In the last 50 years or so, a new type of bee has come onto the scene: The Africanized or "killer" bee has caused eight confirmed deaths since 1990 in the US, and around 1000 in all of North and South America. Incidents of non-fatal, but certainly very painful attacks have also been on the rise. While the number of "popsicles for owies" have virtually skyrocketed.
Killer bees are more aggressive towards humans, they inflict 10 times as many stings on average, their hives have a larger number of "guard" bees on alert for any perceived threat, and when they do perceive a threat, they'll send out ten thousand or so bees to swarm rather than the usual 100 or so. So, what? Just don't go out uppercutting beehives, no matter how boring the weekend gets, and you'll be fine, right? Nope: The swarms can be triggered by virtually anything, like walking too close to the hive, or even the buzzing of lawnmowers and leafblowers.
Great, now they're angry -and- horny.
And in case you're still not afraid, possibly charmed by their adorable little striped bodies -- like they're all wearing tiny Charlie Brown sweaters -- consider this: They're so bloodthirsty that, if you use the old "jump into water to escape" tactic, they will not leave, but instead simply hover at the surface, waiting for you to come up for air so they can sting your god damn face to death. As a great man once said: "How the hell do they know how to do that? They're fucking animals!" (Yes, Bill Paxton from Aliens does too count as a "great man.")
Where's his parade?
What the hell did we do?
In 1957, a beekeeper in Brazil bred domesticated European honey bees with their distant cousin, the African bee, which had developed in a wilder environment where brutal defense tactics were necessary. When these hybrids inevitably escaped, the Brazilian government actually labeled the beekeeper a "mad scientist" and insinuated that he deliberately released them, presumably so he could take over the world while shouting bee-based puns from atop his black and yellow-striped battle blimp.
Unfortunately, as is often the case, the truth is not nearly as interesting: The guy was just looking for a way to make European bees flourish in a warmer, tropical environment, and got careless. But regardless of motive, the bees escaped, and once released, began to mate with other native bee species. Despite massive efforts to stop them, the killer bee invasion spread up through Central America at a rate of 200 miles per year, and eventually made its way into the southern half of the United States. And they are still moving North because we just plain don't know how to fucking stop them.
Flamethrowers. How many times do we have to tell people?
Wolves have gotten a bad rap where pop-culture is concerned: They're constantly menacing peasants or participating in rape metaphors involving young girls visiting elderly relatives. But despite this age-old slander, not a single wolf-related fatality was recorded in the entire 20th century for all of North America. Even non-fatal attacks happened less than once a year.
Regular dogs kill more people.
But just as humanity started changing its tune and embracing our awesome wolf brothers -- depicting them as sexy, caveman-faced hunks in Twilight, buying our three-wolf shirts, and teaching them to high five on command -- everything changed. After 100 years of peace, there have been two fatal wolf attacks in the last decade. Less-fatal skirmishes are also getting more frequent, as well as attacks on livestock and pets.
What the hell did we do?
Two things lie behind the twenty-first century's Rise of the Wolves (as our grandchildren will surely call it, in hushed whispers, lest the Great Pack hear them and sniff out their hiding caves).
They tore our greatest armies into Kibbles and Bits
The first is habituation, which is the same problem as the cougars, essentially. We have taught them to be unafraid; they think of us as free meals in pants. The other reason is the increase in the number of wolf hybrids. There are dog/wolf mixes being currently and deliberately bred by people who decided that owning a dog didn't make them feel masculine enough. The only problem being that these hybrids have a tendency to combine hunting instincts with people-friendliness, which in turn leads to a lot of people in Tapout shirts getting mauled.
"Man, one of those would look pretty bitchin' in my living room."
But there's a far more dangerous hybrid out there: In 20th century North America, hunting and deforestation in the east almost completely killed off the wolf population .This allowed the more adaptable coyote to spread eastwards in their place.
Eventually, the wolves and coyotes started falling in love -- nudging deer eyeballs adorably at one another, maybe inadvertently sucking down different ends of the same tendon and having their bloody muzzles meet in the middle -- and then came all the little hybrid pups being delivered by the storks, who were, of course, mauled to death upon landing. Because these hybrids are not only more numerous than wolves, but are actually more dangerous than their purebred counterparts. They're called coywolves (a portmanteau of coyote and wolf) and like the dog hybrids, they combine the wolf's tendency towards pack hunting and predation with the coyote's lack of shyness around humans.
So...they should be called 'not-so-coywolves'?
Unlike the dog hybrids, however, there's nothing rare or exotic about them: The coywolves have seen a massive population boom in the Northeast, replenishing the dwindling wolf numbers and then some. So, because we hunted them nearly to extinction, the wolves have essentially formed an alliance with the coyotes and birthed a whole new creature...and it is not afraid of us. In the words of Roland Kays, Curator of Mammals at the New York State Museum: "We drove this species from the area and it...came back in another form." We can only assume he was abruptly pulled away, screaming, before he could append "for vengeance" to that statement.