Too often we humans think we’re untouchable rulers of the world, prancing about with false immunity until one day we find ourselves naked and disoriented in the African savannah just moments away from copping a lion’s claw to the throat or a cobra bite to the butt cheeks. So join us as we take a look at some African animals that are more than likely going to kill you.
Found throughout Eastern, Southern and West Africa these majestic creatures can occupy rain forests, woodland areas and deserts. Though an encounter with one of these hefty giants is rare outside of protected national parks, things could potentially get ugly. Weighing in at between 2000 and 3000 kilos, older bulls and young males can be especially dangerous and will stomp on their prey grinding bones into a fine powder.
Using a scale of one to death – we give the African Elephant a three on the Slapped Ham Deathometre. Everything will be fine if we just leave these elephants alone.
Due to heavy poaching and environmental factors, the African lion is only found in central and southern Africa in savannah grasslands. They are largely inactive creatures that spend a lot of their time under the shade of acacia trees before they go hunting in packs in the cool of the evening. Generally they stalk their prey, creeping up to a distance of 30 metres before making their move. While human encounters are rare they have been known to specifically hunt villagers and workers. In 1898 a pair of lions known as the Tsavo Man-Eaters tracked and methodically ate a reported 135 railroad workers over a period of 9 months. They managed to outwit hunters, dodge traps and crawl through heavy fencing to drag sleeping workers from their tents – devouring them in the night. The two lions became so famous that many books and movies have featured their story, there’s even a rare tiger found on the Timeless Isle in World of Warcraft named after them.
Taking all this into account we give the African Lion a flesh gnashing score of 5 on the Slapped Ham Deathometre.
These slithering venom dispensers are mostly found in northern Africa amongst semi-arid regions with water sources. Famous for their hooded necks and upright defensive position a bite from one of these Cobras will cause a mischief for sure as their venom mainly consists of neurotoxins and cytotoxins. Once bitten the victim’s nervous system stops sending signals to the muscles, eventually ceasing transmission to the heart and lungs causing complete respiratory failure. While dying of respiratory failure the victim will also be experiencing severe local pain, headache, nausea, diarrhoea, vomiting and ultimately paralysis.
It is thought that this species of cobra was responsible for the famous death of Cleopatra.
We give the Egyptian Cobra a vomit inducing six on the Slapped Ham Deathometre
You know a species of snake is going to be vicious when it belongs under the genus name of Bitis. Widely found throughout savannah and grassland areas, the puff adder is famous for causing the most snakebite fatalities in Africa, largely due to its habitation in densely populated urban environments. Physically, it is a strong, stout snake that can strike with lightning speed. Typically they ambush their prey by camouflaging in dense foliage and can wait up to several weeks in one position. A bite to a human can cause intense local pain and limbs can become immovably flexed. If left untreated severe necrosis can set in causing dead tissue to fall away from healthy tissue leaving a gooey pitted wound.
The Slapped Ham deathometre scores the Puff Adder a gooey necrosis ridden 7!
The Cape buffalo
Found throughout central and southern Africa these hefty units are known as ‘The Black Death’ or ‘The Widow Makers’. Travelling in large defensive herds the Cape buffalo have very few natural predators besides man. Even Lions think twice before taking one on. Known to be very aggressive particularly when wounded, there are instances where they’ll stalk and ambush hunters. Taking their spot in the ‘big 5’, a term used to describe the most dangerous animals to hunt, it is estimated that they gore and kill 200 humans per year – earning them a blood-thirsty 8 on the Slapped Ham Deathometre.
Meaning ‘river horse’ in ancient Greek, these plump herbivorous death-bringers can be found in sub-Saharan Africa. At first glance you wouldn’t think they pose much of a threat but they actually have a very aggressive temperament. Surprisingly agile when they need to be, they can run at speeds of more than 30 kilometres per hour and will violently protect their young bathing along river banks. Equipped with an enormous and powerful jaw filled with teeth that grow over a foot long; their canines and incisors aren’t used for eating and only come into play during combat. Commonly known as the most dangerous large animal in Africa, Hippos will often attack and kill humans even when unprovoked – causing up to 3000 human deaths per year.
The Slapped Ham Deathometre scores the Hippo a fatality busting 9!
And the deadliest African animal is?
While mosquitoes themselves aren’t deadly they are vectors for many life threatening diseases, causing widespread health issues and economical burdens.
Infected mosquitoes can carry viruses and parasites that cause malaria, dengue fever, yellow fever and chikungunya just to name a few.
Malaria alone can cause phenomenal destruction. It is estimated that 3.2 billion people world-wide are at risk of malaria. In 2014 there were 198 million cases of malaria reported with 584,000 malaria deaths. 90% of all malaria deaths occur in Africa attributing to an estimated $12 billion dollars in lost productivity. And this is all thanks to the mosquito – harbingers of death.
Mosquitoes in Africa are so deadly that they’ve caused a malfunction of the Slapped Ham deathometre – scoring well beyond measure.