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Mirhanna Sandoya of Lucero Homes, Golf & Country Club – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Forest home of the Ngäbe-Buglé, Panama – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingThere are dangerous animals in Panama. We have snakes and scorpions. Panama is home to a snake species called the “X” which is one of the most poisonous snakes in Latin America. It’s called the X because it’s black and it has little x’s on its back. If you get bitten by the X, you need to rush to the hospital and let them know that you were bitten by one. ,Then they will stabilize you and you’ll be okay. You will survive, but only if you get immediate attention.
 
Snakes are not biting people on the streets in Panama, but, for example, if you live in the Boquete area which has a lot of trees and is very mountainous with a lot of forests, wandering around, you should go with a guide, because they know how to react if they see a snake. Most of the tour guides that we have in Panama who are licensed have all the first aid kits and everything that you may need in the case that someone gets bit. If you’re in David, on the other hand, or in your residential area in Panama, even when in Boquete, you should not worry about snakes or any dangerous animal.
 
I’ve never seen any of the dangerous snakes in Panama, although I’ve heard about them from the aborigine areas in Chiriqui. Here in Panama, we have four different aborigine tribes, and one of them, the Ngäbe-Buglé, is located in Chiriqui. They live between Bocas del Toro, Chiriqui and Veraguas- right there on the border of the three. They have their community, and they are very primitive, living only from fishing and hunting. We’ve seen in the newspaper how they had to rush one of their residents to the hospital because a snake bit them. 
 
The average person walking around Boquete, David, or any other places in Panama should not be too concerned about being bitten by a snake. It would be very ridiculous if you’re scared of a snake being in the streets. These dangerous snakes are hidden in the very deep forests.
 
(Forest home of the Ngäbe-Buglé, Panama, picutred.)
 
John Vanover – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Panama has (I believe the exact number is) 24 venomous snakes. These fantastic and wonderful creatures are rarely seen. On occasion the hog-nosed viper will be found in urban areas around storage sheds, rarely used closets, garages etc. This snake is responsible for the majority of snakebites in Panama. The Fer de Lance is a dangerous snake because it is unusually aggressive and has great camouflage. This snake has also been noticed moving into higher altitudes as a result of global warming. 
Ron Hunter of Finca Cazador – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
A finca or rural estate in Chirqui province, PanamaThere certainly are poisonous snakes and insects here in the Panamanian province of Chiriquí (where Boquete and Vulcan is located) and in the entirety of Central America. However, the frequency of contact that I have had with poisonous snakes and insects in the Sonoran Desert in Arizona (where I’m from) was far greater than here in Chiriquí. 
 
There are some snakes here in Chiriquí that are quite poisonous. I bought Finca Cazador approximately 12 years ago, and in my 12 years in Chiriquí, at 3,100 feet elevation, I’ve come across three poisonous snakes on the farm, which is a far less frequent contact ratio compared to what I had in Arizona. 
 
I’m not one to kill poisonous creatures, if at all possible. I typically will try and capture them and move them to some other area. The indigenous people working for me are very quick with the machete for their own reasons. They typically kill most snakes, poisonous or not, which is what I found to be the case with the people coming to Panama from Mexico to work for me. They are quite terrified of reptiles, while I am not. 
 
I was a biology teacher for 20 years. I don’t have a real fear for dangerous animals and poisonous snakes, but you can find them here in Chiriquí. Poisonous insects are very infrequent here in Chiriquí. The incidence of spiders in Chiriquí is very low, which is very tolerable. I don’t have screens on the windows in my own house, and that tells you something.
 
The closest large town in Chiriquí is David. Close to David, there’s a very large 11,000-foot extinct volcano called Volcán Barú, and on one side of Volcán Barú is the town of Boquete. Boquete is actually not a large town, but it gets quite a bit of press because there’s a fair number of expats living there. 
 
If you were to go to the base of Volcán Barú, which is 10 or 15 miles closer to the ocean, that is where the town of David is located. Then if you came back up to the other side of Volcán Barú, there’s another town called Volcan, which a little bit larger than Boquete in terms of population. 
 
I am situated approximately 25 – 40 minutes out of Volcán on the road to the border between Costa Rica and Panama. The elevation here in this little berg called Río Sereno, is 3,100 - 3,400 feet, or about 1,000 meters, more or less. 
Keith Darby – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Coral snake – Best Places In The World To Retire – International Living"Yes" is the definite answer.
 
 Only last night whilst walking my dog I came across a coral snake but it had gone before I returned to the spot with a long handled spade which I use to kill  them.  I have also seen a bright green viper like snake which my neighbor assures me is poisonous in my garden and I have killed 8 Fer de Lance type 3 in my house and 5 on he concrete outside my house over the last 6 years.  I have also been stung once when treading on a scorpion (painful for about 24 hours but not life threatening) and I have had numerous bites from unknown insects or spiders but I still prefer the heat of Panama to the cold of England.
 
