And the Animal Most Likely to Kill You in America Is…

A new study has identified the animals most likely to kill you in the United States and the results may surprise many.

At the top of the list are deer. Could poor and innocent Bambi be so deadly? Yes, but not on purpose.

“Deer are the deadliest animal in the United States – but deer-related fatalities most often stem from accidents, not vicious attacks,” explains the study. “Due to rapid urban development, the deer’s natural habitat is shrinking, causing them to share more space with humans, where they often wander into oncoming traffic and cause car crashes.”

A total of 120 humans die because of interactions with deer every year. Coming in second place are insects, like wasps, bees and hornets, which claim the lives of 58 people per year. Coming in third is man’s best friend, the dog, claiming 28 lives per year.

So where are the usual suspects? The bears, wolves, coyotes and other big scary animals that humans are so afraid of? They barely make the top ten.

Bears come in at number 10, followed by mountain lions at 11, wolves at 13 and coyotes at 15. Altogether the four species claim a total of 2.24 lives per year.

The statistic is specially important considering how Wildlife Services targets those very animals, hunting and trapping them in horrible inhumane ways by, claiming they are predators. The idea that these animals offer a danger to the human population is often used as a selling point to promote hunts like the 2015 Florida bear hunt that claimed the lives of more than 300 bears in just two days. In reality however, it looks like humans pose a much higher threat to the animals than the other way around.


But it’s not just these animals that don’t pose much of a threat to humans in America. The odds of being killed by an animal in the United States is one in 1,384,594. For comparison, the odds of being struck by lightning in the United States is one in 3,000 —more than 461 times likelier.

The state with the highest probability of a human dying from an animal attack is Montana where one in every 674,4000 people will suffer such a fate.

“The Northwest is home to the Rocky Mountains and its population of bears, cougars, spiders, rattlesnakes, and – you guessed it – deer,” says the report. “Be careful not to approach them or any other hooved creatures. Bison, for example, may look friendly and cuddly, but you risk being gored if you approach a 2,000-pound, territorial adult with a young calf nearby.”

While the warning sounds ominous, the threat is still not as high as it sounds. The odds of being killed by a falling coconut in the world is much higher at one in 250,000.

The study, which used data from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) to look at at how many deaths are caused by animals each year, concludes that the animals are not to blame for their actions. They may be deadly, but they’re just minding their business and trying to survive in a human-dominated world.

“If life-threatening situations arise, it is important to consider that these animals are simply acting how nature intended – to protect, to hunt, and to survive. For that, they deserve respect and admiration, never vilification,” it says.

Photo Credit: ThinkStock


Danuta W
Danuta W8 months ago

Thanks for sharing

Sarah Hill
Sarah Hill1 years ago

I had a deer run into the side of my care one night. He was looking at me through the glass. When we got to a store with a light still on, I got out. There was NO damage! Wow was God looking out for me!

Gianna Macias
Gianna Macias1 years ago

the animal most likely to kill you IS THE HUMAN ANIMAL.

W. C.
W. C1 years ago

Thank you.

Hannah A.
Past Member 2 years ago

Interesting post. Thanks.

Lizzie T.
Past Member 2 years ago

I am far less worried about deer than wasps, hornets and bees - I got stung in the face in England minding my own business, and as a result they are persona non grata with me now. Sorry, I despise them

Freya S.
Freya S2 years ago

This should prompt people to fight deforestation.

Justyna L.
Justyna L2 years ago


Marie W.
Marie W2 years ago

Some reality.

Beryl Ludwig
Beryl Ludwig2 years ago

I agree with Joe Le Gris. I thought it would say cops. here in the US. I am ashamed.