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October 4 is world Animal Day - where people from all over the world run campaigns and take part in events to promote and increase the importance of animal welfare globally.
The UK is packed with animals and wildlife, but in comparison to the rest of the world we’ve definitely got it easy when it comes to poisonous, deadly and generally grizzly creatures. Don’t believe us? Take a look at a few examples…
The false widow spider is the most dangerous spider to call the UK home. They’re medium in size and while they don’t look too terrifying (depending on whether you’re scared of spiders or not) they can – and do - bite. Although their bite can cause complications, it’s rare and the pain is similar to a wasp or bee sting – not nice, but not necessarily deadly.
Our Australian cousins however, aren’t quite so lucky. The funnel web spider is one of the deadliest spiders in the world – a bite from a funnel web affects the nervous system, and can kill if an antidote is not given quickly. Not only that, they can grow up to about 10cm, so they’re not just scary they can be big and scary.
So the next time you spot a spider in the bath, remember – it could be worse!
The badger is the UK’s largest land carnivore and can be found in most areas of the UK. Feeding generally on earthworms and other insects or grubs, they’re nocturnal and live in social groups. Unless you’re also wandering round the woods at night looking for earthworms, you’re unlikely to see them much less be put in danger by them.
Compare that to, say, the bears often found in America. There are different types of bear in North America but the black bear and the grizzly are the most common. They’re generally solitary and avoid interaction with humans but the paths do cross quite often; with razor sharp claws and teeth they’re a lot scarier than the badger and we know which one we’d rather come across...
Frogs and toads are a common feature of a lot of UK ponds, lakes and rivers. Apart from being slimy to touch and occasionally surprising people by jumping out in front of them they don’t cause any harm and generally stay out of the way of people (who can blame them).
If you were to see a frog in Colombia or other areas of South America however, it might be a different story. The golden poison frog (sometimes known as the poison dart frog) is coated in a poison which can affect the nervous system and allegedly contains enough poison to kill 10 men, although generally you’d have to eat one to be in serious trouble. They’re really small – generally only up to 6cm long – and brightly coloured and their poison is often used in hunting.
So there you have it – just a few examples of how UK wildlife is a lot more placid than in some other parts of the world!!
Remember – all animal are important and should be protected – visit the World Animal Day website for more information.