Which Animal Kills the Most People? 21 Most Deadly Animals

  • By: Alex
  • Date: July 29, 2022
  • Time to read: 12 min.

The answer to this question is not as straightforward as one might think. Certain animals, such as sharks and lions, are often cited as the deadliest animals on Earth.

The answer to this question is not as straightforward as one might think. Certain animals, such as sharks and lions, are often cited as the deadliest animals on Earth.

However, when one looks at the numbers, it becomes clear that these creatures are not the biggest killers.

In fact, the animal that kills the most people each year is actually the mosquito. Of the 1,000,000 people who die each year from animal-related fatalities, 50% are killed by mosquitoes.

The most common way for a person to be killed by a mosquito is through the transmission of malaria. 

In 2020 alone, there were 7,6 million malaria cases and 409,000 deaths from this disease. Most of these cases and deaths are in sub-Saharan Africa, where the most common means of mosquito transmission of malaria is present.

Today, there exist around 3,500 different species of mosquitoes.

About 200 of these species can transmit diseases to people through their bites.

Several factors determine which type of mosquito is responsible for spreading a given condition.

  • One of these factors is the distribution of the mosquito species. Some species are more common in certain parts of the world than others.
  • Another factor that determines which mosquitoes are responsible for disease transmission is the feeding habits of the mosquitoes.
  • Some species feed exclusively on humans, while others feed on humans and other animals.

Mosquitoes are not only deadly on an individual basis. They are also fatal when they are taken as a whole.

Mosquitoes kill more people than any other animal globally, including humans. 

Since many mosquito-borne diseases affect multiple people at once, mosquitoes are extremely dangerous to large populations living in poor regions of the world.

List of 21 Most Deadly Animals in the World

AnimalsDeaths by Year
1) Mosquito1,000,000 people
2) Snakes80,000 people
3) Assassins Bugs12,000 people
4) Freshwater snails10,000 people
5) Tsetse flies10,000 people
6) Scorpions3200 people
7) Crocodiles1000 people
8) Hippos500 people
9) Elephants100 to 500
10) Lions200 people
11) Dears120 people
12) Horses100 people
13) Bees100 people
14) Tigers50 to 250 people
15) Jellyfish50 to 100 people
16) Dogs30 to 50 people
17) Pigs22 people
18) Wolfes10 people
19) Sharks10 people
20) Cows7 people
21) Bears2 to 5 people

Dogs are not as dangerous as other animals, but they still kill about 30-50 people per year.

Dogs can threaten humans because they have sharp teeth and claws that cause injury. They also carry diseases such as rabies which is fatal if untreated.

Dogs

Dogs

Dogs often attack children, the elderly, and those who are alone or vulnerable.

Some breeds of dogs have been bred for specific tasks such as hunting or guarding livestock, so it’s important to know what type of dog you’re dealing with before confronting one in a potentially risky situation.

It’s highly advisable to avoid any confrontation with a dog unless absolutely necessary because even the friendliest dogs may lash out when startled or scared by an unfamiliar person or animal.

Horses

I’m sure you know that horses kill an estimated 100 people per year. They’re primarily young children playing in their parents’ barns and get kicked or trampled to death by a horse.

Horses usually attack humans if they think you might invade their territory or threaten one of their colts or fillies.

They can also become spooked if they see something ordinary, such as a snake or another animal. If you’re ever around horses, it’s essential to be very aware of their behavior and give them plenty of space.

Elephants

Elephants

Out of all the animals that kill humans each year, elephants are the least deadly based on total numbers.

The average number of human deaths caused by elephants each year is around 100 to 500.

This number may seem high, but when you consider that there are about 1.3 billion elephants in the world, it means that your risk of being killed by an elephant is about 1 in 2 million.

While elephants are not as deadly as some of the other animals on this list, they can still be quite dangerous. They are known for being very aggressive and unpredictable.

Some elephants may become agitated by the presence of humans or simply because they feel threatened in some way. If an elephant attacks you, your best option is to play dead until it leaves you alone.

Elephants are also known for their memory. They can remember when people have upset them in the past and may attack them again in the future.

Pigs

Pigs are not as dangerous as other animals, but they kill about 20 people per year.

Pigs are omnivorous animals that eat anything, including small animals, insects, and carrion.

They also have razor-sharp tusks that can quickly kill a person.

In addition to their physical attributes, pigs can also be dangerous because they are known carriers of the swine flu virus.

Cows

Cows kill an estimated 7 people per year.

Most fatalities caused by cows occur due to accidents on farms and ranches. Cows may attack humans if they feel threatened or believe that a person is trying to harm them.

When a cow feels threatened or believes you will hurt them, they will attack without warning. And unlike other large animals like bears or elephants, who usually flee from humans once they see us coming, cows will often stand their ground and fight back if you try to run away from the first.

This is why cows kill an estimated 7 people per year out of all animal-related fatalities worldwide.

