What's the world's most dangerous mammal?

You may want to say tiger or polar bear, but cats, dogs and deer can also cause serious harm. Meet 7 of the most deadly mammals.

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Polar bear warning sign

1. POLAR BEAR

Given the chance, polar bears will attack and kill people – to a hungry bear, a human is just a Gortex-clad, vertical seal. But opportunities are rare, and they are easily scared away.

2. SLOW LORIS

Poisons and venoms are rare in the mammal world, but the slow loris is an exception. Its bite is so venomous that it can kill a human – and there is no cure. 

3. SLOTH BEAR

Sloth bears don’t want to eat you (they prefer ants), but they will attack humans during chance encounters. In one area of India, 11 people were killed by sloth bears in just 30 months. 

4. ELEPHANT

Large mammals are dangerous when they clash with humans over access to resources, such as crops. In India, up to 300 people (and 200 elephants) die each year as a result of such conflicts. 

5. DOMESTIC DOG

According to government figures, more than 6,500 people seek treatment for dog bites every year, and children are
especially vulnerable.

6. MULE DEER

If you live in British Columbia, Canada, slow down! There are nearly 10,000 collisions between vehicles and wildlife every year, most of which involve deer.

7. DOMESTIC CAT

About 75 per cent of domestic cats in the USA carry Toxoplasmosis. The extent to which they give it to people is unclear, but impacts on humans include blindness, deafness and mental impairment.

 

Discover more amazing wildlife facts in The Big Book of Mammals

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