12 Dangerous Animals in Kansas

Most parts of Kansas state are farmlands, but there are a few regions in the north where you’ll find forests and plains with pastures. While there are only a few areas for wild animals, you’ll not miss finding some dangerous animals. 

Bison, ticks, venomous spiders and poisoners snakes are just a few to mention. Therefore, although there are a variety of species living in the wild of Kansas, there are a few which are deadly.

Do you want to learn more about these animals and their safety tips? Keep reading this article to explore more. 


Dangerous Animals in Kansas

1. Black Widow Spider

The Black widow spider (Lactrodectus) belongs to the classification Arachnid. They are mainly found in three different species: The Southern, Northern and Western Black Wider Spider. They belong to the Carnivorous groups of animals, and you’re likely to see them in crevices, hollow logs, burrows, loose bark, woodpiles, small trees and bushes. 

All the species of the Black Widow Spider are dangerous because they have neurotoxic venoms. This neurotoxic venom can cause cramping, paralysis of the diaphragm, nausea, muscle tightness, muscle aches and chest pain. Cramping and paralysis of the diaphragm can cause difficulty in breathing or even death. 

2. Hornets

Hornets (Vespa) are among the world’s most dangerous stinging insects. They belong to the wasp group and mainly occupy woodlands, parklands and gardens. They have golden and dark brown stripes around their body parts. Unlike Black Widow Spider, hornets are omnivores. 

Although they look in no danger unless provoked, hornets have painful venomous stings. The venom can cause Anaphylaxis because of its allergenic nature. Unlike European and Baldfaced Hornets, the Kansas Hornets are among the leading and most common stinging insects in Kansas State. 

3. Timber Rattlesnake 

Timber Rattlesnake (Crotalus horridus) exists in different coloration. Their common color is gray, but you may find others with pinkish hue stripes running down their back. In some others, the stripes may be orange or yellowish. But never attempt to get too close because of their beauty. Timber Rattlesnakes are venomous pit vipers. The venom causes necrosis, swelling and pain all over your body enough to kill a person within a short time. 

Enjoy the wildlife of Kansas but be careful as you go to the far eastern side past Flint Hills. The region has plenty of Timber Rattlesnakes. 

4. Brown Recluse Spider

Brown Recluse Spider (Loxosceles reclusa) is dangerous because it carries necrotic venom. Whenever it bites you, it’s best to seek medical attention. This kind of spider is among the top three deadliest spiders in Kansas and all other states of North America. The others are Chilean recluse and black widow. 

To know if this kind of spider bites, you look for the following symptoms: systematic loxoscelism suffering, destruction of red blood cells and clotting disorder.

5. Prairie Rattlesnake

As its name suggests, the Prairie Rattlesnake (Crotalus viridis) occupies the mid of Northern America with prairie conditions. In Kansas, you’re likely to find rattlesnakes in farmlands, prairie, and open rocky areas. A common habitat of this kind of snake is mountains, plains, foothills and grasslands. 

The prairie rattlesnake is venomous and can cause painful bites that are lethal to healthy adults. Symptoms to check if rattlesnake bites you are impaired vision, difficulty breathing, low blood pressure, shock, nausea and, in extreme cases, it can cause internal bleeding. 

6. Bison

Bison (Bison bison) is a close relative of the buffalo and comes from the tribe of Bovini. Among the surviving species is the American Bison which occupies parts of Nothern America, including Kansas. In Kansas, the bison is among the leading official state animal and comes fifth in the United States bison population. You’re likely to find them roaming around Yellowstone National Park. 

If you love animal companionship, this animal should not be an option. Watching bison from a distance is best, as they are aggressive and irritable. They are strong and fast and carry rock-solid horns on their heads.  They can weigh up to 2000 pounds and can reach 6 feet high. 

They are violent creatures and can charge at humans without any warning. The most dangerous are the calving bison; they are likely to get provoked easily. 

7. Cougar 

The Kansas state has no cougars (Puma concolor) in its parks, but there have been cases where they are seen. Cougars belong to the cat family and can even climb trees. They have strong jaws and paws, although they rarely attack humans.

