7 Dangerous Animals in Alabama: Most Lethal Wild Animals

Alabama is famous for many things, but you probably don’t think of the dangerous animals that live there. However, there are many dangerous animals in Alabama. When you think of Alabama, you may think of college football, southern hospitality, and delicious southern food. Maybe you’re already singing ‘Sweet Home Alabama’ to yourself. The state has so much to offer.

But, what if we told you it’s also a state with a whole host of deadly wildlife?

Hopefully, it wouldn’t put you off visiting. But Alabama is home to an array of creepy critters that range from venenous snakes to large alligators. This article will look at the most deadly animals in the state and why you should avoid them.


Let’s start with the one animal that freaks most of the human population out. Spiders tend to be an unwelcome sight at the best of times. Alabama is home to many dangerous spiders that you wouldn’t want to find under your pillowcase. 

And guess what? You don’t need to venture into the sticks to find these spiders. You might find them in your room.

Brown Recluse Spider

Image by Robby Lockeby from Pixabay

A common inhabitant of Alabama, the Brown Recluse Spider, is around 3/8 an inch in length. They’re commonly seen in the north of the state and less frequently seen in the south. There isn’t a typical place to find a brown recluse spider. They are incredibly adaptable to different climates, and they happily withstand the cold winters and hot summers of Alabama.

Unfortunately, you can find these spiders anywhere and everywhere. They enjoy warm places, meaning you can find them in bedding, shoes, storage boxes, and basements. They don’t tend to be aggressive, but you wouldn’t want to touch one. But just how dangerous are they? Well, dangerous enough for you not to handle them. The spider is venomous and, when provoked, will inject cytotoxins that kill your tissue. It can create an ugly scene.

Symptoms of a brown recluse spider bite include.

  • A burning sensation in the bite area within 30 minutes
  • A necrotic spot may develop quickly after
  • Pain can become intense after 2 -8 hours
  • An open sore that leads to broken tissue may occur after one week

Black widow spiders

Black Widow Spider
Image by jgiammatteo from Pixabay

Black widow spiders are generally sinister-looking. You wouldn’t want to find one in your shoes. And for a good reason, they are dangerous and venomous. There are two different widow spiders in Alabama. The northern black widow and the southern black widow. Black widow spiders are notorious for their red spots, which is the easiest way to distinguish them.

Experts class black window venom as a neurotoxin that directly affects the central nervous system.

Symptoms of a black widow spider bite include

  • Muscle cramps and spasms within 12 hours of the bite
  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Chest Pain

The truth is that these spiders would rather eat flies and mind their own business. Yes, these spiders are dangerous animals in Alabama. And yes, they are venomous. But it’s infrequent for any deaths to occur. That might help you to sleep better. Hopefully, there isn’t one next to your pillow.

Cottonmouth snakes

Image by Ana Meister from Pixabay

The cottonmouth is a venomous snake in Alabama. Five out of the six venomous snakes in Alabama are pit vipers, and this is one of them. The best way to identify this snake is by the triangular-shaped head. Copperheads are often large snakes with reddish-brown body colour. They are also recognised as a water moccasin snake, making this snake the only venomous water snake in North America. These snakes are officially the most commonly seen venomous snakes in Alabama. 

But are you likely to see one of these in your garden? Unlikely, but they do enjoy ravines and rocky areas. These venomous snakes are most commonly seen on the southern coast, along streams, hedges, and places covered in overgrown grass. 

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Symptoms of a cottonmouth snake bite include

  • Redness and swelling around the bite
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Impaired vision
  • Breathing difficulty
  • Increased sweating 

Although those symptoms don’t sound pleasant, being bitten by a copperhead snake rarely results in death. Just make sure you seek immediate medical care.

Eastern diamondback rattlesnake

Image by Foto-Rabe from Pixabay

As far as venomous snakes in Alabama go, the eastern diamondback rattlesnake is the worst of all. It is the largest of all venomous snakes in North America. And the largest rattlesnake in the world. Are they commonly found in Alabama? No, they aren’t. It used to be a widely seen snake in Alabama, but they are now infrequently encountered and a high conservation concern.

But you might still bump into an eastern diamondback rattlesnake. People often find this snake in overgrown fields and abandoned farms, and this snake likes to venture into swampy habitats such as the Sandhills. As with all snakes, the eastern diamondback rattlesnake only attacks when it feels threatened. 

Symptoms of an eastern diamondback rattlesnake bite include

  • Nausea
  • Lightheadedness
  • Sweating
  • Breathing difficulty
  • Numbness in the muscles

There are around 12 deaths per year in the United States from an Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake. Although they are venomous snakes, death is a rare occurrence.

Black Bears

Image by ArtTower from Pixabay

The black bear is a native animal to Alabama. They are a dangerous animal found in the southwest part of Alabama. But they have been seen on the outskirts of Birmingham. In recent years, bear sightings are increasing in Alabama, and you should be cautious before stepping into bear territory. Did you know that black bears rarely eat meat? They live off grasses, fruits, and herbs. Although these animals look cute, they are vicious killers. What should you do if you encounter a black bear in Alabama? 

