The Philippines is a country that’s surrounded by picturesque scenery and filled with friendly locals, but have you ever stopped and thought to yourself, are there dangerous animals in the Philippines? The answer to that question is in fact yes!
In this article we’re going to be revealing the nine most dangerous animals in the Philippines and what to do if you spot one, so if you do come across it, you’ll know how to handle the situation.
So, let’s get to it and see what the first dangerous animal is.
You may be surprised to know that a jellyfish isn’t actually a fish but instead it’s classed as an invertebrate! Jellyfish are common in the Philippines and are extremely dangerous if you come into any sort of trouble with them. These animals pulse along on ocean currents and are abundant in cold and warm ocean water, in deep water and along coastlines and most recently they have been found in Palawan.
What makes jellyfish so dangerous are their tiny stinging cells in their tentacles which are used to stun or paralyse their prey before they eat them. If you come into contact with them and you get stung, their stings (which contain venom) are extremely painful and in rare cases, life threatening.
Common symptoms of a sting are burning, itching, swelling and throbbing and in severe cases headache, muscle pain, drowsiness, heart problems and difficulty breathing. If you experience any of these symptoms, then seek medical help as soon as possible.
Our second most dangerous animal in the Philippines is the Philippine cobra, also commonly known as the Northern Philippine cobra as these snakes can be found mainly in the northern regions and can also be found on the islands of Luzon, Mindoro, Catanduanes, Azria and Masbate.
This snake is stocky in build and the average length of this snake is three feet long, but they have been known to grow over five feet! Philippine cobras can live in forested regions including open fields, grasslands, dense jungle, agricultural fields, and human settlements and also near water in ponds, lakes, rivers and even large puddles!
The venom of this species of snake is one of the most dangerous snake venoms in the world. The venom will affect nerve tissues and can be fatal in some cases. These snakes are capable of accurately spitting their venom at a target up to 3 metres (9.8 ft) away. The symptoms of a bite might include headache, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhoea, dizziness, and difficulty breathing.
Just like the jellyfish, seek urgent medical attention if you have been bitten by a Philippine cobra.
Our third dangerous animal found in the Philippines is the blue-ringed octopus. Unlike a common octopus, these can be deadly to humans and they can be found living in the sandy bottoms and coral reefs of Samal Island, Palawan and other diving spots in the Philippines.
This octopus has a lifespan of around a year and a half and it’s the most venomous and deadliest octopus in the world! You may have guessed it but the blue-ringed octopus has distinctive blue rings on its body and on its eight arms which is a warning colouration which it will show when it’s attacked. The full warning display is bright yellow with blue rings or lines.
The blue-ringed octopus despite its small size, carries enough venom to kill twenty-six adult humans within minutes! Their bites are tiny and often painless, and many people don’t even realise they have been bitten. The venom can result in nausea, heart failure, heart attacks, paralysis, blindness and sometimes even death.
To treat it immediately, apply pressure to the wound and artificial respiration once the paralysis has disabled the respiratory muscles and of course, seek medical attention!
Our fourth dangerous animal found in the Philippines is a Philippine crocodile. These crocodiles are mainly found in freshwater in the Philippines and are currently only found in small, fragmented habitats on the islands of Dalupiri, Luzon and Mindanao.
Philippine crocodiles are generally smaller than other species with the smallest being 4.9 feet and 15 kg in both sexes and a maximum size of around 10 feet. Females are slightly smaller than males. Philippine crocodiles are golden-brown in colour, which darkens as they mature.
Killing a crocodile in the Philippines is against the law and there may even be a punishment if caught killing one. Crocodile attacks on humans have been known to happen in the past but they’re not as common as you may think.
If you spot a Crocodile on land, stay calm and move away from the area slowly without making too much noise. You must never approach it, attack it or try to move it. Although crocodiles can swim at almost 20mph in the water, their top land speed is 10mph. If the crocodile snaps or charges at you then run away from it as fast as you possibly can!
Our fifth most dangerous animals in the Philippines is the bull shark. Over 150 of these sharks roam the Philippine waters and they can reach lengths of up to 40 feet and weigh more than 40 tons, but with over 7,000 islands in the Philippines, it’s unlikely you’ll come into any contact with one.
The bull shark gets its name from its stocky shape, broad, flat snout and aggressive, unpredictable behaviour. Bull sharks will swim in shallow waters (less than 100 feet deep) and are commonly found in freshwater rivers and estuaries. The sharks will usually hunt in pairs and will attack without warning, especially when humans enter their territory as they feel threatened.
There are a few things to consider before going swimming in the sea where there may be bull sharks, or any sharks for that matter:
- If there are fishing boats around, then don’t even think about jumping into the sea. If fisherman are catching fish or struggling with fish in the water, that’s one of the prime attractors for a shark.
