With the excitement of the brown bear that has been sighted around the Rockford area lately, people are starting to wonder what other dangerous critters are lurking in the woods and alleyways. While everyone is familar with coyotes by now, they are pretty low on the danger scale. When most people think of dangerous North American predators, they immediately think of Grizzly Bears or ravenous packs of wolves. Few people realize that the most dangerous predators are not wolves or bears; instead they are weasels and birds. While this may seem unlikely, it is entirely true with data and abundant video evidence that supports this claim.
#3: The Wolverine
Found mainly in northern regions such as Canada, Montana, Michigan and Alaska, the wolverine is a secretive yet strangely fascinating predator. These highly elusive critters are incredibly muscular and capable of covering large distances quickly, even in very deep snowfall. Rangers in Montana tracking a collared wolverine were astonished to see the animal summited Mount Cleveland in the dead of winter apparently just because it happened to be in the animal’s path. This ferocious critter even set a speed record for climbing the mountain, reaching the summit in less than 90 minute in deep snow.
Wolverines top out at a weight of about 40 pounds, yet are able to take down prey much larger than themselves with relative ease, including prey as large as caribou. Although they look like a very small bear, wolverines are actually the largest members of the weasel family.
Watching videos of wolverines, you notice a vibrant, exuberant animal that seems to bounce around, full of the joy of simply existing. They seem to bound around and just generally act like fun animals. However, they also have a well-earned reputation for being both violent and strong critters. They are known to attack and successfully fend off other large predators, such as black bears, wolves, cougars and there is even an account of a wolverine going head to head with a polar bear. This bravery combined with natural strength and a very ferocious nature makes the wolverine a dangerous, yet elusive animal.
#2: The Badger
Similar to drunk and unruly Wisconsinites, wild badgers are also very dangerous critters. Like wolverines, badgers are also members of the weasel family and are known for taking down prey much larger than themselves. They are also capable of fighting much larger animals such as bears and wolves, and African badgers even prey on venomous snakes. These devilish weasels will protect their young at any expense and have a reputation for being fearless.
Like Wisconsinites, badgers are also known for becoming intoxicated by alcohol, found in rotting fruit. While a drunk and angry Wisconsinite can be a scary sight, it still does not hold a candle to the fury their state mascot can easily unleash. There are countless videos lurking on the internet that perfectly display the sheer terror and ferocity of a badger attack, demonstrating the fact that these furry hellions should not be taken lightly.
#1:The Golden Eagle
You may wonder what a bird is doing on this list. Well, the Golden Eagle is no ordinary bird. These birds attack pretty much anything they come across, including grizzly bears, wolves and foxes, along with more traditional prey such as deer, mountain goats and ibex. In fact, a Eurasian subspecies of this bird is even specifically used by humans to hunt wolves and foxes.
The Golden Eagle has also been recorded snatching young children and babies as well. There is strong speculation that Native American legends about Thunderbirds are based on the activities of these fearsome birds and their ability to snatch children and other large prey. Downstate Illinois has a pictograph of a thunderbird outside of Alton in the St. Louis area. The restored native american drawing shows a fierce bird critter overlooking the Mississipii River. There was also a report of one of these birds carrying off a little boy in the early 20th century in Kentucky.
YouTube is host to a wide range of amateur and professional videos showing these birds attacking a wide variety of foes, including grizzly bears and wolves. For a more heartwarming glimpse of this wonderful bird, there are also videos showing Golden Eagles knocking mountain goats off of mountainsides and then feasting on their remains. It’s pretty hard to imagine a grizzly bear or wolf topping that move.
When looking for an animal that can inspire fear, don’t settle for ordinary bears and wolves. Instead, look to the weasel family and birds for critters that rightfully inspire feelings of terror. After all, critters that willingly attack bears and wolves have an amount of tenacity and sheer bravery that make them the true top predators.