Closeup brown bear roaring in winter forest

Byrdyak via Getty Images


You might think that the the animal cohort responsibilities for the highest number of human fatalities would be one of Alabama’s native venomous snakes, like the Copperhead rattlesnake or something equally terrifying.

slgckgc via Flickr

But according to a 2019 repost by the CDC, the title actually goes to bees and wasps. This is in part due to subsequent allergic reactions after times, but also in part to a huge population explosion of these insect in recent years. Alabama seems to be a popular nesting spot for yellow jackets, with super-nests sometimes fostering 10,000 workers or more who swarm when they are threatened.


Home of populous cities like Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, we don’t think of Pennsylvania as a wildlife sanctuary. Yet the Keystone State has as many as 30 deer and elk per square mile.

Clay Heaton via Wikimedia Commons

Unfortunately, these deer have been involved with more than their share of fatalities. Deer of course, are flight creatures, so the deaths aren’t the result of an attack. Instead, it is car-related collisions that push this gentle herbivore to the top of this list.


Alaska might be one of the world’s most pristine wildernesses, home to a menagerie of wildlife – dangerous predators. That’s why you might be surprised to learn that moose actually kill more people than black bears do.

However, comparing the two by number of fatalities alone can be a little misleading. Moose interactions with humans in Alaska are frequent as moose are more likely to get close to human settlements.

black bear, alaska's deadliest animalblack bear, alaska's deadliest animal

Additionally, there are far more moose than there are bears.  People tend to be less afraid of moose, so they are more likely to approach them. Moose are huge – the largest of the deer family, and can certainly be fatal when agitated.

Despite this fact, a run in with a black bear has a much higher likelihood of a bad outcome – it’s just these runi n are less frequent. If forced to spend an hour in a room with one for an hour, we’d definitely pick the moose.


Montana has the unique distinction of being the state which you are most likely to die due to an animal related cause in the first place. But making it’s seecond appearance on this list so far, the dealiest animal of the state is one that we picture as being the epitome of peaceful creatures.

deer darts into roaddeer darts into road
Dwight Burdette via Wikimedia Commons

As in Wyoming, deer are the leading cause of animal-caused human fatalities thanks to their tendency to dart in front of cars out of nowhere. One in 57 of the folks in Montana have been in a deer related auto accident.


Another surprising addition to this list is one of the most common animals in the United States – because we breed them in huge numbers. Cows have caused the most amount of deaths in the state of Idaho in the last 10 years.

close up of a cow licking its noseclose up of a cow licking its nose

This has much to do with the recent surge in cattle raising to match the decline in demand for mutton. Cows have been known to trample people to death. And it’s not just the bulls either. Female cows have also been known to stampede.


Florida, particularly the southern part of the state, has a tropical climate and a rich biodiversity. It also has more than its fair share of deadly animals. One of the deadliest animals in the waters surrounding the islands is the Box jellyfish.

Box jellyfish, Chironex fleckeri, deadly, North Queensland, Australia Box jellyfish, Chironex fleckeri, deadly, North Queensland, Australia
(Photo by: Auscape/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

Hawaii beachgoers beware: The sting of the box jellyfish is venomous enough to kill an adult human. Box jellyfish are responsible for more human deaths worldwide than sharks. As global ocean temperatures rise, their population is exploding….and will continue to increase with the thermometer.


Colorado is home to a number of formidable predators, but the bigger danger in Colorado is actually an herbivore. While ticks are the deadliest animal by fatality count, one animal you shouldn’t underestimate is the moose.


Moose are massive animals. Though they are for the most part peaceful, they can get aggressive if threatened. They aren’t as clunky as they look – a moose can run up to 35 mph! Aggressive behavior from moose has been on the rise in the Centennial State since 2018.


