You may not know this, but like humans, animals can hold grudges. They’re just as capable at taking sweet revenge as we are. And, yeah, they can be even more petty than your passive-aggressive post-it notes to your messy roommate. Join me as I investigate a few incidents of animal revenge. Seems that they were no more submissive to human domination and decided to settle the score a little bit.
Markov Gets Marked Off
Siberian tigers can weigh over five hundred pounds and can be ten feet long from nose to tail. These facts failed to penetrate the tough, Russian exterior of Vladimir Markov, a poacher who was out doing his thing in 1997. He shot a tiger, wounding it, but left it there instead of finishing the job.
Markov then continued about his day in the woods, taking a chunk of the tiger’s prey with him. He would soon come to regret leaving nature’s stripy hunter alive. After a quick recovery of only a few hours, the tiger tracked Markov’s scent to his cabin, destroying anything that held the poacher’s scent along the way. It waited by the front door, and then enjoyed a hearty hominid happy meal when Markov arrived home.
Pretty vicious episode of animal revenge, ha? Wait for more!
Dogs are man’s best friend, but that’s really predicated on man being nice to the dog first. This predication became true for a man in Chongqing, China who felt the full force of canine karma.
After finding a stray dog chilling in his usual parking spot, he sent it on its way with a swift kick and parked up as usual. But when he returned to his car the next morning, he found it in a dire state; covered in little dents and marks, it appeared vandals had targeted his vehicle overnight.
But unruly neighborhood kids weren’t the source of the trouble; indeed, the man’s neighbor had captured a very different story on camera. A pack of stray dogs had shown up that night and attacked the car. They’d left deep dents and bite marks all over the car, giving the wheel arches and windscreen wipers a particularly good seeing to.
Whether odd coincidence or coordinated attack, karma really is a… uh, female dog.
Elephants Never Forget
Elephants are vengeful. In 2011, in the Champua forest range in India, poachers killed an elephant for its tusks. The rest of the herd seemingly sought to avenge their loss and did so with trumpets blazing. Combining forces with another herd, the elephant’s family went on a huge rampage, destroying fifty-four houses in the surrounding area over the course of two weeks.
Human families became homeless after the elephants literally torn apart their houses, forcing the forest department to pay up for re-homing those affected. The elephants hid deep within the dense forest during the day and emerged at night to trample civilization.
This type of behavior becomes increasingly common around the world, where human operations increasingly reduce the roaming forests for these amazing creatures.
A Lion’s Share
In 2018, in the Limpopo province of South Africa, a severed head was found in a National park next to a loaded hunting rifle.
Both rifle and head were later found to belong to a poacher named David Baloyi, but the rest of him was nowhere to be seen. It turned out the pride of lions he’d been hunting ate the rest of him. Since almost none of him was left, it was difficult for authorities to initially identify the man.
Ironically, just a year earlier, three lions had been found dead in Limpopo with their heads and paws missing. Heads and paws are, of course, the bits that poachers like to keep.
Could the lions that ate David Baloyi have known this and enacted their revenge accordingly? Maybe not. But it’s still pretty poetic.
The Living Dead
Animal revenge only happens when you’re illegally hunting exotic animals, right? Wrong. Animals have a taste for revenge all over the globe.
Randy Goodman, a hunter in Missouri learned this the hard way when he landed two shots on a buck from a .270 caliber rifle. He assumed the buck was dead and approached. But he was wrong as it leapt up and attacked him with its antlers. He ended up in the hospital and had seven stitches in his head. Maybe the doctors should’ve stapled some hunting safety rules to his shooting hand while they were at it.
A similar incident occurred in Spain in 2015. After shooting a wild boar, a hunter approached assuming it to be a pig on death’s door alongside his hunting dogs. Instead of an easy haul of fresh bacon, he got a fresh pair of tusks stabbed into his leg by a very much still-living boar.
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The tables turned completely, and the man was dead by the time officials found him later that day.
Bringing Home Dinner
This incident proves that the revenge of animals could be brutal. In 2011, an Indonesian man returned from a vacation to a rather unwelcome surprise. Through malice or irresponsibility, he’d left his 7 dogs locked in the house without observation or food for two weeks.
As you’ll see, their reaction to his return was far from welcome. A few days after he’d returned, a neighbor became suspicious when he caught whiff of a horrible smell coming from his house. He called the police, who investigated and discovered the man’s dead body in one room and his skull in another.
The prime suspects were his dogs – believed to have eaten him, driven by starvation. The police also found the bones of a few other dogs inside, presumably the victims of the hungry pack.
