30 Super Adorable Baby Photos of Super Dangerous Animals
Looks really can be deceiving.
A friendly face doesn’t always mean they’re a friend—and nowhere is that more true than the animal kingdom. Sure, everyone knows a cuddly cat may not always be so cuddly (especially if there’s catnip at play), but some deadly animals take faking cuteness to the next level. To that end, we’ve gathered 30 adorable baby photos of some of the world’s most dangerous animals. That way, you can look without ever having to get within arm’s reach of these Darwinian hazards.
A cute bear rolling around in the snow is nothing but cute… right? Nope! Polar bears are the most carnivorous members of the bear family, and the most likely to stalk a human as food, too. There have been nearly 70 confirmed polar bear attacks in the last century, and while it seems like a low number for 100 years, it’s only because polar bears are not that accessible to humans. Get rid of the sea ice, however, and we might be headed for some real trouble.
It’s pretty obvious that lions are some fierce creatures. (They’re not “king of the jungle” for no reason, after all.) However, when looking at a tiny lion cub, it’s nearly impossible not to smile. What can we say? The Lion King made lion cubs look friendly! Plus, look at that little face! Don’t you just want to skip the little fella up? On average, lions kill about 250 people annually.
Sometimes referred to as “Africa’s Most Dangerous Animal,” the hippo is not one to be messed with. Kid-oriented things, such as games like Hungry Hungry Hippos or songs like “I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas,” try to make hippos seem like cute creatures, but they’re far from it. Not only will hippos attack and feed on humans, they also feed on other hippos.
Unfortunately, real life tigers are no Tony the Tiger. While the above tiger cub looks innocent as can be, these felines are notorious for mauling an astonishing amount of humans. Tigers of the World estimates that tigers are responsible for nearly 373,000 human deaths between 1800 and 2009. Most attacks occur on zookeepers, likely because of combination of two factors: instinct, and the boredom caused by captivity.
Three Little Pigs made it clear how big and bad wolves can be—and that popular fictional interpretation isn’t far from reality. Due to their pack hunting tactics, wolves can pretty much overtake any enemy. Luckily, however, while attacks have happened over the years, there have been no human deaths recorded in North America from wolves during the past century.
As the fastest animal on land, it’s a no-brainer that the cheetah can be one deadly creature when it wants to be. While they have the ability to maim, cheetahs are actually very shy creatures, and has caused few reported human fatalities. However, seeing as you won’t be able to outrun them, it’s probably better safe than sorry to keep your distance—and a lot of it, at that.
While hyenas often sound like they’re laughing, coming across one of these creatures is no laughing matter. Zoologist Stephen Brend told the BBC that hyenas have jaws as powerful as great white sharks, and they devour every bit of their prey (yes, even the bones). In fact, hyenas are known to attack the homeless in Ethiopia—and even, on one occasion, ripped off the scalp of one man while he was sleeping.
From circuses to Disney, elephants are depicted as animals who live for fun. However, they’re actually more deadly than they are entertaining. One study by an Animal Kingdom worker concluded that people are three times more likely to be killed while working with elephants than being on the front-line as a police officer. Their incredible strength combined with sudden outbursts of anger make this animal one of the deadliest on earth.
The spots of the leopard make it such a beautiful creature, but along with tigers, lions, and cheetahs, these felines are not afraid to strike. Leopard’s view direct eye contact as a challenge and will suffocate their prey. In 2012, one leopard was suspected of eating 15 people in Nepal—including a 4-year-old boy the animal dragged into the jungle.
Along with other large animals, like elephants and hippopotamuses, rhinos are also considered one of the most dangerous animals in Africa. Their poor sight make them even more dangerous since they cannot tell if a passerby poses a threat or not—often leading them to attack innocent bystanders.
Chimpanzees have an affectionate and needy side as infants, which can make them appear cute and child-like to the average person. However, by age five, chimpanzees are stronger than most human adults. Their natural aggressive nature has led to many critical and fatal attacks—especially to those who try to keep chimps as pets.
While you’re looking at a cute baby calf, you could accidentally find yourself in the middle of a stampede. In a span of five years, more than 20 people were killed in the United States by cows, according to the CDC. Cows are strong enough to knock humans down, often resulting in fatal injuries to the head or chest. Then there’s the whole stampede thing. If caught in one, humans are often trampled over and crushed to death. Ouch!
While baby kangaroos look cute nestled up in their mothers’ pouches, they can still pack a mean punch. In 2018, Australian officials called for signs to be put up in the national parks to remind visitors that feeding kangaroos was unsafe and illegal because there was an ongoing string of kangaroos attacking tourists. Wildlife expert Ian Temby says that, if a kangaroo kicks you with its hind feet while you’re standing up, the attack could kill you by ripping you open. Sounds a little less cute now, doesn’t it?
Innocent looking enough, these deadly creatures are far from it. They have jaws so powerful they can actually crack a tortoise shell. And Guinness World Records went so far as to name the animal the “World’s Most Fearless Creature.” Yeah, if you found yourself in a fight with this creature, you’d lose. Honey badgers have incredibly loose skin that allow them to break free from a predator’s grip, and most turn around and deliver fatal bites to their attackers.
