Five of Florida’s most deadly creatures

Florida is known for its unique critters and the landscapes they call home.

On the heels of a sighting of a python swimming in Naples Bay, it may be wise to remember the state is rife with sharp-toothed wildlife.

The American alligator

One of the most capable predators on the planet. The longest alligator caught in Florida measured more than 14 feet, while the heaviest weighed 1,043 pounds, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

They exist in virtually all freshwater systems in Florida and have been in the news recently for a rash of attacks on humans.

If they'll attack a human, they'll certainly attack a dog or cat.

More: Florida alligator crawls through window to enter kitchen, knocks over wine bottles

More: 12-foot, nearly 750-pound alligator trapped in Jupiter

More: Official: Alligator nearly bites off Florida woman's hand

Florida panthers

The state animal, but that doesn't stop them from attacking, killing and eating domestic animals.

There is no recorded panther attack on a human, but they kill multiple calves, goats and other domestic animals each year.

This year, panthers have killed goats, pigs, ducks, geese, dogs and cats, according to FWC.

More: 'Please don't eat the deer.' Family spots Florida panther wandering around  backyard

More: Florida panther mauling family's cat caught on video

a lion standing in the grass: Florida Panther© Andrew West/ Florida Panther

Burmese pythons

Like the bufo toad, are not native to Florida, but they have made it their home.

These predators can grow to 20 feet or longer and eat practically every native animal in Florida.

Several python hunts have been held in recent years, but most experts agree that these snakes will be part of South Florida's ecology forever.

More: Burmese python caught while swimming in Naples Bay

More: Governor DeSantis announces new python removal efforts to protect the greater Everglades

Water moccasin

A silent menace that's only dangerous when provoked, these snakes pack a punch of venom.

Members of the pit viper family, water moccasins or cottonmouths can be found throughout Florida and are the most common snake found in some areas.

Found in aquatic habitats, these snakes are not typically aggressive, but the venom from a large specimen can be deadly to humans.


Super small compared to the other creatures listed here, but the insects can have a big impact on animals and humans.

They carry and can transmit heartworms to pets and other animals. Mosquitoes can also carry parasites like those that lead to malaria.

Untold numbers roam Southwest Florida, so this is the critter (out of these five dangerous ones) that is the one you're most likely to encounter.

Some species also carry Dengue, encephalitis and the Zika virus.

More: Health Department: Watch out for mosquito-borne illnesses; 3 found in Florida

More: Health officials, experts warn of deadly mosquito-borne virus found in Florida chickens

Bull sharks

a fish swimming under water: A bull shark was blamed for an April 2007 attack on a man in Collier County.© News-Press archive A bull shark was blamed for an April 2007 attack on a man in Collier County.

Everyone knows about the alligators in Florida, but they aren’t the only fearsome fauna lurking in fresh water bodies.

Bull sharks make up 20% of Florida’s unprovoked shark attacks recorded at the International Shark Attack File, and can be found in both salt and fresh waters — including the Caloosahatchee River.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission calls the bull “one of the more dangerous shark species” that is able to travel “hundreds of miles inland via coastal river systems.”

More: Shark expert helps debunk common misconceptions

Source: MSN, Full Article

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