The Aussie Animals Most Likely To Kill You

Video highlights from Australia's Deadliest

Spoiler alert: sharks don’t even crack the top 3.

When you consider the Australian animals that could end your life, chances are you think of sharks, snakes, crocodiles, and spiders.

But you’d be wrong. None of those are in the top 3 animal-related causes of death.

According to the latest National Coronial Information System report, there were 254 animal-related deaths between 1 July 2000 and November 2010 with the highest amount of deaths happening in Queensland.

People in their 20s were the most common casualties, and males were more than twice as likely to die in an animal-related accident compared with females.

The deadliest Australian animals were:

1. Horse/pony/donkey

Deaths: 77
Most common cause: falling

working horses in sunrise paddock

2. Cow/bull/bovine

Deaths: 33
Most common cause: motor vehicle accident

wide angle shot of cute curious cow calves (tasmania,australia)

3. Dog

Deaths: 27
Most common cause: bite

Sheep Dog

4. Kangaroo

Deaths: 18
Most common cause: motor vehicle accident

Young Kangaroo on east coast of Australia.

5. (Tie) Bee

Deaths: 16
Most common cause: anaphylaxis after a sting


5. (Tie) Sharks

Deaths: 16
Most common cause: bite


Rounding out the top 10 were snakes, crocodiles, emus and “other” (including one man who tripped over a cat).

While many Australians consider animals in our oceans to be the most deadly, this research shows a much different story.

“Public roads, the home and farms were the most frequent locations at which these deaths occurred,” the NCIS noted in a statement.

Heightened fear over certain causes of death is nothing new. Psychologists have long noted that our over and underestimation of risks is linked to how often the media publicises certain causes of death.

Discuss this article


Never miss a Nat Geo moment

Your email address
We use our own and third-party cookies to improve our services, personalise your advertising and remember your preferences. If you continue browsing, or click on the accept button on this banner, we understand that you accept the use of cookies on our website. For more information visit our Cookies Policy AcceptClose cookie policy overlay