While tiny compared to the actual panda species—red pandas typically grow to the size of a house cat—these animals don’t let their size diminish their dangerous side. Red pandas are usually shy creatures, but when they feel threatened, they can stand up on their hind legs and strike out with razor-sharp, semi-retractile claws.
Koala bears are known for their cute looks. However, these cuddly, tree-hugging creatures from Down Under aren’t actually all that cuddly. Koala bears have a pretty intense bite, and even left one woman bitten and bloody in Southern Australia after she tried to protect her dogs from a koala’s attack. It’s probably best to leave the koalas alone to hug their trees.
These scavenging creatures are considered a primary carrier of rabies in the United States. While only one person has been reported dead from a raccoon strain of rabies, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention still warns people to keep their distance. Most healthy raccoons don’t attack humans, so if you find yourself in the midst of an aggressive raccoon, you’re most likely dealing with a rabid animal.
While mice can’t really do much damage from a simple attack, the diseases these little rodents can pass along are enough to make them some dangerous creatures. Mice can spread more than 35 different diseases—which can then spread to humans indirectly. Many of these diseases, particularly hantavirus, can cause a lifetime of health issues or even result in death.
With their duck-like bill, beaver-like tail, and webbed feat, platypuses are oddly adorable and adorably odd. However, don’t let the cute weirdness of this creature distract you from the fact that male platypuses are venomous, thanks to toxic spurs in their hind limbs.
Since they have their nose and eyes on the top of their head, caiman crocodiles can hide most of their body underwater while seeking out their prey—making them one of the planet’s sneakiest and stealthiest predators. While many caimans are too small to pose a major threat to humans, the black caiman is an apex predator in the Amazon and will even hunt jaguars. You think a human can stand a chance?
When it comes to U.S. symbolism, bald eagles are depicted as strong and heroic creatures. However, by no means are they heroes to everyone. In fact, one town in Alaska was recently tormented by violent bald eagles. Their ability to quickly swoop down from the sky and attack with powerful claws make them some pretty tough foes.
These adorable creatures are not vicious by nature, but their prickly exterior can pose a problem for some. Their quills can pierce skin, and have been known to spread bacteria that causes fever, stomach pain, and rashes. That said, these days, many people keep hedgehogs as house pets, and there’s been a huge proliferation of hedgehog cafés in Japan, so if you find yourself face-to-face with one of these little fellas, pet with caution.
Swans are known for being extremely and aggressively protective of their offspring. These animals can hit hard and harm people with their wing joint, but they’re probably not strong enough to break your arm. Still, children, the elderly, and those with weak bones should be cautious.
Big eyes, tiny body—that’s the definition of cute! Slow lorises are so adorable you wouldn’t be blamed for wanting to pick them up with one hand and bring them home. But these Southeast Asian creatures are no pets. They have a gland in their arm that secretes venom, and when they feel attacked or scared, they can mix the venom with their saliva to create one venomous bite. That bite can even cause anaphylactic shock.
Tarsiers are odd creatures—and not just because of how they look. They have the ability to rotate their head more than 180 degrees, like something out of a horror flick. However, the danger these creatures pose is not actually typically toward humans, but toward themselves. Being one of the smallest primates in the world, tourists flock to get a look. However, when flocked by tourists, the animal turns suicidal and will bash its head to death—which is sure to traumatize any witness.
Beavers are known for building dams, which makes it seem like they just want to keep to themselves, but they’re not afraid to attack a human. The beaver’s bite can be extremely painful, and sometimes even fatal. In 2013, a man trying to take a photo of a beaver was killed after the animal bit him and severed an artery.
If Hugh Jackman taught us anything, it’s that you should never, ever mess with a wolverine. These wild animals may be smaller than other mammals, but they are fierce. In fact, wolverines are known to actively hunt animals far larger than themselves, so don’t let their size fool you into thinking they’re just cute, docile creatures.
If you think seals are just cute “ocean puppies,” then you’re in for a rude awakening if you come across a leopard seal. Take note of the feline namesake, because these sea creatures are just as fierce as the fiercest jungle cats. Their long teeth and powerful jaws will pierce and kill any prey.
Just the name “pufferfish” alone is cute. Still, this sea creature is known as one of the most dangerous in the world. They contain a lethal substance, tetrodotoxin, that happens to be 1,200 times more poisonous than cyanide. One pufferfish has enough toxin in it to kill 30 adult humans. That doesn’t sound too cute to us.
Sure, full-grown sharks aren’t exactly “cute,” per se. But baby sharks? No question—they’re adorable. (Exhibit A: this little fella above.) But that doesn’t mean they’re not dangerous. On average, there are around 80 shark attacks every year and five human fatalities. While they are many other things in life more likely to kill humans, sharks are one of the most common animals to do so. And for more on the sea’ fiercest beast, Here’s What Experts Say to Do if You’re Attacked by a Shark.
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