Revealed: The Animals That Are Most Likely To Kill You In Australia

Revealed: The Animals That Are Most Likely To Kill You In Australia
What's more dangerous, the dog, or the spider he's pretending to be? Image: Getty

Australia’s wildlife has a fearsome reputation, and one that’s not entirely unearned. We have some of the world’s deadliest snakes and spiders, plus a whole corner of the coastline where going in the water basically means instant death. While these animals all strike fear in the hearts of even the most hardy of Aussies, the animals that are actually most likely to kill you might surprise you.

You’ve all likely heard the statistics that more people are killed by cows than by sharks each year, but have you ever seen the breakdown of data on said animal deaths?

Australia has a bad rep with almost every other country, with the general consensus being that everything in Australia will either eat you or poison you. While we do have a larger concentration of venomous snakes and spiders, however, encounters with these critters resulting in death are very rare. It always seemed strange to me that the people who were worried about these kinds of threats came from countries where bears, mountain lions or other large predators still roamed.

It turns out that in Australia, you’re way more likely to be killed by a horse, by cattle (not just cows, remember) or by some form of animal-driven transport than by any other type of animal. Coming after that are ‘mammals’, which doesn’t include dogs, so I can only assume there are a lot of deadly kangaroo attacks going on somewhere.

More dangerous than any spider, you’re also at far more risk from bees or wasps than from any other type of insect. In fact as far as classically ‘scary’ dangerous animals go, only sharks are relatively high up the list, followed by snakes and then crocodiles (which are less than dogs).

Here’s the full list in case you’re curious about what animals you should be avoiding, with figures from 2008 to 2017. Data is sourced from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, via the ABC.

Revealed: The Animals That Are Most Likely To Kill You In AustraliaImage: Lifehacker


  • Should have pointed out that chart is a 10 year period (had to look it up to find that). That makes a lot more sense when looking at the figures. “Mammals other” means about 6 deaths a year. So I’m guessing that means tripping over the cat or maybe allergic reactions, maybe car accidents from hitting a kangaroo, emu or feral pig?

    Or of course it could be the drop bears 😀

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