Tiger pear can cause painful injury to animals or humans who accidentally walk into or otherwise touch a plant. A typical tiger pear plant is made up of many joined "segments", which are covered in sharp, 25mm spines. The segments, easily detach from parent plants and attach to passing animals, humans or even to the tyres of motor vehicles. Dislodged tiger pear segments are very hardy. They often lay on top of the ground for months before eventually taking root and establishing as a new plant.