Which are the most dangerous animals in America?

Beware the snake, the spider and the scorpion. But know this: You are much more likely to be killed by a bee or a dog.

Of the 1,610 people killed in encounters with animals between 2008 and 2015, 478 were killed by hornets, wasps and bees, and 272 by dogs, according to a study published in Wilderness & Environmental Medicine. Snakes, spiders and scorpions were responsible for 99 deaths over the eight years.

Using a database published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, researchers found that 72 people annually were killed by “other mammals,” which includes horses, cattle and pigs.

Only six people a year died from snakebite, and six after being bitten by a venomous spider. Two people were killed by marine animals over the eight-year period, and no one was killed by a rat.

That is from Nicholas Bakalar at the NYT, via Michelle Dawson.

Comments

Trump was almost taken down by the dreaded Russian "dossier", but thankfully survived.

I read that headline this morning and my first though was that 95% of the fatalities from bees and dogs had to be children.

Rat: It’s time to take a vote. Do we put concrete galoshes on the man or not?
Dog: Nay.
Spider: Aye.
Scorpion: Aye.
Snake: Aye.
Rat: You’re outvoted, Dog.
Dog: Okay, but I should be the one to do it. He deserves that much.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZqZZXBYn0pg

What is "dangerous"? The species which causes the most number of deaths in absolute terms, or the species which causes the most number of deaths per encounter?

Bingo.

If bears were as common as bees we would all be dead.

No. We would eat more bear meat.

Well, there would be no more bears at this point

This is exactly what occurred to me when I was reading this.

What I find remarkable is how few people have been killed by coyotes. There's been only two. One was a toddler killed back in the 1960's, and the other was a young Canadian woman killed about two years ago by a pair of coyotes. I see coyotes frequently, last time two days ago. And I hear them frequently, as recently as last night. This is on the western edge of Silicon Valley, about a mile south of Apple headquarters.

Just wait til the coywolf spreads coast to coast.

I stood face to face with one (with my golden retriever) across our back fence, for about a minute from about 30 feet away (I was slowly backing away with my dog - I was worried dog or coywolf would start something). I was surprised how big it was, and how confident it was - it was checking us out, but not coming towards us or running away, until it trotted away calmly. Definitely WAY more intimidating than a coyote. The PBS documentary "Meet the Coywolf" is pretty good (used to be on Netflix).

A hotel in Atlanta had to shut its 1 acre garden because a black bear and cubs were spotted in it. The address is 4355 Ashford Dunwoody Rd, Atlanta, GA 30346. Bizarre. Plenty of deer in the residential areas, even inside I-285. So far I've only seen one coyote in a rural area but I'm sure they're around.

I wonder how fast selection for urbanization is happening. Red-tailed hawks and great blue herons seem well established now but as a child I never saw them in the city ever. It used to be considered very exciting to see a bald eagle. I spotted my first one a long way off, fishing near Parrott GA in 1980. Around 2000, I was driving in St. Petersburg FL and saw about 20 of them, draped around the roof and the light poles at a strip mall, common as crows.

On a related note, I'm guessing pandas will be fully domesticated in five generations.

"... as a child I never saw them in the city ever." No chance, I suppose, that your childhood corresponded to near the end of the DDT era? That would seem to put your observations then and now into a different bucket than the adaptation bucket being discussed here.

1960s - 70s, so that is possible. Also big reductions in heavy-metal industrial waste.

I'm kind of surprised there haven't been some bad incidents. It's fun to see raccoons and red-tailed hawks but I'd prefer that black bears and coyotes not urbanize.

I never saw coyotes, foxes, or bobcats until about 20 years ago. I've been told that construction up in the hills has been driving them down into the valley. Only saw fox and bobcats briefly, but the coyote activity is higher than it's ever been. They're the main reason I don't have cats anymore. When the coyotes moved in, there was a time when Lost Cat signs were common around here. I think the low-hanging cats have all been picked by now.

I visited a neighbor and saw all these big muddy animal footprints on his front porch. "I didn't know you have a dog." I said. "I don't have a dog. Those are mountain lion."

So what's the answer to the coyote "problem"? http://nailheadtom.blogspot.com/2017/12/coyote-danger.html Humans, who have abandoned experience with nature on a daily basis in exchange for a life on asphalt and concrete are having issues adapting to wildlife. Formal education is probably needed.

