Lions and turkeys and bears, oh my! (Yes, you could die)

The only way to avoid clashes with potentially deadly creatures is to stay indoors, and even then you may risk a home invasion of rattlers, fire ants or mosquitoes. Here is a sampling of attacks on humans by California fauna, excluding white sharks, since 2000. -- PAMM HIGGINS

Mountain lion

Big cat kills one mountain biker and critically injures a second in attacks at Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park in Orange County.



Black bear with two cubs in tow disfigures a man standing outside a cabin near Bridgeport.


Reptile bites boy’s thumb at a Santa Clarita skateboard park. Another rattler in a toy box strikes a Ramona toddler. Both boys survive.



Gray “bunny” lunges at and bites the hand of a man who attempts to befriend what he thinks is a stray house pet during a nature walk in Santa Rosa.

Fire ant

In a rare home invasion, the insects attack two Orange County children playing on the floor. They are treated successfully.

Sea lion


Slippery assailant swimming off El Capitan State Beach chomps on a Santa Barbara lifeguard, who needs 30 stitches.


Slimy purplish creatures, some as big as a car tire, harass and sting swimmers along Southern California beaches.

Wild turkey


Bird menacingly gobble-gobbles as it chases cars and people in a Sonoma County mobile home park.


Swarm fatally stings a Banning man when he accidentally disturbs a hive while repairing an irrigation pipe.



Insects carrying the neuro-invasive West Nile virus bite 146 Californians, six of whom have died of the disease.