For this list, we’re looking at the prettiest, most endearing, seemingly huggable creatures in the animal kingdom that, in reality, could end your life – or at least cause you some serious harm. The only “adorable but dangerous” creatures we’re not considering are those that are deadly as a result of their ability to spread disease. We’re in the market for more… directly deadly animals.

  1. We’ve all seen videos of them online - they hold cocktail umbrellas in their tiny hands, they stare at the camera with those massive adorable eyes, and need we mention the tickling? They’re the closest thing in the animal kingdom to a living, breathing Furby. You’ve likely thought to yourself, “If I only had a slow loris, I’d never be sad again.” And who can blame you? They’re undeniably cute, and known to be particularly docile. Unfortunately, they’re also one of the few mammals on the planet to be toxic. They have a gland on their arm, which secretes a toxic substance. When threatened, they lick this gland, mixing the toxin with their saliva to deliver a bite that can result in anaphylactic shock. Beware the cute.

  2. Beautiful, super intelligent, graceful and incredibly playful – what more could you ask for in a swimming companion? And swim with them you can. It’s a popular tourist attraction in many countries; an opportunity to get up close and personal with these remarkable aquatic mammals. However... the issue lies in the popular assumption that they are all friendly and peaceful. Despite the fact that they’ve been known to save swimmers, they’re still wild animals, and can respond negatively if harassed or agitated. Dolphins have been observed ganging up on other creatures, like sharks or porpoises - bludgeoning them to death with their noses for fun. They’ve also bitten and pulled humans underwater. In one case, a male dolphin even charged a woman, aggressively attempting to mate with her.

  3. 3 Panda

    They’re cute, they’re cuddly, and thanks to videos like this one, people are desperate to get some firsthand experience play-fighting with these delightful creatures. In fact, pandas are so desirable – and inaccessible – that people in China have started shaping and coloring the fur of dogs to look like pandas. Unfortunately, real pandas aren’t nearly as manageable as their canine look-alikes. Despite their roly-poly clown like behavior, real pandas can be incredibly violent. When the mood takes them, they have the weight behind them to cause some serious damage. They might be vegetarians, but their bite is among the most powerful of any carnivore. In 2006, a man drunkenly climbed into a panda enclosure and was savagely mauled. So just stick to watching silly panda videos, mmmk?

  4. Not all of them are deadly... and not all of them are that cute either, but there’s no denying the popularity of monkeys as exotic pets. Humans have a long history of bonding and developing close relationships with our primate cousins. They are the animal species most similar to ourselves, and exhibit many human-like behaviors and characteristics. Unfortunately, our familiarity with monkeys and comfort working with them in close proximity can sometimes yield dangerous or even deadly results. Chimpanzees, gorillas and orangutans all possess remarkable strength, and when threatened, frightened or angered, they can easily bite or pummel a human to the point of causing serious injury or death.

  5. Not all frogs are cute, but poison dart frogs, or “arrow frogs,” with their small size and bright colors, are admittedly pretty endearing. Unfortunately, those colors, which make you so desperately want to pick one up, are intended as a warning to stay away. As a result of their diet, which consists of ants and termites specific to their rainforest habitat, their bodies collect and store toxins, which is then secreted from their skin. The name “poison dart frog” comes from a historical use of their skin secretions by indigenous tribes, who would dip their darts and arrows in the toxin, to deadly effect. Thankfully, when kept in captivity and given a simplified diet, their toxicity diminishes, making handling possible.

  6. 6 Swan

    Perhaps more beautiful than adorable… these large water birds are commonly associated with poise, grace and elegance in popular culture. And from a distance, they certainly appear calm and serene. But then you get too close to one, at which point… composure be damned, swans are straight up vicious. Swans have a habit of aggressively chasing humans when they feel threatened. But during mating season, it’s often the swans that wind up doing the threatening. In the town of Thrupp, Gloucestershire, two swans had people afraid to leave their homes, as they indiscriminately attacked humans and cars alike. In 2012, a man was actually knocked out of his kayak by a swan, which then proceeded to attack him in the water until he drowned.

  7. You know what sounds even less likely to be adorable than a fish? A slug. But this little beauty with a big name looks like a later generation Pokémon - seemingly too bright, colorful and whimsical to exist outside of anime. The good news is… they’re totally real. But before you get your hopes up, you should know that handling these pocket-sized fantasy creatures is highly discouraged. Concealed in the tips of their long tentacle-like appendages are venomous nematocysts, or “stinging cells,” which they acquire naturally via their diet. They can deliver a concentrated sting that is sure to hurt, but in rare cases can even prove fatal. Of their two nicknames, the blue angel and blue dragon, the latter seems more appropriate.

  8. Outside of a Pixar film, fish aren’t typically described as cute, but just take a look at this face… Anyone who says they DON’T want to cuddle with adorable little bundle of joy is either lying or a cyborg who is also lying. Sadly, a pufferfish snuggle-fest is more than ill advised… it’s quite possibly a death sentence. Not only are most species of pufferfish toxic, many of them are also counted among the most poisonous creatures on the planet. They contain tetrodotoxin, which is a highly deadly neurotoxin – a small dose can prove fatal and there is NO known antidote. Pufferfish have the ability to inflate their bodies, which in some species are literally covered in sharp, poisonous spines. So... maybe keep them in the aquarium.

  9. 9 Dingo

    These Australian hounds might look like your “run of the mill” adorable mutt, but they are truly wild. Genetically speaking, they share a lot in common with domestic dogs, but from a behavioral standpoint, they’re more akin to wolves and coyotes. As the largest land carnivore on the continent, the dingo is an alpha predator within its environment. People have captured or raised dingoes to be kept as pets, but it’s discouraged, as their wild instincts can prove too difficult to overcome. Dingoes are naturally shy and avoid humans, but have been known to attack when cornered or desperate. Typically these attacks result in mere flesh wounds, but that whole “a dingo took my baby” story? It actually happened.

  10. Listen… no one in their right mind would suggest trying to hug that cigar smoking, questionably-coiffed berserker with adamantium claws and a heart of gold. But honestly, you might be better off trying to snuggle up with Wolverine than his namesake. Wolverines are a type of weasel, and while they might be the cutest weasel you’ve ever seen, they’re also among the most dangerous. Despite being one of the largest of the weasel family, typically weighing 20 to 50 lbs, they’re still quite small relative to the animals they’ve been known to hunt… such as caribou, deer, sheep, elk and moose! They may look like the miniature bear of you’ve been dreaming of, but they are notoriously ferocious.

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