Human fatality due to attack by big cats, venomous and constricting reptiles, and crocodilians, in the USA, a 16 year survey
By Dean Ripa

Director, Cape Fear Serpentarium

Director, North Carolina Antivenin Bank

All statistics taken from the National Safety Council (NSC) or Center for Disease Control (CDC) unless otherwise noted

Fatal injury involving Big Cats and its statistical relationship

151,000 people died last year from external causes in the United States. Every 16 years, roughly 2,500,000 Americans die in this
country from forces "outside themselves". One should not think that these forces are outside their control, however, since
approximately 25 % of these incidents involve acts of self-harm. About 20% are deliberate acts against a "victim" by other people
(assault deaths). The remaining 55 % fall in the category of what we call "accidents", cases of people not paying attention to what
they are doing, simply putting themselves (or someone else, if the victim is a child) in harm’s way. A piece of food becomes fatal

when the partaker fails to swallow it correctly and it blocks the airway; a stairway when one is not watching where one puts one’s
feet; an electrical appliance when standing in water; or an automobile when incorrectly positioned on the highway, etcetera. There is
no limit to the number of accidents because there is no limit to the number of situations. For all that, most accidents conform to
certain recurrent types, suggesting that Homo sapiens, for all his learned observations on life, never seem to learn from his

The type of death we will focus on in this chapter is one of the very rarest forms available to the human being, that of being attacked
by a large cat (here called "Big Cats"). These are defined as the lions, leopards, tigers, jaguars, and cougars being held in captivity in
the United States. (Cheetahs, bobcats, servile cats, etc., are not figured in this report, because we have no records of death being
caused by them in the US.)

To call death from captive Big Cat attack "rare" is really an understatement. "Rare" is death by a lightning strike, which is yet about
100 times more likely than being killed by a Big Cat. Death from captive Big Cats is so extremely obscure and unlikely that it deserves
its own category for which the English language does not even possess a suitable word. Death from Big Cats involves only 0.0003 %
of all fatal injuries each year, with a predicted occurrence of 0.5 deaths per year per 275,000,000 people in all 50 United States per 16
year period. This figure seems stable. It is neither more nor less today than 16 years ago. It is logical to conclude then, that of all the
ways a human being can die, being killed by a Big Cat is one of the most freakish. Indeed, it is so unusual as to have almost no
parallel, being exceeded even by such freak deaths as "death from air pressure changes."

Out of 2,500,000 deaths from external injury in 16 years, only 8 could be attributed to Big Cats in captivity in America. These
"accidents" involved the keepers themselves or other interactive situations, people who deliberately chose to be in contact with Big
Cats. Whether adult or child, these people could have walked away from a perceived danger. They were not pursued and killed. They
themselves were often the pursuer and antagonizer, putting their hands or other body parts into the animal’s cages, ignoring
warning signs, etc. Whether at the facility of a private Big Cat breeder, or at an AZA accredited zoo (http://edition.cnn.
com/2006/US/12/22/tiger.attack.ap/) unsafe practices can lead to unsafe results for both people and animals. And yet for all that,
such incidents are so statistically minute as to be irrelevant to most people.

Insurance companies feel the same way. They do not demand a higher premium from zoo keeper's than for other professionals,
whether these are waiters in restaurants or even other insurance salesmen. zoo keeper's are not even mentioned in the US Bureau
of Labor Statistic’s list of "ten most dangerous professions." The award goes to timber cutters, with 118 fatalities per 100,000
workers. This is followed by: fishers (with 71 fatalities per 100,000), pilots and navigators, structural metal workers, driver-sales
workers, roofers, electrical power installers, farm occupations, construction laborers, and truck drivers. It would seem even pizza
deliverers have more dangerous work than zoo keeper's.

Thus, death from a captive Big Cat or other captive wild animals does not now, nor has it ever represented, a human health problem,
nor is likely to become so. Even simple injury by Big Cats is extraordinarily rare, with a total of only 48 human injures in the USA for
the past 16 years, or about 3 injuries per year. While the lethal potential for Big Cats in captivity would seem to be great, because
these are large formidable creatures, its actual incidence is negligible.

This is not due to the small number of Big Cats held in captivity. As many as 15,000 Big Cats are estimated in all zoos and collections
in the USA. Greater than 96 % of these animals stem from captive reproductions; that is, they were born in America and not imported
from their native lands. Laws restrict such import, and the commerce in Endangered Species has been restricted for more than 30
years. In an effort to attach a sense of wrong-doing to conservation efforts to reproduce and save these creatures from extinction,
animal rights groups like PETA and API promote the idea of the abundance of these animals in America as "a problem" rather than
the resource it actually is. They link their possession to "smuggling" and "poaching." In fact, quite the opposite is the case. Lions,
tigers and leopards are not worth enough money to justify the freight and fees that must be paid to land them here in the US. The cost
of a captive born tiger cub in the US is about $300. The cost of freight to ship such a cub from Asia is about $2000. It’s simply dollar
and cents.

