People Explain Which Animals Have A Bad Reputation That They Don't Deserve
David Clode on Unsplash

Cute and cuddly goes a long way when it comes to human opinions on our fellow fauna.

But the animals that prey on the cuter critters or are a bit bitey or less than lovely never fare as well in the court of public opinion.

While some animals are as vicious as their reputation claims—looking at you honey badger—others are simply misunderstood.


Redditor MrBonelessPizza24 asked:

"What animals have a bad reputation they don’t deserve?"

Vultures

"At least in my area of the US, the buzzards [turkey vultures] clean up the trash and dead animals on the roads. Yes, they are not pretty to look at but they do the job barely anyone wants to do."

- Cheetodude625

"Fun fact about vultures. In India because cows are revered they would euthanize old or sick ones with a special chemical as it was deemed the most humane way to do it. However despite having an almost steel trap of a stomach this chemical was also killing the vultures."

"The vultures would usually eat the dead cattle when they were decomposing. As a result decomposing cows were no longer being consumed and were beginning to spread sickness to the people around them."

"The Indian government had to make a change to the way cows were euthanized and as a result the vulture population bounced back and sickness due to proximity of rotting cow corpses went down."

"Vultures are very important to the ecosystem, but are usually treated badly because of their primary purpose within it. They shouldn't be, they provide an integral piece of it."

- Ghonaherpasiphilaids

"Himalayan cultures have to assist the scavenger birds by cutting up their dead and feeding it to the scavenger birds."

"Where they are above the frost line nothing really decomposes. It's also much too cold for burial."

"I'm sure they appreciate the birds, as they'd have died of disease without their assistance."

- PolarBare333

Giphy

Oviraptor

"It's extinct, but Oviraptor."

"Back in the day the first one found was a well preserved specimen lying in a clutch of eggs."

"Not much was known about oviraptor eggs at the time but these seemed to be from a much larger species, so it was thought that the critter died trying to get a free meal, so the paleontologist gave it the name 'Egg theif'."

"Years later, a really well preserved clutch of eggs was found, with perfect baby Oviraptor skeletons inside."

"The original specimen was a mother that died trying to protect its eggs, not trying to eat them. But because of paleontologys' 'first come, first served' rules in regards to naming things it will be forever known as a thief."

- Froskr

Giphy

Ravens

"Ravens."

"People think they're evil just because sometimes they're scavengers, and they were known to pick at bodies when public executions were still a thing."

"Because of that they're forever the symbol of death and many people think they're evil."

- BroskiWind

"Plus, they are pretty smart."

‐ The_Sound_of_Slants

Giphy

Sharks

"Sharks."

"Humans taste disgusting apparently and sharks prefer something with blubber like seals or whales. Sharks have very very poor eyesight so they often mistake surfers for seals (imagine someone laying down on a surf board, it looks like a seal from below)."

"They aren’t entirely sure what humans are and sometimes they’ll do a test nibble to check. Then will go away once they realize that it’s not a seal."

"Unfortunately their test nibbles aren’t very gentle but also aren’t fatal as long as no major arteries were hit."

"You’re more likely to be killed by a cow than a shark."

- CapaxInfini

Giphy

"Most cows will not really hesitate to walk up to a human which could lead to a dangerous situation. A shark on the other hand?"

"Most sharks will quickly disappear into the depths the second they see a human. Hammerhead sharks, in particular, want absolutely nothing to do with us and will bolt on sight."

"Unless you're splashing around at the surface of the water, the chances of actually getting attacked by a shark unprovoked are super low. Cows seem more likely to attack unprovoked."

‐ Pixel131211

Bats

"Bats. They eat more insects in one night than a spider will in a month. And they're rarely aggressive."

"Bats aren't harmless. They are a carrier of rabies, which is deadly to humans and animals alike. You should definitely be *wary of them."

"They are wild animals, and though they aren't usually confrontational, that doesn't make them friendly, either. All I ask is if they are not bothering you, leave them alone."

"If they are, then please, do something about it. I don't want anyone to feel like they are obligated to allow bats to nest in their chimney or attic."

"Bats belong in the wild, not in your house."

- Independent_Sea_836

Giphy

Seagulls

"Gulls are actually really expressive and very social, so they're fun to watch."

"Mature gulls in flight are quite beautiful over the ocean."

"The reason they go after people's food is because people feed them."

- olivi_yeah

"I’ll admit that I am one of the feeder people. When I’m fishing, I give some gulls (and other shorebirds) some of the bait."

"They love me and tend to keep the families and other fishermen and fisherwomen far enough away from me to satisfy my hate of socialization."

- Drulock

Giphy

(o)Possums

"[North American] Possums. They are very disease resistant."

"They are unlikely to carry rabies, because their body temperature is too low for the rabies virus to thrive."

- Automatic_Judge7910

"They also eat ticks!"

- Laurasaur20

Giphy

Black Cats

"Black cats."

"They are even more adorable than the other cats and I don't understand why they have become the most known symbol of bad luck."

- SpacePickle95

"We've had 3. Each one was as awesome as the next."

"They still have different personalities, but black cats seem to have bolder personalities."

- normaldeadpool

Giphy

Bees

"Honey bees. People are terrified but the last thing a honeybee wants to do is sting you."

"They just want to work. They are gentle creatures with personality and moods."

- thickener

"Most people can’t tell the difference between bees and wasps and assume bees will behave like wasps."

- ReallySmallWeenus

"We are so large compared to bees that they actually only see us as environmental markers. When they see us, they see a mountain, not a giant."

"They might sting your hand if they mistake it for an adversary, but they don’t care about you."

"They evolved to recognize other insects as predators. You are too big to register as living."

- Crazed_waffle_party

Giphy

Mosquitoes

"Mosquitoes."

"Just kidding—f'k mosquitoes."

- coobreeze6

"Came here to see if anyone would defend mosquitoes."

"I would have then assumed that "person" was in fact a sentient mosquito. And never went outside again."

- snowman226

"Mosquitos have a vital role in the ecosystem. They are the food of some animals like frogs and dragonflies."

"They are vegetarian most of the time; they eat nectars. They only bite when they are pregnant; they need the protein in blood for the eggs."

"BUT, mosquitos also have the most number of humans killed. They are the carrier of many diseases like malaria and dengue fever."

- Background-Lunch698

"Apparently only 6% of mosquito species feed on humans, and only half of that actually carries deadly diseases."

- NotGod_DavidBowie

Syed Ali on Unsplash

All life on Earth evolved into a niche in the food chain.

While the extinction of one species might not topple the ecosystem, it does have an impact.

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