With regard to potentially life threatening animal encounters, we're relatively safe here in El Paso.

The Borderland is teeming with wildlife and, while pretty much any creature could pose some level of danger, even if it just scares you into falling or wrecking your car or something, there are only a few around here that could straight up whack you.

Rattlesnakes, for example. They blend in with their surroundings, move silently, are often small and they're very fast. If you surprise one, the odds are a zillion to one you will move quickly enough to avoid a strike. Fortunately, they don't like being around us and, unless you live at the base of the mountains or the far edges of town, it's unlikely you'll come across one during your day to day activities. We also have black widows and, (less common), brown (apache) recluse spiders. In the aforementioned areas and farther into the wild, you can find bigger critters that could absolutely wreck you like mountain lions and coyotes. Even the deer can knock you for a loop and, between Chaparral and WSMR, there are some hot tempered Oryx which leaves us with 4 or 5 major concerns.

Throughout the rest of Texas though, the list of deadly animals gets way longer ... and weirder. Alligators, venomous snakes and spiders, sharks, bears, wolves, wild hogs and some microscopic life forms that you can't even see like brain eating amoebas and flesh eating bacteria. (The bacteria comes courtesy of those cute lil armadillo guys so, don't touch.) That's just a partial list.

Surprisingly, the Texas native with one of the best chances of taking you out is a freaking ant. (Well, a buttload of them actually.) They're known as flood rafting fire ants and, according to patch.com, these guys pile up and float around during floods. Then climb up on anything that's dry ... even if it's us.

Thankfully, you have to kind of look for trouble around here. Throughout the rest of Texas though, trouble may find/climb you.

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