(Coral snake, pictured.)
 
Karen Walter of Local Travel Excursions – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Poisonous frogs, pets in Panama, Bufo Marinus, giant toads – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingAs others have commented here, yes there are poisonous animals in Panama to be concerned about. However, none really concern me as much as the bufo marinus (giant toad.)  Typically brown and green with excessive warts, this toad is as dangerous to pets as it is ugly.  Its venom is secreted from its glands which is exceptionally toxic.  If your pet licks, bites or eats this amphibian, it most likely will become sick and may die if not treated quickly.  Found in tropical climates, this frog is known for its high reproduction rate, large size (up to three pounds) and detrimental effects.  As a pet owner, I now know that these creatures come out at night and are more present during and after the rain, and are attracted to light.  In Panama, pet owners should check with their vet to make sure they are aware of this danger and how to treat their pet should they ingest any venom.  Your vet will tell you the warning signs and possibly give you medication to administer should you encounter this situation.  The first thing to do is wipe out the pets mouth with a wet rag, continuously. (Try not to flush the mouth with water as this will encourage the swallowing of the toxin.)  Some vets may advise you to administer a small dose of hydrogen peroxide to induce vomiting.  Be proactive.  Seek the advice of your vet before you or your pet encounters this pest. 
Philip McGuigan of Chiriqui United, an Association of the leading humanitarian organizations in the Chiriqui Province of Panama – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
If you are going to go out into the jungle, remember, it is the jungle.
 
I was walking my dogs the other day in Boquete, where I live, and I saw a nice, fat coral snake. Another pal of mine found a fer de lance snake in his backyard.
 
Also, every once in a while our perimeter alarm will go off. We have cameras and lights, so if it goes off I go check the cameras focused on the location where the alarm was triggered. Normally, it is a couple of dogs from the neighborhood who are just having a fun time. One time, however, I saw that a gato negro, which is pretty close to a jaguar, had set off the alarm.
 
Boquete has amazing trails, but if you go out in the jungle you need to take appropriate precautions to ensure your safety. Common sense should be your guiding principle.
 
If you are not hiking on private property with well maintained trails and established safety precautions, such as the very popular The Lost Waterfalls hike, you must follow the Golden Rule or you may find yourself in trouble.
 
The Golden Rule is: you must either hike with a group which will be able to deal with problems if they arise; or you must hike with an experienced guide.
 
The jungle is a wondrous place, but if you do not follow the Golden Rule, dress appropriately, and bring fully charged cell phones and enough water, your failure to exercise these common sense precautions can result in tragedy.
Dennis Dean Smith of DennisDeanSmith – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account

Africanized Bee Activity is Up in Panama

As in any country, there are poisonous reptiles, snakes and insects in Panama. The latest bee, african, africanized, panama, insect, reptile, poisonous, los santos, sting, panama city, canal zone, howard, alcalde diaz, snakes – Best Places In The World To Retire – International Livinginsects making the news are the Africanized – or African – bees. Before we go into the statistics, let's get some facts straight.

As opposed to what you might read or see in the movies, African bees are not that much more deadly than other honey makers. What characterizes them is they tend to be more aggressive in protecting their territory and may do so up to 100 feet away if they feel threatened (noise, heat, intrusion, whatever). African bees also tend to swarm more than other species. The danger from a sting comes if you are allergic. Symptoms can include skin burning and itching, swelling or rash, nausea, shock - or in extreme cases, unconsciousness or even death. This of course requires a doctor. Otherwise treat a sting like you would any other.

Now for some statistics. Africanized bee sting activity in Panama is monitored by the Directorate of Operations of the Fire Department of Panama (CBP). Spokesmen have reported that there were 645 confirmed cases in January. 158 direct medical visits were attributed. The CBP doesn't track deaths directly attributed to the stings as it is not permitted to. (Who knows why?)

The areas that seem to be favorites are Los Santos and Panama Provinces. In the Panama City area, it's Alcalde Diaz, the (former) Canal Zone areas, Juan Diaz and Howard. Bee activity increases in Panama's dry season from mid-December to mid-April.

Should you panic? No. Problems with bees in Panama are rare. Most residents report that the bees they encounter on their properties or elsewhere are the tame variety. They just go on doing what normal bees do. Honey anyone?

Note: In another insect answer, we talked about the Dengue mosquito issue under the question, "In Panama, do I have to worry about malaria, yellow fever and other diseases we don't generally have in North America?"

Nelson Vega of Panasurance – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Yes, there are poisonous reptiles, snakes and insects in Panama. As in any other part of the world, the more rural the area in which you are located, the more chances you will have to run into one of these. But most of the time these types of animals are hard to find, so don't go out into nature fearing that you will see one because most likely you won't.
 