The reality is, Illinois is a state that almost fully developed into either a city or for agricultural development. There just isn’t enough ‘wilderness’ for many animals to maintain populations. But there is an animal Illinois that has a surprisingly high number of attacks: Illinois.

aggressive dog (1)aggressive dog (1)

Though by number, California, Florida, and Texas have higher incidents rates, Illinois’ population is significantly smaller. When accounting for occurrence rates per capita, Illinois takes the cake  in terms of likelihood of falling victim to a dog attack.


While other animals are may have a higher death count, those animals also have a much higher interaction rate with Washingtonians. If you look at it from the perspective of likelihood for the animal to attack you in any given encounter, the cougar is one to look out for.

National Park Service

Though cougar related fatalities are fairly rare, and even went several decades without any, the number of cougar attacks has been on the incline in recent years. In 2019, a cougar attacked 2 cyclists and killed one of them. A follow up investigation revealed the cougar was emaciated, which may have caused it to be more aggressive.


They’re noisy and aloof, but if you ever see a nine-banded armadillo in Texas, keep your distance. An many as 20% of these bizarre (but kinda cute) armored critters carry leprosy.


Because they are fairly common place in certain regions of Texas, humans come in contact with them, oftentimes as roadkill being removed off the street. It is estimated that one in three leprosy cases in the United States comes from armadillos.


You can avoid an attack from this animal if you listen carefully, because it is trying to warn you you’re getting too close. Arizonas warm, desserty climate coupled with rock stacks that make for an excellent dwelling, Arizonians need to keep an eye – or an ear – out for rattle snakes.

rattlesnake rattlesnake

Arizona lead the nation in rattlesnake bites per capita. Luckily, a rattlesnakes bite is survivable for most humans given they don’t have certain underlying medical issues. If you ever get bitten, do your best to remain calm, get a photo of the snake if you can, and make your way over to a hospital ASAP to receive anti-venom therapy.

New Mexico

This might be the scariest creature on this list, and New Mexicans have the unfortunate distinction of being significantly more likely than other Americans to having a bad encounter with one. New Mexico leads the nation in scorpion stings.

Musides via Wikimedia Commons

While Oklahoma has just a few more by case count, it also has just about double the population. That means New Mexican are about twice as likely to be stung than the state that clocks the second highest amount of stings. The bark scorpion is the most venomous and its sting can cause medical problems and even death.


You thought we were going to say gators, didn’t you? Sure, gators are aggressive and have killed people before. But the sharks that like to patrol Florida’s coast lines really take the cake compared to other states when it comes to shark attacks.

Bull Shark, Carcharhinus leucas, Beqa Lagoon, Viti Levu, FijiBull Shark, Carcharhinus leucas, Beqa Lagoon, Viti Levu, Fiji
Photo by Reinhard Dirscherl/ullstein bild via Getty Images

Florida clocks more than double of California and Hawaii’s shark attacks combined. The good news is that if you are going to be attacked by a shark, better to happen in Florida. Compared to the West coast and Hawaii, you’re much more likely to survive.

New Jersey

They loo cute and all, but raccoons are curious animals that generally aren’t especially afraid of humans. They have ben known to get aggressive over food and their young. New Jersey seems to have a surprisingly high amount of raccoon attacks, and sometimes the raccoons go on a straight up rampage.


There were reported rampage attacks by raccoons in 2019, 2020, and 2021, including a case where a raccoon mauled and 82-year-old man. Raccoons can be carriers of transmittable diseases, so any contact encounters with them should be followed up with a trip to the doctor.


Because California’s massive population, it tops the list for highest number of animal attacks by count for several animals. But there is one animal that it seems to have an unparalleled record for, even considering its large population: coyote attacks.


In fact, coyote attacks in California have been on the incline in recent years, particularly around the Los Angelos area. While they are most often brought to attention for stalking small dogs, they have been known to attack joggers and hikers as well as stalk small children.


Montana is the state in which you are most likely to die from an animal attack in general – and significantly more likely, too. That includes moose, horses and cows, and the creepy crawlies that spread of disease. But Montana is also home to the beast we all think of when we think of wild animal attacks because of how terrifying it would be.

