It’s easy to overlook the fact that even though we’re human, we’re susceptible to as many dangers as the animals we hunt. Over time we’ve become sheltered, gradually growing and evolving to the point that we created safe havens for ourselves in the form of housing. Despite this we’re still easy prey for a bunch of nature’s creatures, especially when we go looking for trouble.
We often see it on nature shows, one animal hunting another and ultimately taking its life. While this may make for entertaining television it also proves that we’re not as high up on the food chain as we’d like to think. Arm a man with a gun and he can take out a field of predators, but take that gun away and he becomes as helpless as the creature’s usual game. All animals have the potential to be dangerous, even those that aren’t predatory by nature. But there are always going to be some poor souls that are either in the wrong place at the wrong time or who go looking for trouble, and that’s when the trouble starts.
These are the top 10 animals that kill the most humans each year.
10. Deer – 120 People Killed Annually
Ever see those signs on the highway with the big deer on them? Well you’d be smart to be cautious of them. While it may seem like it’s those big, pointy antlers that do the bulk of the damage, it’s the deer itself that proves to be most dangerous. Weighing an average of 68 kg, hitting into one of these guys with your car can be deadly, and often is for most of the unfortunate people who do.
9. Dogs – 186 People Killed Annually
Dogs are great pets. They’re loyal, courageous and fun – they’re not called man’s best friend for nothing. They come in all sorts of breeds and sizes and like us humans each is unique in its own way. Sadly though, not everyone treats their pet respectably. While the majority of pet owners take time to feed, groom and walk their canine companions, some choose to ignore this responsibility and even go so far as to abuse them. A dog is an animal after all, and when it’s backed into a corner it’ll bite back.
8. Cape Buffalo – 200 People Killed Annually
Found in Africa, you wouldn’t want to catch this 1.5 ton beast on a bad day. While it is fair game to many hunters in search of a suitable trophy to hang on their wall, the Cape buffalo isn’t as easy of a target as you’d think it would be. In Africa it has come to be known as “The Black Death” and the “Widowmaker”. Cape buffalo aren’t predators by any means, but like most animals they aren’t afraid to defend themselves when they feel danger is near. Especially when that danger is some fool pointing a gun.
7. Elephant – 500 People Killed Annually
Despite being one of nature’s smartest animals – similar to apes and dolphins in that respect – elephants are also one of nature’s most poached creatures. Elephants have shown the ability to learn, grieve and mimic among other traits, but elephants are most commonly known as a source for Ivory. As easy as it is to feel sorry for these creatures they aren’t completely helpless. Most of those who are killed by these gigantic beasts are simply trampled. That’s right, you mess around with an elephant and you get squished.
6. Crocodile – 1,500-2,000 People Killed Annually
Not only do they look the part, crocodiles are incredibly dangerous. Unlike an elephant or Cape Buffalo, crocodile’s are hard to locate. This makes it incredibly difficult for any prey – including us humans – to defend from an oncoming attack. In most instances people are attacked in the water. The crocodile’s bite is so strong that it could completely tear up a human body. The only silver lining here is that only those that are around six feet in length are really dangerous to humans.
5. Hippopotamus – 3,000 People Killed Annually
Now here’s one that might be a bit of a surprise. Hippos may seem like kind gentle giants at first glance but they’re actually very aggressive by nature. They’re tough enough to take out a crocodile, which doesn’t seem like an easy task and probably isn’t, at least not to us. If you’re thinking of simply outrunning a hippo then think again, these guys are fast and can easily reach 19 mph in a very sort period of time.
4. Scorpion – 5,000 People Killed Annually
These little creeps just look like trouble, especially that tail and stinger combo they’ve got going on. It always seems to be pointing at something – just hope that that something isn’t you! There are actually a whopping 1,500 different types of scorpions out there, with only 25 of them containing deadly poison. That might seem comforting until you see just how much damage those 25 can do to us humans a year.
3. Snake – 50,000 People Killed Annually
Another animal that both looks and plays the part of villain, it’s not uncommon for someone to be scared of snakes, and they’d have good reason to be. Snakes range in size from very small to ridiculously big. Out of 725 venomous species around the world only 250 can kill with a single bite. It’s somewhat comforting to know that most aren’t poisonous, and for those that are there’s only a portion that can finish you off in one shot.
2. Tsetse Fly – 400,000 People Killed Annually
There are 23 different species of these blood-sucking disease carriers. That’s 23 different species of tiny little insects with the ability to take down a full grown man with a tiny bite. Tsetse flies are the ones responsible for spreading the African sleeping sickness. The sickness initially carried by a parasite called trypanosomatids. The disease starts off with fevers and headaches before moving on to more severe symptoms such as poor coordination and confusion and eventually organ failure then death.
1. Mosquito – 1,000,000 People Killed Annually
Surprised? They’re definitely one of nature’s most annoying creatures, but who’d have guessed they’d be one of its most dangerous. Apart from ruining everyone’s summers, theses little guys also specialize in carrying diseases. Malaria, yellow fever and filariasis are just some of the harmful sicknesses carried around the globe by these blood-sucking parasites. There are a bunch of preventative measures to fend off mosquitoes, from the familiar fly swatter, insecticide and repellent to importing predators like the dragonfly to decrease the population. Whichever method is used, they still manage to cause a ridiculous amount of deaths per year, a staggering statistic especially when considering their size.