10 of the Most Dangerous Animals in Asia

10. Asian Giant Hornet

Vespa mandarinia (Asian Giant Hornet) is a species of Hymenoptera in the family Vespidae. Flowers are visited by Asian giant hornet. They are diurnal.

The Asian giant hornet is a relentless hunter that preys on other large insects, such as bees, other hornet species, and mantises. Asian giant hornets often and very effectively attack honey bee (genus Apis) hives. A single V. mandarinia scout, sometimes two or three, will cautiously approach the nest, giving off pheromones which will lead other hornets to the hive's location. Asian giant hornets, which are five times the size and 20 times the weight of a honey bee, can devastate a honey bee colony in a very short time: a single hornet can kill as many as 40 honey bees per minute thanks to its large mandibles. Once a hive is emptied of all defending bees, the hornets feed on the honey and carry the larvae back to feed to their own larvae. Adult Asian giant hornets cannot digest solid protein, so they do not eat their prey, but chew them into a paste and feed them to their larvae. Like many other vespid wasp species, adults themselves consume a clear liquid, Vespa amino acid mixture, which is produced by their own larvae.

The European honeybee (Apis mellifora), which has been imported for honey farming in Asia, has no natural defenses against giant Asian hornets and their hives are especially vulnerable to attack. However, Apis species native to Asia (for example Apis cerana japonica) have evolved strategies for defeating Vespa mandarinia attacks: if they detect a attacker in time the bee colony can form a “bee ball”, surrounding the hornet to very effectively suffocate it.

Humans can get a powerful and intensely painful sting from V. mandarina. The venom it injects is powerful, and about 40 deaths per year are reported as a result of stings that cause kidney and liver failure if not treated fast enough. Although it usually does not attack unless threatened or disturbed, the giant hornet can attack quickly and fiercely, flying up to 40 km (25 miles)/hour.

In Japan, Asian giant hornets are sometimes eaten raw or fried. Recently, several companies in Asia and Europe have begun to manufacture dietary supplements and energy drinks which contain synthetic versions of Vespa mandarinia larval amino acid secretion. The manufacturers of these products make claims that consuming the larval hornet secretions (marketed as "hornet juice") will enhance human endurance. (Handwerk 2002; Sugahara and Sakamoto 2009; Ono et al. 1995; Wikipedia 2011(a); Wikipedia 2011(b))

9. Sloth Bear

Melursus ursinus (Sloth Bear) is a species of mammals in the family bears. They are listed in cites appendix i. They are native to Asia. They are solitary, nocturnal omnivores. Individuals are known to live for 480 months and can grow to 1595.23 mm. Reproduction is viviparous and dioecious. They have parental care (female provides care). They rely on running to move around.

Melursus ursinus (Sloth Bear) is a species of mammals in the family bears. They are listed in cites appendix i. They are native to Asia. They are solitary, nocturnal omnivores. Individuals are known to live for 480 months and can grow to 1595.23 mm. Reproduction is viviparous and dioecious. They have parental care (female provides care). They rely on running to move around.

Lifespan, longevity, and ageing

Maximum longevity: 33.3 years (captivity) Observations: It has been reported that these animals can live up to 40 years in captivity (Ronald Nowak 1999), which has not been verified. Record longevity in captivity belongs to one wild born female that was 33.3 years of age when she died (Richard Weigl 2005).


Sloth bears will enter crop fields such as maize. They also have a reputation for being unpredictable and aggressive (although this may be an unfair description) toward humans. They are quite possibly the most dangerous wild animal in Central India. When they are in human territory, or vice versa, numerous human casualties occur. One study found that between April 1989 and March 1994, there were 735 victims of sloth bear assaults and 48 were fatal (Rajpurohit and Krausman, 2000).

8. Asian Tiger Mosquito

Aedes albopictus (Asian Tiger Mosquito) is a species of flies in the family Mosquitos. They are associated with freshwater habitat. They are native to the Palearctic, Asia, and Japan. Flowers are visited by Asian Tiger Mosquito. They are solitary, diurnal herbivores. They rely on flight to move around.

