An archipelago of over 30 islands, Bahrain (meaning two seas) is somewhat of a growing tourist destination, and for good reason.
This jewel of the Persian Gulf, which was once dubbed the ‘island of pearls’ due to being the number one pearl supplier in the world, has plenty to offer. From its stunning natural beauty to its ancient civilizations, and even its very own Formula One circuit for those sports fans, it’s no wonder people are catching on to its vacation potential.
However, while you will definitely want to be clued up on the sights, customs and history of the country, there is something else you may just want to consider. Are there any dangerous animals in Bahrain? Well, we’ve put together a handy list of seven of the most dangerous creatures you may encounter. The good news is that this is not Kenya when it comes to wildlife, however, there are definitely one or two that could cause quite serious harm, if given the opportunity. So, let’s take a look.
With a variety of private and public beaches, Bahrain is no stranger to facilitating a beach day out. However, while getting in the water is just what is needed to escape the scorching summer heat (often reaching 40 °C/104 °F), there are a few potentially dangerous creatures lurking in the seabeds below.
The sea urchin, often found slowly drifting amongst the coral reefs looking for their next algae meal, is one of the most harmful. Should you disrupt a sea urchin, they have a mean defense mechanism in their extremely painful sting. These hedgehogs of the sea can cause severe damage to the skin, tissue, and even bones with their spiky spines, which are also notoriously difficult to remove from your body.
So, while sea urchin stings generally won’t prove fatal, unless a severe allergic reaction occurs, it is still a rather unpleasant experience that you would certainly want to avoid.
Next up on our list of the most dangerous animals in Bahrain is the shark. Luckily Bahrain is not quite Australia in terms of deadly sharks, however, it does have a fair few that you may just want to keep an eye out for.
There are more than 20 species of shark around the Persian Gulf and common sightings of whitecheek, milk, and grey sharks have been spotted around Bahrain. However, a few more dangerous ones have also been spotted in the area, such as the tiger shark and the bull shark, which are much more prone to aggression.
Although attacks are extremely rare, it is always best to exercise caution, especially if doing a bit of deep diving in hopes of getting your mitts on a few of those precious pearls. But if you do have a Jaws moment, stay calm, don’t make any sudden movements, and slowly get out of the way – never block a shark’s path.
There is estimated to be over 25,000 stray dogs in Bahrain and while some of them may be just as loveable as your pet back home, many can pose a real danger. With the population of stray dogs rising to over a third of what it was just a few years ago, you will most likely encounter one or two on your travels, which is why it has secured a place on the list of Bahrain’s most dangerous animals.
Often with a scruffy appearance, many street dogs can be malnourished, injured, or victims of extreme animal cruelty and although this will usually trigger the caregiver in a person, it is definitely not recommended to get too close. Man’s best friend in these parts could be quick to attack if they feel threatened.
However, if you do sense an impending attack, avoid eye contact and move away slowly while remaining calm.
Regarded as a symbol of power and prosperity in Bahrain, and the Middle East in general, the camel has been an important part of life for thousands of years. Unlike other camels, the Arabian camel possesses just one hump and is the tallest of the three species. The males can reach heights of up to 6.6 feet and weigh between 660 and 1,320 pounds, so we’re talking a pretty intimidating presence.
Although mainly domesticated and generally calm creatures, they can still have an unpredictability that could potentially prove dangerous. Known to be more aggressive around rutting season, a bite from one of these guys could cause serious injury. And of course, they can hurl a mean spit at you, if threatened. Perhaps nothing life-threatening, but not exactly pleasant either.
So, if you do spot a camel becoming a little agitated, best to make yourself scarce.
Another dangerous animal found around the Bahrain shores is the stingray. With flat bodies and sharp spine tails, these guys can inflict a world of pain. Commonly found in shallow water and often preferring to bury themselves in the sand, they can be most dangerous due to their ability to camouflage themselves amongst the seabeds. Although doing this to hide from their own predators, such as sharks and larger rays, it also unfortunately means you may not often see them until it’s too late.
With stings usually occurring when a swimmer or diver steps on it, the venom released from the tail spine can cause pain, swelling, and muscle cramps and could possibly be fatal. However, cases of fatal stings are extremely rare, with one of the most famous being the Australian wildlife expert, Steve Irwin, who passed away after being stung in the heart in 2006.
However, stingrays are not aggressive, and their main instinct is to swim away if threatened, so as long as you look where you’re stepping in any beach day out in Bahrain, you shouldn’t be involved in any nasty stingray encounter.
Black Widow Spider
Just when you thought there may not be any spiders to worry about. Unfortunately, there has been an increasing number of sightings of the black widow spider seen in the north of Bahrain. This highly venomous species can be recognized from its red hourglass marking on its abdomen. So, if you happen to see a spider sporting that, you may want to run fast.
With venom said to be 15 times stronger than that of a rattlesnake, a bite from this guy is no joke. Symptoms can include muscle aches, nausea and difficulty breathing. Although bites are rarely fatal, it is recommended to immediately wash out the bite site, apply an ice pack and elevate the area. However, medical attention should generally be sought after any bite from a black widow.
But with a non-aggressive nature, the black widow mainly strikes in self-defense, so avoiding their webs and checking seats before you sit down is a must in any black widow territory.
Last up on our countdown of the most dangerous animals in Bahrain is the Golden Jackal. This wolf-like creature prefers dry, open areas, which is why the desert landscape in Bahrain is such a hospitable host for this guy.
Feeding mainly on desert lizards and rodents, it varies in color but usually has sandy tones and can leap up to 10 feet. What makes these animals dangerous is their extreme territorial nature, which can turn into aggression when a threat is perceived. And with their sharp teeth and claws, as well as their ability to run at speeds of up to 40mph, let’s just say you probably wouldn’t make it out unscathed if you find yourself a target.
What is the most dangerous animal in Bahrain?
Due to the sheer number and probability of coming across them, street dogs would generally be considered the most dangerous animal in Bahrain. Although not all will be mean-spirited, the ones that do show aggression could potentially deliver a pretty nasty attack.
Are there lions in Bahrain?
No, there are no lions in the wild in Bahrain. However, there were reports of animal smuggling in recent years, in which lions were found to have been kept as pets. But, luckily for the tourist in Bahrain, lions are not something to worry about.
Are there dangerous snakes in Bahrain?
There are several venomous snakes in Bahrain. The most common snake found in Bahrain is the rat snake, which isn’t venomous. The majority of venomous ones are sea snakes, including the Persian Gulf sea snake, yellow sea snake and Shaw’s sea snake. Therefore, it is very uncommon to see any dangerous snakes roaming the grounds in Bahrain.
Are there dangerous spiders in Bahrain?
Luckily there aren’t many dangerous spiders to worry about in Bahrain. However, there have been reports of the highly venomous brown recluse and black widow spiders. Generally speaking, the main spiders you will have to worry about are just the simple jumping spider and common house spider.