Animals in Korea that Can Kill You! – Seoulistic

Animals in Korea that Can Kill You!

South Korea is a relatively small country that’s generally pretty safe. And that safety also extends out to wilderness! You won’t have much reason to fear hiking in the mountains and swimming in the oceans as dangerous animals don’t inhabit Korea anymore. With that said, there’s still a few that can kill human beings, namely you! Make sure you know what they are.


1. Wild Boars (멧돼지)

Hardcore vegetarian PETA types might crack a smile when they find out that wild boars get some revenge for all that samgyupsal eaten across the peninsula. Wild boars roam the mountain sides (especially in Jeju) and have been coming down to the city centers in recent years in search of food. And anytime an animal that’s as big, strong and fast as these wild swine come into contact with humans, it can have fatal results. In Korea, death by boar is not unheard of and there are usually a few reported cases every year. And unsurprisingly, these attacks are found more often in the cities than you might think. Samgyupsal eaters, your karma awaits!


2. Asian Giant Hornets (말벌)

If you’ve ever watched that video clip of a gang of angry Asian Hornets destroying an entire army of bumble bees, you know how unbelievably gangster they are. Too bad these bad boys also live in Korea. They usually live in big trees, which are often pretty close to grave sites which need weeding and trimming (Korean custom for visiting gravesite). When people get too close to the the hornet’s den, they’re attacked. And every year (particularly around Chuseok), these hornets kick some human ass.


3. Poisonous Snakes (독사)


Surprisingly, Korea is also home to a couple of poisonous snakes, including amur viper and ussuri mamushi. These slithering serpents are usually found deep in the mountains, along streams or in forests, usually coiled among rocks. They aren’t the most common animals to see in Korea, but if you do come across one, protect the children! The poisonous snakes found in Korea usually don’t have poison to kill a fully grown human, but it does have enough to kill small children. Don’t worry though, these snakes will give you plenty of warning with all that hissing that resembles mothers-in-law around the world :).


4. Jellyfish (해파리)

jellyfish destroying robot

jellyfish destroying robot

Jellyfish are a nuisance to beach goers around the world, and Korea is no different. In recent years, however, jellyfish blooms have become a problem for Korean coastlines, which has also resulted in the number of reported jellyfish stings. Last year there were 2,000+ jellyfish stings reported, while also an 8-year old girl was killed from a jellyfish sting. But Korean nerdiness is fighting back. Just last month, Korean researchers developed jellyfish destroying robots, which is designed to do exactly what you think it’s designed to do. And it is works! Korean nerds FTW!

Korea used to be a bit a lot more dangerous with tigers, bears, leopards and wolves. And death by wilderness was much more common than it is in modern day. But if you’re planning on seeing the nature of Korea, just know you should look out for these.

What animals can kill humans in your country?

Keith Kim is a Korean-American who has been living in Korea for almost a decade. Being in a unique position as both a Korean and a non-Korean, he's put all his experience and knowledge for surviving in Korea in Survival Korean . Read it to learn how you can survive in Korea. Follow him on Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram.


  1. sapokiko says:

    In my country (U.S.) – the most dangerous animal – homo sapiens. More people are killed each year by this animal than by all other animals combined. ;0)

  2. Rory says:

    In Ireland we have no dangerous animals. No poisonous animals either. So plenty of time to watch out for your mother in law. Lol

  3. yuki says:

    Seriously, if you want the list of animals that can kill a small child, it will never end. Think dogs…

  4. Rebeca says:

    In my country animals don’t kill people (only the zoo’s elephant called “Manyula”, but that was an accident) Humans kill another humans.

  5. chopsuey says:

    My old country, King Cobra. In my current country, bears, cougars, etc. Although there is still nothing deadlier than moving vehicles to squirrels, skunks and other animals that are of the rodent family.

  6. Nev says:

    Humans, dogs owned by humans, and cows (when scared by dogs owned by humans). Nothing else.

  7. Kim says:

    Omg those asian hornets are HUGE!!

  8. Kim says:

    Omg those asian bug hornets are HUGE!!!!!

  9. trust says:

    dogs,snakes,hornet,soldier ants small but very destructive

  10. Carrie says:

    Rattle Snakes, Bears (Black bear or Grizzly), anything with antlers (Elk, Moose, deer), and some would say wolves and cougars but that’s very rare. I think Coyotes attack more than wolves and cougars, they come into small towns and the city hunting for pets all the time, they are not that afraid of humans.

  11. dave says:

    The snakes aren’t poisionous they are vemonous.

  12. Aira says:

    I felt so bad for the honey bees 🙁

  13. Aram says:

    LOL….. from DOWN UNDER here….
    World’s top deadliest spiders…snakes….sea life…. whatever you name it~
    it’s all in Australia…
    But then again… I guess HUMANS are the most dangerous animal of all..

  14. Ukman83 says:

    Domestic dogs… Domestic livestock occasionally… Big red deer do have the potential to kill… There is one venomous snake, which is the European Adder that very rarely kills the elderly, the infirm, or children, but that is extremely rare.

  15. Bob Jacobson says:

    We’re interested in hornets. I’ve collected the giant hornets in Taiwan, and this year we plan to go to Korea. I was unable to find Chuseok on Google Earth. Can anyone tell me where this is located? Thanks, Bob

  16. Kayla says:

    Not many posionous animals in Canada, but a lot of mammal carnivores….we have mountain lions, grizzly/black/polar bears, coyotes, wolves, wolverines, orcas…

    Elk will attack you, so will moose, and deer are a huge cause of vehicle death as they just run onto the road.

    Our poisonous animals are mainly massassauga rattler (mostly around Lake Huron, Superior, Huron, and Erie) and brown recluse spiders. Another thing to watch for is tics in Ontario/Quebec, they carry Lyme disease. The mosquitos have West Nile as well, the area was also endemic for malaria in colonial days.

    In all honesty though, you’re more likely to get lost hiking and never be found than to get attacked by one of these animals.

  17. Harry McNicholas says:

    Snakes are venomous and not poisonous. Wear high top boots. It will help. Use a walking stick. Stay out of th brush where you cannot see.

  18. Joshua says:

    Going on a school trip to cambodia for a month next year, i’ve been freaking myself out looking at the dangers there. Any one have advice on what to avoid or be wary of? (Humans and animals)

  19. SW says:

    The author needs to do more research about poisonous snakes in S. Korea. I was bitten by a viper while camping and while I was in the hospital I learned a lot about snakes here. At least half of everyone that has heard my story says they did not know there are poisonous snakes here, including native Koreans.

  20. SW says:

    Should add that the viper that bit me didn’t hiss, or sound like a mother-in-law. This is not a joking matter and you should not determine if a snake is poisonous or not by hissing sounds. Please note the author also says these snakes “usually don’t have enough venom to kill a fully grown adult”. Usually don’t…

    • B says:

      They are technically all Venomous snakes if the toxin is injected through the fangs . Poisonous is when the toxin is delivered through the bacteria in the mouth or to the touch . Fun fact a common garter snake in some parts here in the us is both, anyone who’s ever played outdoors here has most likely seen one or held one . The poison and venom are both very weak and won’t effect humans but still 🤷‍♂️ I’ve owned snakes and handled wild snakes pretty frequently . All snakes can hiss , most won’t make noise if they are striking as part of an immediate defensive reaction , some won’t even make noise during a prolonged interaction but will move into a defensive position and hold that position until it either feels safe enough to move or until it needs to strike .

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