Two shark attacks in North Carolina this weekend were a solemn reminder that animals are not always our friends. In fact, some of them are ruthless predators.
So which animals kill the most Americans?
Shark attacks claim one American life per year on average. In April, a shark killed a 65-year old woman off the coast of Maui.
Alligators and bears also average one kill per year. Last September, a 22-year old Rutgers student lost his life when he was mauled to death by a black bear in New Jersey.
Venomous snakes and lizards claim the lives of six Americans each year. In May, a 37-year old Missouri man who was wading through a river in the town of Nixa was bitten on both legs by a venomous snake and died in the hospital the next day, USA Today reported.
Spiders kill seven Americans every year. A boy in Alabama died last November after being bitten by a rare brown recluse spider.
Non-venomous arthropods (mosquitoes, ticks, lice, mites) kill nine Americans every year. The CDC is currently investigating a new strain of virus dubbed as “Bourbon” that may be carried by ticks after a Kansas man died from a tick bite in February, according to Bloomberg.
Cows kill 20 Americans every year on average. Yes, cows are twenty times more lethal than sharks, bears, or alligators. The Post points out that most of these deaths are attributed to workplace accidents involving farmhands. As the CDC notes, “large livestock are powerful, quick, protective of their territory and offspring, and especially unpredictable during breeding and birthing periods.”
Dogs, also known as man’s best friend, kill man 28 times each year in America. In May, the Chicago Tribune reported a tragic story in which a dog bit a 5-year old boy in the throat. He died shortly thereafter.
The Post’s chart shows mammals, including horses, pigs, and deer, claim the lives of 52 Americans each year on average. But the most deadly animals for Americans are also some of the smallest.
Bees, hornets, and wasps kill 58 Americans every year on average, mostly by anaphylactic shock after a sting. As recently as last week, a 65-year old man in Texas was killed after a swarm of bees attacked him while he was mowing his neighbours lawn. According to USA Today, the man had bumped into a shed that a beehive was attached to, causing a part of the hive to fall off and a cloud of bees to fly out.
So there you have it — the dogs you might encounter on a daily basis are more likely to kill you than sharks or bears. And you may never look at cows the same way again.
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