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These Are The Most Dangerous Animals In Every State in America


Traveling to different parts of the United States is certainly a popular hobby. Each state has its own unique attractions to see. Aside from the sights themselves, every state in the country has certain animals native to those states.

People may adore these cute and furry animals as part of nature’s backdrop, yet few of us give a thought to what kind of potential threat these magnificent creatures could pose. While animal attacks on humans are sometimes rare, reading through this list may make you think twice about pulling out the camera for a photo opportunity with any of the animals mentioned here, and which states you can find them in…

New Hampshire: Moose


Moose makes the list yet again due to the fact that New Hampshire is home to lush forests and the abundant vegetation on which moose thrive.

Taking a photo opportunity at close range might sound like a good idea, but moose are very fast for their size, and could quickly foil your efforts.

Texas: Portuguese Man O’ War


The man o’ war is no jellyfish; long draping strands of organisms trail 6 feet from a buoyant bubble filled with venom designed to stun and kill.

Although it targets small prey like fish and small mammals, the man o’ war has been the subject of fatal attacks against unlucky humans.

New Jersey: Bobcats


Bobcats are medium-sized cats, about twice the size of domesticated cats, yet they pose a significantly higher safety threat to humans.

Normally shy and unlikely to attack humans, bobcats can contract rabies from other animals and will attack even if unprovoked.

Montana: Grizzly Bears


Montana is a state where people are likely to be bitten or struck by large mammals. Grizzly bears are sizable creatures that add to potential danger.

Grizzly bears encounter humans when seeking food and water from campsites. Storing your sundries properly is the key to preventing unwelcome visitors.

Colorado: Mountain Lion


Encountering a mountain lion on the Colorado trails is always a risk. Their stealthy, silent nature makes it difficult to detect them until too late.

While they prefer to avoid human contact, they are known to attack if they feel threatened. Make plenty of noise and create distance if you encounter it.

Connecticut: Deer Tick

Photo: Randall

The deer tick is a small, blood-sucking insect that prefers to feed on large animals, but is also known to target humans if given the opportunity.

Deer ticks can spread Lyme disease, which if left untreated, can result in a lifetime of health complications and autoimmunity.


Florida: Alligator


The alligator is a reptilian beast that dwells in Florida’s swampy terrain. Photo ops with these toothy creatures are too dangerous to contemplate.

With adult males 15 feet in length and weighing nearly 1000 pounds, you’re fighting a losing battle if you encounter one anywhere other than a zoo.

Alabama: Cottonmouth Snake


Five out of six venomous snakes in the state of Alabama are pit vipers; among them, the cottonmouth snake is one of the deadliest.

The cottonmouth snake is likely to sneak up on you as you are taking a cool drink of water or a dip in an Alabama creek, so be on the lookout.

Idaho: Bison


This iconic species is one of the main attractions at our national parks, where crowds of curious tourists marvel at their size and strength.

While the bison is a docile animal when left alone, it can quickly turn dangerous, even deadly, if they or their young feel antagonized and threatened.

North Carolina: Fire Ants


There may be more obvious predators in North Carolina, but a significant cause of death in the state as of 2020 was contact with fire ants.

North Carolina is one of 14 states being overrun by fire ant infestations, with the chance of being bitten jumping from 30 to 60 percent each year.

California: Great White Shark


With over 3000 teeth and a bite that could crush a car frame, the great white shark deserves both awe and respect for its size and strength. They can grow to be up to 20 feet and weigh more than 5000 pounds.

Most great white attacks are the result of the unfortunate crossing of pathways; shark fatalities most commonly arise from loss of blood or severed limbs.

Vermont: Fisher


The fisher is a medium-sized animal resembling a bobcat; with sharp claws and a snout resembling that of a raccoon, it preys on small mammals and birds.


While not typically known to attack us, the danger comes with rabid or wounded fishers that lash out at humans perceived as potential threats.

Arizona: Americanized Honeybee


Known also as “killer bees,” this bee hybrid tends to show more aggressive defense mechanisms and behaviors than other honeybees.

These angry insects have a tendency to attack in great numbers, stinging excessively until medical attention is required, so steer clear.

Tennessee: Elk


Elk are stronger, taller, and more imposing than their deer cousins, so run-ins with this huge forest animal have unfortunate consequences for humans.

The wild elk in this state are thriving, causing issues for farmers and those on local roads. An estimated 70-80 incidents with elk occur each year.

West Virginia: Foxes


A healthy fox population will avoid people whenever possible. Due to habitat loss and lack of food, they are driven to raid garbage cans to survive.

While Foxes are not typically violent or aggressive, they can carry rabies and infectious parasites that can cause lasting harm if we come in contact.