Although they seem in no danger, it’s wise to stay cautious and never threaten or come too close to them. Animals from the cat family are defensive when provoked or threatened. You’ll likely find a cougar in the following areas: Coastal forests, deserts, rocky canyons and mountainous terrain. 

8. Copperhead 

Copperhead (Agkistrodon contortrix) is among the top venomous snakes in Kansas State. They are mainly of two species: the Broad-Banded Copperhead and the Eastern Copperhead. 

The copperhead loves inhabiting swampy regions, dens, rock outcroppings, limestone crevices, deciduous forests, ledges and mixed woodlands.  

This kind of snake is reclusive and shy, thus less likely to attack humans. But never underestimate them; they have hemolytic venom that can break down red blood cells. 

Symptoms to check you’re bitten by copperhead are labored breathing, nausea, diarrhea and vomiting. 

9. Massasauga Rattlesnake 

As its name suggests, the most area this rattlesnake (Sistrurus catenatus) occupies is the Massasauga area of Kansas. You’re also likely to find it in prairies, wetlands, woodlands, swamps, rock crevices and tree roots. 

This rattlesnake, like the others in its group, is highly venomous. However, there are few cases of this rattlesnake bite because it has small teeth which cannot inject enough venom. 

However, its bites can cause Coagulopathy, a bleeding disorder that may occur after administering the anti-venom because the venom is highly complex.

10. Deer

Deer in Kansas State has two species of deer (Cervidae): Mule Deer and White-Tailed Deer. You’re likely to find them in wetlands, deciduous forests, grasslands, rainforests, mountains and shrublands. 

Although they are herbivorous animals, you may think that they are of no danger to humans, but you’re mistaken. These deer are violent and aggressive. They are also causing car crashes for night travelers because of their population in the parks. When crossing roads, they do so violently and may crash into anything coming on their way. 

Deer have defensive antlers that can cause bruises, wounds or even death. And if you get too close to them, they may charge you without any warning. 

11. Coyotes 

Coyotes (Canis latrans) are close relatives of the wolves, except they are small and have narrower faces that the wolves. You’re likely to find them around cities and around homes with cattle. Coyotes like living in families and hunting in groups. Like their wolves, they are carnivorous animals whereby they prey on other animals and scavenge whenever they come close to a carcass, even their fellow coyote. 

Coyotes are nocturnal, meaning they are mainly active during the night when most of their prey are inactive. They love living in caves or creating barrows where they may stay for a short time before living in another place with plenty of food.

They are generally shy animals and less likely to attack humans, but when they are close to a home with cattle, they’ll target them instead. There are many cases in Kansas where coyotes attack home animals. 

It’s wise if you have a dog in your home because it’ll help notify you if the coyotes break into your home. Although seam of no danger, they are defensive and protective against their young ones. If a coyote ever bites you, seek medical assistance sooner. 

12. Ticks

The Kansas flat lands full of grass make a creative environment for the ticks (Ixodes scapularis) to thrive. They are parasites and attach to most mammals, including deer, rodents and bison. Although the ticks look like no danger, they are grouped among the dangerous animals of Kansas because they carry bacteria.

The bacteria carried by these ticks are known to cause lime disease. If you love going into the grasslands and parks, wearing close clothes and shoes is the best way to overcome these ticks’ bites. Dress safely in long trousers and boots as well. And if these ticks bite you, seek medical assistance immediately.


Kansas State is highly occupied, and only a small percent of the land is left for wildlife. The inhabited region is the northern side of the State, where you’ll find a few mountains and plain pastures. Although there is a small percentage of land for world life, you’ll not miss out on encountering the most dangerous animals of Kansas.

They range from predators to reptiles and even the smallest ones, like ticks. There are around 42 species of snakes, but the most dangerous ones are the four species of rattlesnake. Not leaving behind the spiders also, which can take down a human? You should always be cautious of these animals when visiting the parks. 

Disclaimer: This blog should not be considered as being professional pet medical advice. The content published on this blog is for informational purposes only. Please always consult with a licensed and local veterinarian for medical advice.

About Shaun Clarke

Shaun is passionate about pets and animals, especially dogs, cats, and rabbits. He owns a dog and a couple of cats too. He loves visiting wildlife sanctuaries and shares a strong bond with animals. When he is not writing, he loves to do a barbecue in the backyard with his family and friends.