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· "Bad Joke Friday" Dan (moderator emeritus)
7,856 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Interesting that mosquito spray is the best defense against the biggest, baddest man killer, not a big bore rifle. Man's best friend isn't always sociable and Bambi ranks right up there (don't drive in Wisconsin without an armoured car).


ATLANTA, Georgia (CNN) -- Sharks are not the only beasts that bite. Dogs, snakes, bears, alligators, spiders and deer are also known to claim human lives, some at a much higher rate than sharks.

According to a five-year study in the journal Pediatrics, there are 18 fatalities a year on average in the United States from dog attacks.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that roughly 800,000 dog bites are serious enough each year to require stitches. The American Veterinary Medical Association reports that Rottweilers surpassed pit bulls in the 1990s as the breed responsible for the most fatal attacks.

The worldwide annual average of shark attacks against humans during the 1990s was 54, according to the International Shark Attack File.

Once nearly extinct, mountain lions mounted 37 attacks on hikers in the 1990s, according to researcher Thomas Jay Chester. Seven of those attacks were fatal, he said.

Venomous snakes claimed an average of 15 lives per year in the United States. According to the CDC, 7,000 non-fatal snakebites are reported annually.

There have been 45 fatal bear attacks in North America since 1900, according to the University of Calgary in Canada.

Spider bites have killed 15 in Texas since 1980, according to that state's agriculture department.

Florida typically has the largest number of shark attack reports each year, but the state also considered the "Gator Capital of the World."

From 1948 to 1999, there were 248 confirmed alligator attacks in Florida, with nine fatalities from those attacks, according to the Florida Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission.

Ruthless human behavior often merits comparison to animals such as sharks, rattlesnakes and pit bulls. If you go by the numbers, however, the most frequent domestic killer of human beings is the white-tailed deer.

According to estimates by the U.S. Department of Transportation and the insurance industry, collisions between cars and deer result in an average of more than 130 human deaths per year.

It doesn't come cheaply to the deer: Such accidents took the lives of 47,555 deer in Wisconsin alone last year, according to that state's transportation department. The average insurance bill for a deer run-in is $2,100, according to the American Automobile Association.

Worldwide, even the mighty deer takes a back seat to the king of the killers: Through its transmission of malaria, the West Nile virus and other diseases, the mosquito claims thousands of human lives each year.
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