The deadliest animal in Australia is not what you would expect

Between 2008 and 2017 in Australia, 266 people died as a result of the attack of well-known animals. Were they spiders? Snakes? Not at all. The most lethal animals for humans in Australia are horses, and cows.

As we know, Australia is famous for harboring some of the world’s most dangerous animals. One of the most venomous arachnids in the world is the eastern brown snake (Pseudonaja textilis), capable of killing a man with a single bite. But surprisingly, few animal-related deaths have been recorded in recent years, 266 deaths between 2008 and 2017. A question then arises: what is the deadliest animal for humans in Australia?

Surprisingly it is not spiders or snakes (or humans, since they are not taken into account here). According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the largest number of human deaths due to an animal is to be credited to… horses and cows (and other transport animals), with 77 registered deaths. Then come the other mammals (non-domestic), with 60 deaths. The latter number remains a little vague, but we imagine that kangaroos are particularly concerned.


The most lethal animals for humans in Australia are not spiders, nor snakes, but horses and cows (and other transport animals). These animals are responsible for 77 of the 266 deaths recorded between 2008 and 2017.

After the mammals, we hornets, wasps and bees, with 27 victims recorded over the last 10 years. Next come sharks (and other marine creatures), with 26 deaths, snakes and lizards (23 dead), dogs (22 deaths), and crocodiles (17 victims). The remaining deaths are divided between rats and arthropods.

Remember that at world level, it is the mosquito that remains the most deadly, ahead of humans themselves. Why? Because mosquitoes carry devastating diseases. For example, malaria, which kills more than 600,000 people each year. Other diseases can be transmitted by mosquitoes, including dengue fever, yellow fever and encephalitis.

There are also more than 2,500 mosquito species distributed in all regions of the world – with the exception of Antarctica. At the peak of the breeding season, mosquitoes are simply more numerous than any other animal on the planet (termites and ants aside).

Shakes Gilles

Editor of The Talking Democrat. He enjoys bike riding, kayaking and playing soccer. On a slow weekend, you'll find him with a book by the lake.