Even the softest and fuzziest animals of Mother Nature kingdom can kill you. With the ever-increasing number of homo sapiens on the planet, it’s going to happen that a person crossing paths with an animal having a bad day or simply defending its territory will end with somebody getting killed, this might be the human.
Mosquitos, funny how the smallest things can also be the worst things. There are a number of different deadly illnesses they can carry. More than 200 million people get malaria every year, and it all comes from the Plasmodium parasite carried by mosquitos. They also carry the virus called dengue fever, which causes flu-like symptoms, and in some cases affects how blood moves through your body enough to cause internal bleeding, organ failure, and yes, death. Each year between 50 and 500 million people are infected and around 10,000 to 20,000 die. Nearly 700 million people get a mosquito-borne illness each year resulting in over one million deaths.
Elephant, it makes sense that the biggest animal on land is responsible for a few deaths. But the elephant goes above and beyond, claiming around 500 people a year. Not usually associated with killing people, elephants can be Mother Nature’s equivalent of a military tank when they want to be. There are a lot of ways an elephant can kill you. Not only do they have those big heavy feet to squish you with, but they can do a lot with their trunks. You could be mauled or squeezed or even tossed around a little. They’re fast, too, running upwards of 40 miles an hour.
Cape Buffalo, if you look at them, you might not think they’re so bad. They lazily graze on grasses and other plants, like great big cows, their fur is colonized by bugs, so there are usually birds perched on their backs having a snack. They are surprisingly clever and have awesome memories, and they don’t give up. They don’t’ eat meat, but they will attack and kill lion cubs because they know what lion cubs grow into. They attack and gore about 250 people a year because they are mean and vengeful motherlovers.
Deer, are crepuscular creatures, meaning twilight is their best time so you’ll most often find them out and about an hour or two before and after dawn or dusk. But they also come out in the full darkness of night, and when they do, a deer’s pupils are fully dilated to capture as much light as possible. When Bambi’s crossing the road at night, you, the driver, have two options: hit Bambi, or swerve out of the way. If you hit the deer you will wreck your car, and the deer, and maybe yourself. Maybe fatally for you. And for Bambi. And for your car, for that matter. If you swerve, you could save the deer, but there’s a good chance you might hit something else, like a tree or another car, and it could be fatal for you again. This is how deer end up killing about a hundred people a year.
Dog, if you treat them well, there’s no better friend than a pet dog. Always happy to see you, always eager to be your companion, a pet dog is the best, treat them poorly, and they can kill you. It happens a few hundred times a year. In the US, there are about 30 deaths a year. The World Health Organization figures that over 25,000 people die from rabies every year and 99% of infections come from rabid dogs.