Ashwick is home to many wildlife, and though chances are you will almost never encounter any of these animals in the city, you should know Ashwick's most dangerous creatures. I again reiterate, you will almost never encounter any of these in the streets of Ashwick, other than the black widow spiders which are too small to see, and the occasional coyote, everything else you'd find way outside the city limits. Let's begin:
The female southern black widow spider is notorious for eating the male after mating, as well as its venomous bite. Widows can be identified by the red hourglass marking on their back. Although their bite is certainly potent, it is rarely fatal in the modern age, thanks to antivenom.
Despite their name, the black bears to be found in California are rarely black, more often they are brown in color. If you encounter one, you should keep your distance. These bears are less aggressive than grizzlies, but still capable of killing a human, although in practice they will generally either run away when encountered, or limit themselves to mock charges. They are most likely to attack if they are starving, or protecting young. If attacked, you should fight back, rather than playing dead or submitting.
Bobcats are small wild cats that inhabit most of the USA. Their name comes from their short stubby tail. Bobcats are solitary, largely nocturnal animals that actively avoid humans, so they are unlikely to be encountered. Bobcats are skilled hunters and have been known to take down animals as big as deer. Despite their hunting abilities, sharp claws and teeth, the bobcat has never been known to attack humans or pets, however – so this is one dangerous Californian animal that you definitely don’t need to be worried about.
Also known as pumas, cougars, panthers, and catamounts, mountain lions are another dangerous animal that deserve to be high up on the list. They have a powerful bite which they normally deliver to the victims neck.Attacks are rare, however, as this big cat does not see humans as prey and will normally seek to avoid them. The attacks that do occur are normally by mountain lions that are starving, or juveniles who are looking to establish new territory.If you are unlucky enough to encounter an aggressive mountain lion, you should attempt to establish direct eye contact and scare it away by making lots of noise and throwing sticks and rocks.
Attacks by coyotes on people are very rare, but these wild dogs can still be dangerous. Coyotes can also mate with domestic dogs, resulting in “coydogs”, which have the predatory instincts of the wild dog without the equivalent fear of people.Coyotes and coydogs are more of a danger to livestock than people, but should still be respected and avoided.
Rattlesnakes are the only venomous snake native to California. There are a number of different species in the state, including: the northern Pacific rattlesnake, the Western Diamondback, Sidewinder, Speckled rattlesnake, Red Diamond rattlesnake, Southern Pacific, Great Basin rattlesnake and the Mojave rattlesnake. Rattlesnakes are certainly dangerous, but they won’t generally strike unless startled or provoked and will almost always retreat if given the chance. Most rattlesnake encounters happen by accident, when they are touched or stepped on by walkers or climbers. There are usually around 800 rattlesnake bites each year in California and one or two deaths. If you are bitten, your chances of survival are very good, provided you seek immediate medical attention.
There are many different types of scorpion in California. None of them will usually kill you if they sting you, unless you are unfortunate enough to suffer an allergic reaction, but the sting can be extremely painful and you should seek treatment.
Tarantulas are dark and hairy and typically measure 3 inches in length. The commonest time to see them is in the evening when they are often out hunting. Although a tarantula bite is very unlikely to kill you, it can be extremely painful and unpleasant and you should still seek medical help.