Indeed, with such a surplus of the animals here in North America, why import more? Factually, there are more tigers presently held in
North American collections than in the Asian wilderness, where these animals have been largely eradicated. While the loss of habitat
for these creatures is deplorable, conservationists consider the American surplus fortunate: Big Cats have a more secure future
because of it.

Nor is the scarcity of accidents in America due to scanty populations of Big Cats in the American wild. There are more than 30,000
mountain lions free-roaming the USA. Throughout the 1990’s these animals were hunted at the rate of about 3,000 per year. Despite
having one of the largest populations of mountain lions, the state of California recorded only 16 fatal injuries over a period of 114
years! The black bear, another highly capable man-killer, is even more numerous in the USA, with 330,000 examples roaming free.
Thus, the threat of "escaped" carnivores would seem to be even more remote statistically than the already remote threat of captives
ones, as this study will show.

Big Cat injuries are not increasing as has been proposed. Factually, fatalities involving captive Big Cats have actually decreased in
the past 16 years. During the six-year period of 1994 – 1999, there were 5 deaths, and 22 injuries. During the following 6 years to the
present, there were 3 deaths with again 22 injuries. While the number of injuries has remained stable, the fatalities have decreased
by 60 %.

From this we can only conclude that the danger to public health from captive felines is extremely low. Indeed, it is so low as to be on
a par with "death from constipation" – the only comparably minute statistic available to us from the National Institute of Health. The
statistics of the National Safety Council put death from Big Cats in perspective.

In the year 2000, the following accidents accounted for loss of human life:

Pedestrians crossing the street 5,870
Riding a bicycle 740
Riding a motorcycle 765
Occupying an off-road vehicle
(e.g., on go-carts, three-wheelers, etc.,) 717
All transport accidents 46,749

Over the 16 years of this study, a total of more than 747,000 people were killed in vehicular related accidents – the population of a
large city.

The most dangerous animals to humans are other humans. Here is a brief list of murders and methods of murder in the USA during
the year 2000.

Assault by firearm 10,801
Assault by sharp object (e.g., stabbing) 1,805
Deliberate acts of poisoning 2,557
Deliberate acts of hanging, strangulation and suffocation 104
Unspecified acts of murder 4,159
All assault-related deaths 16,762

It would seem that animals are not actually the most savage of beasts. 268,192 people were deliberately killed by other people,
predominately other family members, during the 16 years covered by this study. One could make a case that the wrong animals are
being put into cages.

Relative to fatalities caused by other animals in one year, death from captive Big Cat attack was lowest of all:

Animal rider (e.g., horses) or occupant of animal-drawn vehicle (e.g., horse drawn carriage) 97
Bitten or struck by a dog 26
Bitten or struck by other mammals (e.g., cattle) 65
Bitten by a venomous snake 12
Bitten by a venomous spider 5
Stung by bees, wasps and hornets 54
Venomous plants 9
Collision with an animal in a car 147
Big Cats 1

Thus, the probability of being killed by any kind of animal is amazingly low compared to the other the possibilities of fatality. Human
beings kill many, many times more human beings than animals do, but Big Cats seem to kill the least number of people of all.

Ironically, human beings kill themselves in far greater amount than other people kill them:

Death from intentional self-harm (e.g., suicide): 29,350

It comes as a shock to realize that an amazing 469,600 people are so unhappy as to deliberately kill themselves in the USA, and yet
this was the approximate number of suicides during the 16-year period covered by this study. People are their own worst enemies.

Among recreational events, interaction with Big Cats, or indeed, any form of wildlife, whether in the field or in captivity, ranks lowest
of all. In the year 2000 we saw the following "fun" fatalities.

Death from fireworks displays 5
Death from boating mishaps 1,096
Drowning while swimming 1,702
Accidental discharge of firearm
(e.g., death from shooting accidents) 776
Sports-related deaths on the playing field 277

These are just a few of the "fun" deaths. They become even more formidable when multiplied by 16 years, but this number I will leave
to your imagination.

