​​The 6 Most Dangerous Animals In Austria (With Images)

Austria has a unique array of wildlife located in the southern-central region of Europe. Animals native to Austria include the Eurasian Lynx, Red Fox, Stoat, and Eurasian Eagle Owl.

The mountainous terrains of Austria invited over twenty-million visitors in 2021. It is crucial for those visiting Austria to beware of animals that could potentially be dangerous.

Here are six of the most dangerous animals that call Austria home.

1. Eurasian Brown Bears

Scientific Name: Ursos arctos arctos
Classification: Mammals
Habitat: Woody areas
Diet: Omnivores
Conservation Status: Least Concern
Quick Summary: Eurasian brown bears are generally non-aggressive but can attack if they feel threatened or provoked by humans. 

Eurasian brown bears can be spotted throughout the northern region of Eurasia, including Russia and Romania. Austria has a smaller Eurasian brown bears population than several neighboring countries. 

Eurasian brown bears may appear in various colors, including white and brown, but most of these bears are brown. 

They have massive paws and claws capable of great strength. Male Eurasian brown bears can weigh up to an astounding 780 pounds.

The average Eurasian brown bear will live around twenty to thirty years and are omnivores, hunting their prey and enjoying fruits and seeds. 

While it is unlikely that you will find yourself actively hunted by a Eurasian brown bear during your time in Austria, the bears will attack humans if threatened or provoked in some manner. 

What Makes Eurasian Brown Bears Dangerous?

  • If a Eurasian brown bear attacks a human, they have the capacity to severely injure or even kill due to its size and strength.
  • A combination of strong teeth and claws can result in severe lacerations and blood loss.
  • Few reported fatalities have occurred due to Eurasian brown bear attacks, but they occur occasionally.

2. Eurasian Lynx

Scientific Name: Lynx 
Classification: Mammalia
Habitat: Forests, rocky areas, or tundras
Diet: Carnivores
Conservation Status: Least Concern
Quick Summary: Austria’s small population of Eurasian lynxes provides little threat to humans if unprovoked.

The Eurasian Lynx can be found in parts of Europe (central and southern), Russia, and even Central Asia. Currently, the Eurasian lynx populations in Austria are quite low due to illegal poaching and the destruction of suitable habitats.

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These lynxes are relatively the size of a large dog, weighing up to sixty-four pounds and as tall as 30 inches.

Lynxes from the northern parts of Europe are typically greyer, with not as many dark shades. Lynxes from southern regions of Europe are less grey and have darker spots in their coat.

As natural carnivores, the Eurasian lynx primarily prey on ungulates and small mammals such as deer and rabbits. They can thrive in various physical environments, from European forests to deserts in Asia.

Lynxes are generally nocturnal animals, largely hunting their prey during the night.

Eurasian lynxes tend to steer clear of humans, fortunately. However, if a lynx feels threatened by a human, it will not fail to defend itself. There are rarely any instances of Eurasian lynxes attacking humans. 

What Makes The Eurasian Lynx Dangerous?

  • The Eurasian lynx will surprise its victims by hiding and pouncing upon them. 
  • Lynxes have incredibly sharp teeth that can tear through human flesh, causing severe lacerations and blood loss. 
  • If their razor-sharp teeth aren’t enough, lynxes have sharp, powerful claws that can also damage significantly.
  • Unfortunately, detecting when a lynx may be on the prowl for you is difficult. They are known as “shadow killers.” When you realize a lynx is coming close, it may be far too late. 

3. Wild Boars

Scientific Name: Sus scrofa
Classification: Mammalia
Habitat: Forests, mountains, shrubs
Diet: Omnivores
Conservation Status: Least Concern
Quick Summary: With sharp teeth and tusks, wild boars in Austria can quickly attack if provoked.

As the only animal considered to be “dangerous game” in Europe, wild boars are well-known for their aggression and size. They are found all around Europe, especially in areas where forests or swamps are plentiful. 

Male boars are typically larger than females. Boars can boast various fur colors, such as black and even white. Their fur is usually coarse and raggedy to the touch. Boars generally have short lives, living only for a year or two.

Wild boars are omnivorous mammals with a diverse diet depending on what food sources become available to them. Common prey includes small mammals such as lambs and rodents. However, a large chunk of their diet consists of vegetation like crops and fruits.

Wild boar hunting is quite popular in Austria. They have been known to attack when threatened or provoked, especially when piglets are involved in the equation. 

What Makes Wild Boars Dangerous?

  • Adult male boars can grow up to almost five-hundred pounds. Imagine the force behind even a head-butt from a wild boar in Austria!
  • The focal defense mechanism for wild boars is their pointy tusks, which can measure around eight inches. These tusks can pierce and tear through human skin. 
  • Besides their pointy tusks, wild boars also have sharp canine teeth (measuring up to ten centimeters). In fact, you can typically see their canines at all times. 
  • If a wild boar decides to attack you, it will generally stampede toward you with the purpose of its prey falling over. 
  • Wild boars can also carry dangerous diseases, including Hepatitis E and Influenza A. 
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4. European Adders

Scientific Name: Vipera berus
Classification: Reptilia
Habitat: Woodlands, wetlands, forests
Diet: Carnivores
Conservation Status: Least Concern
Quick Summary: Most bites from a Common European Adder do not result in serious health complications. 