Animal Revenge: Hitchcock IRL
You may be aware that crows are among the smartest animals and have been observed using simple tools, solving complex problems and demonstrating more common sense than some humans you know. It turns out crows also use their massive brains to hold grudges and they demonstrate a great example of animal revenge. Researchers in Seattle who trapped and banded crows for five years learned this the hard way.
Turns out, crows find being trapped and studied quite demeaning, and aren’t so quick to forget their jailors. Nor are their friends, who gathered over researchers’ heads, cawing in disapproval at the sight of their trapped comrades. Even after an entire year without seeing the researchers, upon finally seeing them in the wild, the crows would caw in anger and dive-bomb them in mobs of thirty or more birds.
The number of attaching birds was more than they had captured in the past. It means word had spread to the whole community. The researchers soon found, by carrying out experiments in realistic masks, that crows can memorize individual human faces. Even 5 years on, one researcher donned his experimental mask once more and was instantly the victim of an intense verbal assault from the campus corvids.
A similar thing happened to researchers from the Korea Polar Research Institute with Antarctic seabirds called skuas. In order to test the idea that the birds could recognize humans, they would purposefully mess with their nests and then come back later. Lo and behold, skuas turned out to have a thing for faces too and would chase down the particular meddlesome scientists whenever they appeared.
Crouching Tiger; Hidden Moonshiner
In what sounds like the beginning of a feline John Wick movie, a tiger turned vengeful after his mate and cub were killed by humans in Seethathodu, India.
When officials arrested a man for an illegal alcohol bootlegging operation in the forest, he recounted the full story. His fellow brewer had killed the tigress and her cub when he spotted them near their base of operations. Three days later, the moonshiners were out in the forest again, where the widower tiger found them, dragging one of them into the forest.
The authority eventually found found the, half dead, and he later succumbed to his injuries in hospital. If there’s a lesson here, it’s: don’t hunt tigers and don’t make moonshine.
Charging A High Price
If the animal kingdom had ever aimed a crosshairs at anyone, notorious hunter Theunis Botha was a prime target. To this day, the hunter’s website offers customers “a unique, exciting African safari experience”, and boy did his demise fit that description.
The majestic wildlife that was so often the target of Botha’s hunts got its revenge on the South African hunter one day, when he came upon a group of elephants in Zimbabwe. The elephants charged Botha and the group he was leading. They opened fired, but one particularly angry elephant did not move and picked up Botha with its trunk. Another hunter shot the elephant, which dropped dead right on top of Botha, killing him.
The Muslim celebration of Eid al-Adha is a four-day holiday where Muslims in various locations around the world ritually slaughter sheep, goats, and cows, donating much of the meat to poor people. As many untrained people buy the animals and slaughter them themselves, accidents are fairly commonplace.
In 2012, one particular cow who – for some mysterious reason – had no interest in being slaughtered for festivities trampled to death the man who was going to carve him up.
This isn’t a solo case. Almost 150 people had to go to the hospital in that single Palestinian territory that year alone. It seems that those animals were in the mood of taking revenge instead of observing the holiday spirit.
Revenge of Animals: Buffa-low Blow
Trophy hunter Claude Kleynhans was out near the Levubu River in South Africa loading a buffalo he had just killed into his car when suddenly, out of nowhere, another charged him and gored him… right in the crotch.
Unfortunately, while cartoons may lead us to see some humor in this type of attack, the reality was not so funny. Apparently, this buffalo had murder on the mind, since he hit Kleynhans’ femoral artery, killing him almost instantly.
African buffalo can weigh up to 1,300 lbs., and reportedly kill over 200 people every year. They’re highly aggressive and very protective of their herd mates, which apparently extends to communal revenge against humans with guns.
Right to Bear Arms
In 2014, a brown bear escaped an encounter with hunters after taking a shot to the leg in the Siberian forest.
The next day, the hunter who laid the hit returned to his car and discovered that it had been totally destroyed. The interior had been torn to shreds, the rear bumper was ripped off, the windscreen was smashed, the lights were broken, and it was covered in mud. Claw marks at the scene of the crime and par prints on the car seem to indicate that this was the work of a bear.
If not the wounded bear itself, then perhaps a compassionate other with a strong sense of species pride. Interestingly enough, it didn’t touch the nearby cars of the hunter’s friends – who didn’t fire any shot. Siberian bears are the bad boys of the bear world and have developed a reputation for messing with people. There are numerous stories of Siberian bears destroying huts and anything else they think might contain food, as well as terrifying tales of direct attacks on humans. Needless to say, I’ll be doing all I can to avoid angering a grizzly. Especially with my new paint job.
Are these proofs about vengeful animals convincing enough, or do you think these were just coincidences? Let me know what you think in the comments section below.
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