"I wonder how fast selection for urbanization is happening"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AbokoyNmQW8

1st time, EVAH

I saw my first bald eagle in Canada in 1984 (near Banff). Sad back then I never saw them in US, I guess because of DDT in 1970s. First one I saw in US wasn’t until much later - 2000s in Maine. Now I see them in US usually a couple times a year. A few years ago I saw 2 in (above) my back yard. I was so excited I literally jumped up and down.

"I saw my first bald eagle in Canada in 1984 (near Banff). Sad back then I never saw them in US, I guess because of DDT in 1970s."

Bald eagles have one of the most successful conservation stories, surely thanks mainly to the banning of DDT. They can now be found in every state except Hawaii, and live year round in states ranging from Florida to Maine to Washington to California. Plus of course Alaska.
https://birdsna.org/Species-Account/bna/species/baleag/introduction

Nip it in the bud: work with Apple staff to place tempting coyote bait INSIDE the glass walls of the fantabulous Apple complex and watch the coyotes brain themselves (into either oblivion or perhaps domestication) trying to get in.

Great idea - unless the Apple staff brain themselves into oblivion (or domestication) first trying to place the bait.

Ditto the dingo (wild dog) in Western Australia, which is so unremarkable that when a woman reported some dingoes stole her child, she was jailed until evidence showed she was right.

Bonus trivia: here in the Philippines, "sea snakes" are extremely common, so much so that when I went to the beach in south Luzon I saw three in two days. But the locals were unimpressed (I think out of ignorance), despite the fact these "sea kraits" are much more venomous than cobras. I almost stepped on one. They are not aggressive at all, though one I saw "coiling" underwater as if to strike me when I approached it. The locals did NOT have any antivenom (I asked them). The nearest hospital was hours away (and likely therefore you'd be dead before getting antivenom). One reason more people don't die of sea snakes is that 80% of the time, says Wikipedia, their bites are 'dry' (the sea snakes don't inject venom). But what about that 20%? I'm surprised there are not more sea snake deaths, since they bite I believe well over 10k people a year, worldwide, mostly fishermen untangling them from nets.

I would have guessed there'd be more bear deaths, but I guess that might be a function of how many Tim Treadwells there are also.

And Tim Treadwells are an endangered species...

1) Dingoes are native in all states of Australia [not just WA]

2) sea snakes: wear a wet suit [even if they're 'in venom', their fangs can't bite through this]

Them dingos, what with haven eaten a couple of people, would be more dangerous than coyotes, which seem a bit coy by comparison.

Recently in Westchester County, NY (immediately north of the Bronx, NYC), eight persons have been bitten by coy-wolves. Yesterday, the police (unarmed civilians in NY are at the mercy of criminals and rabid mammals) shot one which tested positive for rabies. Those people need to be tested or it's curtains.

The NYS coyote hunting season is open until 25 March. No one hunts in Westchester County.

There may be criminals in NYC still, but how many coywolves are roaming the concrete canyons?
In the rural parts of NY state you will find that plenty of people still have guns-- no one has banned firearms ownership[ in the state as a whole.

The favorite meal of the coywolf here is Los Gatos is an inattentive cat.

They never attack anything larger than themselves, which includes toddlers, and aside from being smaller they also don't seem to be as effective at pack hunting as wolves. If you left an infant unattended in the open, you might have a problem, but nobody does that. They have a habit of "stalking" people (difficult to detect without night vision devices but if you make a habit of using them you will see this quite often) although I suspect they're mostly hoping their target drops/leaves something edible.

The coyotes that killed that woman were more like quasi wolves, a large subspecies. The ones in the US are much smaller.

The top survival trait for wolves and coyotes in recent centuries has been "don't make humans want to kill you"

There's a very good reason they're not attacking people. It's in their DNA.

Which is fortunate for both them and us. Cougars (mountain lions) are similar. People will sometimes see one that is curious and is checking out the human, but cougar attacks on humans are very rare.

Which is a good thing, because a human being stalked by a cougar would have almost no chance: you can't see them or hear them. Some people carry guns when they hike in the woods "in case a cougar attacks them" which is useless because you won't even know the cougar is there until its jaws clamp around the back of your neck.

But thankfully cougars will usually actively avoid humans. Bears are omnivorous and seem to be more likely to become habituated to humans thanks to scavenging their garbage, which is not good for either species.

David Baron's The Beast in the Garden describes what happens when they lose that trait: https://www.amazon.com/Beast-Garden-Predators-Suburban-America/dp/0393326349

My phobia of bees and wasps is justified!

