Most Animal Bites Unprovoked

An analysis of thousands of animal bites has yielded some useful insights. In Houston, TX, 12,000 animal bites and attacks recorded from 2006 to 2011. Seventy percent were unprovoked and most victims were children. A Houston animal control supervisor said children should not be left alone with animals. Recently a four-year-old boy was found dead and canine mauling was suspected as the cause. The preliminary investigation indicated he wandered from home and somehow wound up in a yard full of pit bulls. Animal control workers also said dogs should not be allowed to roam freely, so they do not wind up on other people’s property where they might attack.

About 2,000 of the 12,000 documented animal bites in Houston were from wild animals. Most of these bites came from skunks, raccoons, squirrels and coyotes. Many of the victims were likely children unknowingly putting themselves in danger by getting too close to the wild animals.

It is not uncommon for humans to try and get close with wild animals by luring them with food. This practice is always a bad idea, because the result may be a bite, and the transmission of disease. Raccoons, for example, can carry rabies and are very agile, clever animals with sharp teeth. The animal undoubtedly will be blamed for the bite and if reported, might wind up dead after animal control is called. Squirrels and other wild animals typically stick to their own spaces and routines, meaning if they are left alone, they likely will not have too much interaction with humans.

The Houston research is telling us we need to be more aware of the true behavior of animals, and learn to be more careful and respectful, or the bitings and attacks will continue.


Image Credit: Rwc2118


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Michael Guest
Michael Guest2 years ago

All dogs can bite if provoked. So be very,very careful.

Danuta Watola
Danuta Watola2 years ago

thanks for sharing

Valentina R.
Valentina R.3 years ago

@ Magdalen: "getting too close to the wild animals" is provocation. It is threatening. Parents have a duty to make sure their children understand it. I blame the anthropomorphism that is so common in the media and yes, on this site too."

As usual, I agree with you. Most people are misinformed, and this article is brainless and fake.

Belle W.
Belle W.3 years ago

I'm cautious to take this to heart because "unprovoked" is usually a self-documented attribute... Sometimes we don't understand what counts as provoking an animal. But yes, a blind trust of animals and anthropomorphized treatment of them is unnecessary and at times, dangerous.

Aimee A.
Aimee A.3 years ago

Thanks for posting!

Magdalen B.
Magdalen B.3 years ago

"getting too close to the wild animals" is provocation.It is threatening.
Parents have a duty to make sure their children understand it. I blame the anthropomorphism that is so common in the media and yes, on this site too.

Debra Griffin
Debra B.3 years ago

They are also usually small dogs. I have rescued pit bulls
For last 20 yrs. Never have I or one of my kids been bit

Despina Vekris
Despina Vekris3 years ago


Munteanu Gabriela

such a stupid article ! unprovoked ? you wanna tell me animals just go around all day looking for the next victim ?!!! morons

Jane Barton
Jane Barton3 years ago

If a kid was "found" dead, how does anybody know if it was provoked? Dogs bite mailmen because they have a natural instinct to protect their owners' territory. The mailmen are doing the provoking and the dog is just acting natural. Dogs are the real victims and they always
get blamed for their natural behavior.