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Top 10 Deadliest Animals In South Africa

While it is difficult to obtain precise numbers of fatalities, here is a list of ten animals that cause the most human deaths in South Africa. Among them are the lions, the white shark, hippos, snakes.

The most interesting fact is that the deadliest species of all has a miniature size of an ant, definitely not the case with the rest of the animals on this list. To note, this list excludes humans, who are probably responsible for more deaths than any other African animal, except perhaps the mosquito.

10. Rhino


via Stuart Robertson Reynolds

While the African rhino is fighting to survive and their numbers are dropping at alarming rates due to poaching, it’s still important to keep your guard if you get the chance to see one in the wild. A recent report about a young woman being gored by a rhino in South Africa illustrates how unpredictable and deadly the animal can be.

9. Great White Shark



Every year around 100 shark attacks are reported worldwide. Seventeen fatalities were recorded as having being caused by shark attacks in 2011, out of 118 recorded attacks.

8. Lion


via Chris Weston

Mozambican refugees regularly crossing Kruger National Park at night in South Africa are attacked and eaten by lions; park officials have conceded that man-eating is a problem. Lions are said to kill 10 at least people a year in the Kruger.

7. Black mamba



The Black Mamba is the largest venomous snake in Africa, with adults reaching an average of 2.5m in length. Black Mambas are not black at all but brown or olive-skinned.  They are aggressive when cornered and will not hesitate to strike. They can reach speeds of up to 12 mph (20 km/ph).

6. Buffalo



Known in Africa as one of the big five, ‘The Black Death’ or ‘widowmaker,’ the African buffalo is widely regarded as a very dangerous animal. It gores and kills over 200 people every year.

5. Elephant


via Brendon Jennings

Zoologists estimate elephants kill 500 people a year worldwide. African elephants, especially older bulls and young males, can be aggressive even when they’re not provoked. Most deaths occur by the elephant trampling their victims to an end.

4. Crocodile



Statistics show that crocodiles kill roughly 3,000 people a year, with hundreds of fatal attacks attributed to the Nile crocodile in Sub-Saharan Africa.

3. Hippo



Hippos are said to kill 2,900 people annually in Africa. Male hippos actively defend their territories along the banks of rivers and lakes. Females have also been known to get extremely aggressive if they sense anyone coming in between their babies, who stay in the water while she feeds on the shore.

2. Puff Adder



Due to its wide distribution, potent venom, and highly cryptic coloration, which makes it prone to being stepped on inadvertently, the puff adder is thought to kill more people than any other African snake, accounting for nearly 32,000 deaths per year and many more disabilities, according to Wikipedia.

1. Mosquito



The female Anopheles mosquito only spreads malaria. They are most active around dawn and dusk. It is believed that between 600,000 and one million people die from malaria each year. 90% of these deaths are in sub-Saharan Africa. Most of these are children under the age of five.

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