Are These Michigan’s Deadliest Wild Animals?
With shark week 2022 in full bloom, and Michigan being shark-less thanks to being surrounded by the great freshwater lakes, what animals are considered dangerous and most likely to attack Michiganders? Though Michigan is known as the Wolverine state, we are home to many natural and invasive predators from small to large.
Though cougars are native to Michigan, they were hunted and captured at such alarming rates in the early 1900s that the last known wild cougar was thought to have been taken in 1906 from Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Since that time, cougars hadn’t been spotted in the Great Lake State until 2008, and sightings have slowly increased since. Though cougars are excellent predators, they actually have little to no interactions with humans and an attack by them is extremely rare. So, while Michiganders and dog parents have begun to worry about these increasing sightings, this large predator is one people don’t have to necessarily worry about but caution is never a bad thing.
Bambi certainly gets a rap when it comes to Michigan’s deadliest animal, or the entire United States. While deer themselves are actually rather harmless animals when it comes to human interactions, due to their skittish nature and tendency to jump in front of the bright moving light deer kill more humans than any other animal. In the state of Michigan alone, there are nearly 50,000 reported vehicle crashes caused by deer. While with most animals there are seasons on whether the population numbers will decrease or increase like hibernating for winter, deer remain a yearlong challenge for drivers.
Though it seems there are more and more bear attacks in the media every day, Michigan has a very low bear attack count. With only Black Bears taking up residency in both of Michigan's Peninsula’s, means relatively safe encounters between the average outdoorsman and these intimidating creatures. In fact, Michigan hasn’t seen a fatal bear encounter since 1978. With Brown Bears being the aggressive of the two, Michigan residents don’t have to fear bears to the extent bears are used to being feared. Regardless, it is vital to remember your safety procedures when encountering any bear. Most bear attacks occur during/after mating season because humans are viewed as a threat to their cubs.