The Most Dangerous English Animal (4)

So, which animals are the killers in England?
Well, in England, there is no animal carnage whatsoever. All the animals are unbelievably  friendly and welcoming. Nobody in history has ever been killed by a fox:


And nobody has ever been done to death by a Lion’s Mane jellyfish either:


Hard luck Sherlock:


One lady was hospitalised after a gull attack. The killer birds pecked her little dog to death, which made some of the neighbours sad. A similar incident led to the death of a pensioner who had a heart attack.
On average, only one person a year in England is killed by cows (which really surprised me, I must say).
Five people a year are killed by wasps and bees every year in Britain, the same figure as the average number of deaths by terrorism, apparently.

psaw xxx
Only fourteen people have died in total from snakebite since 1876, with the last one more than forty years ago.
Since 2005 there have been 17 deaths caused by dog attack, which is just under two per year. There are almost a quarter of a million non-fatal attacks per year. These may sometimes be just a scratch but quite often they result in permanent disfigurement. And these statistics are rising rapidly with an increase of a third in the last five years. Animal shelters are apparently nowadays full with all the thousands of Staffordshire Bull Terriers which have been found to be too fierce to be kept as pets:


Most dangerous perhaps, though, are the Artiodactyla, the deer and the antelope. In fact, we have no antelopes in England but the deer make up for it.
Around 75,000 deer are hit by cars every year in the UK.  This results in 450 injuries but only a few fatalities. Latest figures say that there are up to a dozen, either drivers or passengers.


Getting it all into context, in 2010, 1,970 people were killed in transport accidents with almost four hundred of these being pedestrians. Two pedestrians were killed by a bicycle on the pavement and a further five were killed by motorbikes. Cars and vans claimed 133 victims in the total, and 55 pedestrians were in either a bus or a lorry with 39 hit by a train. Just over a hundred cyclists were killed in total (123) and 429 motorcyclists perished. Travelling in cars, 1,115 deaths occurred, a rather good advert, perhaps, for the virtues of the seat belt. On water, 14 deaths occurred and 22 people were killed in aeroplanes.
Stairs were killers on almost 700 occasions:


A further 53 people fell to their death off a ladder. It can be accidental:

ladeeeer Or simply, a great mind at work:


More bizarrely, 36 people were killed by a “thrown, projected or falling” object.
Accidental drowning claimed 217 with 29 in the bath and 3 in the local swimming pool. The majority of people who drown, of course, are swimmers rather than non-swimmers.
The real killer animals were doctors and surgeons who claimed 433 people in medical accidents. The forces of nature claimed 129, the same figure as for “excessive natural cold”.
And what about those killer lifts? Four fatalities between 2002-2010.
And I’m still trying to work out how they did it. Five people managed to suffocate in bed:


There were lots of different sources for these statistics, so I picked one that seemed to be from a reasonable source.


Filed under Criminology, History, Science, Wildlife and Nature

24 responses to “The Most Dangerous English Animal (4)

  1. Holy crap, I’m nervous around dogs as it is. 🙂

    • It would only be specific breeds of dog, I presume, the ones bred for fighting and aggression. It does seem such a great pity that so many people in Europe and the USA get so excited about wolves when they are comparatively harmless.

  2. Love the ladder shot. That’s something I would do. Idiot!

    • Yes! Looking back to my younger days, I can think of one or two specific moments when my “ladder discipline” was just crazy. Ands as a further comfort, the person holding the ladder, from the point of view of fulcrums and the laws of Physics, is of absolutely no value whatsoever! Only the Incredible Hulk could hold up a ladder once it has started to fall!

  3. atcDave

    So England looks like a pretty good place for those with a mortal fear of critters!

    • We have our moments! Still, no rattlesnakes or poisonous spiders and if you go out into the country for a walk round, there are no bears to worry about or any other large predators really. We do, though, have lots of sightings of big, black cats although no body, no really good photographs so far….perhaps it’s our Bigfoot!

  4. How fabulous. How do people die in lifts – and bed – that is just bizarre!

    • I have heard that the lift gets stuck, so they open the doors between floors and try to climb up and out. Then somehow, they manage to fall 18 floors. Equally they open the trapdoor / hatch in the ceiling of the lift and then try to climb up the cable. Suffocating in bed is very old and weak people who slump down in their covers and then can’t get back up again. I think!

      • Sounds a bit like a Bruce Willis film gone wrong! I’ve heard of cats sleeping in cots and suffocating babies, but not of any actual deaths from suffocating in beds. Although it is a very plausible explanation.

  5. Great post John. Human beings really can be idiots. Random bed suffocations? As Andy said, bizarre! I had a quick look online, apparently people get injured adjusting their curtains in what are referred to as ‘pelmet-related injuries!’. It seems that the biggest danger to humans are humans.

    • 100% correct. And just to extend the idea a little further, I spent most of my parent years teaching my daughter that there are no real monsters like Frankenstein or the Mummy. The real monsters are men.

  6. How many suffocated in bed with a ladder?

    • Comparatively few, I would suspect. Whether that is because the bed broke their fall from the ladder or they used the ladder to climb down from a very high bed, rather than fall out and break their necks, I am unable to say!

  7. Thanks, John. The amazing thing is that these figures are available

  8. Great statistics. I had a friend who was once bitten by an adder and spent a few days in hospital but he didn’t die.
    I was reminded here of Rod Hull (Emu) who died falling off his roof whilst adjusting the TV aerial!
    The Foxes are about to give me a heart attack!
    Dogs – don’t start me on dogs! I completely fail to understand why people are allowed to keep killer animals as pets although to be fair I was once scratched by a cat and ended up with a serious infection.
    Love the ladder shot!

    • Apparently one of our Duke of Edinburgh students was bitten by an adder in Dorset and sat quietly in the minibus all the way back to Nottingham without saying anything. After such a long trip, he felt terrible but he only had to spend a night at the QMC so it wasn’t that serious. I too, do not understand why people are allowed to keep dangerous animals such as Staffordshire terriers in their back gardens.

  9. As a postman I’m well aware of the dangers of dogs, although I have been scratched by a cat through a letterbox flap, which took me totally by surprise. As for ladders, no, not for me, some of those photographs are mind boggling!

    • Yes, I worked for a very short time as a postman when I was a student, and dogs were sometimes just awful to deal with. Ladders, though, can be a lethal weapon in the hands of an idiot. Fortunately, it is usually the idiot himself who runs the risk!

  10. I once had a nasty infection after being scratched by a chicken, though it didn’t prove fatal. Stats for deaths on farms indicate livestock kills two and a half people per year people a year (mostly cows crushing elderly farmers I believe). I don’t trust cows.

  11. This is so interesting. 700 people died from stairs…wow!

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