7 Dangerous Animals in Morocco: Most Deadly Wildlife

Egyptian cobra snake one of the dangerous animals in Morocco
Image by Luca Boldrini via Wikimedia
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So you’re looking to travel to Morocco and want to know which animals you’ll be dealing with, or perhaps you’re just a curious reader who wants to know more about this beautiful country in North Africa. Either way, you’re in the right place! In this article, we will explore the most dangerous animals in Morocco which you should know about.

Although dangerous wildlife might not be the first thing to come to mind when considering Morocco as a travel destination, the Erg Chebbi desert, Moroccan mountains, or even hot nights in Marrakesh can bring out a few animals worth knowing about.

If you’re planning on hiking or trekking across Morocco, it’s especially important that you know of the hazards that these potentially deadly creatures can pose.

Scorpions

scorpion
Image by Wolfgang Hasselmann via Unsplash

Scorpions are one of the most common animals found throughout Morocco. Approximately 30,000 scorpion bite victims are reported at the National Center for Antivenom and Pharmacoviligiance (CAPM) in Morocco every year. There are over 50 species of scorpions in Morocco, 22 of which are considered venomous and dangerous.

Scorpions are common desert dwellers. As a result, travelers who camp in the desert are advised to shake out their shoes in the mornings to make sure none have gotten inside.

Snakes

Puff adder snake, a dangerous animal in Morocco
Image by Bernard Dupont via Wikimedia

The Moroccan Poison Control Center reports hundreds of snakebites each year. Morocco is home to more than 3000 different species of snakes, 200 of which are venomous. Specifically, the Bitis arietans viper, commonly known as the “Puff adder”, and the Cobra Naja, commonly known as the “Indian cobra”, are two of the most dangerous snakes in the world which can be found in Morocco. The Egyptian cobra (Naja haje) and horned viper are other snake species which can also be found in Morocco.

The Moroccan Sahara, and the Middle and High Atlas Mountains of Morocco house various of these snakes. Open grasslands, savannahs and bodies of water can also house these serpents. Therefore it’s important that if you’re thinking of hiking, especially during the hot season when the snakes are more likely to come out, that you take extra caution or go with a trusted guide. Travelers have reported seeing rattlesnakes in parts of Moroccan canyons too, but they are not as big of a problem as they are in places like California and Mexico.

Fun fact: Adult Egyptian cobras can grow up to 7.5 feet long!

Flic-Flac Spider

flic Flac spider, one of dangerous animals in Morocco
Image by Ingo Rechenberg via Wikimedia

Many types of spiders can be found in Morocco. One iconic type, known as the Moroccan flic-flac spider, is a type of huntsman spider that is commonly found in the the Erg Chebbi sand dunes of Morocco.

The Moroccan flic-flac spider escapes in an iconic way, when provoked, by performing a quick rolling motion backwards or forwards. This allows them to move at an impressive 2 meters per second!

So if you see an object quickly rolling backwards from you in the sand dunes, you might have encountered one of these huntsman spiders!

The Moroccan flic-flac spider is not deadly, but its bite can cause an infection.

Palm Rats

palm rats
Image by Kilessan via Wikimedia

Palm rats, as the name suggests, live in and around palm trees as they are fantastic climbers! They are also known as black rats or roof rats. Palm rats can attack during camping or trekking trips in Morocco.

Palm rats can often carry diseases and have a tendency to make a mess wherever they go! Make sure the destination you are staying at in Morocco has trimmed palm trees and that they are at least 3 feet away from your roof line, otherwise these palm rats could get inside the attic.

African Golden Wolf

African golden wolf
Image by Profberger via Wikimedia

The African Golden Wolf, recently established as a new canine species, can be found to be dwelling in Morocco. They reportedly live in the Atlas Mountainous region, found even in very high altitudes. They were once found in Morocco’s Azilal Province at an elevation of 1,800 meters!

African Golden Wolves are numerous and listed as “least concern” on the IUCN Red List. They are natural predators, often dining on large mammals and animal carcasses. But don’t worry, they’re usually not found in big groups, unless in an area with high amounts of human waste!

Striped Hyenas

striped hyena
Image by Rushikesh Deshmukh via Wikimedia

Striped hyenas are unique-looking scavengers found in Morocco and other parts of North Africa. They are known for their slouching, descending body with long front legs and neck, short hind legs, big eyes – and of course, stripes.

Also called the Barbary hyena, striped hyenas can be found in mountainous regions and open woodlands such as savannahs and bush areas. They mostly eat the remnants of other animals killed by larger predators, as well as fruit and vegetable plantations. It is no surprise, then, that they’re not the most liked members in human communities!

Barbary Lion

Barbary lion
Image by Michael J. Litzinger via Wikimedia

The famous Moroccan lion is the Barbary lion. This lion is one of the largest lion sub-species, measuring up to 230 kilograms and 11 feet long! Barbary lions are known for their beautifully distinct long-haired manes, that is unique to their kind. They are natural carnivores and routinely feast on deers and gazelles.

Unfortunately, due to excessive hunting, Barbary lions are now extinct in the wild. They are only to be found in zoos, where fewer than 90 of them live around the world. The last wild Barbary lion seen in Morocco was reportedly shot in 1942.

What is the most dangerous animal in Morocco?

The most dangerous animal in Morocco is the scorpion. Scorpions are very common throughout Morocco. Each year, 30,000 scorpion bites are recorded on average in Morocco, with 95% of the victims being less than 15 years old. The death rate of scorpion bites in Morocco is 3.8%. After scorpions, puff adder and cobra snakes are the most dangerous animals in Morocco.

Are there poisonous snakes in Morocco?

Yes, there are many poisonous snakes in Morocco, especially in the Sahara regions. The most poisonous snakes in Morocco are the puff adder (Bitis arietans), Indian cobra (Cobra Naja), horned viper and Egyptian cobra (Naja haje). These snakes are highly poisonous, whose bits can cause paralysis and death if left untreated. Although very dangerous, most of these snakes will not bite unless provoked or accidentally stepped on.

Are there crocodiles in Morocco?

There aren’t any wild crocodiles in Morocco. The West African crocodile, which once lived in Morocco, is now extinct in the country. However, The Crocodile Park in Morocco has recently brought Nile Crocodiles to its resort for people to see; a century after they were last seen in the country.

If you’re looking for big crocodiles, then we’re sure the gigantic Saltwater crocodiles in Vietnam will be of interest to you!

Are there scorpions in Morocco?

Yes, there are scorpions in Morocco. Scorpions can be found all over the country, however the region of Marrakesh accounts for many of the scorpion bites. They are typically found in deserts and other dry and arid areas.

Dangerous Animals in Morocco: A Conclusion

scorpion on sandy ground - one of common dangerous animals in Morocco
Image by Kelsey Dody via Unsplash

In conclusion, there are many dangerous animals in Morocco. These include scorpions, snakes, palm rats and wolves. Although you should take all precautions to avoid and protect yourself from these animals, you shouldn’t let them stop you from traveling to see this beautiful North African country that is enriched with culture! Just make sure you travel with care, or with a trusted guide, and always know where you could gain access to healthcare if needed.