Taking a bath seems to be a relatively dangerous business, with 341 people drowning in one year, or 5,456 in 16 years. More than
three times that number died striking their heads in other bathtubs, to a total of 1,214 people annually or 19,424 in 16 years. Among
inert objects, plastic bags seem to be potentially more lethal to Americans than any kind of animals, with 327 people, mostly children,
suffocating to death in one year. Electrical Christmas decorations contributed to the deaths of 1/4th of the 3,300 fire victim fatalities
last year. In 16 years the celebration of Christmas contributed to the deaths of more than 11,000 people. This makes Christmas the
most dangerous of all religious ceremonies, even exceeding the Moslem jihad. (Note to political scrooges: The banning of Christmas
seems an unwise career move!).

Escaped Big Cats

Thus far we have only discussed death from Big Cats in captivity. We have not discussed the possibility for fatal mayhem created by
Big Cats that have escaped their cages. This remains a possibility and some would argue an inevitability, since animals can and do
get away from their owners sometimes. Escapes have happened both to AZA accredited zoos and to private individuals.

The idea of an escaped man-eating lion or tiger seems very menacing and impressive. Hollywood has many times capitalized on this
and produced some very sensational and gory productions. However, I must again disappoint the reader with a statistically remote
actuality. It seems to be even more rare than that other Hollywood invention, death by quicksand. In our 16-year survey, 1990 to 2006,
there was not one recorded death from a Big Cat that had escaped its enclosure. The 8 recorded fatalities in America all resulted in
some degree of interaction with the animal while it was caged.

This is explainable as follows:

Escaped Big Cats are less dangerous than caged ones, having an opportunity of retreat. In the rare incidents recorded, escaped Big
Cats have never to date preyed on human beings as a food source.

Escaped Big Cats are very rare.
Attempts to re-capture Big Cats that have escaped have resulted in no recorded fatalities to date (there is a recording of an
"escaping" big cat having killed a man, that is, one that was in the process of getting out of its cage). However, the vast majority of
the very few Big Cats that have ever escaped in the USA have not been "big", but were "cubs", obviously under lesser scrutiny of
lock-down than adults. The 157 "captive feline incidents" recorded by the Animal Rights group, A.P.I. (Animal Protection Institute), are
a mostly misleading assortment of sightings, suspected sightings, and minor injuries, largely from small species like bobcats and
servals. I take these examples from their website:

Somers, NY. Pet bobcat escapes from owner’s home and terrorizes neighborhood rabbit.

I quote this verbatim. Apparently it doesn’t take very much to constitute an "incident", that is, if you are API. One can only hope that
the rabbit received proper counseling later. Bobcats, by the way, are native to the Somers area, so how an actual "escape" was
determined is not clarified. Here is another "incident":

Bloomington, IN. Exotic cat is found on doorstep of woman’s home.

An "exotic" cat. . . H’m. Just how "exotic" was it, and what did the woman do with the "exotic" cat after she found it? If it was found,
as presumably it was, why was it not identified? Indeed, why does the API group consider a strange cat on someone’s doorstep an
"incident" and why must it be "exotic?" The qualifications for an "incident" must be very broad. Here is another of the "157 captive
feline incidents":

Indiana. Wildcat attacks woman’s car while car is parked. Police suspect wildcat escaped from private home.

The "wildcat" is never described. Whether a bobcat or merely an angry tabby, we are not informed. The Animal Rights group
presents "wildcat" as though it was a species, but any of dozen species, even the domesticated house cat, could answer so general
a description. Did the mysterious event even happen? Having "attacked the car" in some unspecified way, it then disappears; while
some unspecified policeman offers an unspecified suspicion that it "escaped from a private home." Ultimately, it is impossible to
trace, for we are given no locality data, only "Indiana." Thus somewhere in Indiana, we are told, "a car was attacked" by something
that looked enough like a cat to be called a "wildcat."

In all a very amusing list, to the tune of 157 incidents padded over 16 years. Each "incident" is offered uncritically and without
explanation. Even using their bizarre logic, they can provide about 3 such incidents in 16 years for each of the 50 United States, or
about 0.2 incidents per each state per year. Offering fearful anecdotes when facts fail them, Animal Right promoters hope we will not
notice such disparities. They are clearly grasping at straws. And dare we suggest, manufacturing straws when they cannot find

Hoping to incite panic, the API has put together another similar list of what its calls Captive Non-human Primate Incidents. The list is
typified by reports like this:

10/30/06 Liberty Township, OH. Man is bitten on hand by pet Rhesus monkey he has just purchased.

The list goes on to warn us the dangers of escaped marmosets. One wonders why the API stopped short of using the "Big Foot"
sightings as examples of escaped primates?

It is well they limit their distinctions to non-human primates, for they would have a little trouble reconciling the 18,000 homicide
deaths each year.