I have been stung in many different incidents and I am pretty fine.

^^^ Cautionary tale.

As I said, I am fine, thanks.

That wasn't the point. I've also been stung - lots, by lots of different types. Always been fine, but still hate the things, hence "phobia."

Do not tell Elon Musk, or he might nominate you for a one-way trip to Mars.

"Using a database published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, researchers found that 72 people annually were killed by 'other mammals,' which includes horses, cattle and pigs."

"Four legs good, two legs bad."

I'm pretty confident that deer are responsible for more deaths than 99 over eight years.

Yep, deer are the winners when it comes to animal fatalities in America - 'Forget alligators, snakes and bears - the most dangerous animal in all of America is the humble DEER, with cows and horses not far behind

Forget venomous spiders, fearsome alligators and powerful bears - the most dangerous animals in America are deer.

Using data gathered from the CDC, LCB compiled a list of the 16 deadliest animals in the country.

And despite the paws, claws, fangs and venom that their competitors possess, the top killers are not what many would expect.

But it's the deer that are deadliest, killing 120 people a year, on average - compared to just one person a year each for bears, alligators and sharks, and 0.23 people a year for rattlesnakes.

--------------------------------------

In third place is the dog - which, to be fair, is basically an inbred wolf with good PR. The canine carnivore claims 28 human lives in an average year, though according to CDC statistics, around 4.6million people are bitten in that period.

Insects take silver, with bees, wasps and hornets killing 58 people a year, on average, mostly due to allergies that flare up after a sting.' http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3806557/The-dangerous-animal-America-DEER.html

Deer cause fatalities by running in front of automobiles, which, in an effort to avoid the deer, run off the road into the trees, water-filled ditches or other cars. Same with stray cows and horses, especially at night. Be careful on US 54 between Wichita, KS and Nara Visa, NM. Cattle on the road are common there.

actually, sometimes the deer come through windshields and cause death directly.

Exactly, at least in the case of the white tailed deer on the East Coast and cars.

Rt. 15 between Virginia and Pennsylvania used to experience fatalities from precisely this on an extremely regular basis. The legs are hit, and you now have a deer body weighing up to a hundred or so pounds slamming into you at 60+ mph though the windshield.

But don't drive below the speed limit on US54 in Sherman County, Texas; I did so one night, and was tailgated by a sheriff's deputy all the way from the OK border to Stratford, where he pulled me over for purportedly changing lanes without signaling (at the point where the highway went from two lanes to four), then grilled me about how much money I was carrying.

Do infectious diseases picked up from animals count as dying from that animal?

Apparently not - notice that rats get off the hook completely.

Not many people pick up diseases from rats, unpleasant though the rodents are. Yes, on occasion someone will pick up plague out west (though the victor animal may be some other rodent, not necessarily a rat). But plague is treatable these days, if still dangerous. Cases are rare and fatalities very, very rare.

I was thinking more of people getting sick and dying from diseases spread by roaches, like Salmonella.

Of course identifying the particular rodent is not precise, but hanta virus is not so easily treated. 'Five people have been stricken with the rare, rodent-borne hantavirus illness in Washington state since February, three of whom have died, in the state’s worst outbreak of the disease in at least 18 years, public health officials reported on Thursday.' https://www.reuters.com/article/us-washington-hantavirus-idUSKBN19S0EL

That was the point that I was going to raise; if we look worldwide then mosquitoes and the malaria and other diseases that they carry are the biggest killers of all. Bill Gates had released an infographic with this info:
https://www.gatesnotes.com/Health/Most-Lethal-Animal-Mosquito-Week

But within the US, mosquitoes, cockroaches, and rats are probably not spreading a lot of infectious diseases.

I think it depends on what part of the US you are talking about. Isn't NYC infamous for its roaches? Also, I remember reading a report where something like 40% of respondents in Miami, FL reported having a roach infestations in their dwelling. And roaches also cause asthma as well as Salmonella, E. Coli, and they carry and spread other pathogens as well. There are parts of the US where you will see roaches crossing four lanes of traffic at noon (I myself saw this in a southwestern metro).

I meant to write southeastern instead of southwestern. The southwest is both cold enough, dry enough, and sparsely populated enough that roaches don't thrive there like they do in the southeast.

Hard-hitting stuff, Tyler.

