5 Killer Beasts That Just Did Not Give Up

These animals wanted vengeance, and they got it
5 Killer Beasts That Just Did Not Give Up

What separates humans from other animals? For years, scientists said humans were the only animals capable of using tools, an assertion that has since repeatedly been proven false. Other scientists say humans are the only animals with a perception of self, based on the idea that humans seem to be the only ones to recognize themselves in the mirror; such scientists ignore the possibility that maybe some animals do understand the self, they just don’t understand mirrors. 

Perhaps the silliest difference offered up is that animals kill only for food, while humans are evil and will target victims for all sorts of other reasons. In reality, many animals will kill even if they’re not hungry. They might kill out of habit, or kill for sport. And they may kill because they hold a grudge — maybe even a grudge against you

A Tiger Took Revenge on the Hunter Who Stole His Meal

Vladimir Markov worked as a beekeeper, mostly. In 1997, he turned to poaching because tiger penises sell for more money than honey. He poached instead of hunting legally both because you can’t legally kill tigers in Russia and because he couldn’t afford an expensive legal gun. He used a cheaper unregistered rifle and homemade bullets. 

One cold day searching a trail in Primorye in Russia didn’t lead Markov to an unsuspecting tiger. But it did lead him to a tiger’s kill, which was a relief because Markov was now hungry and could make a meal of the meat. Then the tiger showed up. Unprepared, Markov wasn’t able to take it down, but he did shoot it, and it ran away. Markov figured it would bleed out and die, and he’d be able to track down and loot the corpse in time.

Male Panthera tigris altaica, Leipzig Zoo

Appaloosa/Wiki Commons

A big specimen. Should be able to harvest four, five penises easy.

Instead, the tiger made its way to Markov’s cabin. We don’t know for sure how it reached there, so we can only assume that it followed his scent backward to it. It entered the building and thoroughly trashed the place, seemingly destroying anything with any sign of Markov’s scent. It waited there for hours — at least 12 hours, and maybe as long as two days. When Markov ultimately showed up, the tiger ripped him apart. It did, though, leave his head, which was all Markov’s friends found later. 

You might be rooting for the tiger here, but in the interest of completeness, we have to mention that it killed his dog too, leaving behind just its paw. 

Even Death Could Not Save a Woman from This Elephant

An elephant trampled a woman to death in India last year. That alone isn’t so weird. Elephants kill around 300 people every year in India. This woman, Maya Murmu, was 70 years old and collecting water from a well when the elephant emerged from the jungle. Normally, the elephant stayed in the adjoining wildlife sanctuary, but it poked its way out this day and trampled this woman, for no clear reason.

Indian elephant bull

Yathin Krishnappa

My water.”

Later that same day, the village arranged Murmu’s funeral, placing her body on a pyre. The same elephant came back, and it now trampled Murmu’s corpse, before taking off, finally satisfied. 

We could find no sources who interviewed the elephant, so we are left to speculate that he just really hated this one woman in particular. Either that or he was some kind of vengeful divine beast who could be summoned using both fire and water. 

This Goat Did Not Like Being a Guard Dog

Carl Hulsey wanted an animal to protect his land and his trailer. A dog might have done the trick, but Hulsey did not have a dog. What he had was a goat, and so, he set about training Snowball the goat to act as a guard. According to the somewhat conflicting accounts of neighbors, this training consisted mostly of hitting the goat — which, again according to some of those conflicting reports, focused on Snowball’s horns, which didn’t necessarily hurt it very much but surely annoyed Snowball. 


Krzysztof Kowalik/Unsplash

It made him maaaaad

The story of 77-year-old Carl and two-year-old Snowball did not end with the pair getting over their differences and both learning something. It ended with Snowball finally getting fed up and goring Carl to death, stabbing him in the stomach with its horns as the man’s wife looked on.

We’re having some fun in this article, cheering on the animals as though every human victim deserved what they got. In reality, of course, these were all people whose deaths were tragedies, and certainly, if you knew them personally, you’d have mourned them. The exception, it seems, was Carl Hulsey. Though his wife surely cried over him, the consensus in Locust Grove, Georgia, was that if people had to choose between Snowball and Carl, they were siding with Snowball. 

And they did have to choose, because problem animals who kill people are normally put to death by animal control. But with the case of Snowball, fans sought mercy for him by contacting the city and threatening to kill whoever killed Snowball. This worked. Instead of putting him down, in 1991, the city sent him to an animal sanctuary. The sanctuary welcomed him but did take the precaution of castrating him, just in case.

The Hippo That Bided Its Time

The way news sources tell it, some unnamed South Africans rescued a baby hippopotamus from a river when it was a baby in 2005. This raises several questions. First: How can you rescue a hippo from a river, when hippos swim? The answer, surprisingly, is hippos don’t really swim so much as kick the riverbed and bob up and down, which means it’s technically possible to save one from drowning. However, can taking a wild animal into your home and out of the wild ever really qualify as rescuing it? That’s less clear, and an indicator that this story does not have a happy ending. 

Marius Els bought Humphrey the hippo from those supposed rescuers when it was five months old. He raised it on his farm, where it grew to weigh more than a ton. He swam with it, and he swore it got along well with humans. This was somewhat contradicted by reports of it occasionally breaking out of its enclosure and chasing golfers. One other close call left a kid and his grandpa hiding in a tree for two hours

In November 2011, Humphrey finally chomped its jaws down on Marius, killing him, before setting out back into the wild. People found the man’s body in the same river from which those earlier people had fished out Humphrey years before. Don’t let their cartoonish heads fool you: Hippos are deadly and are in fact just about the deadliest beast out there, after the crocodile, and after insects like freshwater snails

Bokito, the Woman-Grabbing Gorilla

To repeat: We aren’t genuinely celebrating any of these people’s deaths, even if we sometimes write about them in a way that frames the animals as avenging badasses. Therefore, after you read the following story, please do not quote us as saying the woman was asking for it because she was smiling.

The woman, 57-year-old Petronella de Horde, was a huge fan of one Gorilla named Bokito, coming by almost every day to take pictures of him. Please don’t smile at him, said the Rotterdam zookeepers, and please don’t make eye contact, because he’ll interpret that as a challenge. But Petronella was confident that she was making friends with him, since why else did she sometimes see him smile back?

Bokito gorilla

Maarten Visser

We’re using stock photos for most of these animals, but this one here really is jolly Bokito.

On May 18, 2007, Bokito finally jumped the fence of his enclosure and threw all his 400 pounds at Petronella. He broke a couple of her bones and bit her 100 times. Then he went off to visit the zoo’s cafeteria, and by “visit,” we mean “attack more people at.” 

Petronella survived, though she certainly thought she was going to die, somewhere around bite number 12 and lasting all the way to the end of the experience. As a result, the zoo did not euthanize Bokito. In fact, post-recovery, Petronella decided to return to the zoo regularly and keep checking in on her pal. Bokito survived all the way till this past April, when he finally died at 27. Some will say that’s a typical lifespan for a gorilla in captivity. Others say, it was beauty killed the beast.

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