Closeup brown bear roaring in winter forestCloseup brown bear roaring in winter forest
Byrdyak via Getty Images

That’s right – the heavyweight champion of the bear world, Grizzlies. Capturing the horror of the situation finally won Leo an Oscar. 2020 was a record year for Grizzly attacks, the majority of which were in Big Sky Country.

North Carolina

Though many states in the U.S. are home to numerous venomous snakes in large numbers, North Carolina is the state that clocks the most snake bites that require medical attention per year.

copperhead snakecopperhead snake

The Tar Heel State is home to six different kinds of venomous snakes, including the cottonmouth and most dangerously, the Copperhead. Roughly 1,500 people have one of these terrifying run ins per year. 2020 saw an increase in the annual total compared to thee average. Experts believe that this was in part due to social distancing measures prompting into the Great Outdoors.

West Virginia

North Carolina might clock the highest amount of snake bites per year, but West Virginias are more than five times as likely to have a run in with a slithery menace. West Virginia clocks about 1,000 snake bites per year compared to North Carolina’s 1,500 – but that’s pretty significant considering West Virginia has less than 20% of the population of the Old North States.

eastern diamond back snakeeastern diamond back snake

Interestingly, while most of those snake encounters did not ultimately result in fatalities, the handful that have over the last couple of decades seem to mostly involve people handling snakes at religious services.


A quick Google search of “Georgia wild animal attacks” brings up numerous cases of a fate no one would ever want – death by pack of wild dogs. Though the packs are mostly a nuisance because they kill pets and farm animals, they have occasionally killed humans as well. In May of 2020, a high profile case of a doctor who was mauled by a pack of wild dog made headlines.

Mother wild Golden Jackal, Canis aureus, with three well-grown cubs in early morning, Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve, eastern Romania
Mother wild Golden Jackal, Canis aureus, with three well-grown cubs in early morning, Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve, eastern Romania
SoopySue via Getty images

Just six months earlier, an animal control officer was attacked, but managed to escape with his life. In 2009, a pack attacked an elderly Georgia couple, and both lost their lives. so if you’re ever in Georgia and see a group of dogs coming your way, best to find a place to take cover.


With the exception of Alaska, Minnesota is the state where you are most likely to be attacked by a wolf or pack of wolves. Minnesota is a cold state, and to the north are vast expanses of Canadian wilderness – the prime natural habitat of wolves.

wolves fighting over food
wolves fighting over food
Tambako The Jaguar via Flickr

Considering that fact, perhaps it’s not that surprising. Luckily, despite the increased likelihood of attack in the Gopher State, the attacks are fairly rare and not always fatal. In fact, the last fatal attack happened in 1989.

New Hampshire

Truth be told, the deadliest critter in New Hampshire is by far one of the deadliest on this list overall. But the people of New Hampshire are statistically significantly more likely to have numerous run in with this nightmarish insect.


New Hampshire is home to fewer than 1.4 million people, but it leads the nation in annual cases of tick-borne illnesses. New Hampshire is largely covered with lush forest – prime grounds for these jumpers who can spread disease through their bloodsucking feeding.


Wyoming is home to Yellowstone National Park, arguably the heavyweight champion of national parks. Visitors travel from all over the country to witness its grandiosity first-hand. But it also means that a lot of people there aren’t aware of how to behave around the Cowboy State’s native residents.

National Park Services

Perhaps that is part of why Wyoming is the state in which you are most likely to be attacked by a Bison. Bison will get very aggressive if they feel threatened, and being an animal that is often on the defense, they get threatened pretty easily. Luckily, for the most part, they jut want to mind their own business, so if you do visit Yellowstone, keep. your distance.

Let’s just say that Wyoming might be the state with the highest rate of Bison attacks, in general, it’s not locals getting attacked.


