Texas Ranked No. 1 in the US for Fatal Animal Attacks

Texas averaged 26 deaths per year.

By Geneva Diaz Edited by Shelby Stewart November 2, 2021

Texas ranks as the No. 1 state for deaths caused by animals.

While animal attacks remain exceedingly rare, a new report finds that Texans are more likely to have a fatal encounter than any other state. According to a report from Outforia, an outdoor adventure and nature resource website, Texas ranks number one for most fatal animal attacks. 

To reach this conclusion, Outforia utilized data from the Center for Disease Control within the past 20 years. In Texas alone, 520 human deaths caused by animals were reported, averaging 26 deaths per year. California and Florida ranked second and third with 299 and 247 fatal animal attacks within the past 20 years, respectively.

The population was a large factor in the number of deaths, with the top three most populated states holding the greatest number of animal-related fatalities. Similarly, the three least populated states, Delaware, North Dakota, and Rhode Island recorded zero fatal animal attacks over the same 20-year period. 

The report listed animals most commonly responsible for causing human deaths in North America since 1970 with the top three being brown bears, sharks, and snakes. Brown bears killed 70 people while sharks and snakes accounted for 57 deaths each.  

Fatal wild animal attacks Infographic by Outforia

As for Houston, the Gulf Coastal Region fosters one of the most populated and diverse wild animal ecosystems in the state. Even with its urban area, animals to look out for include raccoons, bats, skunks, coyotes, foxes, snakes, deer, opossums, armadillos, rats, and mice. According to BARC, the City of Houston’s Animal Shelter and Adoption Facility, the first five of these animals are of special concern to the area due to their high risk of rabies.

Outforia recommends following the advice of local wildlife experts and park authorities “to make sure that you are protected against the region’s predators.”

To learn more about Outforia’s findings, visit their website. 


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