The bufo toad secretes a toxic slime from its body when attacked. These toads were introduced by the agriculture industry in the 1950s and have since spread to Southwest Florida. Dogs are particularly at risk of poisoning from these toads as they will chase and catch them. Chad Gillis/The News-Press
Florida is known for its unique critters and the landscapes they call home.
On the heels of a sighting of a python swimming in Naples Bay, it may be wise to remember the state is rife with sharp-toothed wildlife.
The American alligator
One of the most capable predators on the planet. The longest alligator caught in Florida measured more than 14 feet, while the heaviest weighed 1,043 pounds, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
They exist in virtually all freshwater systems in Florida and have been in the news recently for a rash of attacks on humans.
If they’ll attack a human, they’ll certainly attack a dog or cat.
The state animal, but that doesn’t stop them from attacking, killing and eating domestic animals.
There is no recorded panther attack on a human, but they kill multiple calves, goats and other domestic animals each year.
This year, panthers have killed goats, pigs, ducks, geese, dogs and cats, according to FWC.
Like the bufo toad, are not native to Florida, but they have made it their home.
These predators can grow to 20 feet or longer and eat practically every native animal in Florida.
Several python hunts have been held in recent years, but most experts agree that these snakes will be part of South Florida’s ecology forever.
A silent menace that’s only dangerous when provoked, these snakes pack a punch of venom.
Members of the pit viper family, water moccasins or cottonmouths can be found throughout Florida and are the most common snake found in some areas.
Found in aquatic habitats, these snakes are not typically aggressive, but the venom from a large specimen can be deadly to humans.
Super small compared to the other creatures listed here, but the insects can have a big impact on animals and humans.
They carry and can transmit heartworms to pets and other animals. Mosquitoes can also carry parasites like those that lead to malaria.
Untold numbers roam Southwest Florida, so this is the critter (out of these five dangerous ones) that is the one you’re most likely to encounter.
Some species also carry Dengue, encephalitis and the Zika virus.
Everyone knows about the alligators in Florida, but they aren’t the only fearsome fauna lurking in fresh water bodies.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission calls the bull “one of the more dangerous shark species” that is able to travel “hundreds of miles inland via coastal river systems.”
Connect with this reporter: Chad Gillis on Facebook. Naples Daily News reporter Karl Schneider contributed to this story.
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