Deadly Animals in Slovenia
These animals are mostly scared of people but will attack if at risk!
Even though Slovenia is best known for being a green, beautiful and tranquil country, some of its fauna can sometimes be very dangerous indeed. It is important to note that these animals are usually frightened of people, but if they feel threatened they could attack. If you do spot any of them keep a very safe distance and back away slowly.
Wasps, bees & hornets
These insects are currently the most dangerous creatures in Slovenia, largely due to the number of people who are allergic to their stings (if you are not allergic then you could be in for an uncomfortable few hours but your life won’t be threatened by a single sting). If someone who is allergic is stung, and a doctor or medical equipment is not nearby, the person’s blood pressure could drop to dangerously low levels. Between 2007-2009 more than 6,000 people needed medical assistance and 6 of that number died.
Statistical data shows that between 150 – 400 people in Slovenia are diagnosed with tick-borne meningoencephalitis (for those of you who didn’t attend medical school, that means inflammation of the brain) and up to 6,300 are diagnosed with lyme borreliosis (an infectious disease) each year. The least prevalent disease which is caused by ticks is human granulocyte anaplasmosis. In the last decade 8 people have died in Slovenia through tick-related causes. Be sure to wear quality clothes for the best repellent.
Dogs are rarely seen on dangerous animals lists (especially among all other animals within the country). But statistical data shows that 4,676 people needed medical assistance due to dog bites or kicks between 2007-2009, and 327 people were vaccinated for rabies last year in Slovenia.
You should exercise caution if you see a snake in Slovenia, but be aware that the snakes in this country are not as deadly as the ones in more tropical climes. There are 3 species to look out for: the viperidae, the horned viper and the lasko viperidae. To be at risk of death from bites from these snakes you would have to be most unfortunate: the snake has to either bite you in the face or score a direct hit on a vein. On average about 20 people need assistance each year from snakes bites in Slovenia, but no one has actually died for at least 30 years.
Slovenia is home to approximately 500 bears and each year 1 – 3 people are attacked, but no one has died since the 1970s. Although the bear is ranked high on the dangerous animals list in Slovenia, experts in the field are keen to emphasise that the statistics have been warped by those hunting bears for commercial purposes, and that killing bears is rarely in response to an actual attack. Furthermore, most attacks happen when people do not follow established protocol in the woods.
The jellyfish in Slovenia are almost innocent. Even though hospitals treat substantial numbers of patients each year they don't require any powerful medication for burns, due to the fact that jellyfish stings in Slovenia are practically harmless and will disappear on their own accord in due course. 63 people were treated for jellyfish encounters between 2007 – 2009.
Similarly to the jellyfish, the scorpions in Slovenia are essentially harmless. The sting will be uncomfortable but will give no lasting damage. For this reason hospitals don’t even bother with antidotes. The scorpions in Slovenia are usually 4-5cm long and their sting rarely even penetrates human skin – just 16 people were treated between 2007-2009.
For many years foxes in Slovenia were almost synonymous with rabies, which is the main danger they pose to humans. And although in 2010 2,236 people were treated for suspected contact with rabid animals in Slovenia, only 6 of this number had encountered foxes. A bigger problem at the moment is feral cats; last year 151 were vaccinated against rabies for cat bites. Domestic dogs are vaccinated for rabies at birth.
Statistics show that 2,153 people on average were attacked by mammals each year between 2007 and 2009, and while 3 people died in this time experts could not determine which mammals caused these deaths. Foresters and hunters advise that it is better not meet the wild boar in woods. Even though there is not exact numbers regarding their population it is commonly agreed that the number is large and it is increasing fast.
Between 40 - 60 wolfs currently live in Slovenia and all avoid contact with people. These animals have an extremely good sense of smell, which is why they move far away from populated areas. Even though attacks on humans haven’t happened for many years, experts are emphasising that wolfs can be extremely dangerous if hungry.