Attacks by Big Cats through intentional self-harm

Of the scanty human injuries (48) by Big Cats that have been recorded over the last 16 years, all fall into the category of intentional
self-harm, since in all cases the victim had the choice of avoiding the animal. These were not acts of predatory stalking by a Big Cat,
rather the individuals were interacting with the animals in some way. Four of the 8 recorded deaths over 16 years involved owners
and keepers of Big Cats, while 4 involved unsupervised children who were also interacting with them. Poor housing and caging of the
animals can be blamed in at least 2 of the recorded deaths, since it allowed children to interact with the animals beyond a
reasonable range of safety. Parental judgment was a recurrent problem since it allowed these interactions to take place.

Safety issues regarding unsupervised children were continually erupting during my analysis of the different kinds of accidents
encompassed by this study. For example, the vast majority of the 11,472 deaths that involved three-wheeled (all-terrain) vehicles
were to unsupervised children. The majority of the 11,840 bicycle related deaths were to children. The 4,800 children who suffocated
to death in plastic bags were unsupervised. The probable 8,000 children who drowned during this same 16-year period were also
unsupervised at the time of death, as were the roughly 16,000 children who were run over by cars. The same can be said of the
nearly 80 children who were killed during handling of fireworks at July 4th celebrations from 1990 – 2006, and the more than 16,900
who were seriously injured. This makes 4th of July only slightly less dangerous to children than Christmas. Amusement must
therefore be classed as one of the most costly of all endeavors as regards human life.

The ways that children can die are not remarkably dissimilar from those by which adults meet the same fates, yet certain death
injuries seem specifically child related, especially death from suffocation and while operating specialized recreational vehicles, such
as go-carts and three-wheelers.

The deaths of children in all accidents are very much higher than adults in all situations, when one considers that childhood
represents only about 1/5th of a probable 76-year lifespan. In all cases it is more dangerous to be a child than an adult. Insurance
statistics reflect this data, hence a higher premium is charged for a young person than an older one when driving a car.


Caged, escaped, or naturally free-roaming felines do not now nor have they ever posed a significant threat to human life in the United
States. Animal Rights Groups such as PETA and their offshoot the "Animal Protection Institute" (API) exaggerate this data, seemingly
to promote their crusade to ban the keeping of all wild animals in captivity. Yet of all animals in captivity, domesticated animals cause
by far the greatest number of fatalities. Horses, cows, and dogs account for the largest number of injury deaths, to a total of about
188 deaths each year, or roughly 3008 deaths per 16-year period. The vast majority of dog-related deaths during 1990 - 2006 years
were to children, with about 416 children killed by their own or other people’s "best friends." The Center for Disease Control’s Fact
book on dog-bite reports the deaths of more than 300 Americans in the years 1979 – 1998. In one year, 1994, more than 800,000
people sought medical care for dog bites; half of them were children under the age of 18. Every 40 seconds someone in the United
States seeks medical attention for a dog bite-related injury.

Yet this already very high figure would seem to be much underestimated. The National Safety Council puts death from dog-attack at
about 26 persons per year, or 416 persons in 16 years (or 520 persons in 20 years).

Domesticated honeybees kill more than 40 people each year, or about 640 people over 16 years.

White tailed deer killed more people than any other animal, with about 150 people dying each year from crashing their cars into them,
to a total of about 2,400 people killed over the 16-year period of this study. Thus, it seems the white tailed deer is the most dangerous
animal in the United States.

Venomous animals

"Running loose" on the American landscape are at least as many venomous reptiles as people. Conservatively speaking, there are
believed to be between 300 million and 500 million free roaming pit vipers and elapids in the USA, or at least 750,000 for each of the
states where venomous snakes are prevalent (but in some states, like Texas and Florida, this figure is probably underestimated by
about 6 times). Considering the enormous number of venomous fangs waiting to be sunk into hand or foot, it is amazing that there
are not more snakebite's than there are. And yet the total number, made up of about 85 % accidental encounters in the wild, results
in less than 12 deaths on any given year.

In addition, there are an estimated 4 billion venomous arthropods, such as scorpions and spiders. This does not include an even
greater number of stinging insects like wasps, hornets and bees. In all, venomous insects kill more people than snakes by some 5 to
6 times. About 60 people a year are killed by all venomous invertebrates in the USA.

Bees are husbanded for their honey, just as snakes are husbanded for their venom. Snakes are popular with pet animal keepers,
herpetologists, and naturalists. Even venomous snakes are easily kept provided certain safety protocols are adhered to. I myself
have been keeping venomous snakes since the age of ten years, and have performed numerous "rescues" involving nuisance
reptiles in N.C. for over 25 years. As of this writing I am still living!