Nevada: Deer Mice


Despite the fact that Nevada is home to black bears, mountain lions, and rattlesnakes, the state has little data revealing animal/human encounters.

The Deer Mouse does pose a threat to us, however, as it carries the harmful Hantavirus, a disease that has a high fatality rate in humans.

Kentucky: Black Bears


Aside from a plethora of poisonous spiders and venomous snakes, another human adversary calling Kentucky home is the black bear.

Although black bears tend not to disturb humans unless they feel threatened or startled, we are no match for their strength and size.

Utah: Gila Monster


The Gila monster is a venomous lizard you’re likely to find in desert areas of Utah. The Gila spends most of its time underground, emerging only to hunt.


One bite from a Gila monster is a memorable event. One will experience nausea, swelling, high blood pressure, and fever if not treated promptly.

Wyoming: Horses


We think of horses as gentle, docile animals, but this powerful animal can quickly become ill-tempered and angry, making it potentially dangerous.

Packs of wild horses are present in Wyoming and are considered preying animals. They are not accustomed to humans, and we are perceived as a threat.

Alaska: Polar Bear


The polar bear is the largest member of the bear family, and with less than 5,000 left in the Arctic region, it makes the list of endangered animals.

They may seem like gentle giants, but polar bears are ruthless hunters, one of the only animals on the planet to view humans as a potential meal.

Louisiana: Hornets


Hornets, wasps, and bees are just a few of the many stinging insects that take up residence in the hot, steamy climate of Louisiana.

Hornets and wasps are of particular concern, due to their ability to sting multiple times while swarming around their unfortunate targets.

Arkansas: Coral Snake


Our slithering friends might be beautiful to look at, but the coral snake has the unique distinction of being one of the deadliest snakes on the planet.

The venom of a coral snake can paralyze breathing muscles and lungs in a matter of minutes, leading to painful death by respiratory failure.

Rhode Island: Black Widow Spider


Rhode Island is not home to too many predatory animals, although the beauty and danger of the black widow spider are known throughout the state.

Black widow spiders have a trademark-red-markings on bulbous bodies, with formidable legs that strike fear in the hearts of many arachnid enthusiasts.

Hawaii: Crown Of Thorns Starfish


While this magnificent creature is something to behold, don’t let its deceptive beauty fool you; it has a potent effect if you come in contact.


A potent dose of neurotoxins associated with stepping on or touching a crown of thorns yields hours of bleeding, vomiting, and tissue swelling.

Illinois: Brown Recluse Spider


The brown recluse spider is a venomous spider commonly found in southern Illinois. Measuring only 2 centimeters, it packs a punch with powerful venom.

We, humans, put ourselves in danger by poking around in dark reclusive places like stairs and in storage areas, where these critters dwell.

Pennsylvania: Pumas


Pumas are another big cat of the Americas; they can be identified by a slightly round face, tan to light brown coloring, and a long tail.

While pumas prefer solitude and seclusion, they are known to attack humans if hunger or drought persists, or if they feel threatened in any way.

Indiana: Kissing Bug


While the name and appearance of this bug are adorable, the effect that this bug’s bite has on humans is long-reaching and significant.

Its bite contains a parasite that leads to severe Chagas disease in humans, which carries with it the potential for severe cardiac issues later in life.

Georgia: Diamondback Rattlesnake


All the heat in Georgia has snakes looking for a cool place to catch some shade. The diamondback rattlesnake is among the most dangerous of the bunch.

This highly irritable, venomous reptile is ready to strike at a moment’s notice. Watch your step if you are out and about in this lush Southern state.

South Carolina: Alligators


Another hot and humid state that caters to this large reptile, South Carolina boasts an impressive alligator population in local swamps and ponds.

You should be wary of feeding alligators when you see them, for these huge beasts cannot distinguish between food and the hand you hold with.

Maryland: Bees


Many states on the Eastern seaboard have an abundance of flying, stinging insects, most of which are considered harmless when undisturbed.


Unfortunately, hundreds of people per year are hospitalized—or worse—after attempting to eliminate or roust a nest out of its slumber.

Ohio: Mosquitos

Photo: Wiki Images

Much like their cousins, the kissing bugs, the bite can’t kill you, it’s the infections that put millions at risk each year after being bitten.

While data connected to mosquito-related deaths is minimal, mosquitos are known to carry potentially fatal diseases like West Nile and Zika viruses.

Massachusetts: Domestic Dogs


Dog attacks and dog bites have been steadily rising in Massachusetts, and surprisingly, man’s best friend can kill you, if provoked.

Most dog-related fatalities occur when victims are overrun by an animal too large to fight off, or when a group of them that suddenly turn violent.

Michigan: Wolves


The Michigan Department of Natural Resources recently reported over 700 adult wolves living and hunting in the state’s Upper Peninsula.