This mosquito has become a significant pest in many communities because it closely associates with humans (rather than living in wetlands), and typically flies and feeds in the daytime in addition to at dusk and dawn. The insect is called a tiger mosquito for its striped appearance, which resembles that of the tiger. Aedes albopictus is an epidemiologically important vector for the transmission of many viral pathogens, including the yellow fever virus, dengue fever, and Chikungunya fever, as well as several filarial nematodes such as Dirofilaria immitis. Aedes albopictus is capable of hosting the Zika virus and is considered a potential vector for Zika transmission among humans.


There is very little communication that occurs between individuals of this species. Almost all communication is involved with mating. Antennae contain auditory receptors that allow the males to hear the whine of females which helps to locate them. Once in the same vicinity, males engage in lekking behavior, forming clusters in mid-air which invite females to mate. The males then secrete a substance that helps to officially begin the mating process. Individuals pair off, mate, and don't interact again.

Besides the auditory receptors, all mosquitoes in the species have compound eyes to help locate just about anything they need (mates, food, areas to lay eggs).


Asian tiger mosquitoes provide no benefits to humans.

7. Leopard

Panthera pardus (Leopard) is a species of mammals in the family cats. They are listed in cites appendix i. They are native to the Palearctic, Ethiopia, and Asia. They are solitary, nocturnal carnivores. Individuals are known to live for 276 months and can grow to 1377.71 mm. Reproduction is viviparous and dioecious. They have parental care (female provides care). They rely on running to move around.

Lifespan, longevity, and ageing

Maximum longevity: 27.3 years (captivity) Observations: One specimen lived 27.3 years at Madrid Zoo. A hybrid between a leopard and a lion lived for 24 years (Richard Weigl 2005).


Although leopards are silent most of the time, they may give a hoarse, rasping cough at repeated intervals to advertise their presence to conspecifics. Males use this unique call to announce territorial boundaries. If another leopard is in the vicinity, it may answer with a similar vocalization and continue vocalizing as it exits the area. Males also grunt at each other and females call to potential mates when in estrous. Some leopards may purr while feeding.


Leopards can be seen in National Parks throughout Asia and Africa. They help control baboon populations and disperse seeds that stick to their fur. Chiefs and warriors from tribal cultures throughout the leopard's geographic range wear their fur as a symbol of honor and courage. Tribal medicine men and women suggest leopard skins as a remedy for bad omens. Leopards are often captured for the pet trade and are targeted by trophy hunters as well.

6. Tiger

Panthera tigris (Tiger) is a species of mammals in the family cats. They are listed in cites appendix i. They are native to the Palearctic and Asia. They are solitary, nocturnal carnivores. Individuals are known to live for 315.6 months and can grow to 1824.79 mm. Reproduction is viviparous and dioecious. They have parental care (female provides care). They rely on running to move around.

Lifespan, longevity, and ageing

Maximum longevity: 26.3 years (captivity) Observations: One tiger lived 26.3 years at Adelaide Zoo. A hybrid between a tiger and a lion lived 24.2 years (Richard Weigl 2005).


Communication among tigers is maintained by scent markings, visual signals, and vocalization. Scent markings are deposited in the form of an odorous musky liquid that is mixed with urine and sprayed on objects like grass, trees, or rocks. A facial expression called “flehmen” is often associated with scent detection. During flehmen, the tongue hangs over the incisors, the nose is wrinkled, and the upper canines are bared. Flehmen is commonly seen in males that have just sniffed urine, scent marks, an estrous tigress, or a cub of their own species.

Visual signals made by tigers include spots that have been sprayed, scrapes made by raking the ground, and claw marks left on trees or other objects. Schaller (1967) described a “defense threat” facial expression observed when a tiger is attacking. This involved pulling the corners of the open mouth back, exposing the canines, fattening the ears, and enlarging the pupils of the eyes. The spots on the back of their ears and their pattern of stripes may also be used in intraspecific communication.

