The state of Alaska is rich with diverse biodiversity and is home to thousands of different animal species. The topography and wet, humid temperature throughout the year are just a few of the land’s richness. Many visit the state to see the animal species and beautiful lands. But as a visitor, keep in mind the dangerous and tame animals of the land and see.
Alaska is home to the most dangerous animals you ever think of. They include bears, cougars, wolves, moose and many others. Keep reading to explore more from this article.
12 Dangerous Animals in Alaska
1. Canada Lynx
The Canadian Lynx (Lynx canadensis) is a close relative of domesticated cats. It mainly lives in North America’s moist and boreal forests, including Alaska. Canada Lynx is a carnivorous animal, and it’s well adapted to hunt down other small animals and take them down for their meat.
Although it comes from the cat family, make no mistake of domesticating it. The Canadian lynx is not a friendly animal and cannot be domesticated. It will attack whenever you provoke it.
Its teeth and claws are strong and sharp. The Canada Lynx will only take a few minutes to create massive bodily injuries. Whoever falls victim to an attack from the Canadian lynx should seek medical assistance soon enough.
Caribou are also known as reindeer in some parts of the United States. Its scientific name is Rangifer tarandus. You could be wondering why such an animal is grouped as dangerous.
The Caribou is neither a carnivorous nor a predator, but it has troubles when you come across it. The Caribou does not like strangers in its territories, especially when calving. In such times, the Caribou don’t need provocation to attack. It’s advisable to seek medical assistance once you get injured.
3. Polar Bear
The polar bear is white and furry on its skin as an adaptation mechanism. Its scientific name is Ursus maritimus. Polar bears are the largest among the bears existing today. They have strong teeth and claws, which a few animals can challenge them.
The polar bear mainly occupies the icy regions of Alaska, making it a rare animal to find in the wild. However, despite being rare, they are also very dangerous when you come across them.
There are rare attacks from polar bears because they mainly occupy the remote regions where people are not reaching. They rarely come across humans, and when they do, they are never wary. Therefore they may attack without provocation.
There are chances for polar bear attacks to increase in the future because the sea ice is reducing, thus decreasing their territories.
4. Grizzly Bear
It’s also called the grizzly or brown bear in some parts of North America. The Grizzly bear belongs to the family of polar bears, and its scientific name is Ursus arctos horribilis.
These bears tend to be solitary animals except for their females and cubs. A massive gathering of these grizzly bears is normally seen at the fishing spots of Alaska, where salmon run upstream during the summer spawning. During this time, grizzly bears gather large numbers to feast on the salmon. Salmon fish is known to have fats that can survive the grizzly through the longtime winter.
There are rare attacks from a grizzly bears because they are uncommon in the Alaskan lands. But still, they are the most dangerous among the bears. The grizzly will defend itself and even launch attacks when you provoke it.
There are many factors that make the grizzly very dangerous. It has an enormous weight with sharp claws, which could kill you within a few minutes. It’s believed that grizzly bears mostly attack during the fall.
5. American Black Bear
American black bears (Ursus americanus) are commonly found in most parts of North America, including Alaska. They are tree climbers and occupy most of the forest regions. But they are also found in mountains and swamps. Although their name signifies black skin, they can also be blue-black, cinnamon, brown or blue-gray and, sometimes, white.
They are solitary animals and occupy large territories in the wild. They are the smallest in size among the family of bears, but you should never underestimate them. Their claws are sharp and can tear your flesh within seconds. They are strong enough to overpower humans.
Black bears are least known to attack humans across North America. They normally avoid humans whenever they come across them and are less likely to attack when threatened. But according to statistics, although they rarely attack, you should never underestimate them or go closer to them.
Moose (Alces alces) are herbivores animals and seem to be of no danger, but in reality, they are among the most dangerous animals in the wild. They have sharp antlers and can weigh up to 600 kilos.
They are mainly dangerous when calving and get defensive whenever something comes their way. Just like prey animals, any movement makes them defensive and protective.
7. Yukon Wolf
The Yukon wolf (Canis lupus pambasileus), commonly known as the Interior Alaskan wolf, is a gray wolf subgroup. They are carnivorous and prey on other animals. They mainly occupy the interior regions of Alaska and some parts of North America.
Generally, wolves are wary of humans, and we look like a threat to them. Lonely wolves may run, but they are very defensive when they are in the pack. Wolves can hunt and take down big animals like moose. If so, then imagine what they can do to a human.
Walrus ( Odobenus rosmarus) have distinguishable features, like the long tusks that protrude from their mouths. They are sea creatures and can weigh over 1000 kilos. You won’t miss seeing them once you set eyes where they are.
In some cases, walruses kill people in the sea by taking down small boats. Their big size makes them a big threat in the sea.
Wolverines (Gulo gulo) are carnivorous animals that occupy most parts of Alaska. They are also called carcajous, quickhatch or gluttons. They are solitary animals, have strong molars and sharp claws and are capable of causing harm when provoked. They are known to challenge animals bigger than them.
10. North American Porcupine
North American Porcupine (Erethizon dorsatum) is the smallest animal but very defensive and highly risky to humans. They resemble pet mice, but these animals are never for show.
The porcupine defends itself using the quills while giving a warning scream. Unlike the big porcupines, they are not shooting the quills but will hurt you when close. Their quills become fatal if left on human skin for a long.
Bison (Bison bison) is a close relative of the African Buffalo. Bison have a massive body size and can grow between 5 to 6.5 feet tall. Although they have a massive body size, they are fast to charge and can run 40 miles per hour.
Their curved horns can grow up to 2 feet long. They mainly exist in two subspecies: wood and plain bison, and they are both found in the Alaskan lands. Wood bison grow larger than plain bison and weigh between 1200 and 2000 pounds.
Among the two subspecies, Plain bison are the most violent than wood bison. They do not like human interaction and will get defensive when you get close to them.
12. Arctic Foxes
Arctic foxes (Vulpes lagopus) are small and have dense fur covering their skin. They also have short legs and ears compared to their subgroup, red fox. They can grow to an average of 44 inches long and 16 inches tall and can weigh between 5 to 10 pounds.
They can either have white fur coating or blue. The white fox mainly resides in the northern parts of the Alaskan ranges, while the blue fox resides in the Aleutian and Pribilof Islands.
While in the wild, if it’s not sheltering from the cold winter, it’s always on the hunt for other animals for their meat. Fox are predatory animals and depend on others for survival. That said, a fox has adaptation features that make them kill its prey. They include sharp canine teeth and claws. Imagine when you try to provoke it and become defensive. What could it do to you?
Foxes rarely attack humans but are very defensive when provoked. Do not threaten them whenever you come across them or attempt to take their young ones. Whenever a fox attacks you, seek medical assistance soon enough.
Alaska has a diverse biodiversity that holds thousands of animal species that are friendly and taming. Only a few areas are covered by humans, while the rest is left for the wild animals to venture in. Most people visit Alaska to see the different animals there are but keep in mind the most dangerous ones.
Some animals may look more friendly than they are. The most dangerous ones are the carnivorous family animals. They possess sharp claws and strong molars, which can kill humans and prey. Keep cautious not to fall victim to attack, but whenever an animal attacks you, seek medical assistance soon enough.