After covering bears, wolves, and pumas, Nevada’s deadliest animal almost seems like a joke. But this tiny mammal is responsible for more deaths than bears, wolves, and pumas combined. Nevada’s deadliest creature is the deer mouse.

Public Domain

Obviously, the mouse can’t physically kill a human – not even a small one. Unfortunately, this mouse is a vector for the spread of Hantavirus, which has become endemic to severalNevada counties and tallies a fatality almost every year. The mouse can spread thee virus without even coming into contact with humans through biological matter they leave behind.


Utah features some of the world’s most beautiful hiking trails….many of which cut through moose country. Moose have been known to attack hikers and snowshoers, including one case where a large bull attacked three people at once.

moose lurches forward toward carmoose lurches forward toward car

Moose are dangerous in part because unlike the other wild animals in the area, they seem significantly less afraid of humans. Of all the bovine family, moose are both the largest and most aggressive, so if you see one out on a trail, get as far away as you can. Additionally, moose clock human fatalities indirectly via vehicular accidents.

South Carolina

We often think of Florida as gator nation, and historically, that has been well justified. But South Carolina is a gator favorite spot too. In recent years, South Carolina has overtaken Florida in fatal gator attacks.

The photo was taken at Lake Apopka Wildlife drive, an 11 mile one way drive through the wetlands. The photo shows an alligator that has just caught a fish and is in the process of devouring it.The photo was taken at Lake Apopka Wildlife drive, an 11 mile one way drive through the wetlands. The photo shows an alligator that has just caught a fish and is in the process of devouring it.
Elizabeth W. Kearley via Getty Images

In fact, tow of the most recent fatal attack in the United States involving an alligator were in South Carolina. One involved a 45-year-old female was attacked while walking her dog in a golf course, while the other happened in May 2020, when an alligator dragged a woman into a pond behind a house.

North Dakota

North Dakota’s most dangerous animal is the most dangerous animal in the world, responsible for over 750,000 deaths worldwide every year. North Dakota’s deadliest animal is the mosquito. While the mosquito would top the list for every state, North Dakota has had the unfortunate distinction of having a disproportionately high amount of disease as a result.


In 2016, North Dakota had an unusually high case count of West Nile considering it’s fairly small population. Luckily, most of those who contracted the illness survived.


They’re cute, cunning, and have beautiful costs. Who wouldn’t want a fox for a pet? If you’re living in Maine, suffice it to say that now might not be the best time to try. Over the last year, fox attacks have grown increasingly common – usual for this usually private and shy animal.

Foxes may be possible vectors of the rabies virus, transmitting it to humans and other animals, 1994. Wild animals accounted for 93% of reported animal cases of rabies in the year 2000, with foxes comprising 6.1% of this figure. Image courtesy CDC. Foxes may be possible vectors of the rabies virus, transmitting it to humans and other animals, 1994. Wild animals accounted for 93% of reported animal cases of rabies in the year 2000, with foxes comprising 6.1% of this figure. Image courtesy CDC.
Photo by Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images.

Experts suspect there could be a new strain of rabies breaking out in fox populations, possibly the cause behind the foxes’ out-of-character behavior. One fox in particular made headlines because it was believed to be behind three separate attacks on humans.


It’s not as cute as it sounds: Kissing bugs are prevalent enough in Tennessee to prompt the CDC to issue a warning about the parasitic creatures. The bugs are named that way because they tend to like to bite their victims right on the face.

A colorful triatomid bug (also known as assassin bug or kissing bug) on pink begonia flowers. Taken in São Paulo, Brazil.A colorful triatomid bug (also known as assassin bug or kissing bug) on pink begonia flowers. Taken in São Paulo, Brazil.
Kimie Shimabukuro via Getty Images

Like other blood-sucking parasites, they can be vectors of disease spread. The are common carriers of a parasite that causes Chagas, a disease that primarily affects young women. The symptoms of the disease are varied and serious, ranging from cardiac to neurological difficulties.