Tigers can also communicate vocally with roars, growls, snarls, grunts, moans, mews, and hisses. Each sound has its own purpose, and appears to reflect the tiger's intent or mood. For example, a tiger’s roar is usually a signal of dominance; it tells other individuals how big it is and its location. A moan communicates submission. The ability of tigers to roar comes from having a flexible hyoid apparatus and vocal fold with a thick fibro- elastic pad that allows sound to travel long distances.


Normally tigers avoid human contact, very rarely tigers may become “man eaters”. A man-eating tigress was rumored to have killed over 430 people, including 234 over the course of four years. It is thought that man-eating tigers are those that cannot effectively prey on large ungulated because they have become crippled, are old, or no longer have suitable native habitat and prey available. Because human populations are rapidly increasing, competition over natural resources is increasing pressure on tigers and their habitat and increasing the likelihood of negative human-tiger interactions.

5. Asian Elephant

The Asian elephant (Elephas maximus), also known as the Asiatic elephant, is the only living species of the genus Elephas and is distributed throughout the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia, from India in the west, Nepal in the north, Sumatra in the south, and to Borneo in the east. Three subspecies are recognised—E. m. maximus from Sri Lanka, E. m. indicus from mainland Asia and E. m. sumatranus from the island of Sumatra.

The Asian elephant is the largest living land animal in Asia. Since 1986, the Asian elephant has been listed as Endangered on the IUCN Red List, as the population has declined by at least 50 percent over the last three elephant generations, which is about 60–75 years. It is primarily threatened by loss of habitat, habitat degradation, fragmentation and poaching. In 2019, the wild population was estimated at 48,323-51,680 individuals. Female captive elephants have lived beyond 60 years when kept in semi-natural surroundings, such as forest camps. In zoos, Asian elephants die at a much younger age; captive populations are declining due to a low birth and high death rate.

The genus Elephas originated in Sub-Saharan Africa during the Pliocene and spread throughout Africa before expanding into the southern half of Asia. The earliest indications of captive use of Asian elephants are engravings on seals of the Indus Valley Civilisation dated to the 3rd millennium BC.

Lifespan, longevity, and ageing

Maximum longevity: 65.5 years (captivity) Observations: Elephants are long-lived mammals but suffer from teeth erosion as a type of mechanical senescence despite having as much as six sets of molars in a lifetime. Although both sexes may become sexually mature at about 9 years of age, males do not normally reproduce until they are about 15 years old. Full size is attained at about 17 years of age (Ronald Nowak 1999). There is much speculation and anecdotes about the longevity of elephants with reports of animals living more than 80 years. In particular, it has been reported that a male elephant called "Lin Wang" died at the age of 86 in Taipei Zoo (Wiese and Willis 2004). This record is unconfirmed, however, because the animal was estimated to be 26 when it was obtained, which is impossible to verify. Other reports of animals living over 70 years are plausible but have not yet been verified. Therefore, the oldest elephant on record was probably a wild born female that was about 65-66 years when she died in captivity (Richard Weigl 2005).


Elephants use their tusks for a variety of purposes: to dig for water, remove bark from trees, maneuver fallen trees and branches, mark trees, rest their trunk on, fight with, and, in domestic animals, for various kinds of work. Elephants are left or right tusked, just as humans are left or right handed. Their trunks, which are formed by the combination of the elongated nose and upper lip, are also very useful. At the tip is a single, finger-like extension that is very sensitive and can be used for precise manipulation of objects. Trunks are used in eating, drinking, smelling and breathing, touching, vocalizing, washing, dusting (throwing dirt onto the back, possibly as a way of deterring insects), and fighting. The senses of touch and hearing are acute, but eyesight is somewhat poor. Young elephants follow their mothers or older sisters by holding on to their tails. When in danger, elephants run with their tails held up, which may signal the danger to the other members of the herd.


