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Dangerous Lizards and Other Reptiles You Should Avoid In The Wild, According To Bear Grylls

Bear Grylls often encounters dangerous reptiles when he is in the wild, especially in the jungle. We have seen him interact with some particularly venomous and deadly snakes on his TV shows. 

But as well as snakes, there are plenty of other dangerous creatures from the reptile family to avoid, including crocs, gators and lizards. While lizards are not usually thought of as dangerous, there are some that are especially dangerous to humans and should be avoided as they can give a painful bite.

Here are some of the dangerous creatures from the reptile family that you should avoid:

Beware of monsters – especially the Gila Monster

Image by Peter Finch

The clue is often in the name and anything with the word ‘monster’ should probably be avoided – although the Gila Monster only grows up to 22 inches long. This is the largest lizard type in the US – it is native to the south-western US and the north-western Mexican state of Sonora. 

Gilas are venomous and although the bites are very painful, they are not said to be fatal to humans and none has resulted in a confirmed human death.

Why you do not want to poke a Beaded lizard

Image by Mark Newman

This lizard – also known as the Mexican beaded lizard – is another type of venomous lizard. It’s related to the Gila monster but larger (it can be from 22 inches to 35 inches long) and is found mostly in Mexico and southern Guatemala. 

Its bite causes excruciating pain plus swelling, weakness, and a rapid fall in blood pressure – most recorded bites of humans were the result of someone prodding or poking the lizard with their finger or foot.

The crocodiles you need to avoid

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All crocodiles should be avoided. They look like giant lizards – the name comes from the Ancient Greek word krokódilos which means lizard – and although they are not lizards, they are part of the reptile family. Bear Grylls calls crocodiles the ‘ultimate predators’. He says if you’re in crocodile country, you need to know how to avoid and escape them. 

Many species are man-eating, including the Nile crocodile and the saltwater crocodile, so you should avoid water where they can be found. The two main ways that Bear Grylls survives crocodile attacks is firstly, do not find yourself in the water with one, and secondly, if you do see one, run away fast.

What you should hope not to see later – an alligator

Image by Gregory Sweeney

The American alligator (called a gator in many areas) is native to the south-eastern US while the Chinese alligator is native to China. Alligators can grow up to 14 feet long and weigh up to 990 lbs. They are usually afraid of humans but can attack unprovoked, especially if approached. 

Many attacks have resulted from people trying to pick them up, or swimming with them. In April, an alligator bit off a man’s leg in Florida. Their bites can also cause dangerous infections.

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