Worst Places for Animal Attacks
Michael & Patricia Fogden/Minden Pictures
Venezuela: Vampire Bats
Since 1932, there have been at least 132 human deaths from vampire bats, a common carrier of deadly rabies. Found all over South and Central America, the rabies-carriers are concentrated in Venezuela and Trinidad and Tobago. The bats are silent and often go undetected as they drink blood—their only means of sustenance—at night from their sleeping victims. In 2008, 38 Warao Indians in remote Venezuelan villages died from rabies brought on by bat bites, but researchers and tourists have also fallen prey.
Survival Tip: When sleeping, use the mesh mosquito nets around your bed.
Safe Spotting: Rabid vampire bat populations have grown commensurately alongside the cattle farms, but they attack humans less in those areas because of the bounty of cattle. Blue Parallel will arrange customized and safe vampire bat tours—using nets and focusing on day observation—in the Urubamba Valley, where rabies is not as common as it is in the Amazon.