Deadliest animals in USA | AmeriCamp (2022)

Your summer at camp promises to be one of, if not the best experience of your life. With weeks of blazing sunshine, hours of enjoyable activities and foods that will tickle your taste buds, it’d be easy to neglect the dangers lingering within the confines of the American wilderness.
Stay safe this summer whilst at camp and steer clear of these potentially deadly animals whilst scouring the states of the Stars and Stripes:

Spiders –

Arachnophobia’s look away now – some of the deadliest species of spiders opt to weave their webs in North America, and could crawl your way this summer.

Until recently, the notorious black widow spider has been considered as one of the most dangerous species of spider; the venom of the Black Widow was the second strongest of any spider venom – 0.05mg of the venom administered from a single bite of this eight-legged pest is enough to kill a human; in fact, 36 deaths were recorded as a result of Black Widow bites in a 25 year period from 1965 to 1990.

In recent years, the brown recluse spider, otherwise known as the Loxosceles or fiddleback has surfaced and packs a hefty bite for any unfortunate recipient.

Though this spider is not considered to be a particularly aggressive species, they are common and carry necrotic venom; though the bites are not deadly, the flesh in the infected area becomes rotten and heals slowly.

Scorpions –

An arachnid with a venomous sting, the weapon of choice for scorpions is its stinger on the end of its tail, used to inject venom into un-expecting enemies or predators.

Moreover, scorpions are also equipped with pincers, though these cannot cause substantial damage to a human; it is considered to be the case that the smaller the pincers, the stronger the venom, so watch out for miniature claws in the summer.

The Arizona Bark Scorpion has established itself as the most potent species of scorpion in the USA, and carries a potentially lethal sting; in the 1980’s, there were over 800 deaths reported in Mexico as a direct result of the Bark scorpion.

Bears –

Often represented as cute and cuddly in contemporary pop-culture, the common stereotypes couldn’t be further from the truth, with bears firmly established as one of the most dangerous animals in the USA – protect yourself during and after camp this summer, and know the differences between each species of bear.

There are three species of bear native to North America, all of which have the capacity to be particularly dangerous: the black bear, brown bear and polar bear.

Though all three species can be threatening, the brown bear and grizzly bear have established themselves as the most terrifying class of bear.

Standing at an impressive 10ft, with teeth strong enough to crush a bowling ball, grizzly bears are a powerful, destructive species that have the capacity to wreak havoc. Contrary to popular belief, humans aren’t the preferred cuisine of grizzly bears and many will avoid contact. However, in the event that a grizzly does attack, never run – despite their colossal size, they can reach speeds of up to 40mph and they will engage in a chase. Instead, avoid eye contact and slowly back away or play dead whilst protecting your head and neck.

On the contrary, black bears have more of a tendency to attack than grizzly bears; they reside in more colonized areas and there are more of them. Attacks from this species of bear can be deadly; if black bears feel threatened, they generally attack, in which case, stand your ground and fight back to eliminate the threat.

Finally, although polar bears may seem adorable, they are the biggest predator on the land, as such, they are incredibly dangerous; avoid them at all costs.

On average, polar bears weigh 1600lbs, and have an endless appetite. Fortunately, interactions between humans and polar bears are extremely rare; however, scientists have suggested that interactions between humans and polar bears could increase, given the current issues with climate change.

Wolves and Coyotes –

With their shard-like teeth, piercing gaze and ferocious nature, wolves are commonly associated with danger; in the 16th and 17th century, wolf packs within Europe posed a substantial threat to humans, with 10 deaths reported in France alone during this period.

The gray wolf is the largest species within the wolf family, and is found throughout North America, Alaska and Canada.

Weighing up to 90lbs, gray wolves hunt in packs in excess of 40. Although wolves tend not to be common in overly populated locations, wolves can overcome their fear of humans following a period of acclimatization – they are also more inclined to attack in large groups.

Wolf attacks within North America are generally quite rare, but are deemed to be on the increase in recent times. On the other hand, coyotes have been affiliated with more fatalities over the years despite their smaller size; California is the main source of coyote attacks, with 160 attacks recorded between across a 30-year period.

Small children are deemed to be at the greatest risk to small children, with numerous reports of coyotes attempting to snatch children under the age of 5.

