He’s especially well-known for his hands-on approach showing how animals defend themselves through bites and stings, and creating teachable moments. To help viewers get up close and better understand animals from snapping turtles to bears to wasps, Coyote agrees to be the guinea pig.
Quick note: It’s important to remember that Peterson is a professional with safety measures like an epinephrine pen and other trained professionals to help if needed. Do not try these things at home or anywhere else.
That said, let’s look at ten of his most painful-looking stings and bites.
The Cow Killer
The cow killer, also called the red velvet ant, is not an ant but a wasp. Coyote says the insect is known to have the fourth most painful sting in the insect world. The pain can last for up to 30 minutes. Although there’s no documented history of it, the creature’s sting is said to be painful enough to kill a cow. Hence the name.
Teddy Bear Cholla
This video was not as much intended as some of Coyote’s other bites and stings. While chasing a tarantula hawk, he ran into several teddy bear cholla.
The cactus species gets its name from its fluffy appearance but actually has dense spines that are hard to remove due to microscope barbs on the plant. Think of it like a ton of tiny fish hooks. Coyote experiences the painful removal process firsthand as he films the entire process, and unfortunately, some of the plants land on his production crew.
Porcupines may be cute, but unsurprisingly their quills can be painful. The animal uses the barbs as a defense mechanism.
In this video, Coyote uses a porcupine raised in captivity not to disturb any wild animals. Coyote essentially pets the animal, and it responds by launching several quills into his hand. While compared to other videos, the initial sting doesn’t look as painful compared to other encounters he has, but the removal process is tedious.
You might be saying, “No way this guy let a grizzly attack him.” Well, you’re right.
While framed like most of Coyote’s bite and sting videos, he uses this one as a safety video of interacting with bears and how you can protect yourself in the backcountry.
A real-life bear is featured throughout the video, but it’s a bear that has lived in captivity and trained to help advocate for bear safety.
The Devil’s Toilet Paper
Coyote heads to Australia for the next video to track down an Australian Giant Stinging Tree.
Nicknamed the devil’s toilet paper, the tree can grow up to 100 feet. The tree’s leaves are covered in nettles and have a toxin that only adds to the pain. Once stung, the pain only increases. Coyote says this is one of the worst stings he’s ever felt. In the video, Coyote does go through the process of removing the stinging sensation.
After viewer demand, Coyote Peterson agrees to get bit by the common American alligator.
Alligators live throughout the southeast, this reptile is known for its powerful jaws, and the animal can be deadly to people. Records show that from 1948 to 2021, 442 people were victims of unprovoked bites in Florida alone. Twenty-six of those were fatal.
Obviously, Coyote can’t let a full-grown alligator bite him, so they use a much small specimen, but it looks excruciating nonetheless.
The Bullet Ant
Coyote Peterson initially believed the bullet ant was the animal with the most painful sting, but he later reassessed as his adventures continued. However, this is still one of the worst-looking encounters.
Coyote says the ant’s sting feels as bad as being shot with a gun. The animal is also known as the 24-hour ant, as the pain lasts a whole day.
It looks painful.
The Bullet Ant Challenge
Coyote returns to the bullet ant but this time with a new member of the Brave Wilderness team front and center.
The video is a challenge for Christina Wilson, who needs to track down a bullet ant. Once she finds the bug, it’s sting time. However, the ant decides not to bite her.
It’s still a nerve-racking video, especially if you watched Coyote’s first bite from a bullet ant.
An extra reason to watch the video is Rufus, a stray dog that decides to follow Coyote on the search for the bullet ant.
Alligator Snapping Turtle
The alligator snapping turtle is a prehistoric-looking animal found in freshwater in the U.S.
To build up the suspense, Coyote tests the jaw strength of the turtle with a turkey leg that the turtle demolishes. After witnessing that, Coyote decides to use extra protection for his arm. Even with the additional support, it still looks very painful, and eventually, the turtle manages to break Coyote’s skin.
Although it is in their name, horseshoe crabs aren’t crabs at all. The shielded animal with a long stinger-like tail lives along the coast.
Coyote uses this as a teaching moment about the horseshoe crab and shows how their spiked tail isn’t something to worry about.