When you love spending time in the wild, it’s hard to avoid meeting various animals, some of which you haven’t even heard of. In fact, meeting animals is one of the reasons why people enjoy being outdoors in Pennsylvania and exploring the wild. But these people undoubtedly realize that the state is full of dangerous animals that bite and sting and aren’t afraid of humans in general.
For this purpose, we decided to uncover 5 of the most dangerous animals in Pennsylvania and explain what makes these species so threatening.
No matter how much you love animals, we believe that you should still be aware of their capabilities and, in some cases, stay away from them.
Most Dangerous Animals in Pennsylvania
1. Timber Rattlesnake
Even the thought of a snake that’s up to 5 feet in length usually scares most people. Therefore, chances are that encountering a timber rattlesnake while hanging out in the forests of Pennsylvania isn’t the best possible scenario you’d imagine. The timber rattlesnake tends to inhabit wooded areas that have access to water. That’s why you should know that the typical climate in the state is considered ideal for this creature.
Despite its enormous size and venomous bite, you might be surprised to find out that the chances of getting bitten by the timber rattlesnake are almost as low as the odds of hitting a jackpot in a casino. Speaking of which, if you’re lucky and in the state, here are the best ones in Pennsylvania that offer as thrilling a gaming experience as being bitten by a venomous rattlesnake.
Keep in mind that this animal loves to hide under leaves, rock crevices, and fallen logs, which makes them even harder to spot.
Considering that there are 21 species of snakes in Pennsylvania, the second dangerous animal on our list represents a snake again. At first glance, you might think that Copperhead isn’t as special as the timber rattlesnake but you’ll still want to be cautious around them.
The adult Copperhead is a medium-sized snake that typically reaches 2-3 feet in length. This species is considered a “pit viper,” as it has heat-sensitive pits between its eyes and nostrils. This dangerous animal can be found throughout most of Pennsylvania, except for the northernmost counties. Similar to most rattlesnakes, it’s especially common in rocky areas and hiding spots. The thing that makes them even more dangerous is that they enjoy living near human habitats. Therefore, the chances of their interactions with you if you’re in Pennsylvania are high.
3. Eastern Coyote
Pet owners are especially afraid of eastern coyotes in Pennsylvania for one simple reason — this dangerous animal enjoys going after small cats and dogs. The attacks usually happen late at night when hunting is easier and sometimes they even hunt livestock, particularly chickens and young calves, which is why farmers always try hard to stay away from coyotes. Interestingly, the farmers even learned how to differentiate coyote prey depending on “how clean the kill is”.
This nocturnal animal typically weighs up to 60 pounds in males and 40 pounds in females, meaning they’re bigger than western coyotes. As officials say, there are about 100,000 coyotes in Pennsylvania, and therefore, they’ve successfully adapted to these regions.
In order to keep your pets safe, we recommend lighting your yard when pets are outside and don’t leave food or garbage cans outside.
4. Star-Nosed Mole
When someone mentions ‘dangerous animals’, we immediately think of big and scary-looking creatures that have the capability of killing people. But it turns out that some people consider this cute little mole, known as a star-nosed mole, one of the most dangerous animals in Pennsylvania.
The fact that a star-nosed mole isn’t harmful to humans at all makes it even harder to understand why they’re listed among dangerous animals. However, they usually cause significant damage to landscapes or gardens. Believe it or not, through digging, they can create enormous networks of tunnels and, as a result, disrupt the root systems of plants.
5. Black Bear
And the final dangerous animal in Pennsylvania that we’re about to discuss is a black bear. Not surprisingly, a black bear is one of the biggest annimals you can encounter in Pennsylvania. Specifically, it weighs 200-600 pounds and is 5–6 feet tall.
They’re omnivorous animals that eat almost everything, including plants, insects, nuts, and even small mammals. Therefore, they enjoy exploring human-populated areas in order to find food and get prepared for hibernation.
Still, black bears usually act shyly in front of humans and you’re less likely to encounter them unless you’re hiking or camping in forests.
After reviewing the most dangerous animals that you can encounter in Pennsylvania, you probably need to know how to stay away from them as well. Well, the key here is not to avoid these animals but to learn to coexist with them. Since learning more about their behavior is the best way to protect yourself from these animals, you just need to make sure you know where you’re likely to encounter these species and, if you do, what are the best possible measures you can take.
Nato is a content writer and researcher with a background in psychology who’s eager to explore the wonders of nature. As a travel enthusiast and animal lover, she hopes to inspire others to discover and cherish the beauty and importance of the natural world.