Humans

What’s The Deadliest Animal in Australia?


Between 2008 and 2017 in Australia, 266 people died from an animal of some sort. At first glance, you won’t find that surprising – after all, Australia is often thought of as a dangerous place.

 

But what might surprise you is the type of animal causing most of these deaths.

Is it one of the most venomous spiders in the world, the redback spider (Latrodectus hasseltii)?

What about the eastern brown snake (Pseudonaja textilis)? This 2 metre (7 foot) long snake is the second most venomous land snake, and has venom that can easily kill a human adult.

Maybe even mosquitoes, who can transmit dengue fever, Ross River Fever or even malaria? Or sharks?

Well, as it turns out, what caused the most deaths in Australia between 2008 and 2017 was not native wildlife at all.

In fact, if you want to stay safest in Australia, it’s best to avoid… horses and cows.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, as reported by ABC News, the highest number of deaths by animal was 77 people – from horses, cows and other ‘animal transport’.

Next on the list, with 60 people, is just mammals (other). That doesn’t include animals such as dogs or rats, so we can only assume it was muscled kangaroos, drop bears, and angry quokkas (Setonix brachyurus). (We’re kidding, quokkas are way too cuddly for murder. We think.)

 

Next come hornets, wasps, and bees, at 27 deaths in the last 10 years – which is not much surprise considering how many people end up in hospital over these guys, especially if they’re allergic to the venom.

According to a team from the University of Melbourne, from 2000 to 2013 there were 42,000 hospitalisations of stings or bites – and bees, wasps and hornets were responsible for 31 percent of them.

Further down the report, sharks and other marine animals come next at 26 deaths, followed by snakes and lizards at 23.

Dogs come in at 22, and crocodiles at 17 (which, to be honest, still feels like a lot).

Now, we don’t want to freak you out, but there’s one more animal you might not want to run into when you head Down Under – its humans.

This list didn’t include them, but they’re known to be pretty deadly too.

If you want to see the whole list, you can check it out on the ABC website here.

 



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