The Common European Adder is frequently referred to as the Common European Viper, and these snakes have high populations throughout central and east Europe. 

Adder snakes are venomous and can live in a wide range of different environments. They commonly inhabit woodlands and wetlands, and adders customarily hunt their prey as the sun sets.

The Common European Adder can reach lengths of eighty centimeters. Female adder snakes typically sport more reddish/brown colored skin, while males are usually lighter in color; these snakes can live over twenty years!

Adder snakes tend to keep to themselves, not interacting often with others apart from mating activities. They are carnivorous and frequently feast on smaller animals like rats and lizards. 

Fortunately, the Common European Adder does not usually bear an aggressive demeanor. However, like most wild animals, they will strike out if they feel threatened or provoked by a human. 

What Makes The Common European Adder Dangerous?

  • These snakes are skilled hunters, either utilizing the “sit and wait” method or swallowing their victim’s head entirely.
  • Symptoms of a bite from a Common European Adder include swelling, dizzy spells, fainting, and difficulty breathing. 
  • Those, especially at risk for severe reactions to a bite from this snake are young children, older individuals, or those with chronic illnesses. 

5. Nose-Horned Vipers

Scientific Name: Vipera ammodytes
Classification: Reptilia
Habitat: Woodlands, scrubs, rocky hillsides
Diet: Carnivores
Conservation Status: Least Concern
Quick Summary: Regarded as highly dangerous, watch out for nose-horned vipers while in Austria. 

Nose-horned viper snakes may also be referred to as the Horned Viper, Long-Nosed Viper, and Sand Viper. They primarily reside in the southern region of Europe, Italy, and even the Middle East.

These snakes may be nocturnal or diurnal. They are carnivorous, with diets consisting of lizards, birds, and even the occasional snake!

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They greatly vary in color depending on their sex. Common colors of nose-horned vipers are brown and gray.

Nose-horned vipers live an average of twenty-two years. Additionally, they may grow to be over ninety centimeters in length. 

Though certainly dangerous, fear not … as nose-horned vipers usually will not bite humans if there is no active threat or ongoing provocation involved. 

What Makes Nose-Horned Vipers Dangerous? 

  • Nose-horned vipers have incredibly long fangs, measuring up to thirteen millimeters! These fangs can undoubtedly leave a mark if they come into contact with human skin.
  • The venom from a nose-horned viper is highly neurotoxic to humans. Serious health complications that may arise after a bite are kidney injuries and paralysis.
  • Less severe symptoms of a nose-horned viper include dizziness, pain, and swelling at the bite site.

6. Sac Spiders 

Scientific Name: Cheiracanthium
Classification: Arachnida
Habitat: Gardens beneath vegetation
Diet: Carnivores
Conservation Status: Not Extinct
Quick Summary: The venom of these yellow spiders is both neurotoxic and cytotoxic to humans. 

The Yellow Sac Spider has been pegged the ‘thorn finger’ in Austria. They have been spotted around the globe, from the Midwestern United States to eastern Europe. They are commonly seen residing on trees or beneath vegetation.

Sac spiders in Austria usually measure about twenty millimeters in length, with vibrant yellow and orange colors. These spiders are nocturnal, lurching for their prey during the nighttime. They are carnivorous, feasting upon spiders and other insects (as well as insect eggs). 

If these spiders feel threatened or provoked, they may act aggressively toward humans, especially if they are accidentally stuck in human clothing. 

What Makes Sac Spiders Dangerous?

  • The venom of sac spiders in Austria is both neurotoxic and cytotoxic to humans. 
  • Less severe symptoms of a sac spider bite include swelling and itching at the site of the bite. 
  • Serious bite symptoms may include headaches, nausea, and fevers.
  • Most bites from a yellow sac spider in Austria will not result in serious health complications. 

To End

From poisonous adders to sac spiders, Austria has its share of creatures that can cause injury and even death. 

Ultimately, the majority of animals in Austria pose little threat to humans. Though many can be dangerous if they feel threatened or provoked, respecting their space will help you avoid trouble. 

While visiting Austria, maintain a safe distance from dangerous wildlife and avoid feeding animals. By following these simple principles, it is unlikely that you will provoke any dangerous animals while visiting Austria.

Claudia Bensimoun

Claudia Bensimoun is a writer who specializes in veterinary topics. Aside from writing for Wildlife Boss, Claudia also writes for other major blogs like Fido Friendly, Animal Wellness Magazine, and the United States Dog Agility Association (USDAA). She has ghostwritten over 50 different e-books. Her passions include animal welfare, veterinary research, and wildlife conservation.

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