11 Dangerous Animals I’ve Encountered in Exotic Tropical Locales
Kelli flew off the motorbike into the pitch dark rice fields.
She scrambled up the embankment out of the viper pit.
The staff had killed a green viper not 50 feet from where I lost control of the sepeda moto, in the remote rice fields of Lodtunduh, Bali.
I too would have high tailed it out of the snake haven.
To preserve life and limb.
But Kelli gave no rat’s ass about snakes.
She could care less.
She was terrified of….”a cockroach touching her.”
Fear and danger are funny things.
In truth, I’ve personally encountered every single one of these animals and only felt fearful a few times.
I am no Biddulph Beast Master.
I just know that virtually every seemingly dangerous animal is more afraid of you, versus it being the other way around.
With that in mind, these animals each can butter your freaking bread.
A few can kill you with a single bite while others can cause excruciating pain for hours or days.
1: Spitting Cobra (Jimbaran, Bali)
The head danced to and fro, doing a deadly tango, intent on spraying blinding venom into my peepers.
We encountered a spitting cobra in Jimbaran, Bali. He raided the chicken coop.
Imagine a snake charmer inspiring a cobra to dance.
Except 4 white folks were not charming the spitter but in fact, trying to remove him from the coop.
At the end of the day, the cobra, a mama hen and 2 chicks bit the big one.
Adrenaline coursed through my veins 6 hours after the encounter.
Nothing like being 10 feet away from Death, with YOU in its sights.
2: Krait (Jimbaran, Bali)
I snatched a kitty named Squeaky the Squeak Man (long story) from the jaws of a lethal krait in Jimbaran, Bali.
Yeah, the villa was snakey.
Thought I saw a bright colored candy wrapper in the bushes. Turns out, the cat went nose to nose with a highly venomous krait.
These guys pack more punch than cobras or almost any snake in Bali.
I yanked the The Squeak Man from the krait, he swiped me with his claws, I had a scar to show off.
And another wild story to share.
3: Bullet Ants (Buena Vista, Costa Rica)
These inch long ants littered the remote jungle region of Buena Vista, Costa Rica
Bullet ants have the most painful insect sting on earth. The homeowner said it felt not like getting shot – he was stung a few times – but more like a bee sting….whose pain lasted for 2 days!
Anyway, I whipped a bullet ant from the kitchen sink with a disgusting dish towel, I frequently spotted ‘em on the porch – we lived in a hut – and saw these fearsome-looking beasts all over the jungle floor.
4: Army Ants (Buena Vista, Costa Rica)
Kelli did a Jungle Two Step.
Because she took a shower before the army ants moved on from the hut/home/rural shack/shit hole.
The soldier ants locked their savage jaws into Kelli’s skin.
She had to decapitate these stout chaps to be free of the ants.
The army ants crossed through the hut twice. Once East to West. 2 days later, West to East.
I found myself surrounded by the 5,000 to 10,000 ant army in the house and in surrounding jungle as they butchered every moving insect alive.
5: Gigantic Gigantor Cockroaches (Nicaragua, Thailand, Costa Rica, Bali…hell, everywhere)
Only because their size can induce heart attacks.
Heart attacks potentially leading to death.
6: Whatever Stung Me on the Foot (Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica)
After feeling like someone vice-gripped my foot with white-hot pincers my toe swelled up to the size of a sausage.
I could not walk on the foot for 3 days.
No idea what go me: thinking jellyfish on the beach.
Whatever it was, the pain was blindingly brilliant, so the unnamed assassin makes the list.
7: Poison Dart Frogs (Buena Vista, Costa Rica)
Poison dart frogs were a dime a dozen in Buena Vista.
We saw them EVERYWHERE.
Each advertised their lethal nature with a:
“Hey you I’m hot red so don’t you DARE eat me or you’ll die a quick and painful death” outfit that was 1 part East Village, 1 part New Orleans during Mardi Gras.
One poison dart frog almost jumped into the mouth of the 90 pound Rhodesian Ridgeback we were watching. Didn’t worry me much; another one of these warrior dogs – called the Navy Seals of the canine world – survived a bite from the infamously nasty fer de lanz at the very same location in Costa Rica.
Head swelled up to the size of a basketball. 3 days later she was back to normal.
Thank the gods we missed this experience.
8: Scorpions (Bali, Costa Rica)
From living with 8 scorpions in the remote jungles of Costa Rica to seeing a GIGANTIC elephant scorpion in Koh Lanta, Thailand, we’ve had a few encounters with these impressive-looking arachnids.
1 tiny but feisty critter snapped at me as I swept him from the place in Jimbaran, Bali.
9: Centipedes (Bali, Thailand, Costa Rica)
We saw huge centipedes in Buena Vista (was anything there small?) and some hefty ones in Thailand and Bali too.
I saved a wicked-looking centipede from the army ant massacre.
He got stuck in a spider web.
The ants marched toward him.
I played God.
10: Thai Lady Boy Prostitutes and Nepali Wild Men
This is called: “A Freaking Joke.”
I was attacked by each duo.
They make the list.
11: Mosquitoes (Everywhere)
You know the stat by now: mosquitoes kill more people than any other creature.
Skeeters transmit malaria and other blood borne diseases.
The tiger mosquito variety was particularly brutal in both Chiang Mai and Phuket, Thailand.
I hope you enjoyed my encounters with some deadly and super dangerous animals from the tropics.
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