Farming can be dangerous work, and Iowa has a lot of farmland. Iowa is home to about 4 million cows. These numbers help explain why despite their overall docile temperament, the domestic cow is Iowa’s most dangerous animal.


Interestingly, despite the fact that Iowa is 8th in the nation by cattle per capita in the nation, it recorded the highest number of cattle related fatalities between 2003-2008, mostly in stalls and pens. Think twice before you go cow tipping.

New York

In January 2021, reports of deranged squirrels attacking park goers started emerging out of the New York neighborhood of Queens. Because people often feed squirrels, the animals have grown to be fearless – even bold – when it comes to approaching humans.


It’s not thee first time. In 2017, a single squirrel was responsible for bloodying up five different people in New York City, sparking concerns that its aggressive behavior could be a symptom of rabies. Fortunately, that wasn’t the case, but squirrels have been known to transmit disease to humans including typhus and the plague. Not so cute and cuddly after all.


Spiders might be the most common fear people have regarding animals, and Kentucky has not one, not two…but three potentially fatal spiders. While the infamous Black Widow makes its stead in the majority of states, Kentucky has the unlucky fortune of being home to two different varieties of the deadly arachnid.

Black widow in webBlack widow in web
Clinton & Charles Robertson via Creative Commons

That’s right: Kentucky is host to both the Northern black widow – known for it’s broken red hourglass under-marking, as well as it’s deadlier, bigger fanged relative, the Northern black widow. While these spiders generally don’t have enough venom to kill a grown adult, they can potentially kill small children. With both species living among them, Kentuckians are a tad more likely to have an encounter with these terrifying critters than most.


The animal to keep an eye on in Missouri is one of the most common household pets: Dogs. Missouri has had a number of maulings that resulted in serious injury and in some of the more extreme cases, death.

vicious dogvicious dog
State Farm via Flickr

In December 2020, residents of Florissant Missouri were shaken when a pack of four frenzied dogs attacked a woman in the street. When others came to help her, thee dogs turned on them as well and inflicted serious wounds that required medical attention. Just three months later, a 13-year-old boy was attacked at a gender reveal party. Though he survived, his injuries required numerous surgeries and is still in recovery.


Though these slippery creatures can get up to five feet in length, most of them are much smaller and never exceed a foot or two. That can make it tricky to be on the lookout for them, especially considering their excellent camouflage. It’s great when they’re hunting prey, but it means you need to really watch where you step!

Photograph taken in Nk'Mip (Nikameep) in Osoyoos, one of the most endangered ecosystems in Canada, the northernmost point of the Great American desert.Photograph taken in Nk'Mip (Nikameep) in Osoyoos, one of the most endangered ecosystems in Canada, the northernmost point of the Great American desert.
Paul Williams via Getty Images

Plenty of unfortunate people aren’t paying attention and don’t hear the warning rattle before they accidentally step on a snake. Remember, they won’t chase you or attack you without provocation, but their venom can be fatal!


Despite the pervasive fear around this infamous snake, its venom is one of the least toxic in the continental US. Weird, huh? You usually don’t see them during the dog days of summer, but they’re fairly active in the spring and autumn months.

Northern Copperhead snakeNorthern Copperhead snake
Charles Barilleaux via Flickr

The reason that so many people worry about the Northern Copperhead is that, unlike the majority of snakes, when it feels threatened it doesn’t run, er, slither away. Instead, it freezes in place, hoping that the threat (you) won’t see it. That plan often backfires since people don’t see the snake and step on it, earning a hefty bite in return!


Yeah, you read that right. The most dangerous animal in Virginia is none other than a deer. Despite what their innocent doe eyes would suggest, the white-tailed deer can be pretty deadly. Sadly, the reason is actually one of our own makings.

white tailed deerwhite tailed deer

With new hunting regulations the population has spiraled out of control and they’ve become a controversial topic. Most white-tailed deer weigh between 250 to 350lbs which means that if you hit one with your car, you’re very likely to get injured in the crash. When you take to the streets of Virginia, be alert, especially at night!