While good news for nature lovers, those of us who favor hiking and camping trips in this beautiful area should be mindful of the danger wolves pose.

Minnesota: Timber Rattlesnake


Minnesota is home to extreme weather conditions throughout the year, so it’s not widely known that the state is home to a venomous snake population.

The Timber Rattler lives in rocky caves and river bluffs in Southern Minnesota. While enjoying the beauty of the mighty Mississippi, tread carefully.

Delaware: Black Widow Spider

Photo: Summers

Although black widow spiders live in other parts of the United States, they are most prevalent in tepid climates such as that in Delaware.

The venomous bite from a black widow may not cause immediate concern, but it can lead to necrosis and eventual death if not treated.

Oklahoma: Tigers


Oklahoma has a reputation for being unable to house its exotic cats effectively. Stats show a large number of lions and tigers escaping zoos each year.


Multiple reports over the past few years have revealed that humans and tigers have had some skirmishes, including one which resulted in fatal wounds.

Missouri: Coyotes


Large packs of coyotes are quite common in Missouri, and they pose the greatest danger to small animal populations that they prey upon.

Individual coyotes may not pose a danger to you and your dog as you walk, but if you come upon a group of them on the prowl, seek shelter immediately.

Washington: Cougar


With densely forested areas and a silent, stealthy gait, the cougar is one of the most feared animals on this list of potentially dangerous to humans.

With one of the largest cougar populations in the nation, old folks regale tales of school children being silently stalked at the bus stop.

Nebraska: Bulls


Nebraska joins the list of Midwestern states known for cattle rearing and production. Unfortunately, this business is not considered safe for everyone.

Bulls are prodded into submission, leading to explosive situations where the animals lash out, attacking and killing hundreds of people each year.

New Mexico: Apache Spider

Photo: Shahan

The Apache spider is a close cousin to the brown recluse, known for painful bites that spread infection throughout the entire body over time.

Much like the bite from a brown recluse, an apache spider bite is venomous and can cause necrosis, or widespread tissue death.

Mississippi: Copperhead


Because such large populations of copperheads adorn Mississippi terrain, it’s highly likely that you’ll encounter one at some point on a nature walk.

Copperheads can grow to a length of almost four feet, and while normally docile and reclusive, they will bite humans if provoked or startled.

New York: Raccoons


Raccoons are notorious garbage hunters, so New York is the perfect place for them to take up residence. These crafty coons are able to get into almost anything.


Raccoons are one of the most famous breeds for contracting rabies; it’s this disease that poses our greatest threat when encountering them.

North Dakota: Bison


North Dakota is home to one of the largest natural bison populations in the U.S., making it more likely that we’ll connect with them sooner or later.

With speeds up to 40 miles per hour and a six-foot vertical jump, these massive animals are magnificent to behold, but you must keep your distance.

Oregon: Bats


Nine species of this furry flying mammal are quite at home in the forests of Oregon. Daytime sightings are incredibly rare without additional threats.

Rabies is a disease that can transfer from bats to humans; rabid bats will bite and scratch aggressively, requiring prompt medical attention.

Wisconsin: Massasauga Rattlesnake


Nothing puts people more on edge than the telltale sound of a rattlesnake underfoot; the Massasauga rattlesnake is an elusive member of this group.

This recluse will first try to slither away, but should you sustain a bit upon contact, seek medical attention immediately, for it could prove fatal.

Kansas: Domestic Cattle


Surprise! These docile animals have a bit of a temper when stretched to their limits and pose a threat to those who work with them.

Most deaths caused by cattle result from blunt force trauma to the head or chest and occur when working in enclosed spaces with these huge beasts.

South Dakota: Porcupines


While many regard the porcupine as a cute, waddling creature found in Dakota forests and lowlands, it does pose a threat to pets and humans.

A porcupine’s main defense is its quills; while the quills aren’t deadly, they can cause injury and infections that could prove fatal if not removed.

Virginia: Wild Boar


Wild boar are mild-mannered animals that root for forest insects, leaves, and vegetation. Encountering one may have dire consequences, however.


Wild boar become dangerous when they aggressively attack anything that they perceive as a threat. They also are known to spread disease to humans.

Iowa: Deer


While deer are beautiful to look at, these powerful, graceful animals pose a problem for us if we come into contact with them unexpectedly.

When deer feel threatened, they can charge or kick their perceived aggressor; they are also a problematic cause of many road accident fatalities.

Maine: Moose


Because of their massive size and somewhat cantankerous attitude, moose make Maine’s list of most dangerous animals posing a threat to humans.

Left alone, these giant herbivores will go about their business, and will only charge and attack if they feel there’s no other option or defense.