12 Deadliest and Most Dangerous Animals in North America

by Hunter Miller

There are thousands of animal species in the United States. While many present no threat to humans, others can be quite lethal. Some of the deadliest animals are ones you might expect. However, the ones that cause the most death in the country might surprise you.

The experts at Science101 compiled a list of the most lethal animals in the U.S. Here are the top 12 of the deadliest:

(photo credit: Guillaume Bourdages / Unsplash)

12. Racoon

Raccoons are commonly known more for being trash can thieves. However, they can actually be quite deadly too. They are especially lethal in transmitting diseases. Raccoons most commonly spread rabies, which is deadly to humans.

11. Coral Snake

The coral snake is the only reptile in the Top 12 Deadliest Animals in the U.S. list. They have black, yellow, and red striped skin. So if you happen to come across one of these slithery creatures, best keep your distance.

10. Fire Ants

Not only can fire ants be rather irksome, but they can also present a deadly threat. Some people have allergies toward the ants. The reaction can result in death for some.

9. Harvester Ants

Death by harvester ant isn’t extremely common. However, they are considered deadly for two reasons. Firstly, their sting is potent. Secondly, they sting in abundance.

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8. Horses

Horses can be skittish by nature. If spooked, horses can cause significant damage with a stomp or a kick. Around 20 people per year are killed by horses.

7. Pigs

Pigs will eat almost anything. However, this isn’t what makes them one of the most deadly animals. Because pigs are typically quite heavy, they can cause disastrous accidents when they end up on the road.

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6. Deer

While they aren’t necessarily hostile creatures, deer are notorious for running into the middle of the road. These incidents cause a number of accidents resulting in death, making them one of the most deadly creatures in the country.

5. Honey Bee

Honey Bees aren’t quite as sweet as their name might suggest. These arthropods are particularly aggressive and are likely to bite and sting at the first opportunity.

4. Paper Wasp

Unlike bees, Paper Wasps don’t typically kill people with a swarm of stings. Instead, many suffer an allergic reaction to the stings. These kind of allergies are quite common in the U.S.

3. Africanized Bees or “Killer Bees”

Much like Paper Wasps, Africanized Bees have a reputation for being aggressive. The bees, which are commonly referred to as “killer bees,” will swarm and follow a person that disturbs their nest until they repeatedly sting the person. People can swell and even suffocate from the reaction.

2. Dogs

While dogs make beloved pets, they are one of the most common causes of anima-related deaths in the country. A few specific breeds of dogs are responsible for the majority of deaths. Breeds such as the Cane Corso, Rottweilers, and Pitbulls have a reputation for being some of the most deadly.

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1. Cows

Cows seem highly unlikely to be deadly animals. However, cows kill about 20 people per year. In fact, cows kill more people than sharks or poisonous spiders annually. Despite their nonchalant disposition, cows can actually be quite aggressive, especially those protecting their young. Also, cows sometimes escape their fencing and end up on the roads presenting a dangerous threat to drivers.

[H/T Science101]