Firstly, do not run. It’s understandable to take the natural course of action and run for your life. But you will not outrun a black bear. With the capability to run at speeds of 30mph, they would give Usain Bolt a hard time. Running shows a bear that you’re scared, and black bears thrive off this. There’s a common phrase used which is “if it’s black, fight back” unlike brown bears, where it’s smart to play dead. You will have to stand your ground vs a black bear. Make lots of noise, the most noise you can humanely make. If the black bear thinks you’re up for a real fight, they sometimes give up and move on. 

Furthermore, if the black bear attacks you then fight back with everything you have. Use your teeth, rocks, sticks, fists, anything you can to try to deter the bear. If the bear thinks you’re going to fight until you die, they might give up. 

Timber Rattlesnake

Image by Hans Braxmeier from Pixabay

The timber rattlesnake is one of Alabama’s most venomous snakes. You can find these snakes in all 67 Alabama counties. This snake has a distinctive broadhead that is much larger than its narrow body. The colour of this snake varies, but you can expect to find yellow, pink, and black variations of colour on this snake. 

You should expect to find this snake in lowland habitats such as hardwood forests or pine flatwoods. But is it common to see these snakes in Alabama? Relatively common, they are a wide range of these snakes all over the state of Alabama. However, these snakes are often very calm unless directly provoked. The snake will often stay coiled and completely still when approached. You will also hear the distinctive rising head and rattle warning sound before they decide to strike. 

Symptoms of a Timber Rattle Snakebite include

  • Numbness in the face
  • Lightheadedness
  • Nausea
  • Fever
  • Blurred vision
  • Difficulty breathing.

Although these snakes are a dangerous animal, it’s rare for death to occur after being bitten. But you should seek immediate medical care if this snake bites you.

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Wild Boars

Image by Capri23auto from Pixabay

Wild Boars are present in all 67 different states in Alabama. And generally speaking, people don’t tend to think of pigs when they imagine dangerous animals. Wild Boars do not enjoy being disturbed by humans, and it’s not uncommon to inadvertently meet one whilst hiking around Alabama. These animals can quickly turn aggressive and attack humans, especially if they have their piglets with them. They are massive disease carriers and can pass an array of nasty diseases to humans. These include tuberculosis, influenza A, and countless more.

What should you do if you see a wild boar in Alabama? Stay calm and slowly move away. Unlike black bears where it’s wise to make yourself look challenging. It’s best to stay calm, move away, and ignore the wild boar. It’s unlikely they will attack you if you maintain calm. However, if they do attack you, then you should defend yourself as best as you can. 

Is there alligators in Alabama?

Yes, alligators live in Alabama. And alligators are hazardous animals; these prehistoric beasts have no mercy. We can find these large reptiles all over the state of Alabama. Locals have seen them mainly in the Southern part of the state in lakes, rivers, and ponds. You should be cautious if you’re swimming in fresh water and near the Southern coast of Alabama. Alligators like to swim in freshwater, and they’re not an uncommon sight.

So what should you do if an Alligator is attacking you? The first thing is to run. If you’re lucky enough to be attacked on land, then you should run for your life. Alligators are quick for a short period, and you could manage to outrun one if you run for your life. They can run for 11mph, but only for a short period. If an alligator attacks you in the water, you face far more dire consequences. According to wildlife experts, the best way to escape an alligator attack is to gouge the eyes. That has worked for many survivors who were able to disarm alligators. These large animals have a sensitive snout, and you should attack the snout to confound the animal. In the rare circumstances that people have survived alligator attacks, they usually did either of those two.

The best way to stay safe from alligators is to keep out of their territory. These large prehistoric animals will try to kill you if you invade their territory. And they do live in Alabama, so be aware of where you decide to swim. American alligators are in our top nine most dangerous animals in America.

Image by JamesDeMers from Pixabay

Are there saltwater crocodiles in Alabama?

No, there aren’t saltwater crocodiles in Alabama. We can see saltwater crocodiles in the neighbouring state of Florida, but not in Alabama. The closest animals are the freshwater alligators that tend to live inland in Alabama. We can find these animals in freshwater swamps, lakes, and rivers. And they are commonly seen in the Southern coastal areas of Alabama. Therefore, we should take precautions before swimming in freshwater regions of Alabama. There have also been Alligator sightings in northern parts of the state.

Conclusion: Would you still like to visit Alabama?

Image by pen_ash from Pixabay

Alabama is a beautiful state, that is full of culture, great food, superb music, and extraordinary nature. Yes, there are dangerous animals there. But generally speaking, we have more chance of being hit by a bus than seriously harmed by most of the creatures mentioned in this article. You should take precautions in alligator or black bear territory, but most importantly, relax and enjoy the state.

Have you ever visited Alabama or do you intend to visit soon? We’d love to hear from you, feel free to drop a comment. Be sure to check out our most dangerous animals in Tennessee.


James Ardimento has spent the last 12 years journeying around the globe ! With its precious experiences and tips he gained around Asia, South America, Europe and the US he is a precious asset for this blog and for its readers