Which animals cause the most deaths per year (hey, FWC, it's not bears!)



While The Wizard of Oz's Dorothy was scared of lions and tigers and bears, recent statistics show that it's the unlikely creatures people need to watch out for.

As the state of Florida just made it legal for hunters to kill one bear per year each, we thought this was the perfect time to point out that in a study done on animal-caused fatalities in the U.S. from 2001-2013, buzzing little bees, wasps and hornets proved to be the deadliest animals, killing on average 58 people per year, according to The Washington Post. The anaphylactic shock after a sting is said to be the cause of death. 

Mammals like horses, pigs and deer followed closely behind, killing about 52 people per year.

But what about sharks, alligators and bears – three large and notorious animals who call Florida home and frequently make headlines for their bitesattacks and overpopulation

Well, according to the statistics, which originally came from the CDC's Wonder database, sharks, gators and bears on average kill just one person per year. With the FWC's ruling to make bear hunting legal, each region of the state will have different limits on the number of bears and the goal, according to news reports, is to allow up to 275 bears to be hunted per year. 

Then compare deaths from sharks, alligators and bears to cows, which on average kill 20 people per year. The CDC report noted that people, mostly farm workers, are killed by cows because, "large livestock are powerful, quick, protective of their territory and offspring, and especially unpredictable during breeding and birthing periods."

But the good news is that only 200 people are killed by animals each year, making up just .008 percent of all total deaths. 

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at feedback@orlandoweekly.com.

Orlando Weekly works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Central Florida.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Orlando’s true free press free.