- Don’t swim early in the morning or late in the evening as that’s a prime time for sharks to be having their daily exercise.
- Don’t pee or bleed in the water. A shark has an incredible sense of smell and can detect the scent of blood from a third of a mile away so if you’ve cut yourself then it’s best to get out of the water.
Black Widow Spider:
The black widow spiders are our sixth most dangerous animals in the Philippines. Black widows can grow to be 2.5cm long and can live for up to three years and can be found dangling from their webs in sheds and fenceposts or chilling in hollow logs or abandoned animal borrows.
These poisonous spiders will prey on insects. They will make a small puncture in the insect’s body and will then suck out the liquid inside. Black widows can be attacked by mud dauber wasps and other insects. If you happen to come across a black widow, then you’ll be happy to know that they aren’t aggressive towards humans, but if they feel threatened then they will bite.
If you’ve been bitten by a black widow then you will feel muscle pain, nausea and mild paralysis of the diaphragm, which makes breathing difficult.
Scorpions are our seventh most dangerous animals in the Philippines. The Philippines is home to sixteen different types of scorpion, including Heterometrus longimanus, more commonly known as the Asian Black Forest Scorpion.
The Asian black forest scorpion lives in tropical and sub-tropical rainforests, but most commonly lives under under logs and other natural debris but goes above ground to prey on insects or even small mammals for food. This creature is one of the largest scorpions of its species with an average length of 7.9 inches.
These scorpions have especially large and powerful pincers which are attached to the head. The pincers are used to grab prey and either crush it to death or hold it still so that the scorpion can sting it with venom.
If you do happen to get stung by a scorpion you will feel the pain almost instantly as there will be an extreme amount of pain in the body. Swelling and redness usually comes around 5-minutes afterwards.
There have been known cases of humans around the world that have died from a scorpion bite, but the chances aren’t high. There are an estimated 1,500 species of scorpion in the world, and only 30 of these produce venom toxic enough to be fatal.
Our eighth most dangerous animals in the Philippines are mosquitoes. Mosquitoes might not be something that you associate with being dangerous as they are commonly found in hot climates across the world but what makes them dangerous is that they carry different viruses and diseases.
Zika virus and dengue fever are two of the most common mosquito-borne diseases in the Philippines and there is currently no vaccine for either.
Zika virus is usually caught by being bitten by an infected mosquito. The infection often has no symptoms. Some people get symptoms like a rash, high temperature, headache or muscle aches for a few days. Dengue fever symptoms typically begin three to fourteen days after infection. These may include a high fever, headache, vomiting, muscle and joint pains and a characteristic skin rash. Recovery generally takes two to seven days.
As there are no vaccines for these viruses it’s important to keep yourself safe by using mosquito nets, insect repellent, mosquito bands and wearing long sleeved tops and trousers that will keep you cool.
Yellow-Lipped Sea Krait:
Lastly, our ninth most dangerous animal in the Philippines is the yellow-lipped sea krait which is a sea snake. The snake has distinctive black stripes and a yellow snout, with a paddle-like tail for use in swimming and is an extremely venomous species.
Yellow-lipped sea kraits are attracted to light and can be distracted by artificial sources of light, including hotels and other buildings, on coasts. You’ll be pleased to know that these sea snakes aren’t intended to be aggressive towards humans but if they feel threatened then they will attack.
The venom of a yellow-lipped sea krait is said to be 10 times more deadly than the venom of a rattlesnake. In a single bite, a yellow-lipped sea krait can give more than 12 times the venom needed to kill a human. They generally don’t recognise humans as prey or predators, so they avoid swimmers and divers and rarely bite them.
Is There Tigers in the Philippines?
Due to captive breeding facilities across Asia alongside threats from habitat loss and human-wildlife conflict, unfortunately, tigers have now become extinct in the Philippines.
However, it’s not just tigers that were once an animal that lived in the Philippines which has now become extinct, it’s happened to many including Asian elephants, Philippine rhinoceros, Luzon giant tortoise and a cebu warty pig – most of which lived on the island of Palawan.
Are There Sea Snakes in the Philippines?
There are a wide variety of sea snakes in the Philippines with the most common of them being the yellow-lipped sea krait and the Lake Taal snake which is of course found in Lake Taal.
The lake Taal snake is an extremely poisonous but rare species of snake that’s found in fresh water. This snake is only one of two that can be found in freshwater in the Philippines.
What is The Deadliest Snake in the Philippines?
The deadliest snake in the Philippines is the Philippine cobra. This snake is the most poisonous in the Philippines. If you do happen to get into any trouble with the snake then it will give a signal of spreading its hood. If the hood does flare up, then you should back away immediately.
So, that’s the end of our article! If you’ve enjoyed reading this then please leave a comment in the box below. If you haven’t been put off by the dangerous animals in the Philippines and are considering visiting the country, then give the article below a read.