In today’s post I am going to reveal Australia’s most deadly animal, the critter responsible for the most human deaths year by year here in Australia.
Before I name the beast, you might like to try and guess who the culprit is. You won’t be the first to try, the following question was asked to the panel on a popular UK TV show called QI.
QI, by the way, stands for Quite Interesting. Isn’t that interesting?
Anyway, the panel were asked by host Stephen Fry, “Which Australian animal is the most dangerous?”
National Coroners Information System (NCIS)
The quiz show was basing this question on information they had gleaned from NCIS. I have managed to find one of their more comprehensive reports, this one summarises all deaths caused by animals in Australia between first of July 2000 and November 2010.
Here are the findings from a decade of deaths in Australia at the hands, or paws, or jaws, or hooves, or whatever from the animals that have claimed human lives here in Australia during the last decade.
Animal related deaths in Australia:
During the 10 year period in question there were 254 deaths in Australia identified as animal related. Let’s see who is responsible, starting with the biggest culprits:
- Horse, pony or donkey – 77 deaths
- Cow, bull or bovine – 33 deaths
- Dog – 27 deaths
- Kangaroo – 18 deaths
- Bee – 16 deaths
- Shark – 16 deaths
- Snake – 14 deaths
- Crocodile – 9 deaths
- Ostrich or emu – 5 deaths
- Others, including fish, sheep, goats, camels, cats and jellyfish – 39 deaths
The actual cause of these fatalities varies with top of the list being falling off a horse, pony or donkey, followed by being crushed or trampled by one. These creatures along with cows, bulls, kangaroos, ostriches, emus and bovine animals were also responsible for a good number of motor vehicle accident fatalities between them, over 50 in all.
Deaths caused by dogs were mainly by bite, although three people died due to motor vehicle accidents caused by dogs and nine people simply fell over a dog. One person during the decade fell over a cat and died, as was mentioned in the video.
Death by bee was always as a result of anaphylactic shock.
I don’t think you need me to tell you how sharks, snakes and crocodiles claimed their human lives, but here’s a clue. None of them involved motor vehicle accidents.
Which states are most dangerous? Here’s a list:
- QLD 63
- VIC 52
- NSW 46
- WA 35
- SA 24
- NT 24
- TAS 8
- ACT 2
Ah, excellent, the state I live in is top of the list.
So there you have it; Australia’s most dangerous creature is a horse. But then again, if you’re a regular reader here at Bobinoz, you’ll already know that from my post Australian Snakes and Death: Continued and my page Australia’s Killer Creatures and Death.
When I researched the subject at that time, my findings suggested that it was nearer 20 horse deaths a year and 10 by bee sting, these figures from last decade show much lower numbers than that.
So that’s good news then; horses and bees aren’t as bad as all that.