So be careful when handling cattle because even though you may have been raised around farm animals your whole life, these vast beasts can still surprise you with their power and strength.

Hippos

Hippos

Hippos are one of the most dangerous animals in Africa.

They kill around 500 people every year and have many reasons to attack humans, including territorial and unpredictable.

Hippos can be found in rivers or lakes where human beings can swim and interact, but some people have been killed due to their aggressive nature.

Because they can weigh more than three thousand pounds, most attacks happen in the water, where people might not escape.

Crocodiles

Crocodiles

The crocodile is the most dangerous animal in Africa. The reason for this is that it kills about 1,000 people per year.

The African continent is home to many wild animals considered dangerous to human life.

One of the most prominent examples among them all would be the Nile Crocodile, also known as “Crocodylus niloticus.”

These reptiles can grow up to 20 feet long and weigh 2 tons on average, making them one of the largest predators in the world.

They are often found near bodies of water, such as rivers and lakes, where they prey on various animals, including fish, birds, and mammals.

And while they typically avoid contact with humans whenever possible, crocodiles sometimes attack people who get too close to them or accidentally fall into their territory.

Lions

Lions

Out of all the animals on this list, lions have been responsible for one the most significant number of recorded fatalities. It is estimated that lions kill 200 people each year.

The lion’s victims are typically men who have been hunting or herding livestock in rural regions of Africa. Lions are also known to ambush small groups of people, dragging away one member for a meal while everyone else flees.

According to recent estimates, lions have caused about 200 deaths per year, less than the number of deaths attributed to other creatures on this list, like snakes or crocodiles.

Nevertheless, lions remain dangerous predators, because they hunt in packs and take down much more significantly than themselves with little effort.

Tigers

Tigers

The tiger is one such animal with a long history of attacking people; in fact, tigers kill an average of 50-250 humans per year (more than any other large cat), making them one of the most dangerous animals on Earth.

There are many contributing factors behind this sad reality:

  • Habitat loss has reduced their natural prey options.
  • There is less space for tigers to roam to find food.
  • Humans are encroaching on their territory due to the rapid deforestation across India.

Tigers are also used in traditional Chinese medicines because their organs, bones, and skin is medicinal properties.

For these reasons, tigers were hunted nearly to extinction throughout China and South-East Asia until they were protected by international law in 1973.

Sharks

People are often told they should be more afraid of sharks than bears.

However, the statistics show that the number of people killed by sharks is significantly lower than the number of other animals on this list.

This is because sharks will generally only attack if they mistake a human for their prey or if someone tries to grab them or feed them from the water’s edge.

It’s important not to swim near schools where shark feeding occurs and not go in the water at dawn or dusk when many species come out on hunts for breakfast/lunch.

Snakes

Snakes kill an estimated 80,000 people per year. Snakebites are the second most common cause of death in some parts of India.

Snakes have often been misunderstood creatures. They are often seen as dangerous due to their ability to kill with venom, but they can also be beneficial because they eat other pests like rats and mice.

The problem is that if you see a snake, it’s hard to know what it’s thinking or what its intentions may be with you. An estimated 80,000 people are killed by snakes per year, making them one of the most deadly animals on Earth.

Snakes have been around for about 200 million years, so their long-term survival has proven successful because not only do they have prey items such as rodents, but they also serve as food for many predators themselves.

Snakes are usually shy creatures who try to stay out of human contact, but they feel threatened and occasionally strike back.

While we may not like them, identifying snakes is crucial and knowing the best ways to keep them away from our homes and communities. The more you know about snakes, the less likely you’ll get hurt by one of them, and that’s good news for everyone.

Scorpions

Scorpions kill an estimated 3,200 people per year; this number makes them one of the deadliest animals in the world. They are found in Africa, the Americas, and Asia.

Scorpions use their stinger to inject venom into their prey. This venom can cause pain, swelling, paralysis, and even death.

Scorpions have a long history of being feared for their potent stingers and deadly poison across many cultures. They attack their victim with a speed that leaves little time for defense or escape. 

A scorpion bite can kill up to twenty-four hours after its initial sting, causing a person’s immune system to break down, resulting in organ failure and ultimately death if not treated soon enough.

Bears

Tigers

We all know that bears are dangerous. They can be cute, but they can also be deadly. One of the reasons for this is that bears kill an estimated 2/5 people per year in North America.

And it’s probably not just because they’re hungry either, as there are other animals out there – like big cats- which will only sometimes attack humans when they’re hungry or threatened.

So what’s up with the bear? Why do they seem to be so aggressive towards human beings?

Well, it might have something to do with their natural habitat and how close we come to them at times; or maybe it has more to do with our behavior than theirs… But one thing’s for sure: you should never underestimate a bear!

Deers

Deer kill an estimated 120 people per year.

The majority of these fatalities occur in collisions with cars, as deer are swift and can cause harm to drivers traveling at high speeds.

