the biggest ones are probably cows and horses,” Forrester said. Outdoor magazine.
“Unfortunately we do not know the exact percentages, but the livestock majority seems to coincide with the areas of the country that have more farms and agricultural workers.”
According to an analysis of CDC data by Dr. Joseph Forrester of the Medical College of Wisconsin, bees, hornets and wasps kill about 79 people each year, mostly men (80.9 percent). and mostly adults over 35 years of age (93.1 percent).
Bees, hornets and wasps
According to Dr. Forrester’s analysis of CDC data, bees, hornets and wasps kill about 79 people each year, mostly men (80.9 percent) and mostly adults over age 35 ( 93.1 percent).
Although many people know to be careful around these insects, particularly those with allergies to their bites, the federal agency has warned the public that these numbers are likely an underestimate.
Without an allergic reaction, it would take up to 500 stings to kill a child and more than 1,100 stings to kill an average adult, the agency reports, although some Africanized bees attack in swarms of that staggering size.
In 2019, even as sting deaths increased from the previous five years, the CDC warned that its numbers likely underestimated the problem because Doctors were misdiagnosing allergic reactions. such as heart attacks or sunstroke.
According to the CDC, a total of 1,109 people died from bee, hornet and wasp stings between 2000 and 2017, despite those underestimates.
“Deaths ranged from a low of 43 in 2001 to a high of 89 in 2017,” the federal health agency said in its 2019 report.
The best way to protect yourself, according to the Mayo Clinic, is to get tested for allergies and get vaccinated.
“People who have a severe allergic reaction to a bee sting have a 30 to 60 percent chance of experiencing anaphylaxis the next time they are stung,” according to the Mayo Clinic’s bee sting site.
“Talk to your doctor or an allergist about prevention measures such as immunotherapy (“allergy shots”),” the group advises, “to avoid a similar reaction if you are bitten again.”
Deer kill more people than any other animal in the United States, year after year. Of the more than 700 deaths attributed to animals annually, it is estimated that around 440 deaths (nearly two-thirds) are caused by collisions between deer and motor vehicles.
Deer kill more people than any other animal in the United States, year after year.
These elegant, peaceful-looking herbivores are responsible for more human deaths than virtually all other predatory animals combined.
Zoologist Michael Conover, professor of natural resources at Utah State University, has carried out one of The most comprehensive recent studies of human deaths caused by animals. within the United States.
Of the more than 700 annual deaths attributed to animals, Conover estimates that about 440 deaths (nearly two-thirds) are caused by collisions between deer and motor vehicles.
Fluffy-tailed creatures kill more people each year than bears, wolves, coyotes, mountain lions, snakes, sharks and alligators combined.
The November mating season is the riskiest period for both motorists and deer, according to Marianne Gauldin of the Alabama State Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries, because deer literally become reckless with lust.
“They are very focused on the opportunity to reproduce and therefore lose some of their ingenuity,” Gauldin told the Washington Post. ‘They are at full speed looking for females, chasing them and running after them in search of the opportunity to reproduce.
‘And they are doing this with tunnel vision. […] literally running across the street.’