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These Animals Cause the Most Human Deaths Every Year

There are few words that can truly describe the collective beauty of the animal kingdom. From the great migration of wildebeests, zebras, and antelopes across the Serengeti to tens of thousands of starling flying together in a massive murmuration, animals have served as an inspiration and delight for most of us. Their beauty is so striking that its easy to forget that they are wild animals, and that we are as much in their world as they are in ours. Sometimes when our paths cross, the results are deadly. In this countdown, we take a look at the 20 animals that are responsible for killing the most humans each year.
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20. Sharks 

Most dangerous animals: SharkSource
Every year, sharks are responsible for around 75 attacks on people. Of that number, only around 10 people will die. Sharks do not actively prey on humans, and most of the time it's just a case of unfortunate misidentification - they think the human is a juicy seal or sea turtle. Once they have taken a bite, more often than not they will swim away, leaving the victim to bleed out in the water. The species that are most responsible for human attacks are Great White Sharks and Bull Sharks.

19. Leopards 

Most dangerous animals: TigerSource
There is no comprehensive global database that exists for fatal leopard attacks, and many countries do not even keep official records. When most animals are wounded, they will run and hide, but not leopards. When these majestic creatures are injured they become even more dangerous. Leopard and human confrontations are quite common in India, with these encounters resulting in 15 deaths a year.

18. Horses

Most dangerous animals: HorseSource
Horses do not intend to cause injury or death to humans. However, due to accidents associated with riding horses such as rodeos and equestrian events, accidents involving horses frequently claim around 20 lives each year in the United States alone.

17. Cows

Most dangerous animals: cowsSource
Cows are usually docile creatures, but they can be very dangerous when provoked. In the United States, around 22 people are killed each year by cows.

16. Ants

Most dangerous animals: AntsSource
Ants kill around 30 people per year. There are over 280 species of ants that can kill, with the fire ant and Siafu ants of Africa being among the most deadly. Since ants live in colonies of up to 20 million strong, when they start to attack they can easily overpower anything.

15. Bees

Most dangerous animals: BeeSource
Though they are small, bees have the ability to kill humans mainly due to allergic reactions. Around 53 people die each year from bee related incidents and this number will rise due to the increase in aggressive African honey bees.

14. Lions 

Most dangerous animals: LionSource
Humans are generally not on a lion's hit-list, but some have been known to actively seek out human prey. One famous case was that of the Tsavo man-eaters in 1898 who killed 28 railway workers in Kenya over a 9 month period. It has been estimated that 70 people die annually from lion attacks.

13. Deers

Most dangerous animals: DeerSource
Deer have antlers that can fatally kill humans, but most deer-associated deaths are caused not by antlers, but by accidents on highways. Deer often cross highways and stop in the middle of roads, causing collisions with vehicles. It has been estimated that around 120 people die each year because of deer.

12. Dogs

Most dangerous animals: DogSource
Domesticated dogs are responsible for over 100 fatalities worldwide. In the US alone, around 30 people die annually from dog related incidents with other high-income countries such as Canada, France, and Australia reporting comparable incidence and fatality rates. It's very important to note that the most aggressive acts caused by dogs are in response to gross human misconduct.

11. Tigers

Most dangerous animals: TigerSource
Tigers kill more people than any other big cat. In fact, tens to hundreds of people are killed by wild tigers each year in tiger-range states. This figure does not include those who are killed by tigers in captivity.

10. Jellyfish 

Most dangerous animals: JellyfishSource
We all know that Jellyfish stings itch and sting like crazy, but not all of us are aware that many people die from jellyfish stings each year. In fact, according to the Medical Journal of Australia, jellyfish are responsible for 15-30 times more deaths each year than sharks. That works out at around 150-300 deaths per year.

9. Cape Buffaloes 

Most dangerous animals: Cape BuffaloesSource
Cape buffaloes are formidable animals, weighing in at 1.5 tons, standing 1.7 meters high and approximately 2.8 meters long. These animals attack humans by using their sharp horns, especially when they feel that they are in danger. According to the statistics, cape buffaloes are responsible for around 200 deaths per year.

8. Elephants 

Most dangerous animals: ElephantSource
These beasts weigh in at 7,000 kilograms and reach a height of about 4 meters, making them the world's largest land animal. Elephants are extremely dangerous when provoked, and have been known to trample a rhinoceros or two to death. They are responsible for an estimated 500 deaths per year.

7. Crocodiles 

Most dangerous animals: CrocodileSource
Crocodiles are huge and extremely dangerous killing machines. Sitting at the top of the food chain, they have been known to eat everything from water buffalo to sharks. In order to kill their prey, crocodiles make use of a technique known as the "death roll", where they relentlessly flip their prey over and over in the water until it drowns and is torn apart. Around 1000-2500 people are killed each year by crocodiles.

6. Hippos

Most dangerous animals: HipposSource
Although they are mostly herbivorous, they are highly aggressive and are regarded as one of the most dangerous animals in Africa. They have been known to attack without provocation, even to the point of destroying entire vehicles. Around 2,900 people are killed every year by hippos.

5. Scorpions 

Most dangerous animals: ScorpionSource
One of the oldest creatures to inhabit the earth, scorpions evolved from sea-dwelling creatures to land menaces around 340 million years ago. There are around 1,300 to 2,000 species of scorpions in the world, but only 25 of them have poison that is strong enough to kill humans. Nevertheless, anywhere between 1,000-5,000 people each year are killed by scorpions.

4. Snakes 

Most dangerous animals: SnakeSource
Do you have a fear of snakes? Well, you're right to do so! Snakes kill on average 50,000 people around the world each year. Most of these deaths come about as a result of humans unknowingly stumbling upon a snake.

3. Tsetse Flies

Most dangerous animals: Tsetse flySource
This blood-sucking fly is the main carrier of African Sleeping sickness and it is therefore indirectly responsible for the deaths of up  to 250,000 people every year.

2. Humans 

Most dangerous animals: HumanSource
This list would not be complete if we failed to include humans on it. As a species, humans murder around just under half a million people every single year.

1. Mosquitoes 

Most dangerous animals: MosquitoSource
Mosquitoes are the smallest creatures on this list, but they are, without doubt, the deadliest. It has been estimated that mosquitoes transmit diseases such as malaria and dengue fever to around 700 million people each year, resulting in around 660,000 to 1,000,000 deaths.  
Source: list25
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