In addition, deer have become aggressive during mating season and attack humans without warning.

It is essential to be aware of deer when driving, especially during the evening and night when they are most active.

Tsetse fly

Tsetse fly

Tsetse flies are the deadliest animal on Earth. They kill an estimated 10,000 people per year.

Tsetse flies are found in sub-Saharan Africa, where they spread African Trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness) by biting humans and animals.

The tsetse fly’s bite transmits a parasite that causes sleeping sickness if not adequately treated with medication within 24 hours of the onset of symptoms.

Sleeping sickness is fatal without treatment; it can also cause blindness or mental retardation if left untreated for many years after the initial infection.

The tsetse fly is one of only two species whose females require blood meals to produce eggs, which makes them particularly deadly as they transmit disease more efficiently than any other type of fly.

The tsetse fly has long, slender legs and a wingspan of about 5 cm. It is active during the day and can be found near water sources, such as rivers and lakes.

Tsetse flies are attracted to bright colors, so people in areas where they are common often wear neutral-colored clothing and avoid wearing brightly-colored fabrics.

Wolves

Wolves

Wolves kill an estimated 10 people per year.

Wolves will go after anything that smells like food or has blood on it- including humans! This is why they’re such feared animals throughout history and around the world today.

Wolves typically hunt by attacking their prey from behind and biting its neck until it dies or goes into shock, though some have been known to attack their victims with their teeth instead of just biting them.

When this happens, there’s often a lot of blood involved, too, something else that makes wolves such a feared animal.

While the number of people killed by wolves each year is relatively small, it’s still something to be aware of. If you’re ever in an area where there are wolves, make sure to take precautions and be mindful of your surroundings.

Try to avoid hiking or camping in areas known to have wolf populations, and keep your campgrounds and tent areas as clean as possible.

This can help deter wolves from coming into the area, and it will also ensure that you don’t accidentally attract them with food or blood smells.

Jellyfish

Jellyfish

Jellyfish kill an estimated 50/100 people per year.

Some jellyfish, such as the Portuguese man o’ war, use a form of venom stinging cells called nematocysts to immobilize prey and deter predators.

When triggered by contact with a potential victim, these cells discharge their coiled thread-like shafts into the organism’s skin or object, touching them from within their bodies.

The threads are barbed at one end and embed themselves in tissues near the entry point; they continue to unwind until they reach a length of up to 1 meter (3 ft) before bending back on themselves inside the wound.

This results in intense pain and local paralysis that can last for several hours, followed by even more severe pain for a few days.

The chances of dying from a jellyfish sting are relatively low compared to many other injuries and fatalities from contact with venom sea life.

Due to insufficient evidence for this claim, it is impossible to know how dangerous jellyfish stings really are.

Bees

Bees

Many of us are afraid of bees. The statistics on how many people the insects kill per year may surprise you.

Bees actually kill about 100 people each year, which is more than any other type of animal! Let’s look at why that might be and what we can do about it.

Most of the bee fatalities result from an allergic reaction to the sting.

For people who are not allergic, a sting is usually just painful. However, for those who are allergic, a sting can be deadly.

This is because an allergic person’s body reacts to the venom in the sting by releasing histamines.

These histamines cause very uncomfortable swelling and itching. In extreme cases, a person can go into shock and die from an allergic reaction within minutes of being stung.

Most deaths caused by a sting occur when an individual tries to remove bees from their home or vehicle. This puts them in close contact with the insect, increasing the likelihood of being stung.

However, bees are essential ecosystem members, and removing them is not taken lightly.

Other options are available, including bee removal services that can safely relocate bees away from people’s homes without killing the insects.

Freshwater snails

Freshwater snails

In the animal kingdom, there are a lot of creatures that can kill you. The number one killer of humans is freshwater snails.

They have been estimated to be responsible for 10,000 deaths per year. It’s hard to think about these little slugs being so deadly, but they come in contact with human populations through water used for drinking and farming.

In many cases, it has been shown that people became infected by drinking unfiltered or poorly filtered water from a snail-infested area or eating food grown in such an area without proper treatment to remove the snails and their eggs.

Though most cases occur in developing countries where access to clean drinking water is limited, this isn’t always the case; even developed countries like the United States have had outbreaks of schistosomiasis.

Assassin bugs

Assassin bugs

Assassin bugs are responsible for killing an estimated 12,000 people per year. They are one of the deadliest animals in the world.

Assassin bugs are also called kissing bugs because they often bite near people’s mouths.

Sometimes these bites can transmit Chagas disease, a severe illness that may lead to death if not treated quickly and adequately.

It has been reported that about 30% of all cases of this disease come from assassin bug bites in South America alone.

If you find yourself bitten by an assassin bug or suspect that you might have been bitten, see your doctor right away and get tested for Chagas disease as soon as possible before it becomes fatal.