Don't Like Wildlife? You'll Hate These Military Bases

A rattlesnake is dead.
(U.S. Air Force/Heide Couch)

They read IDs at the base gate checkpoint so they can keep out felons, but who's making sure the javelinas aren't destroying your stuff?

No one, that's who. Military bases are often home to a lot of surprising and, sometimes, terrifying wildlife. Here's our list of the top 10 bases with the craziest critters big and small.

1. Fort Huachuca, Arizona

Texas Parks & Wildlife

The javelinas, which look like a wild pig and roam in herds, will destroy anything you leave on your porch, scorpions will be regularly spotted in your quarters and watch out for the one or two only wild jaguars in the U.S., spotted roaming the mountains behind housing.

2. Cannon Air Force Base, New Mexico


Hope you’re not afraid of tarantulas. They’re hard to spot on the road at night, but you’ll feel them crunch as you run over them with your car. Rattlesnakes, camel spiders, and feral cats are also plentiful.

3. Edwards Air Force Base, California

A Western Diamondback
A Western Diamondback is seen in this undated file photo. (Joseph Burton/US Army Corps)

Don’t worry about the Mojave Rattlesnakes. The housing company will send you location information so you can steer clear of any snake nests they’ve found. What about the ones they haven’t found? Some residents suggest carrying a tourniquet on your run, just in case.

4. U.S. bases on Guam


If this one doesn’t terrify you, nothing will. So invasive and plentiful are the brown tree snakes on Guam that the U.S. parachuted Tylenol-stuffed dead mice on to Andersen Air Force Base to bait and kill them. Yes, airborne mice. Airborne, All the way!

5. Altus Air Force Base, Oklahoma


Kite birds seem pretty innocent – until they dive bomb your head as you walk outside. Base officials’ solution? Carry a tennis racket to protect yourself. Just add that to your gear right next to your PT belt. No big deal.

6. Fort Polk, Louisiana

Bureau of Land Management

You may think wild horses are nice, but they’re a real problem out at Fort Polk. They get in the way of large-scale exercises – which is the post’s primary purpose.

7. Fort Irwin, California


The Army’s other major war exercise post, Fort Irwin, is home to wild burros, which roam in packs and can cause traffic jams – as well as get in the way of training.

8. Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada

Getty Images

Did you know black widow spiders, like the ones at Nellis, can play dead? They are known to hang out by the trash cans around housing. As soon as you smash one flat and turn your back to find something to get rid of it, it has fled the scene. Awesome.

9. Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida


Or maybe just all of Florida. It’s hard to pick just one Florida animal that’s the most worrisome. Gators? Fire ants? Puss caterpillar? Florida man? You decide.

10. Joint Base Elmendorf Richardson, Alaska

Moose on JBER
(U.S. Air Force/Caitlin Russell)

"Sir, I'm going to be late to formation this morning. No, Sir, I was not drinking. There's a mama moose and two babies blocking my car door." Filed under: totally plausible reason to be late.

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