David Barash weighed in on which animals kill the most humans, in this Gizmodo article.
Which Animal Kills the Most Humans?Daniel Kolitz
Animals fatally maul, sting, trample, and chew about a million humans per year. Pretty nice of them, given the numbers on our side—the average of 750 million chickens we kill in the U.S. every month, for instance. In an ideal world, no one would ever get mauled by a bear, or contract rabies from a feral squirrel. But for this week’s Giz Asks, we’re asking which creatures are most desperate for our blood (or, in fairness to the animal kingdom, which are most likely to kill us by accident).
We reached out to a number of animal experts to figure out exactly that: which non-parasitic, non-microbial animals kill the most humans, as well as which ones are the most potentially dangerous. Mosquitos, it turns out, don’t just ruin summers—they also kill upwards of a quarter of a million people every single year. But as we learned from our experts, they’re the outlier: Animal-on-human homicide seems to be relatively rare, at least compared to the human-on-human kind, which—as nearly all our experts pointed out—exceeds it by many magnitudes (not counting mosquitoes). That said, there are plenty of animals with blood on their paws, or their scales, or—who knew!—their hooves.
Professor Emeritus of Psychology at the University of Washington, animal behavior researcher, and the co-author of The Mammal in the Mirror: Understanding Our Place in the Animal World and many other books
One of the most lethal critters in both North and South America, according to your criteria, are cows, hands down. Forget about snakes, cougars, bears, etc. Cows are large, strong and not always amenable to whatever farmers or ranchers want to do with them. They look pacific and mostly are, but they’re one of the main sources of animal-human mortality, mostly by goring their victims (not bulls, but cows, since there are so many more of them) and sometimes kicking or trampling. Sharks and venomous snakes kill about 1 American per year, cows more than 20.
Bees, however, are likely in second place, via anaphylactic shock among susceptible people. In Africa, it’s—believe it or not—hippos, which seem downright adorable but are pretty nasty and somewhat larger than poodles, and at night in particular emerge from their puddles. In Australia, it’s kangaroos—because of the auto crashes they generate. Throughout the world, however, there’s no question that the species Homo sapiens is the most lethal and dangerous, and without doubt the only one that threatens the whole fucking planet... even discounting nuclear weapons (which no one should!).
Read the entire article here .