Scientists believe that Easter Island (in the Southeastern Pacific), once covered with trees and vegetation and occupied by as many as15,000 people, was decimated by the Polynesian rats brought to the island by the settlers. The rats multiplied by the thousands and millions and ate the tree nuts and thus prevented the trees form reproducing. Without trees and vegetation, the inhabitants turned on each other under the stress. One never knows where the enemy lurks.

That scenario has been debunked. To be sure the fats did help denude the island of the royal palm, with climate change playing a role as well. But there were still other types of trees on the island, and certainly other vegetation. What wrecked Easter Island was the arrival Peruvian slave takers who carried off a large fraction of the population-- and left European diseases behind to which the natives had no resistance.

Which points to another reality: one of the most dangerous animals to humans beings are other humans.

Which is why there are only 7.6 billion of us. Context is important.

If we could total up the death toll of humans killing other humans over the millennia I'm pretty sure it would exceed the toll from any other animal not a microbe.

Scientists believe that Easter Island (in the Southeastern Pacific), once covered with trees and vegetation and occupied by as many as15,000 people, w

A pre-literate hunter-gather society had the population density of an exurban township in New York? I don't think so...

Remember, we have to have implausibly large aboriginal densities to make the racist white colonialists look bad!

Even if Easter Island was deserted when they go there, I'm sure their racism caused it, somehow.

They weren't hunted gatherers. They were farmers. The combination of the intensive farming of fertile soil and fishing allowed for a population of 12,000-15,000 a century of so before the first European contact. Environmental damage, the last forest was cut down around 1640, had caused the loss of soil fertility and boat building capability which had led the population to drop by half by the time of the first European contact in 1722. The outbreak of warfare from 1725 led the population to drop further by the time of the second European contact in 1770.

Easter Island suffered two catastrophic losses of population from internal causes. Environmental damage followed by extremely vicious warfare.

By 1860 the population had dropped to about 3,000 at which point Peruvian slavers kidnapped half the population few of whom ever returned, shortly followed by an epidemic outbreak reduced the population to just 111.

The Peruvian slavers were a catastrophe for what was left of the population, but that doesn't mean that the environmental damage and the warfare were not also catastrophic. For Diamond's argument they are strictly irrelevant as they occurred after the collapse he is discussing.

As I noted above Diamond's account (which is riddled with errors gleaned from dubious "authorities" like Thor Heyerdahl) has been debunked. One species of tree went extinct: the royal palm, and yes humans and rats had something to do with it, although a general drying of the climate also did. However other trees still existed. And yes, there are archaeological indications of severe warfare among the people-- but inconveniently for his narrative those are dated to the era of the island's first settlement, pointing to a conflict among multiple tribes seeking to make the island their own. The collapse in population was due almost entirely to disease-- much as with many native American tribes (Europeans visited the place well before the Peruvian slavers did). The island remained in regular if sporadic contact with other areas of Polynesia, even adopting a new religious cult that was sweeping the islands in the 1700s which is why they ceased sculpting those giant heads which were part of the old religion. The population figures of 10K or more are sourced in nothing more than guestimates made by Captain Cook after his visit to the island; in all likelihood the island probably never supported more than c. 3K people. Here's a link to one of several articles detailing this:
https://arstechnica.com/science/2016/02/new-evidence-easter-island-civilization-was-not-destroyed-by-war/

The estimates of 12 to 15 thousand are for around a century before European contact and are based on archaeology not. The first European contact, Jacob Roggeveen in 1722, reported a population of 2 to 3 thousand. Cook estimated the population at 700 in 1774. His expedition also reported no trees over ten foot and that some parts of the island were cultivated others looked like they had been previously cultivated but were now abandoned.
There seems to be enough evidence of significant population decline by then. Cook's estimate isn't terribly reliable, the French in 1786 estimated the population at about 2,000.

The pollen evidence indicates that the last large trees had been felled around 1650, which led to the loss of the ability to make large canoes. Other evidence indicates substantial erosion. The comments include some fairly significant criticism of the article's arguments. Notably that it fails to consider the deforestation that certainly occurred.

I've provided an actual link to back up what I've said. I can provide others if you'd like. There's a number of articles out there (by people who actually study these cultures) and they're easy to find. All I see from you are mere assertions.

On pollen "dates"-- how are those being figured. If by carbon dating they could easily be off by a century or two. There are lots of factors that skew such dating (generally with a bias toward making them older than they should be) and the bottom line is that you can't press the dates to be accurate by more than a century or two.

