1. The Slow Loris. These little guys are adorable with big inviting eyes. Right? Well, maybe not. Lorises are basically cute cobras. While they are not really reptiles, they do have toxic glands on their elbows which they lick prior to biting unwanted "guests." This makes their bite poisonous. The also lick those glands before grooming themselves, thus making their fur toxic and unpleasant-tasting to any would-be predators. "The Loris' bite is poisonous and can lead to anaphylactic shock and death for unsuspecting victims."
2. Okay, so this one might come as a bit of a shock. It's the favorite Panda Bear. I know, hard to believe that this adorable black and white 'teddy bear" can be deadly! But underneath all that fur likes some massive muscles. Their teeth are designed to chew through bamboo shoots which is their only diet. Pandas has one of the highest bite forces of any carnivore. So while they may look harmless, Panda's have been known to attack and maim humans who get too close.
3. Moose.Bullwinkle the cartoon moose was cute, right? yes, but the real ones...not so much. While they generally try to avoid humans and exhibit non-aggressive behavior, moose are massive creatures and quickly become territorial when anyone gets too close for their comfort. Moose account for 52 human deaths a year in the US, according the Center for Disease Control. And that take into account moose/car collisions.
4. Giant Anteaters. While many folks think these are cute, slow-moving critters that would harm anything except ants. That's not really the case. Giant anteaters and reach a length of 7 feet; they also have very sharp claws. Although they usually only use their claws to dig into dirt piles to scavenger for ants, they will also tear apart a human if they feel threatened.
5. Mice. Mice are kind of cute with their little black eyes, big ears, and long tails. However, each years countless people die due to mice. Many more suffer illness. next to humans, mice are the most populous creatures on Earth (and you though it was frogs!). The job of mice is to spread diseases, which they do very well. "Leptospirosis, hantavirus, salmonella, rat-bite fever, Lyme disease, typhus, and plague are all spread by these cute little guys."
6. Next on our list are Beavers. Beavers while looking adorable are rather iunpleasant creatures if you get too close. Beavers are extremely territorial and will use their over-sized and razor-sharp teeth for more than just chewing down a tree to build a dam. Add to that, they are prone to getting rabies.
7. Leopard Seals. While the polar bear may be King of the Arctic, leopard seals rule the other pole. These fierce predators only look like they're smiling at you. They grow to a length of 13 feet and have powerful jaws and flippers. they've been know to actively hunt humans.
8. Dolphins are last on my list. Not only do they attack other dolphins, but they've been known to attack porpoises and humans, as well. They can learn to do cute tricks and swim with humans but these friendly-looking animals are still dangerous.
I'm not trying to scare anyone, nor am I trying to turn you against loving all animals. On the contrary! I think it's important not only for humans to love animals in the wild, but to learn to appreciate that they aren't all pets. They're lovely to look at (from afar), but not so lovely to touch!
I hope you enjoyed my list of cute but not-so-friendly critters. I invite you back here tomorrow for another lesson from my wise friend and teacher The Dharma Frog. Until then, as always, I wish you