We don’t often think of the dangerous animals that often lurk all around us, mostly because humans have no natural predators. Usually, it’s through our own stupidity that we get attacked or injured by these otherwise miraculous creatures. We don’t properly secure food, or, even worse, we purposely feed the local wildlife. Whatever the reason for the danger, here are a few of the animals of which you might want to be wary if you decide to go exploring the West Virginia wilderness!
- Although more rare than in other states nearby, you might see a black bear now and then. These aren’t usually animals to be feared. Instead, learn to respect and understand them. Black bears are normally timid, but become far more aggressive when they realize that humans are a constant source of food. Secure any food properly when hiking or camping, and bear sightings will become a lot less scary.
- If you’re not a fan of snakes, then maybe the outdoors of West Virginia isn’t for you. The state is known for its timber rattlesnakes, which are quite venomous, and can grow up to five feet long. You’ll most often spot them sunbathing during summer. The snake is dangerous because of its equipment: long fangs, impressive venom yield, and hey–it’s quite big, too. Luckily, they usually give you quite a bit of warning before they decide to strike.
- You might also run into a northern copperhead during your travels. They’re less dangerous than timber rattlesnakes, and they too will give you sufficient time to retreat (usually).
- You might also notice a coyote or two, but you’re more likely to hear them at night when you’re out exploring for a day or two. They usually won’t bother you much, but be careful. They’re more likely to go after small children or anyone walking alone.
- West Virginia is home to the venomous black widow spider. Most spiders can’t harm you with their venom, but the black widow is an exception. You’ll want to watch out for the black spiders. You can identify them by the red hourglass pattern on their abdomens. Like all spiders, they keep the insect population down–so try not to hate them too much. You’ll find these spiders lurking about piles of wood or rocks.