Pollen dating would be from things like stratigraphy &c. The various species of large trees had disappeared in the period between the Polynesian settlement and European contact. Some of the criticism is in the comments on the article you cited. Including some misquoting of Diamond. Population estimates are based on things like the number of house remains and the number of platforms related to chiefs. Evidence from middens indicate the disappearance of oceanic fish and marine mammals from the diet.

The earliest European contact significantly post dates the loss of the forests.

http://www.ibtimes.com/rapa-nui-population-decline-demise-easter-island-society-linked-environmental-1780450

The news report links to an academic Article which can be downloaded from

http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2015/01/02/1420712112

Article indicates a per contact population decline at two of the three sites studied.

Don't we want to know the probability of death conditional on meeting the animal? Rather than be told that there are lots of dogs and bees in the US?

The most dangerous animals

In America

Are

Misguided Elephants

Led by a Clown.

You're a terrible poet, but you probably don't know it.

Only those who think this is poetry

And criticize it as if it was poetry

Or criticize it as if it were (whichever is correct)

Are tone deaf to a large laugh on them.

It's easy to use

Some weird, stupid formatting

To imply restrictions

That would excuse a lack of merit

But which is quickly disavowed

When the user is called out

For writing bullshit in weird little lines.

Some call it the Picasso effect

Others still call it the Jimmy Kimmel Effect

"I imply my point is deep"
"I'm just a comedian!"

http://knowyourmeme.com/photos/738025-i-was-only-pretending-to-be-retarded

I applaud your efforts at free speech, and trust you will also respect my right as well.

You shouldn't believe the CDC, a lot of those animals may have been framed. One time I watched a documentary where a rabbit was framed for murder but it turned out the judge did it.

My dog loves kids. He would never bite a kid.

1610-(478+272+72) = 788.

Hard to argue with that logic.

Something something, long guns.

Dang Thomas, I got you so triggered (pun intended)

There is not a single instance of a dinosaur killing a human in all of known history. That is why it's the friendly dinosaur who is safest of all.

The only good dinosaur is a dead dinosaur.

I am pretty sure the answer is: humans

"Beware the snake, the spider and the scorpion. But know this: You are much more likely to be killed by a bee or a dog."

People tend to love these kind of "counter-intuitive" truths, makes them seem smarter than the average idiot. But it's of limited relevance in terms of what you should actually fear. What matters is this question, when you are face to face with an animal, what is the probability of being killed? Dogs and bees aren't particularly dangerous, they just interact with humans a lot.

I thing we are forgetting about mosquitoes:

Mosquito borne West Nile Virus alone kills about 100 Americans/year:

"As of January 17, 2017, 47 out of 50 states and the District of Columbia have reported West Nile virus infections in people, birds, or mosquitoes in 2016. Overall, 2,038 cases of WNV were reported in humans, and there were 94 confirmed deaths (4.61%) in 2016. The total is a slight improvement from 2015, where there were 2,060 human cases and 119 confirmed deaths (5.8%). To learn more about the symptoms, treatment, and mosquito species that vector this virus, visit our educational page on West Nile virus."

http://www.vdci.net/blog/2016-year-in-review-mosquito-borne-disease

Actually, 13 people were killed by marine animals over the 8 year period, for a yearly average of 2, not 2 people over the 8 year period. Be 6x more afraid if you go in the ocean...

I, for one, feel I am already sufficiently scared of wasps.

The common or garden flightless economist.

The thing about deer is that they only attack if you touch their privates. Dogs will attack you for just flirting with them.

If you can't come up with a better comeback than that they will keep trolling you.

Why are you impersonating others here?

And to answer your question by opposing open borders.

Kahneman is again proven brilliant. Few people and apparently no journalists understand the distinction between relative risk and absolute risk. But they love, love, love demonstrating their brilliance (i.e. stupidity) by Tweeting to the benighted rubes in flyover states that their risk of dying from a shark attack is very low.

Worldwide snakes kill an estimated 100,000 - 150,000 people each year ( https://www.nature.com/news/africa-braced-for-snakebite-crisis-1.18357 and https://theconversation.com/snakebites-still-exact-a-high-toll-in-africa-a-shortage-of-antivenoms-is-to-blame-80982). Some 20,000 Africans die every year just from the bite of Echis ocellatus (and 2x - 3x that number wind up losing a limb). If vipers were to become as common in the streets, subways and parks of NY and SF as they are in the Indian subcontinent and Africa the perils of bees and dogs would immediately be forgotten.

