Something about fur disarms humans, yet many of our furry friends are not as innocent as they look. Here are six adorable animals that are wreaking havoc on the world.
Cats have bonded with humans for thousands of years while serving us virtually no benefit. They show up on our doorsteps emitting cries of helplessness, and soon we’re paying all of their medical bills. One of few species to inhabit most regions of the globe, cats are killing machines that devastate ecosystems. Recent research estimates that the American cat population of approximately 160 million kills up to 7 billion birds and 20 billion other mammals each year.
The little balls of fluff that live off of grass are the epitome of defenseless. This video of a rabbit chasing a snake up a tree proves that you don’t need physical strength when you can frighten your opponent by appearing crazy. In addition to terrorizing reptiles, rabbits are so detrimental to farmers in Australia that the government employed chemical warfare against them.
Anyone who read “Rikki Tikki Tavi” as a child knows that mongooses can hold their own against cobras. If anything, Rudyard Kipling’s portrayal of a mongoose was tame; mongooses not only kill snakes to protect their kin, but snakes are their natural prey. You read correctly: mongooses eat snakes.
How many times have you moved a caterpillar out of harm’s way so that it could become a beautiful butterfly? Don’t bother if you’re in Brazil. The cute and fluffy lonomia obliqua kills more people than snakes do annually in parts of Brazil. Its hairs secrete a poison that can stop a human’s blood from clotting on skin contact. This species is not an anomaly. The oak processionary moth caterpillar triggers deadly asthma attacks and is making its way across Europe. The Belgian military actually had to take action to get the deadly caterpillars under control.
Cartoons lead children to believe that bears spend their days lazily eating honey and shooting rainbows out of their stomachs. Logic suggests that anything bigger than you with sharp teeth and claws is something to be avoided. So how dangerous are bears? Bears don’t go out of their way to eat people or anything else for that matter. If given the choice, most bears would snack on helpless insects and acorns rather than chase down a mammal. Mother bears are protective of their young and will tear you apart if they feel threatened, so the best thing to do upon encountering a bear is to calmly announce your presence and be still until it walks away.
People are drawn to chimps because they are so remarkably like humans. They often fail to consider that humans are one the most violent species on the planet. Chimps are cute and friendly when they are young, but they go through extreme hormonal changes once they reach sexual maturity. Faithful family pets can turn into killers overnight.