On a side note, I have read that during dry season (January to April) snakes do try to wander around wet areas like small rivers and ponds, so if you go out for walk in nature on a summer day, just be a little extra cautious but enjoy the trip. Most animals are afraid of humans and they will likely avoid any contact.
Lourdes Townshend of Multimodal  & Logistic Transports Magazine – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
God created  all kind of animals, and spread them around the world; that means every country got their share, and Panamá is not the exception.
 
We do have large extensions of prime jungle and lots of vegetation, suitable for the most incredible creatures.  This has attracted the attention of many international scientific organizations, like the Smithsonian Institute, which has been established in Panamá for many years, contributing with the study of species in every corner of the country, mainly in the isle of Coiba, isolated territory of Darien, Chiriquí, Bocas del Toro, Veraguas, and especially the great investigative place of Barro Colorado, where visitors are restricted, due the amazing environmental projects in there, a treasure for the world to enjoy and study.  At their headquarters in downtown Panamá city, the Smithsonian has a beautiful orchids sanctuary, similar to the one in El Valle de Antón.
 
The answer is yes, we do have insects and all kind of different animals in Panamá, especially in the "interior", but as with everything, when you are careful and take your precautions, the risk of being bitten by one of them, is 100 to 1 less than the chance of being hit by a car, or falling down on the step of your front door.
 
I'm sure if you go to North or South Carolina, Texas, Washington state, or any of those larger states with vegetation and desserts, you will find far more  dangerous animals than in Panamá. Remember:  Panama is a very modern cosmopolitan city, not only a beach or a jungle, where you only find monkeys.
 
 
 
Alan Filliger of Alana la Casa del Arte – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
The short answer to the question, "are there poisonous reptiles, snakes and insects, and dangerous animals in Panama?" is YES.  The long answer takes more time.  Very few places in the world do not have any dangerous animals, snakes, insects, etc.
 
Panama has its share of dangerous species just like every other place you can visit, live or enjoy.  I have lived in Panama for about seven years.  I have seen snakes, poison dart frogs, spiders, a "sea snake" and a few other dangerous critters.  I am hoping to see a jaguar here someday as well.
 
Most people are never harmed by the dangerous critters that live among us.  I live very close to a complete jungle (outside my community).  It is good to be aware and alert at all times.
 
Several people were injured  just outside our community last week .... across the road from the jungle.  There was a bad auto accident involving several cars and a pick-up truck just outside our entry gate.  It wasn't critters being dangerous .... It was people.
James David Audlin of Editores Volcán Barú – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Here where I live in the Tierras Altas, there are poisonous reptiles, such as this beautiful juvenile pit viper that I encountered at the foot of the tallest mountain in Panamá (a twenty-minute walk from my house), named Volcán Barú. I, personally, find all creatures fascinating. Snakes are extremely intelligent animals, and by and large are more than glad to leave unpredictable humans alone. As long as you observe proper precautions, and don't corner or antagonize a wild creature, you are most likely at no risk - as is true anywhere in the world.
Pit Viper on the trail to the summit of the mountain Volcán Barú in Panamá – Best Places In The World To Retire – International Living
 
Col Davis Stevenson RET of Condor Tours & Travel, Inc – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
I was know about poisonous reptiles, snakes and insects because of my experience as a Jungle Bunny while growing up in Panama as well as being a line instructor at the Army Jungle Warfare Training Center, Fort Sherman.
 
Panama has several species of poisonous snakes, the largest which is the Bushmaster and the smallest of which is the Corol Snake, All of the snakes in Panama do their best to avoid humans and the rate of snake bites is very low due to the fact that snakes are very seldom found in the inhabited areas of Panama. We do have the usual scorpions, spiders and other insects but in the most cases one seldom sees them nor are they many reports of bites. In all my jungle years I have seen just one Bushmaster, several FerdeLance and an occasional Coral Snake, all of them in jungle surroundings.
Louis Seldon – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Fer-de-Lance, Fer-de-Lance, poisonous snake in Panama  – Best Places In The World To Retire – International Living
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Fer-de-Lance, poisonous snake in Panama

Are there poisonous reptiles, snakes and insects, and dangerous animals in Panama?  Yes, there are some.  At the top of the list is the Fer-de-Lance.  Know what to do if you are bitten by one.

'Crock found at Albrook, Panama, now  – Best Places In The World To Retire – International Living
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Here's a 'crock found at Albrook, Panama, now "living" at Summit Garden's zoo.  Sadly, he is confined to a stagnant, nasty pond, no place for a "fellow of his grandeur“.
Monkeys on Ancon Hill – Best Places In The World To Retire – International Living
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Monkeys on Ancon Hill.
 
Saludos amigos ~~ Panama Lou
 

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