American Bison –

Standing at 6ft and weighing a hefty 1.5 tons, the American Bison is the biggest land animal in the United States of America; they are slightly smaller than the African water buffalo, a species dubbed The Widow maker or Black Death, given the amount of people that they kill each year.

Unlike the African water buffalo, the American Bison has a much less volatile personality, and will rarely attack unless provoked – however, when the Bison is riled, the effects are shattering.

Despite their size and awkward appearance, American Bison’s can reach speeds of 40mph; a direct hit from a Bison in full charge equates to being hit by a truck.

Alligators/Crocodiles –

Measuring over 15ft and weighing half a ton, these ruthless water-dwellers are tenacious in their hunt for flesh. Boasting a toothy clamp strong enough to crush the bones of its prey, alligators use their brute force to render their prey useless, before moving in for the kill. Research has revealed that the power generated by the jaws of an alligator surpasses any laboratory-measured bite of any animal.

Opportunists with predatory instincts, alligators will devour anything that they come across, though they do not immediately deem humans as prey; their diet largely comprises smaller animals that can be consumed in one bite, such as birds, fish and mammals.

Alligators do not have slicing teeth; therefore, alternative methods are adopted when eating larger prey. For instance, alligators store the carcass and allow it to rot, to enable easier digestion. Additionally, the death roll is a technique often utilized by an alligator, whereby the prey is gripped, spun and shook.

With more people entering areas deemed alligator territory, this has coincided with an increase in attacks on humans.

Sharks –

The watery depths of North America are inundated with some of the most fearsome sharks on the planet; all three of the main man-eating species of sharks can be found off the coast of North America.

Dubbed the shark attack capital of the world, the number of shark attacks within the USA is representative of half of the reported global attacks.

The difference between species varies in accordance to region. Statistically, the majority of attacks occur in Florida and California; every recorded fatality in California has been attributed to great white sharks. On the other hand, in Florida, bull sharks and tiger sharks carry out most attacks.

Snakes –

There are several species of venomous snakes within the USA; you may encounter these during your summer at camp.

Each year, there are an estimated 5 deaths per 8000 cases of venomous bites within the United States; this number would undoubtedly increase if anti-venom medication was not readily available for US citizens.

The most venomous of all snakes within North America is the coral snake, a member of the cobra family. Despite measuring a relatively modest 4ft, the coral snakes venom has the capacity to cause paralysis of the respiratory system, leading to the suffocation of the victim. Despite their potent poison packing a deadly punch, this species of snake are not aggressive and account for 1{4c317a57d8d1da4668b72c8a44e249c8fb53df37fbeb3293152b06cb14b6bc6e} of snakebites recorded in the US. Moreover, the transmission of their venom is not immediate – they have to hold onto their prey for multiple seconds to poison their prey.

While the coral snake is somewhat placid, the rattlesnake is a more recognized species of snake and adopts a much more aggressive demeanor; diamondback rattlesnakes are larger in size, and have a venom that can cause intense pain and damage to body tissues.

Deers –

They may be the epitome of innocence, but statistically, deer are responsible for more deaths than any other animal in the USA.

Though deer are peaceful in relation to more intimidating creatures such as sharks and snakes, their lack of road-crossing capabilities kill in excess of 200 people each year; in 2000, 100,000 deer were run over in the US alone. Such is the regular occurrence of accidents involving deer, that road authorities have coined the acronym DVC (deer-vehicle collision).

Moreover, deer can represent risk when in their natural environment, particularly during autumn months whereby the aggression of stags intensifies following an upsurge in levels of testosterone. Additionally, when fawns are born in spring, their mothers are known to become protective and more likely to attack.

Africanized Bees –

More commonly known as killer bees, Africanized Bees attack in swarms, often with devastating results.

Upon any detection of threat to their hive, a threat can be chased for up to a quarter of a mile. Although the venom from an individual sting is not considered to be particularly potent, simultaneous stings can lead to excess swelling, pain and potential death in the event that the recipient is allergic to beestings.

The number of Africanized Bees is increasing in the United States, coinciding with an increase in fatalities; annually, 40 to 50 people die from allergic reactions following stings.

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