Elephants enjoy cultivated foods such as bananas and sugar cane, and so can become crop pests in some areas. Wild elephants are can be aggressive to humans and dangerous.

4. Indian Cobra

The Indian cobra (Naja naja), also known as the spectacled cobra, Asian cobra, or binocellate cobra, is a species of the genus Naja found, in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, and Bhutan, and a member of the "big four" species that inflict the most  snakebites on humans in India. It is distinct from the king cobra which belongs to the monotypic genus Ophiophagus. The Indian cobra is revered in Indian mythology and culture, and is often seen with snake charmers. It is now protected in India under the Indian Wildlife Protection Act (1972).

The Indian cobra is a moderately sized, heavy bodied species. This cobra species can easily be identified by its relatively large and quite impressive hood, which it expands when threatened.

Many specimens exhibit a hood mark. This hood mark is located at the rear of the Indian cobra's hood. When the hood mark is present, are two circular ocelli patterns connected by a curved line, evoking the image of spectacles.

This species has a head which is elliptical, depressed, and very slightly distinct from the neck. The snout is short and rounded with large nostrils. The eyes are medium in size and the pupils are round. The majority of adult specimens range from 1 to 1.5 metres (3.3 to 4.9 ft) in length. Some specimens, particularly those from Sri Lanka, may grow to lengths of 2.1 to 2.2 metres (6.9 to 7.2 ft), but this is relatively uncommon.


The Indian cobra's venom mainly contains a powerful post-synaptic neurotoxin and cardiotoxin. The venom acts on the synaptic gaps of the nerves, thereby paralyzing muscles, and in severe bites leading to respiratory failure or cardiac arrest. The venom components include enzymes such as hyaluronidase that cause lysis and increase the spread of the venom. Envenomation symptoms may manifest between fifteen minutes and two hours following the bite.

3. Saltwater Crocodile

The saltwater crocodile (Crocodylus porosus) is a crocodilian native to saltwater habitats and brackish wetlands from India's east coast across Southeast Asia and the Sundaic region to northern Australia and Micronesia. It has been listed as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List since 1996. It was hunted for its skin throughout its range up to the 1970s, and is threatened by illegal killing and habitat loss. It is regarded as dangerous for people who share the same environment.

The saltwater crocodile is the largest living reptile and crocodilian known to science. Males grow to a length of up to 6 m (20 ft), rarely exceeding 6.3 m (21 ft) or a weight of 1,000–1,300 kg (2,200–2,900 lb). Females are much smaller and rarely surpass 3 m (10 ft). It is also known as the estuarine crocodile, Indo-Pacific crocodile, marine crocodile, sea crocodile or informally as saltie.

The saltwater crocodile is a large and opportunistic hypercarnivorous apex predator. It ambushes most of its prey and then drowns or swallows it whole. It is capable of prevailing over almost any animal that enters its territory, including other apex predators such as sharks, varieties of freshwater and saltwater fish including pelagic species, invertebrates such as crustaceans, various reptiles, birds, and mammals, including humans.

2. Russell's Viper

Russell's viper (Daboia russelii) is a species of venomous snake in the family Viperidae, the family which includes the venomous Old World vipers. The species is found in Asia throughout the Indian subcontinent, much of Southeast Asia, southern China and Taiwan. The species is named after Patrick Russell (1726–1805), a Scottish herpetologist who first described many of India's snakes, and the name of the genus is from the Hindi word meaning "that lies hid", or "the lurker". In Odia and Bengali this snake is called chandra-boda and chandroborha respectively since it carries lenticular or more precisely lunar marks all over its body. In Marathi this snake is called ghonas. Apart from being a member of the big four snakes in India, Daboia is also one of the genera responsible for causing the most snakebite incidents and deaths among all venomous snakes on account of many factors, such as their wide distribution, generally aggressive demeanor, and frequent occurrence in highly populated areas.

Daboia russelii is commonly known as Russell's viper and the chain viper, among other names.