'the perils of bees and dogs'

For those allergic to bees, one can doubt that statement.

As for dogs, 4.6 million bites is probably a more relevant measure - particularly regarding children. We accept that dogs can maim already, after all, so peril is always relevant.

There be three things which are too wonderful for me, yea, four which I know not: The way of an eagle in the air; the way of a serpent upon a rock; the way of a ship in the midst of the sea; and the way of a man with a maid.

How do I recognize bad journalism? Well, one red flag is statements containing phrases like "between 2008 and 2015". Does that mean 2009 to 2014 inclusive? or from the start of 2008 to the end of 2014? or what? When absolute numbers are tossed around but the actual time span is left out, it's time to bail. And yes, there is a big difference between 6 years and 8 years, relative to either. Some interesting comments on the thread, never-the-less. Bringing bugs in, and diseases makes me wonder how well the CDC does in actually counting (and how well the states/local jurisdictions do in reporting) cause of death. And then there's the question of attribution. If a particular animal is a vector for a disease (bacterium, fungi, virus, amoeba, etc.) then to which should the cause of death be assigned? And how many deaths from "natural causes" are actually due to fatal interaction with a hostile life-form? In 2015, in the USA ~52,000 people died of pneumonia; the vast majority of which was either bacterial or viral (fungal and amoebic much less common, although HIV positive are more vulnerable to fungi). Only 67% of seniors in the USA have been vaccinated against it. Death wish, perhaps. And then we should acknowledge that there's a lot we don't know, it could be that certain cases of heart disease and many more cancers than have already been found to be due to infections are due to infectious agents. Viral hepatitis ~7500/yr. etc. etc.

Three different dinosaurs have defiantly been known to kill humans. José Luis Ochoa was killed in California by a Gallus (Chicken). He suffered a fatal neck wound from an artificial spur attached to the leg of one at an illegal cockfight. Casusarias (Cassowary) has a large dagger like foot claw allowing for fatal stab injuries while Struthio (Ostrich) is large and powerful to kill a human through blunt force trauma.

I recently read an article that noted that free-range chickens, in addition to eating grain or chicken feed, will chase and eat pretty much anything that moves: insects and even mice.

That made me reflect on their dinosaurian ancestors (are chickens just mini-velociraptors?), and it may be a good thing that we're a lot bigger than a chicken is.

There have been large carnivorous birds in the past, such as the South American terror bird. But either climate change or competition from other carnivores or both wiped them out.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phorusrhacidae

Somebody needs to run on an Animal Control 2020 platform. Or idk, maybe an Animal Deregulation 2020 platform.

Make Humans Great Again!

my favorite comment thread ever

If you know you're not allergic to bees I assume you're considerably less likely to die to bees. Most people know whether they're allergic or not.

Definitely don't seem to be considering indirect deaths. Deer/vehicle collisions (and loss of vehicle control at high speeds to avoid) are commonplace in Michigan.

I suspect there's a data collection challenge too. Horses, Cattle, Pigs don't factor into my daily life at all (excluding the occasional bacon cheeseburger), yet I personally knew 2 people killed (directly) by horses over the study period. Seems improbable, particularly in a state like Michigan that probably has a relatively lower population of horses.

The problem with this sort of thing is that it is not "risk per encounter / unit time". So it gives a misleading picture of where effort should be allocated to reduce risk at the margin.

Most people won't run into the nasties, and if they do, it is entirely rational to expend worry and resources during those encounters. They are high risk per unit time of encounter, and effort at the margin is justified. Whereas the common killers are ubiquitous but low risk per unit time. Not worth worrying if that dog is about to attack you.

Air travel is much safer than cars. But it is still rational to be nervous on take-off and pay attention to the safety literature.

Beware of statistics. I make a comparison with Australia with less than 10% of the US population. A decade long study of coronial reports had:
– horses are by far the most dangerous animal, deaths of jockeys, pony club riders,etc
– cattle number 2, big animals crushing people
– dogs, but only half due to dog attacks, other-old people tripping over them etc
– bees, 2 per year
– snakes, 3 per year, we have many of the deadliest snakes in the world
– crocodiles, sharks, 1 a year each but rising as there are more of them than ever.

Ticks don't kill many people, though they can (Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever etc) but they cause vast amounts of suffering from Lyme disease. By far the animal I fear the most outdoors.

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