A Primer on Animal Attacks: What You Need to Know

Girl hugging a dogAre you familiar with Harambe? The unfortunate silverback gorilla that had to be shot and killed in a Cincinnati Zoo because he was quite vigorously and possibly violently playing with a boy who crawled into his enclosure? If not, know that Harambe’s death sparked debates on animal cruelty and parental negligence. Also, it paved the way to a treasure trove of memes.

If there’s one thing good that happened post-Harambe, it’s the fact that people are now more cautious about animal attacks — whether due to human mishap or otherwise. 

For further caution, here’s a list of animals you must never mess with:

The Notorious Ones

If you find yourself outdoors, don’t try to make friends with the following:

  • Sharks – Only the Tiger Shark and the Great White Shark are known for unprovoked attacks. The Florida Museum of National History puts things in perspective — the annual ratio of death from sharks to drowning is 1:3,306.
  • Snakes – Each year there are 50,000 fatal snake bite incidents worldwide.
  • Crocodiles – The ratio of death due to crocodile attacks to car accidents (Australia) is 1:1,000. Still, it pays to be careful when you find yourself in the wilderness.  

The Tamer Ones

Even domestic animals can mess with your fragile mortality if provoked. The Law Office Of Elizabeth C. Ryan explains, however, that you can take legal action if the fault was not yours.

  • Dogs – Every year, about 4.5 million dog bite incidents in the United States. Between 10 and 20 of these incidents end in fatalities.
  • Cats – Female adults are the most susceptible demographic to cat bites. These incidents are next to dog bites in terms of frequency of occurrence.
  • Monkey – Not everyone has a monkey for a pet, but in case you do, do know that monkeys can carry the deadly rabies virus.  

Should you get bitten by a neighbor’s pet, you should consult with an attorney on legal measures you should pursue. It's a serious matter that calls for professional intervention.