The animal kingdom is a dangerous place. But if Pixar movies are to be trusted, there are a few animals who will always be there to lend us a paw: the cute ones. The critters with plush fur, and big eyes, and cuddly widdle toes, who look like the end result of a teddy bear making sweet love to a cartoon character. Those snuggly little bastards are always on our side. Right? Ri- right?
The slow loris is a living cuddle that makes its home throughout Southeast Asia. The name "slow loris" isn't a misnomer: They clock sloth-like speeds most times. And if we've learned anything from turtles, it's that Cute + Slow = Pet. But lorises are not as entirely chill as you might imagine: The slow loris is the only venomous primate. It secretes a poison from glands located near its armpits, and when it's time to tango, it rubs it on its sharp little teeth like toxic Binaca. Once treated with pit-poison, these snuggly critters have a bite that is both excruciatingly painful, and can cause potentially fatal anaphylactic shock.
So, by all means, stick your fingers near them.
A researcher by the name of George Madani found out the hard way that a loris bite is no joke after getting bitten by one in Borneo. According to Madani: "It was a very painful bite and the loris was reluctant to let go ... As a wildlife biologist I have inadvertently been bitten by a variety of species, but the loris took the cake when it came to being the most painful."
But aww wook at those widdle teef marks!
The bite sent him almost immediately into anaphylactic shock, which he survived only because he was fortunate enough to be near a medical facility that had shots of adrenaline on hand.
Female lorises are also known to douse their babies in the poison as a way to deter predators. Their surprise venom makes them deceptively dangerous, but even without poison, they can still be surprisingly vicious. Lorises have been observed taking out birds the old-fashioned way: sneaking up and strangling the shit out of them. They're basically poison-happy serial killers trapped in the bodies of stuffed animals.
Like a bunch of Teddy bear Bundys
Giant anteaters appear to be big, stretched-out dogs that want to hug. Obviously, the internet loves them:
But looking cute and goofy doesn't make them harmless. This is not the anteater inviting you to hug it out. This is the anteater asking if you want a piece.
We do not suggest you take it.
Most people don't consider the fact that, in order to get at those delicious ants, the anteater has giant, terrifying claws. And those are powered by muscles strong enough to rip apart trees. So when a hunter decided to kill an anteater up close with a knife, he got an unpleasant surprise, realizing he'd brought a knife to an EIGHT KNIFE FIGHT.
Like Freddy Krueger except it's not a nightmare -- it's real life.
The anteater shredded the hunter's arm and leg, including the femoral artery on his left thigh, and he bled to death. This is the second recorded report of an anteater killing someone via groin stabbing. Another hunter died in 2010 from the same thing: An anteater tore up his femoral artery and he bled out. Violent encounters with anteaters are rare, but it appears that if you get into one, they know a flawless tactic: They go straight for the groin.
We generally think the wombat is one of Australia's LESS dangerous animals. We're forgetting that everything is relative. "Less dangerous," in Australia, just means it probably won't kill everybody you love.
In 2010 a painter was hospitalized after a wombat rushed him, knocked him over, and attacked his legs and chest, biting and clawing him viciously.
Aust Reptile Park/YouTube
Like this, but with blood everywhere. EVERYWHERE.
A neighbor heard him screaming for help, and came in to finish the wombat off with an axe. If needing an axe to take out this living Furby seems like overkill to you, you probably aren't aware that the wombat has the second-highest danger rating in Australian zoos, one tier below lions and bears.
The wombat can outrun Usain Bolt over short distances, has powerful claws, long incisors that never stop growing, and its favorite way to defend itself from predators is to run into a burrow headfirst, coaxing its attacker to follow, and then kicking up with its mighty wombat legs so hard that it crushes the carnivore's skull against the walls of its den. We are firmly comfortable adding "wombats = gremlins" to the list of evidence that Australia is one giant horror movie.
Although elephants seem like gentle giants, their sheer size makes them dangerous as hell. You already knew that. You've seen them in musth, you know to stay out of their way. You just don't know how far "out of their way" really is: they're fully capable of throwing rocks and sticks in a lethal manner. An elephant in Morocco threw a rock at a seven-year-old girl, killing her.
"Who's the 'Dumbo' now?"
Most zookeepers claim that elephants throwing things is rare, unlikely behavior, due to boredom or annoyance in captivity. Which is bullshit, because this elephant just chucked a stone at a rhino to say piss off.
And this elephant chucked a log at a car because ... well, who really knows?
And that's the point: We have plenty of examples of elephants throwing things randomly. Like this elephant that threw a rock at a woman and knocked her tooth out. And then there was this zoo visitor who thought she was playing catch with an elephant.
Yes, elephants are masters of projectile warfare.
Deer are the gentlest, most timid of animals. That's what they want you to think, anyway. In reality, that's all a cover for their homicidal rage. Gerald Rushton went into a pen to feed a pet stag. The deer was horny (it was the middle of mating season) and there weren't any doe in his pen. Driven mad by blue balls, it mauled Rushton to death.
That one was for Bambi's mom.
Fluke? Tell that to Ron Dudek, who went out to pick tomatoes during deer mating season. A buck jumped out of a bush and stabbed him in the face so hard he needed 220 stitches to put it back together. Even after all that, he still eventually died from a blood clot caused by the beating.
Or tell it to the couple who called the police to save them from a deer that wouldn't let them out of the house during (you guessed it) mating season. Frank Rishel, a man in his sixties, went outside to shoo the deer away but instead got a face full of antler. Linda Yost went outside to try and help him. When police arrived, they heard her screaming, because the deer was still standing over her, goring her repeatedly. State troopers literally pulled the deer off Yost by the horns, and shot it many, many times. The wounded deer then charged another trooper until it was finally shot dead. That's the only way to stop them.
Britni Patterson writes mysteries when she's not writing articles for Cracked, because going outside is too damn dangerous. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter, or on her website. You can listen to Vincent Pall's damn music here. And while you're at it, buy one of his damn t-shirts here . Alecia Chambers also contributed to this article but didn't contribute a bio for herself.
It's Happiness Week here at Cracked, so make sure to check back every day for content that'll grant you respite from a hard day. And don't worry, if you missed a day, you can check out everything we've done here.
For more reasons to never trust a cute animal, check out The 6 Cutest Animals That Can Still Destroy You and 5 Adorable Animals Who Are the Biggest Assholes on Earth.
Follow us on Facebook, and we'll follow you everywhere.