What is the World’s Deadliest Animal?

atkins-bookshelf-triviaIn the Life of Pi, Piscine Patel, the son of a zookeeper, observes: “We commonly say in the trade that the most dangerous animal in a zoo is Man. In a general way we mean how our species’ excessive predatoriness has made the entire planet our prey.” But when it comes to deadliest animals, humans are behind mosquitoes as the deadliest animals, notes Bill Gates whose foundation has led the largest battle against malaria. The famous philanthropist explains, “[Mosquitoes] carry devastating diseases. The worst is malaria, which kills more than 600,000 people every year; another 200 million cases incapacitate people for days at a time. It threatens half of the world’s population and causes billions of dollars in lost productivity annually. Other mosquito-borne diseases include dengue fever, yellow fever, and encephalitis.” Mosquitoes outnumber every other animal on the planet (with the exception of ants and termites). More than 2,500 species of mosquitoes exist in every continent of the world, favoring warm, tropical climates. Since they don’t like to bundle up in cold weather, they stay away from Antarctica. Here is a list of the world’s deadliest animals (followed by number of people killed per year):

Mosquito: 725,00
Human: 475,000
Snake: 50,000
Dog (rabies): 25,000
Tsetse fly (sleeping sickness): 10,000
Assassin bug (Chagas disease): 10,000
Freshwater snail (schistosomiasis): 10,000
Ascaris roundworm: 2,500
Tapeworm: 2,000
Crocodile: 1,000
Hippopotamus: 500
Elephant: 100
Lion: 100
Wolf: 10
Shark: 10

Read related posts: What Animal Lives the Longest?
What Animal has the Longest Pregnancy?

For further reading: www.gatesnotes.com/Health/Most-Lethal-Animal-Mosquito-Week
The Life of Pi by Yann Martel (2001)

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