A new relationship with animals, nature and each other.

Top 10 Animals Most Likely to Kill You

(They’re not sharks, pit bulls or mountain lions.)

Elsewhere on this site, we just reported on Thor, the pit bull who rescued his family from a fire.

We also noted that, earlier this year, Thor and other dogs like him were just one vote shy of being banned by the local town council as being “dangerous animals.”

Elsewhere, on beaches around the country, there have been the usual lurid headlines of summertime shark-sighting panics. So, just how dangerous are sharks and pit bulls, as compared with other animals?

According to Fatal Dog Attacks, by Karen Delise, from 1965 to 2001 there were an average of less than three human deaths a year attributed to pit bulls or pit bull mixes. (By comparison, more than a million pit bulls are still being killed in “shelters” each year.)

The same number of humans – three a year – fall victim to sharks. (By comparison, humans kill 100 million sharks each year.)

Overall, you’re more likely to be killed by a coconut falling on your head or by slipping in the bathtub than from being attacked by a pit bull or a shark.

So, which are the Top Ten animals most likely to kill you? According to research presented on MyFox Philly:

10. Alligators kill, on average, 1.4 humans per year.





9. Birds: 4.3 per year (Alfred Hitchcock-genre movies notwithstanding).





8. Snakes: 18 per year – some of these from people in cars swerving to avoid them.



7. Dogs are responsible for about 20 human deaths each year. Mostly big dogs … but not from any single breed.





6. Cows: 24 people die in cow-related accidents each year – mostly in factory farms. (Humans kill 4 million cattle each year in those same facilities.)




5. 4. 3. Bees, wasps and hornets: 53 people per year, mostly due to allergic reactions to stings. (We humans appear to be killing off bees by the millions. A number of factors seem to be involved, including weakened immune systems from commercial beekeepers trucking them around the country to pollinate crops.)



2. Horses: At least 106 people in horse-related accidents. But some studies say the number is at least twice that, because of the way accidents are reported at the hospital.




1. And the animal most likely to cause your death: a deer. The U.S. Department of Transportation estimates that deer kill around 130 Americans annually by causing accidents.



P.S. It’s instinctive to swerve when you see a deer. But experts point out that a deer is a prey animal, and, as such, understands someone trying to attack you, but not someone trying to avoid you. So your best chance, when you see a deer in the road, is obviously to slow down, but if possible not to swerve; but instead to leave it to the deer to jump out of the way. That way, you won’t both jump in the same direction.