Planning your next vacay in the USA? Be aware that even here there’s wildlife that could stop you in your tracks.
“What? It’s not like I’m trekking through spider-infested Australia or on safari in the wilds of Africa,” you say. “Just hanging out in my homeland! What could go wrong?”
Plenty. While it’s possible to avoid many animal encounters by keeping your eyes open, peril might lurk where you least expect it. Like, say, in your shoe: Scorpions like to hang out in dark areas.
So shake out your shoes and your clothes before putting them on if you’re traveling in the Southwest, as these arachnids’ bites have been known to be fatal. (Fun fact: According to the American Journal of Public Health, scorpion encounters were highest in Phoenix, Arizona, with up to 677 per 100,000 residents. You’re welcome.)
Not every animal in the following list will kill you. You might escape with just discomfort, minor injuries or a story you can dine out on for years.
Or you might not be so lucky. But you can be smart, and alert, to the following wildlife hazards: