APH compares some of the world’s most exotic animals


With recent travel trend reports* pointing to a rise in adventure holidays during 2017, UK consumers could be slightly increasing their chance of encountering a potentially dangerous animal. From the Arizona bark scorpion in North America to the blue-ringed octopus in Japan, Airport Parking and Hotels (APH) has put together a guide to some of the world’s most interesting wildlife to help travellers prepare for their adventures this year.

North America

EXOTIC ANIMALS

WHERE THEY ARE FOUND

DEFINING FEATURES

HOW TO REDUCE YOUR RISK

ACTION TO TAKE IF ATTACKED

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

COUNTRIES

HABITAT

PHYSICAL

MEDICAL

  • Killer bees
  • Mexico, Texas, Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, Florida, and Southern California
  • Bees form colonies in the trees, walls and holes in the ground

 

  • General appearance of a European Honey Bee but slightly smaller
  • Wear light-coloured clothing
  • Bees are sensitive to odours, so travellers are advised to avoid wearing citrus aftershave or perfume
  • Avoid areas with freshly-cut grass
  • When hiking, avoid hiking off trails
  • Travellers are advised to use bug spray or bee spray
  • Cover your body, especially your head and face

 

  • If you have been stung more than 15 times, or if you are having any symptoms other than local pain and swelling, seek immediate medical attention
  • Ice can help with the swelling
  • Stings on the chest and abdomen are far less serious than those to the facial area

 

  • Do not jump into water. Bees will wait for you to come up for air
  • However, they can be discouraged by sprays or water, such as a hose or shower
  • Grizzly bears
  • Canada, Alaska, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Washington
  • They are found in many different habitats, from dense forests to subalpine meadows, open plains and arctic tundra
  • Salmon streams and whitebark pine sites, where food is abundant

 

  • General appearance of a bear
  • Avoid eye contact and try to move away slowly without alarming the bear
  • While in bear country, be aware that you may encounter a bear at any time

 

  • Do not run
  • If the bear charges, stand your ground
  • Don’t scream or yell
  • Speak in a soft monotone voice and wave your arms
  • If you have pepper spray, use it
  • If the animal makes contact, curl up into a ball on your side, or lie flat on your stomach
  • Remain as quiet as possible
  • Be sure the bear has left the area before getting up to seek help
  • Seek immediate medical attention

 

  • Bears don’t generally hunt humans
  • Copperhead snake
  • America, Africa, Australia, Europe, Asia
  • They have adapted to survive in a wide variety of habitats, ranging from deserts to jungle

 

  • Copper colour
  • It is very common for the snake to have patches of hourglass markings on its back and a copper-coloured triangular looking head
  • Travellers are advised to avoid touching the animal and keep a safe distance
  • Move away as quickly as possible
  • Copperhead snakes first strike is a threat display
  • Seek immediate medical attention
  • Keep the bitten area below the heart
  • Wash the bite with soap and water as soon as possible
  • Tightly wrap a bandage two to four inches above the bite
  • If you have a snake bite kit, place the suction device over the bite to help draw the venom out of the wound
  • Responsible for most of the venomous bites in United States
  • Cougars (Puma, Mountain Lion or Panther)
  • Western North America, Florida
  • They are found in many different habitats, from mountains to deserts to sea-level

 

  • General appearance of a house cat only larger
  • Slender body, round head, pointy ears
  • Grey to red coat colour
  • Tail black spot at the end
  • Have outdoor lightning
  • Keep pets secure
  • Do not hike alone
  • Make yourself appear as large as possible
  • Make noise
  • Slowly create distance
  • Protect yourself
  • Seek immediate medical attention if attacked

 

  • Human encounters with mountain lions are rare
  • American alligator
  • Southeastern United States, primarily Florida and Louisiana
  • American alligators reside nearly exclusively in freshwater rivers, lakes, swamps, and marshes
  • The American alligator is the largest reptile in North America
  • Do not swim in water that is a known habitat for alligators
  • Move away as quickly as possible
  • If necessary, put up a fight – poke at the eyes and soft areas but do not corner the alligator
  • Make noise

 

  • Seek immediate medical attention if injured

 

  • Arizona Bark Scorpion
  • Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, Nevada, California
  • In the wild, they lie under rocks, crevices, and trees
  • Indoors, they can be found in sinks, baths, drawers or dark cabinets

 

  • Tan to tan-yellow colour
  • Small, reaches to 3.14 inches
  • Their pincers are elongated and thin
  • Pay attention when spending time outdoors
  • Avoid trees and logs, uncovering stones or pine cones
  • Move away as quickly as possible
  • Seek immediate medical attention if stung

 

  • If possible, capture the scorpion responsible for the sting to verify its identity. Such specimens may be preserved by placing them in rubbing or ethyl alcohol
  • Besides causing severe pain in the affected area, there is tingling, vomiting and general illness that can last from one to three days

 

Central America

EXOTIC ANIMALS

WHERE THEY ARE FOUND

DEFINING FEATURES

HOW TO REDUCE YOUR RISK

ACTION TO TAKE IF ATTACKED

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

COUNTRIES

HABITAT

PHYSICAL

MEDICAL

  • Bushmaster snake
  • Rain forests of Costa Rica and northern parts of South America

 

  • Hides deep within rainforests
  • 6’5” in length
  • Has distinct dark brown or black diamond-shaped markings down the back, often with yellowish edges
  • The belly is light coloured
  • Usually they have a darker stripe that extends from the mouth back corner to the eye
  • Avoid tall grass
  • Remember snakes can climb
  • Check before you stick your hand into a crevasse
  • Avoid sleeping near a log or large branch, in tall grass, or next to rocky areas
  • Zip up your tent
  • Wear heavy boots and trousers
  • Move away as quickly as possible
  • Seek immediate medical attention if bitten
  • Wash the bite with soap and water as soon as possible
  • Keep the bitten area below the heart
  • Tightly  wrap a bandage two to four inches above the bite
  • If you have a snake bite kit, place the suction device over the bite to help draw the venom out of the wound
Don’t:
  • Cut the wound
  • Suck the venom
  • Apply ice to the wound
  • Panic (The more you move and the faster your heart beats, the quicker the venom will circulate throughout the body)

South America

EXOTIC ANIMALS

WHERE THEY ARE FOUND

DEFINING FEATURES

HOW TO REDUCE YOUR RISK

ACTION TO TAKE IF ATTACKED

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

COUNTRIES

HABITAT

PHYSICAL

MEDICAL

  • Puffer fish
  • Confined to the Amazon, Essequibo and Orinoco basins in tropical South America
  • Found in shallow waters, often on coral reefs, in beds of sea grass, and in estuaries during daylight
  • Found in a variety of habitats, from quite soft and acidic rivers like the Rio Negro through to the estuary of the Amazon River
  • Puffer fish can be distinguished from most other species by the fact that their bodies are virtually covered with large numbers of spines of unequal length
  • Brightly coloured
  • Pay attention when swimming
  • Keep distance from the fish
  • Do not provoke the animal or try to capture it
  • Move away as quickly as possible
  • Seek immediate medical attention
  • Do not run or exercise, which might increase the circulation of toxin in the body

 

  • One tenth of a gram of poison from the puffer fish – of which there are hundreds of species – can be fatal
  • Antidote is not available

Brazil

EXOTIC ANIMALS

WHERE THEY ARE FOUND

DEFINING FEATURES

HOW TO REDUCE YOUR RISK

ACTION TO TAKE IF ATTACKED

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

COUNTRIES

HABITAT

PHYSICAL

MEDICAL

  • Wandering spider
  • Throughout Brazil
  • Wanders the jungle floor at night and by day it rests in damp, dark places: beneath logs, under rocks, and amidst clumps of bananas
  • Can be found in cars, houses, boxes, clothing, and shoes

 

  • Large, hairy brown spider with two very red-coloured fangs
  • Travellers are advised to avoid touching the spider and keep a safe distance
  • Move away as quickly as possible
  • Seek immediate medical attention
  • Wash the wound
  • Apply an antiseptic and use ice to soothe swelling and pain

 

  • It’s one of the few spiders that will aggressively attack humans
  • Scolopendra centipede
  • Tropical and subtropical rainforests of Northern South America
  • Puerto Rico and Jamaica
  • Centipedes are limited to living in humid environments, and can usually be found in soil, leaf litter, or rotten wood

 

  • Some can grow as long as 30cm
  • Light to dark brown reddish colour
  • Travellers are advised to avoid touching the Scolopendra and keep a safe distance
  • Move away as quickly as possible
  • Seek immediate medical attention
  • While travellers are extremely unlikely to get bitten, the venom is not lethal but can cause severe pain, swelling and weakness
  • Apply an antiseptic and use ice to soothe swelling and pain

North Africa

EXOTIC ANIMALS

WHERE THEY ARE FOUND

DEFINING FEATURES

HOW TO REDUCE YOUR RISK

ACTION TO TAKE IF ATTACKED

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

COUNTRIES

HABITAT

PHYSICAL

MEDICAL

  • Deathstalker scorpion
  • Desert and dry scrublands of North Africa and the Middle East
  • By day, they favour dark places: under rocks, in beds, or in shoes

 

  • Eight legs, yellow-coloured, easy recognised due to its grasping claws and long, narrow tail that curves forward and ends in a venomous stinger
  • Travellers are advised to be careful, especially after dark, and check their shoes and beds before use
  • Move away as quickly as possible
  • Seek immediate medical attention
  • Clean the sting with an antiseptic cleanser and apply an ice pack
  • Take an antihistamine to reduce swelling and itching
  • Signs of severe poisoning include muscle spasms, impaired vision or speech, nausea, vomiting, and difficulty breathing and require taking an anti-venom
  • Scorpions are only active at night
  • Can be easily agitated
  • Saw scale viper / Carpet Viper snake
  • North of the Equator across Africa, Arabia, and southwestern Asia to India and Sri Lanka

 

  • Nocturnal
  • Inhabits arid regions and dry savannas with sandy soils, scrub jungles, thorny plants or thick vegetation, under rocks or in rock crevices
  • Often found in small hills and scrub jungles

 

  • They are characterised by a stout body with a pear-shaped head
  • Various shades of brown, gray, or orange with darker dorsal blotches and lateral spots
  • Adults range in length from 30cm to 90cm
  • Travellers are advised to avoid touching the animal and keep a safe distance
  • Move away as quickly as possible
  • Seek immediate medical attention
  • If bitten the traveller must lie down and remain still
  • The bite wound should not be tampered with in any way
  • All rings or other jewellery on the bitten limb, especially on fingers, should be removed
  • The blood-thinning venom from this species is used in the manufacture of several drugs
  • Hippo
  • Largest concentration of hippos in Africa lives in Zambia’s Luangwa Valley
  • Hippos graze on land only at night and spend their days in water
  • Male hippos actively defend their territories, which run along the banks of rivers and lakes
  • Females have also been known to be extremely aggressive if they sense anyone approaching offspring
  • Males measure around 3.5m in length long and 1.5m in height
  • Only go to watch these animals with a trained guide and keep at a safe distance
  • Avoid boating in the dry season
  • Keep well away from calves
  • Run away as quickly as possible
  • Climb a tree
  • Seek immediate medical attention if serious injury is caused

 

  • The hippo is notorious for being responsible for more human fatalities in Africa than any other large animal
  • Hippos can run at speeds of over 20 miles an hour and a fully grown bull can weigh up to three tonnes
  • Tse Tse Fly
  • Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Local patches of dense vegetation and along banks of rivers
  • Lakes in arid terrain, and also in dense, wet, heavily forested equatorial rainforest

 

  • General appearance of a common housefly

 

  • Avoid blue and black clothing, which attracts the flies
  • Travellers are advised to use Dettol on themselves as the scent deters the flies
  • Sleep inside screened areas, under a net or in an air-conditioned room
  • Inspect vehicles for tse tse flies before entering
  • Don’t ride in the back of jeeps, pick-up trucks or other open vehicles
  • Avoid bushes
  • Cover your body, especially your head and face
  • If the bite wound turns into a boil after a few days, and if a fever starts, seek medical attention
  • Painful bite that can, in rare cases, transmit the often-fatal sleeping sickness disease
  • One of the symptoms is extreme lethargy
  • Most bites will only swell a little and become itchy
  • If the bite wound turns into a boil after a few days, and if a fever starts, seek medical attention
  • Almost 80% of flies that bite humans are males, which carry sleeping sickness
  • Long term effects, if left untreated, can lead to permanent damage to your nervous system
  • Puffer fish
  • Widely distributed in the Congo River basin, with exception of the Lower Congo River basin and the Mweru-Luapula-Bangweulu system
  • Malagarasi River
  • Found in shallow waters, often on coral reefs, in beds of sea grass, and in estuaries during daylight
  • Found in a variety of habitats, from quite soft and acidic rivers like the Rio Negro through to the estuary of the Amazon River
  • Puffer fish can be distinguished from most other species by the fact that their bodies are virtually covered with large numbers of spines of unequal length
  • Brightly coloured
  • Pay attention when swimming
  • Keep distance from the fish
  • Do not provoke the animal or try to capture it
  • Move away as quickly as possible
  • Seek immediate medical attention
  • Do not run or exercise, which might increase the circulation of toxin in the body

 

  • One tenth of a gram of poison from the puffer fish – of which there are hundreds of species – can be fatal
  • Antidote is not available
  • Lion
  • Except for a small population of the Indian lion subspecies that remains in the Gir Forest of northwest India, lions now live only in Africa, from the Sahara’s southern fringe to northern South Africa

 

  • They are absent from equatorial areas dominated by moist tropical forest
  • Lions inhabit a wide range of habitats, from open plains to thick brush and dry thorn
  • Male lions grow larger than females, reaching up to 10ft (3m) long
  • The best course of action once you have spotted them is to stop and back off slowly and confidently
  • If you are in a group, stick together.
  • If they are being inquisitive and follow you as you back off, call their bluff and pretend you are confident, -make loud confident noises and bang something if you can
  • Never run. A lion can out-run humans, and running away indicates that you are afraid and therefore prey worth chasing

 

  • Seek immediate medical attention if attacked

 

  • Unlike other cats, lions are very social animals. They live in groups, called prides, of around 30 lions

South Africa

EXOTIC ANIMALS

WHERE THEY ARE FOUND

DEFINING FEATURES

HOW TO REDUCE YOUR RISK

ACTION TO TAKE IF ATTACKED

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

COUNTRIES

HABITAT

PHYSICAL

MEDICAL

  • Great White Shark
  • Seas around the world, though appears mainly in numbers off the coasts of California, South Africa and Australia
  • They tend to stay close to the shore, in shallow waters

 

  • Can grow up to 6m in length
  • Avoid going into sea water with any wounds
  • Keep your eyes on the shark
  • Get out of the water as soon as you can but do it as calmly as you can as splashing around may attract even more attention
  • If you have a spear or a camera, then use that to aim for its face and gills
  • Try punching it on the nose
  • Seek immediate medical attention if attacked

 

  • Cone Snail
  • Southern Cape
  • Found in all tropical and subtropical seas, from the intertidal zone to deeper areas, living on sand or among rocks or coral reefs
  • Its conical outer shell comes in a variety of colours (black, brown, gold, orange) and features intricate white patterns
  • Travellers are advised to avoid touching the animal and keep at a safe distance
  • Move away as quickly as possible
  • Seek immediate medical attention
  • Wrap a cloth or gauze bandage over the wound and apply pressure to prevent the venom from spreading
  • In the event of breathing problems, perform mouth-to-mouth
  • Common Adder / European Adders / Black Adder snake
  • Most of western Europe and into east Asia
  • Black or European adders are often found on the edge of the woods, in open countryside
  • They like to have open meadows or dunes for basking in the sun, but also leaves, scrub, or rocks to hide beneath when threatened

 

  • European adders are usually grey or reddish brown, though they can also be black, white, cream or pale yellow
  • Grow to around 24 inches in length
  • Travellers are advised to avoid touching the animal and keep a safe distance
  • Move away as quickly as possible
  • Seek immediate medical attention
  • Wash the bite with soap and water as soon as possible
  • Keep the bitten area below the heart
  • Tightly wrap a bandage two to four inches above the bite
  • If you have a snake bite kit, place the suction device over the bite to help draw the venom out of the wound

Europe

EXOTIC ANIMALS

WHERE THEY ARE FOUND

DEFINING FEATURES

HOW TO REDUCE YOUR RISK

ACTION TO TAKE IF ATTACKED

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

COUNTRIES

HABITAT

PHYSICAL

MEDICAL

  • Asp Viper snake
  • Spain, France, Italy, Switzerland and the extreme southwest of Germany
  • It can be found on sunny slopes and scrublands, in glades, mountain meadows, forests and rubbish dumps
  • Grow up to 80cm in length
  • Generally the males are grey in colour while the females are grey or brown
  • Travellers are advised to avoid touching the animal and keep a safe distance
  • Move away as quickly as possible
  • Seek immediate medical attention
  • Wash the bite with soap and water as soon as possible
  • Keep the bitten area below the heart
  • Tightly wrap a bandage two to four inches above the bite
  • If you have a snake bite kit, place the suction device over the bite to help draw the venom out of the wound
  • Wasps, Hornets
  • Throughout Europe
  • Nest can be found in tree trunks, bushes, sides of buildings, barns, attics, hollow walls
  • European hornets can be up to 40mm long
  • They have a distinctive orange abdomen with brown stripes
  • Wear light-coloured clothing
  • Bees are sensitive to odours, so travellers are advised to avoid wearing citrus aftershave or perfume
  • Avoid areas with freshly-cut grass
  • When hiking, avoid hiking off trails
  • Travellers are advised to use bug spray or bee spray
  • Cover your body, especially your head and face

 

  • If you have been stung more than 15 times, or if you are having any symptoms other than local pain seek immediate medical attention
  • Ice can help with the swelling
  • Stings on the chest and abdomen are far less serious than those to the facial area

 

Artic

EXOTIC ANIMALS

WHERE THEY ARE FOUND

DEFINING FEATURES

HOW TO REDUCE YOUR RISK

ACTION TO TAKE IF ATTACKED

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

COUNTRIES

HABITAT

PHYSICAL

MEDICAL

  • Polar Bear
  • Throughout the Arctic region in 19 subpopulation, including Alaska, Canada, Russia, Greenland and Norway
  • The most important habitats for polar bears are the edges of pack ice patches and leads (open spaces in the ocean between sea ice)

 

  • Can grow up to 12ft in height

 

  • Avoid carrying items with strong odours, such as food and perfume
  • Do not travel alone – travel in a group of two or more and stay together if a bear approaches
  • Pepper spray has been proven to be 100% effective, but a firearm or flares will also be useful
  • Seek immediate medical attention if attacked

 

  • Polar bears can swim 60 miles without resting, and smell a dead seal from 20 miles away
  • Polar bears have black skin to absorb heat, but their fur appears white to blend in with their environment
  • Polar bear attacks on humans are rare

Middle East

EXOTIC ANIMALS

WHERE THEY ARE FOUND

DEFINING FEATURES

HOW TO REDUCE YOUR RISK

ACTION TO TAKE IF ATTACKED

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

COUNTRIES

HABITAT

PHYSICAL

MEDICAL

  • Deathstalker scorpion
  • Desert and dry scrublands of North Africa and the Middle East
  • By day, they favour dark places: under rocks, in beds, or in shoes

 

  • Eight legs, yellow-coloured, easy recognized due to its grasping claws and long, narrow tail that curves forward and ends in a venomous stinger
  • Travellers are advised to be careful, especially after dark, and check their shoes and beds before use
  • Move away as quickly as possible
  • Seek immediate medical attention if stung
  • Clean the sting with an antiseptic cleanser and apply an ice pack
  • Take an antihistamine to reduce swelling and itching
  • Signs of severe poisoning include muscle spasms, impaired vision or speech, nausea, vomiting, and difficulty breathing and require taking an anti-venom
  • Tiger
  • South and Southeast Asia, China and the Russian Far East
  • A variety of habitats from tropical forests, evergreen forests, woodlands and mangrove swamps to grasslands, savannah and rocky country
  • On average, tigers grow to 4.8 to 9.5ft (1.5 to 2.9m) long and weigh up to 325k
  • Travellers are advised not to wander into tiger territory
  • Travel with a guide if outdoors in tiger territory
  • Be silent and still if you spot a tiger before it sees you
  • The best course of action once you have spotted them is to stop and back off slowly and confidently
  • If you are in a group, stick together
  • Avoid approaching an escaped tiger
  • Do not antagonise a tiger in any way
  • Avoid young tigers
  • If necessary, keep eye contact, show your teeth and avoid running away
  • Seek immediate medical attention if attacked

 

  • Saw scale viper / Carpet Viper snake
  • North of the Equator across Africa, Arabia, and southwestern Asia to India and Sri Lanka

 

  • Nocturnal
  • Inhabits arid regions and dry savannas with sandy soils, scrub jungles, thorny plants or thick vegetation, under rocks or in rock crevices
  • Often found in small hills and scrub jungles

 

  • They are characterised by a stout body with a pear-shaped head
  • Various shades of brown, gray, or orange with darker dorsal blotches and lateral spots
  • Adults range in length from 30cm to 90cm
  • Travellers are advised to avoid touching the animal and keep a safe distance
  • Move away as quickly as possible
  • Seek immediate medical attention
  • If bitten the traveller must lie down and remain still
  • The bite wound should not be tampered with in any way
  • All rings or other jewellery on the bitten limb, especially on fingers, should be removed

Middle East

EXOTIC ANIMALS

WHERE THEY ARE FOUND

DEFINING FEATURES

HOW TO REDUCE YOUR RISK

ACTION TO TAKE IF ATTACKED

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

COUNTRIES

HABITAT

PHYSICAL

MEDICAL

  • Deathstalker scorpion
  • Desert and dry scrublands of North Africa and the Middle East
  • By day, they favour dark places: under rocks, in beds, or in shoes

 

  • Eight legs, yellow-coloured, easy recognized due to its grasping claws and long, narrow tail that curves forward and ends in a venomous stinger
  • Travellers are advised to be careful, especially after dark, and check their shoes and beds before use
  • Move away as quickly as possible
  • Seek immediate medical attention if stung
  • Clean the sting with an antiseptic cleanser and apply an ice pack
  • Take an antihistamine to reduce swelling and itching
  • Signs of severe poisoning include muscle spasms, impaired vision or speech, nausea, vomiting, and difficulty breathing and require taking an anti-venom

India

EXOTIC ANIMALS

WHERE THEY ARE FOUND

DEFINING FEATURES

HOW TO REDUCE YOUR RISK

ACTION TO TAKE IF ATTACKED

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

COUNTRIES

HABITAT

PHYSICAL

MEDICAL

  • Tiger
  • South and Southeast Asia, China and the Russian Far East
  • A variety of habitats from tropical forests, evergreen forests, woodlands and mangrove swamps to grasslands, savannah and rocky country
  • On average, tigers grow to 4.8 to 9.5ft (1.5 to 2.9m) long and weigh up to 325k
  • Travellers are advised not to wander into tiger territory
  • Travel with a guide if outdoors in tiger territory
  • Be silent and still if you spot a tiger before it sees you
  • The best course of action once you have spotted them is to stop and back off slowly and confidently
  • If you are in a group, stick together
  • Avoid approaching an escaped tiger
  • Do not antagonise a tiger in any way
  • Avoid young tigers
  • If necessary, keep eye contact, show your teeth and avoid running away
  • Seek immediate medical attention if attacked

 

  • Saw scale viper / Carpet Viper snake
  • North of the Equator across Africa, Arabia, and southwestern Asia to India and Sri Lanka

 

  • Nocturnal
  • Inhabits arid regions and dry savannas with sandy soils, scrub jungles, thorny plants or thick vegetation, under rocks or in rock crevices
  • Often found in small hills and scrub jungles

 

  • They are characterised by a stout body with a pear-shaped head
  • Various shades of brown, gray, or orange with darker dorsal blotches and lateral spots
  • Adults range in length from 30cm to 90cm
  • Travellers are advised to avoid touching the animal and keep a safe distance
  • Move away as quickly as possible
  • Seek immediate medical attention
  • If bitten the traveller must lie down and remain still
  • The bite wound should not be tampered with in any way
  • All rings or other jewellery on the bitten limb, especially on fingers, should be removed

Indo Pacific

EXOTIC ANIMALS

WHERE THEY ARE FOUND

DEFINING FEATURES

HOW TO REDUCE YOUR RISK

ACTION TO TAKE IF ATTACKED

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

COUNTRIES

HABITAT

PHYSICAL

MEDICAL

  • Stonefish
  • Shallow tropical waters of the Indian and Pacific Oceans, extending from the Red Sea, north to China and east to Hawaii
  • Stonefish may be found in exposed sand and mud

 

  • The Stonefish has tough, warty skin that may be covered with slime
  • Its resemblance to stones camouflages the fish
  • Wear some form of protective shoes if you go into the water
  • Pay attention when turning over rocks
  • Move away as quickly as possible
  • Seek immediate medical attention
  • Hot water can help to destroy stonefish venom and vinegar is said to lessen the pain but anti-venom should be used
  • Extremely venomous
  • Their stings are both potentially lethal and extremely painful

Japan

EXOTIC ANIMALS

WHERE THEY ARE FOUND

DEFINING FEATURES

HOW TO REDUCE YOUR RISK

ACTION TO TAKE IF ATTACKED

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

COUNTRIES

HABITAT

PHYSICAL

MEDICAL

  • Giant Hornet
  • Eastern Asia, especially in the Japanese mountain
  • Temperate and tropical forests
  • Can grow to more than 4.5cm in length
  • It has a 6mm-long stinger
  • Keep at distance from nests to avoid group attack, but like most animals, the hornets do not generally sting without provocation
  • A moving target often looks more tempting
  • Crouch low to the ground, stop moving and try to cover your head if approached
  • Cover your body, especially your head and face

 

  • If you have been stung more than 15 times, or if you are having any symptoms other than local pain and swelling, seek medical immediate attention
  • Stings to the chest and abdomen are far less serious than those to the facial area
  • Ice can help with the swelling
  • Blue-ringed Octopus
  • Pacific Ocean tide pools, from Japan to Australia
  • Shallow water, typically in sheltered rock pools and crevices, cans and bottles
  • This animal is small, with the northern (larger) species reaching only 20cm across when tentacles are outstretched
  • It is normally yellowish brown but when disturbed its blue rings become bright and obvious
  • It is not aggressive by nature but will bite when provoked
  • Pay attention when turning over rocks
  • Move away as quickly as possible
  • Seek immediate medical attention if attacked
  • Apply immediate pressure to the wound
  • The venom is not injected but enters the wound in saliva
  • Washing the bite may therefore remove venom from the surface
  • Many beaches have signs warning against the presence of blue-ringed octopuses
  • The bite is minimal and often painless
  • No blue-ringed octopus anti-venom is available yet

 

Indonesia

EXOTIC ANIMALS

WHERE THEY ARE FOUND

DEFINING FEATURES

HOW TO REDUCE YOUR RISK

ACTION TO TAKE IF ATTACKED

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

COUNTRIES

HABITAT

PHYSICAL

MEDICAL

  • Komodo Dragon
  • Some Indonesian islands of the Lesser Sunda group including Rintja, Padar, Flores and Komodo

 

  • Tropical savanna forests, but range widely over the islands, from beach to ridge
  • A large lizard, Komodo dragons have long tails; strong, agile necks and sturdy limbs
  • Juvenile dragons may display more vibrant colouring and patterning
  • Can grow up to 3 m in length and weigh as much as 166k
  • Travellers are advised to avoid long grass and bushes
  • Run away as quickly as possible
  • Climb a tree
  • Seek immediate medical attention if attacked
  • Intelligent
  • Attacks are very rare, but they have been known to inflict fatal wounds

South East Asia

EXOTIC ANIMALS

WHERE THEY ARE FOUND

DEFINING FEATURES

HOW TO REDUCE YOUR RISK

ACTION TO TAKE IF ATTACKED

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

COUNTRIES

HABITAT

PHYSICAL

MEDICAL

  • Puffer fish
  • Throughout South East Asia
  • Shallow waters, often on coral reefs, in beds of sea grass, and in estuaries during daylight
  • In a variety of habitats, from quite soft and acidic rivers like the Rio Negro through to the estuary of the Amazon River
  • Puffer fish can be distinguished from most other species by the fact that their bodies are virtually covered with large numbers of spines of unequal length
  • Brightly coloured
  • Pay attention when swimming
  • Keep distance from the fish
  • Do not provoke the animal or try to capture it
  • Move away as quickly as possible
  • Seek immediate medical attention
  • Do not run or exercise, which might increase the circulation of toxin in the body

 

  • One tenth of a gram of poison from the puffer fish – of which there are hundreds of species – can be fatal
  • Antidote is not available

Australia

EXOTIC ANIMALS

WHERE THEY ARE FOUND

DEFINING FEATURES

HOW TO REDUCE YOUR RISK

ACTION TO TAKE IF ATTACKED

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

COUNTRIES

HABITAT

PHYSICAL

MEDICAL

  • Blue-ringed Octopus
  • Pacific Ocean tide pools, from Japan to Australia
  • Shallow water, typically in sheltered rock pools and crevices, cans and bottles

 

  • This animal is small, with the northern (larger) species reaching only 20cm across when tentacles are outstretched
  • It is normally yellowish brown but when disturbed its blue rings become bright and obvious
  • It is not aggressive by nature but will bite when provoked
  • Pay attention when turning over rocks
  • Move away as quickly as possible
  • Seek immediate medical attention if attacked
  • Apply immediate pressure to the wound
  • The venom is not injected but enters the wound in saliva. Washing the bite may therefore remove venom from the surface
  • Many beaches have signs warning against the presence of blue-ringed octopuses
  • The bite is minimal and often painless
  • No blue-ringed octopus anti-venom is available yet

 

  • Crocodile
  • Throughout Australia
  • Swamps, rivers and estuaries

 

  • Some reaching over 20ft in length
  • In places like Australia, territories are clearly marked with no swimming signs but don’t assume it’s safe to swim if there is no sign
  • If you are walking, stay away from the edge of the water, even if you are camping or fishing
  • Don’t get too comfortable in your camp
  • If attacked, get away: Sometimes, the animal will deliver a single, quick defensive bite and then immediately let go
  • If this occurs, just try to get away from the animal as quickly as possible
  • Go for the eyes, nostrils, or throat
  • Seek immediate medical attention if injured
  • Crocodiles can stay underwater for much longer than humans can
  • Box Jelly Fish
  • Sub-tropical waters of the Indian and Pacific Oceans
  • The most deadly species favour calm, shallow waters and river mouths
  • More cube-shaped than domed
  • Almost invisible in water
  • Only swim in areas which are designated safe zones and take local advice before entering the water
  • Move away as quickly as possible
  • Seek immediate medical attention if injured
  • Before and after remove the stinging tentacle (with a towel or gloved hand), flood the sting with vinegar
  • Apply ice cubes for pain
  • In the event of cardiac arrest, perform CPR
  • Their venom is considered to be among the most deadly in the world, containing toxins that attack the heart, nervous system and skin cells
  • Each tentacle contains enough venom to kill 50 humans
  • Funnel web spider
  • Throughout Australia
  • In the moist forest regions of the east coast and highlands of Australia, from Tasmania to North Queensland
  • Also found in the drier open forests of the Western Slopes of the Great Dividing Range and South Australia’s Gulf ranges
  • The head and thorax are hairless and a glossy blue-black
  • The abdomen can be more brown in colour and is covered in hair
  • There are a pair of large, finger-like spinnerets at rear of the abdomen
  • Measures approx. 25mm-35mm in length
  • Travellers are advised to avoid touching the spider and keep at a safe distance
  • Move away as quickly as possible
  • Seek immediate medical attention if attacked
  • In the meantime, apply a bandage and pressure over the bite
  • A bite to the torso, can be fatal in just 15 mins
  • Wandering funnel-webs spiders often fall into backyard swimming pools and can stay alive for hours
  • They can’t swim but they can trap a small bubble of air in hairs around the abdomen, which aids both breathing and floating, so it should not be assumed that a spider on a pool floor has drowned
  • Taipan Snake
  • Australian Outback
  • It’s a shy creature and isn’t often encountered

 

  • Measures approx. 2m in length
  • Taipan ranges in colour from tan to a brown, changing according to the seasons
  • Avoid tall grass
  • Remember snakes can climb
  • Check before you stick your hand into a crevasse
  • Avoid sleeping near a log or large branch, in tall grass, or next to rocky areas
  •  Zip up your tent
  • Wear heavy trousers and boots
  • Move away as quickly as possible
  • Seek immediate medical attention if attacked
  • Taipan snake bites are very rare
  • There is another taipan species, however, found in North Queensland that is more dangerous because it’s more aggressive, biting over and over again if provoked
  • The venom in one bite is enough to kill 100 full grown men
  • Great White Shark
  • Seas around the world, though appears in numbers off the coasts of California, South Africa and Australia
  • Close to the shore, in shallow waters
  • Can grow up to 6m in length
  • Avoid going into sea water with any wounds
  • Keep your eyes on the shark
  • Get out of the water as soon as you can but do it as calmly as you can as splashing around may attract even more attention
  • If you have a spear or a camera, then use that to aim for its face and gills
  • Try punching it on the nose
  • Seek immediate medical attention if attacked
  • Most of the world’s Great White Sharks live off the coast of Dyer Island, in South Africa, this area is also referred to as “Shark Alley”

 

Worldwide

EXOTIC ANIMALS

WHERE THEY ARE FOUND

DEFINING FEATURES

HOW TO REDUCE YOUR RISK

ACTION TO TAKE IF ATTACKED

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

COUNTRIES

HABITAT

PHYSICAL

MEDICAL

  • Mosquito
  • Globally,  except in the very coldest parts
  • In countries with a temperate climate, like the UK and most of Europe, they hibernate in the cold winters and are active in the summer
  • Adult mosquitoes are less than 1 inch in length
  • Their colour range is from light grey to black with white striped legs
  • Depending on your holiday destination, it may be advisable to take malaria tablets in advance
  • In tropical countries, sleep under a mosquito net
  • Try using the CLOAK method for effective bite prevention:
  • C – Cover up arms and legs with suitable clothing
  •  L – Light coloured clothing is strongly advisable
  •  O – Odours, bodily or otherwise, like certain kairomones and perfumes are strong attractants. So wash thoroughly, including exfoliating with a loofah, and do not use perfumes
  •  A – Apply an effective insect repellent such as incognito
  • K – Keep away from stagnant water
  • Cover your body, especially your head and face

 

  • Some bites can go untreated while others require medical attention
  • Pay attention to symptoms of malaria, such as fever, headache, sweating, vomiting, body aches
  • Mosquitoes can carry malaria – a disease that claims the lives of over 500,000 a year
  • Bullsharks
  • In the Atlantic Ocean, it is located from the United States to Brazil and from Morocco to Angola
  • In the Indian Ocean, they are found in waters ranging from South Africa to Kenya and from India and Vietnam to Australia
  • Along the coastal waters
  • They are medium-size sharks, with thick, stout bodies and long pectoral fins
  • Short, blunt snout
  • Avoid going into sea water with any wounds
  • Keep your eyes on the shark
  • If you have a spear or a camera, then use that to aim for its face and gills
  • try punching it on the nose
  • Get out of the water as calmly and quickly as possible
  • If you have a spear or a camera, then use that to aim for its face and gills
  • Try punching it on the nose
  • Seek immediate medical attention if attacked
  • Very aggressive

 

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