According to Business Insider, animals kill about 400 people in the US each year. That is a sizable group of victims! Sometimes animals are acting in defense, and at other times they are attacking humans or killing people by accident. Not all animals that kill humans are large and foreboding like sharks, and not all are what we might deem to be “scary.” You may be surprised at what you find on this list. Here are ten of the deadliest animals now living in the US.
It may not be what you expected to read, but yes, dogs are a top killer in the country. Pit bulls can be friendly, but they can also be fierce. This type of dog accounts for the highest number of human deaths-by-dog and has killed a total of 284 people in the US between 2005 and 2017. Rottweilers come second and German Shepherd’s third.
Sweet Bessie is a killer? Yes, do not be fooled by her soft ears. Cows kill more people than sharks do, taking out about 22 people each year worldwide. Most people who are killed by a cow die by being kicked or trampled to death. It seems like there could be a message here: is it time to become a vegetarian?
Scorpions are small but potentially deadly. Being killed by a scorpion is rare though, with only about one person dying from their sting every 2.5 years in the country. The Arizona bark scorpion is one of the deadliest around. Healthy adults usually survive a scorpion sting. However, young children are at risk of serious complications, and those who have been stung by this scorpion before can develop an anaphylactic reaction to stings over time. In these cases, a person can die from this scorpion’s sting, just as someone can die from a bee sting.
In 2019, two people are reported to have died around the world from a shark attack. Neither of those two cases occurred in the US, but sharks have been known to kill victims in American waters. In Florida, most shark attacks happen to people who are surfing and participating in water board sports, followed by people who are swimming and wading.
It is rare that someone is actually killed by an alligator, but it does happen. Alligators are known to hunt and feed from dusk to dawn and can be particularly active as the sun is going down. They kill their prey by grabbing onto them with a bite that is ferociously strong and drowning them. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission states that 24 people have died in an alligator attack in the US since 1973. To survive an alligator attack, try to hit their snout and gouge their eyes. Fight back.
Dogs are said to kill more people annually than bears, but if you venture into the woods or near them, do not let your guard down. About two people are killed annually in the US by bears. The black bear, grizzly bear, brown bear, and polar bear have all been known to kill humans.
Spiders are often friendly guests in your home or backyard, as they conveniently eat mosquitoes and other unwanted pests. Arachnids can be deadly as well, however, and kill an estimated seven people each year in the US. The only two spiders in the country that have venom strong enough to kill us are black widows which live in many areas in the US, and the brown recluse which is most commonly found in the American Midwest and South.
In the US, snakes kill up to 15 people each year. There are an estimated 20 species of venomous snakes living in the country, and the most snake deaths are attributed to the vicious western diamondback rattlesnake. It can be found in the Southwestern US, in California, New Mexico, Arizona, Oklahoma, and Texas.
Each year, scores of people in the US die from bee stings. Collectively, hornet, wasp, and bee stings account for about 62 deaths each year, according to the CDC. Astoundingly, 80% of people who die from a bee or wasp sting are men, and they die from anaphylaxis. This is an allergic reaction that can cause the body to overreact to a bee sting, making it difficult for a person to breathe as his or her tongue and throat swell closed. People who have had a strong reaction to a bee sting before need to seek immediate medical attention should they receive one again.
Deer likely do not wish to kill humans but do so in large numbers. Each year, about 200 people die when their car hits a deer crossing the road at the wrong time in the US. Pennsylvania has a high number of deer-vehicle collisions, with an estimated 115,000 collisions taking place in 2013. Some sources list West Virginia as being the worst state in the country when it comes to the likelihood your car will meet with a deer on the road.