Three Animals That Are More Dangerous Than You Might Think

Tonight’s episode of Animals Gone Wild features some of the most Disorderly Conduct you can find in the animal kingdom.  It is a tough world out in the wild and every animal has found some way to protect or defend itself, but what happens when things gets a little out of hand?  Here are a few animals from tonight’s episode that can be unpredictably dangerous for people or other animals not in the know!

Hippos

A picture of a partially submerged grey hippopotamus
A partially submerged hippopotamus
(Photograph by BS Thurner Hof / Wikipedia Commons)

These water-loving river horses can peacefully stay submerged in rivers and lakes for 16 hours a day, but watch out for the other 8 hours.  Although they are herbivores with a vulnerable conservation status, they still kill almost 3,000 people a year!  A far cry from the tutu’d ballerinas in Fantasia, real hippos are typically deemed the most dangerous animal in Africa.  They are one of the largest mammals on the planet, but they can run at 19 miles per hour on land despite their massive and slow-looking appearances. In comparison, Usain Bolt, the fastest human alive, topped out at 27.78 mph and his average sprinting speed was closer to 23 mph.  Most people cannot keep up with Bolt, but hippos can keep up with most people. Hippos are actually far more likely to fight animals that wander into their territory than to run away from even the greatest of threats–even the Nile crocodile, which is one of the largest crocodiles on the planet. Growing to over 16 feet long and weighing more than 500 pounds, some of these fierce crocs will attempt to infringe upon some rather territorial hippos in tonight’s episode!

Kangaroos

Red Kangaroo, photo taken at Western Plains Zoo, Dubbo, Australia
A red kangaroo
(Photograph by Wikipedia Commons)

The icons of Australia, kangaroos certainly live up to their country’s dangerous reputation.  They have very few natural predators considering their size, strength, and speed, but they do have one significant threat from the species Canis lupus.  Dingoes are Australia’s apex predators and pose a threat to kangaroos when they hunt in groups, but it is nothing that the large marsupial cannot handle most of the time.  If confronted by a group of dingoes on the hunt, kangaroos have been known to wade chest-deep into a body of water and drown any dingo that continue its hunt. If no water is in sight, a kangaroo will still grab an incoming dingo, but this time it will use its powerful hind legs’ long, sharp toenails to disembowel the unfortunate predator.  Unfortunately, kangaroos do not tend to distinguish dingo from dog, and some wandering household pets in Australia have found themselves in bad situations with these animals known for boxing roles in family movies.

Deer

picture of a male white tail deer with antlers
A white-tailed deer
(Photograph by Scott Bauer)

Bambi popularized these soft-eyed creatures, but it did not give much screen time to the threats posed by deer.  These animals can grow to massive sizes. Even the white-tailed deer, which are the smallest North American deer, can grow up to 7.75 feet tall and weigh up to 300 lbs.  Most adult humans are much smaller than even these “runts.” Although deer tend to be nervous and shy animals who will run away very quickly from any perceived threat, if that threat is to their young, the story changes.  Adult deer will charge and kick anything or anyone that seems to want to hurt their young.  Considering their size, this can pose a serious threat to anyone who gets under their hooves.  Stampeding is also an issue that can occur when a herd of deer gets spooked, but one of the most dangerous things about these deer is their proclivity to appear suddenly on roads.  The DMV even has a section named “Driving Tips for Avoiding Deer” on their insurance webpage.  Animal-vehicle collisions in general cause about 200 human deaths a year, and many of those are due to deer like the one in tonight’s episode.

Tune in tonight, Friday, June 13 at 9PM ET on WILD to see some Disorderly Conduct from a different kind of on-screen Animals Gone Wild!

Comments

  1. Berdj J. Rassam
    June 18, 2014, 8:04 pm

    I have heard about hippos, surprised about the kangaroo, but don’t worry too much about deers.