You are probably not going to be killed by an animal


Map by BDN Maine | Source: CDC / Washington Post
(States with no value had fewer than 10 deaths during that time span)

Only 13 people in Maine were killed by animals from 1999 to 2013, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control crunched by the Washington Post.

Before we get all high and mighty about being one of the top-10 safest states from animal-related deaths, let’s bear in mind that this is based on the raw number of occurrences. It does not take population into account. So yeah, it makes sense that Texas had 356 deaths due to animals over 14 years, or that California — with its 38.8 million people — had 212.

The CDC doesn’t break down the data for each state by animal; it does it by census regions, so New England is the most specific the data get.

But The Post mapped out how each of the U.S.’s regions compared based on animal-caused fatalities.

New England had the fewest deaths from snakes, venomous animals, dogs and “other mammals.” It had the second fewest number of deaths from bees.

“Other mammals” includes animals such as cows, and was one of the biggest categories of animal-caused deaths — especially in livestock-heavy areas like Texas and Oklahoma.

So if it’s not poisonous snakes or stampeding cattle, what’s actually killing Mainers?

The BDN’s Jackie Farwell in 2012 reported that cancer was the top killer in the state.

On the other end of the spectrum, the flu was the most “distinctive” cause of death in Maine from 2001 to 2010, according to a May CDC report.

Note: As a reader corrected noted, snakes with venom are venomous, not poisonous. I’ve updated the post. 

Featured image on homepage by ~~SuPeRnOvA~~ on Flickr  

Dan MacLeod

About Dan MacLeod

Dan MacLeod is the editor of BDN Portland. He's an Orland native who first moved to Portland in 2002. He's been a journalist since 2008, and previously worked for the New York Post and the Brooklyn Paper.