As members of the human race on planet earth, we are without question the apex predator who sits atop the food chain. However, this doesn’t preclude us from occasionally falling victim to other members of our apex predator peer group, ourselves notwithstanding. The horrifying fact of the matter is that there are predators out there who outweigh us (sometimes by tons), who are stronger than us, and who have zero problem seriously maiming, killing and yes, eating us in certain situations. We’re taking about the kind of wild beasts that typically require the use of firearms for self defense and/or self preservation when under attack. Idiots Guide presents a list of 5 notorious beasts living in the animal kingdom. Sizable beasts that have the physical ability and overtly aggressive temperament to terrorize humanity with the threat of severe injury and/or death at any given moment. Animals that can terrorize us into immediate consideration of our mortality while in their presence.
#5. Grizzly Bear / Weight: 300 – 700 (+) Pounds / North America
Grizzly bears are typically vegetarian with plant matter making up more than 60% of their diet. But make no mistake, these animals are designed to kill. They routinely prey on almost any available large mammal including moose, elk, caribou and deer. Crossing paths with human beings can quickly become a tragic accident as they can, will, and have mauled people to death. They have lethal teeth, claws, and strength. There are approximately 20,000 human-bear encounters in the U.S. yearly. If you happen to be unfortunate enough to run into one of these beasts, your best option is to NOT run! They will catch you, and you will be sorry. Remain calm and make yourself as big as possible while screaming at it with authority. Hopefully that works…hopefully. Carrying bear/pepper spray is also helpful.
#4. Hippopotamus / Weight: 2,500 – 5,000 Pounds / Sub-Saharan Africa
The good news is that the Hippopotamus has zero interest in eating people, since they are vegetarians. The bad news is that because they are the most aggressive and belligerent animal out there, they kill about 3000 people every year on average. These beasts put the ‘T’ in territorial. If you get too close, or more importantly, if they think you’re too close, they will charge you with their large, extremely sharp, dagger like canines pushing 2 1/2 tons behind them, with the worst of intentions on their mind. Your best bet is to avoid getting close to these animals, avoid walking the paths between them and their water source. When in the water keep as far away from them as humanely possible. Seriously. Stay well clear.
#3. Bengal Tiger / Weight: 325 – 675 (+) Pounds / India, Bangladesh, Nepal
All of nature’s big cats are built for the kill, and when it comes to the Bengal Tiger you are dealing with the biggest and baddest of the species. Tigers are responsible for 800 human deaths per year on average. Mainly found in India, they are notorious man-eaters when circumstances favor that unfortunate situation. At an average of 500 pounds (1/4 ton) of pure muscle, a human being has a very slim chance of surviving an attack. What’s worse is that they can, will, and have eaten us. They are more dangerous than Lions because these masters of stealth tend to hunt solo, they are larger and more aggressive than Lions. The best advice, which is similar to the advice with all of the animals on this list, is to stay clear of these creatures, stay clear of their habitat, their food, their offspring.
#2. Great White Shark / Weight: 1,500 – 2,500 Pounds / Oceans Worldwide
The vast majority of Great White Shark attacks on humans are investigative and not predatory. Unfortunately, an investigative bite is often more than enough to kill. The Great White Shark is the apex predator in oceans the world over. This fish can grow as long as 20 feet long, and weighs 2,000 pounds (a ton) on average, equipped with a dizzying array of sharp, serrated teeth designed for one thing and one thing only. It would seem that there are circumstances that can help initiate a shark attack including being in the ocean at dusk and/or dawn, the appearance of bait fish, a surfer being mistaken for a seal, etc, etc. Your best bet is to fight back if attacked, but keeping the loss of blood to a minimum is critical. Sadly however, that’s not always possible, like when losing an entire limb in the middle of the ocean, hundreds of yards from the shoreline. My advice is to be vigilant, and avoid shark infested waters if at all possible.
#1. Nile Crocodile / Weight: 500 – 1,750 (+) Pounds / Sub-Saharan Africa
The very appearance of a Nile Crocodile is enough to elicit chronic nightmares. These pre-historic looking reptiles are responsible for 2000 human deaths every year. Not a pretty way to check out. Their bite force is an estimated 5,000 pounds per square inch, meaning that once they got you, they got you. They are sneaky ambush predators with a one track mind, kill and eat. That’s about it besides procreation. They will try and take down anything that they can, without fear. Personally, I find these beasts to be the most horrific, and prolific terrorists in our oceans and/or lakes. Yikes!