15 Shockingly Deadly Animals
They might look slow and clumsy, but the pudgy hippopotamus is considered the most dangerous animal in Africa. The third-largest land animal in the world, the average adult is 3,000 pounds of tusks, hide, and muscle. Their skin is two inches thick and secretes a red slime that forms a natural sunscreen known as “blood sweat.” The sharpened tusks are over a foot in length. In fact, while they look vaguely similar to a pig, hippopotamuses are distant relations to whales and porpoises. Unlike their distant cousins, hippopotamuses live in swamps and rivers. They can’t swim despite their webbed feet. Instead, they stay in the shallow waters. This is one of the things that makes them dangerous - hippos will charge unwary tourists and onlookers who are too close to the riverbank, moving at a gallop in short bursts and catching people on their tusks or just crushing them with their immense weight. Territorial bulls or females protecting their calves will attack and kill crocodiles, topple boats, and drown onlookers. They will drag victims underwater, gore them with their horns, or shake them like a dog. In fact, the bravest Zulu warriors were known as hippopotamuses - not even lions can match their courage.
People love horses, and with good reason, they are majestic and intelligent animals that have lived and worked with humans for centuries. But before they were domesticated, wild horses developed a very heightened flight-or-fight response that maximized their ability to escape from predators. For a horse, the first reaction to a threat is to startle and flee. Horses will fight back if their young are in danger or they’re trapped - and that’s the problem. Sometimes, horses will feel trapped inside a stable or other enclosure like a pen and lash out with their hooves - that’s when you have to watch out! Some horses are more likely to fight back than others. In fact, there are three broad types of horses: “hot bloods” like stallions, “cold bloods” like workhorses, and “warm bloods” that combine both types. A hot-blooded young stallion can be very dangerous to an untrained rider, and it takes skill and patience to train a horse properly. When confined or mistreated, horses can develop nasty habits. On average, 20 people are killed in the United States every year in horse-related accidents. No matter you much you love horses, you have to remember that they are still an animal and more dangerous than you expect.