Mountain lions aren’t very big compared to the other ‘big cats’ on Earth, but they can still prove to be dangerous for the unwary traveler or hiker. The biggest mistake that people make is seeing a fearsome mountain lion and trying to run away. We’ve got news for you: the mountain lion is faster.

mountain lionmountain lion
Lil Rose via Flickr

Running away from a predator with highly honed skills makes it think you’re prey. And, if you try running, you might just become prey too. Instead, puff out your chest, make a lot of noise, and look as large as possible to intimidate the lion.

South Dakota

Black bears might look adorable on the internet, but they can be deadly foes. They aren’t as large as their grizzly cousins, but they sure pack a punch! Generally, bears do their best to stay the heck out of our way and mind their own business. The one exception? Mothers protecting their cubs.

black bearblack bear

Mother bears are notoriously violent and vicious in their attacks. It makes sense; moms are the scariest people. We strongly recommend staying away from areas with bears. If you must go, take bear mace to disorient the bears, but even it isn’t a sure bet that they’ll leave you in peace.


While bison may rank at the top for the silliest scientific name (Bison bison), they shouldn’t be underestimated. They are by far the deadliest animals in Idaho and should be treated with extreme caution.


The reason? Because people are idiots! People see a herd of bison and run up, trying to get the best selfie for the ‘Gram. Unfortunately, bison are notoriously camera-shy and will often take extreme measures to stop you from getting up close and personal with their beautiful faces.


Moose are huge and often ill-tempered. Like deer and bison, they have the ability to knock you over with little effort and those antlers can gore you before you have time to smile and say cheese for the camera.

moose bullmoose bull

Too many tourists make the mistake of thinking that all moose are like Bullwinkle and start approaching when they see one. Moose live in herds and when you see one solo, it’s usually a bull or a male. They’re highly aggressive and will even chase you!


This one is pretty depressing. Bobcats are becoming infected with rabies at an alarming rate and the disease is notorious for turning normally shy animals into crazed monsters, striking at anything in its path. Rabies is easily identifiable in animals since it causes them to foam at the mouth and behave aggressively.


That might not be very comforting if you’re being attacked by a bobcat, but the good news is that bobcats aren’t very large. It’ll be painful, but you can try to fend off the bobcat. Just remember to get your rabies vaccine before you go to Connecticut!


We’re constantly seeing campaigns telling us to Save the Bees, but sometimes the bees can turn on us too! In all seriousness, a single bee sting usually isn’t enough to do much more than ruin someone’s day (unless they’re allergic). It’s when you’re dealing with multiple stings that things can get dicey.


A general rule of thumb is that you can withstand 10 bee stings for every 1 pound of body weight. That might add up to a lot of stings for you, but the human body suffers in some terrible ways long before you reach the lethal dose.


Like deer, cows may not be predators but they are very large and potentially fatal. Considering the sheer number of cattle ranches in Kansas, it’s no wonder that people have been discovering the dark side of cows in that state.


When people duck into cattle enclosures, hoping to rein their unruly cows in or pet the usually gentle giants, cows can show their true colors and gore or ram an unsuspecting person. Their horns are no laughing matter!


Arkansas has the pleasure of being home to six different kinds of venomous snakes. While the Western diamondback is the most aggressive and has venom that is considered to be the most potent, the coral snake has a venom type that differentiates it from other snakes.

Eastern Coral SnakeEastern Coral Snake
Mark Kostich via Getty Images

While the other five snakes’ venom work within the blood, the coral snake’s venom is a neurotoxin. What’s scary about the coral snake’s bite is that it might not hurt too bad when it happens, but the venom has the the ability to cause organ failure. Luckily, an antivenim can save save lives if administered in time.