Lifespan, longevity, and ageing

Maximum longevity: 15 years (captivity)


D. russelii is terrestrial and active primarily as a nocturnal forager. However, during cool weather, it alters its behavior and becomes more active during the day.

Adults are reported to be slow and sluggish unless pushed beyond a certain limit, after which they can become very aggressive. Juveniles, though, are generally more nervous.

When threatened, they form a series of S-loops, raise the first third of the body, and produce a hiss that is supposedly louder than that of any other snake. When striking from this position, they can exert so much force that even a large individual can lift most of its body off the ground in the process. These snakes are strong and may react violently to being picked up. The bite may be a snap, or they may hang on for many seconds.

Although this genus does not have the heat-sensitive pit organs common to the Crotalinae, it is one of a number of viperines that are apparently able to react to thermal cues, further supporting the notion that they, too, possess a heat-sensitive organ. The identity of this sensor is not certain, but the nerve endings in the supranasal sac of these snakes resemble those found in other heat-sensitive organs.

1. Box Jellyfish

Cubozoa (Box Jellyfish) is a group of cnidarians. There are 47 species of box jellyfish, in 18 genera and 8 families. This group has been around since the cambrian stage 4 age. They are carnivores. Reproduction is dioecious.

The cubozoans are similar to the Scyphozoa ("true jellyfish") but the bell is square in cross section, with a velum-like structure called the velarium. The velarium restricts the size of the opening through which water is expelled when the bell contracts, thus increasing thrust and making them stronger swimmers than the Scyphozoa. There are four clusters of tentacles, one at each corner of the bell. The rhopalia of the Cubozoa differ from those of the Scyphozoa in possessing very complex eyes with lenses, corneas and retinas. The lens is capable of producing very sharp images, as good as human eyes but the focal length is longer than the distance between the lens and the retina making box jellyfish strangely far-sighted. Development is also different in the cubozoans. Each scyphistoma forms a single medusa via complete metamorphosis. Cubozoa includes the highly toxic box jellyfish, Chironex fleckeri,found in tropical regions and often in swarms which can drift into bays, disrupting human activities.


The box jellyfish actively hunts its prey (small fish), rather than drifting as do true jellyfish. They are capable of achieving speeds of up to 1.5 to 2 metres per second or about 4 knots (7.4 km/h; 4.6 mph).

The venom of cubozoans is distinct from that of scyphozoans, and is used to catch prey (small fish and invertebrates, including prawns and bait fish) and for defence from predators, which include the butterfish, batfish, rabbitfish, crabs (blue swimmer crab) and various species of turtle including the hawksbill sea turtle and flatback sea turtle. It seems that sea turtles are unaffected by the stings because they seem to relish box jellyfish.

First Aid for Stings

Once a tentacle of the box jellyfish adheres to skin, it pumps nematocysts with venom into the skin, causing the sting and agonizing pain. Flushing with vinegar is used to deactivate undischarged nematocysts to prevent the release of additional venom. A 2014 study reported that vinegar also increased the amount of venom released from already-discharged nematocysts; however, this study has been criticized on methodological grounds.

Removal of additional tentacles is usually done with a towel or gloved hand, to prevent secondary stinging. Tentacles can still sting if separated from the bell, or after the creature is dead. Removal of tentacles may cause unfired nematocysts to come into contact with the skin and fire, resulting in a greater degree of envenomation.

Although commonly recommended in folklore and even some papers on sting treatment, there is no scientific evidence that urine, ammonia, meat tenderizer, sodium bicarbonate, boric acid, lemon juice, fresh water, steroid cream, alcohol, cold packs, papaya, or hydrogen peroxide will disable further stinging, and these substances may even hasten the release of venom. Heat packs have been proven for moderate pain relief. The use of pressure immobilization bandages, methylated spirits, or vodka is generally not recommended for use on jelly stings. In severe Chironex fleckeri stings cardiac arrest can occur quickly.