The state of Florida licenses the keeping of venomous snakes and has for many years. Probably the largest number of venomous
reptile keepers are in Florida, and despite this, the fatality rate for owners of captive venomous snakes is not higher than for many
other "dangerous" hobbies such as scuba diving and rock climbing.

Interactive snakebite constitutes a predictably large percentage of bites and even some few deaths annually; however, no data
exists to support mortality being larger than the typical accidental form of snakebite, as described in Russell (1983), and Chippaux
(2006). The greatest percentage of death from interactive snakebite seems to be among the religious groups (i.e. Christian snake-
handlers). The Pentecostal "snake-handlers" take the Christian bible literally and actually handle live venomous snakes in their
ceremonies. When they are bitten they take no treatment. The Hopi Indians also freely handle snakes in their rituals, however,
mortality is even more rare than in the other groups, probably owing to the very few number of practicing Hopis, with the merely
annual incidence of the ritual.

Scorpions are kept by many people as pets, as are venomous spiders. These groups show almost no mortality despite occasional

Giant constrictors (large snakes)

Large constricting snakes have been kept successfully by the American public as pets for over 50 years. At present they are one of
the most popular pet items. The human mortality cause by these animals is less than that caused by dogs by some 25 times, and
comparable to that caused by the Big Cats. Less than 0.5 human lives were taken by large-snakes for each year of our 16-year study.
However, there is an important difference between the statistics for Big Cats and large-snakes. While there are an estimated 15,000
Big Cats in America, an amazingly healthy number, there are an overwhelmingly greater number of large-snakes. Probably more than
1,000,000 large-snake species are kept in captivity in all 50 states. Large-snake species are presently owned by about 1 in 27
persons. Most of these reptiles live comfortably sluggish and unresponsive lives in people’s homes, accepting an occasional meal
for their conversation value and committing no greater atrocity than a monthly excretion. As a whole, constricting snakes almost
match the number of dogs in sheer numbers. They are more convenient than mammals, however, do not have to be walked, and
thrive in small enclosures in urban dwellings, hence their popularity. Most captive examples do not achieve their full size, since
owners can control this to some extent by underfeeding them. This does the snake no harm, and in fact, the smaller examples of the
large species seem to live longer lives than their larger counterparts.

However, some constrictors are fed plenteously and do reach great size. At 12 feet in length they are capable of killing an adult
person. Occasionally owners are very foolish with these pets, and just as people can be foolish with cars, guns, fireworks, power
tools, or any other possession, you will sometimes read of a man or woman who has tried sleeping in bed with his giant python, or let
it crawl unattended through the house, or some other bizarre stunt, and been summarily squeezed to death. The animals attack as a
feeding response, rarely from aggression (in which case they only bite and do not constrict). All in all, however, these reports are so
rare that herpetologists like myself are continually seeking them out for the purposes of recording what seems to be an unusual
scientific event.

The means by which large snakes kill their prey is through suffocation, but as "good suffocators" of human beings they fall woefully
short of other means. More than 12,000 deadly suffocations occur each year, or about 192,000 in 16 years. These range from people
inhaling objects, to children putting their heads in plastic bags, to acts of deliberate self-hanging. Snake just can’t compete with
figures like these.

In all, the giant constricting snakes take even less human lives than Big Cats. For every one person killed by a large snake, 26 people
are killed by dogs, 65 by angry cows, and 97 people die in horse related accidents. Even spiders kill 5 times more people than large-
snakes. Death from giant constrictors is so rare that the National Safety Council does not afford it a separate category in their
statistics, but lump it in with accidents involving the alligator and crocodiles, where it is called "being bitten or crushed by other


More freakish than death by Big Cats and venomous and constricting reptiles, is death from crocodilian species. With a conspicuous
population of well over 4,000,000 alligators in the United States, and a resurgent crocodile population competing with them in south
Florida, this is surprising. From 1948 – August 2004, there were a total of 15 deaths, or about 0.2 per year in all the United States
(Langley, 2005).

With only 15 deaths in 56 years caused by wild crocodilians, death from captive examples is more bizarre still. Only 3 incidents have
been recorded in 56 years. Death from crocodilians represents the rarest of all forms of death in this survey. Death caused by
captive crocodilians is so statistically negligible that in a population of 275,000,000 people it almost cannot be imagined

Nevertheless, animal rights activism has managed to distort this picture through playing on fears of being eaten by wild animals, and
uses the alligator as a "poster monster" to enforce within the imagination the dangers of "backyard alligators" among their other pet

Since alligators and crocodiles are farmed for leather in the United States, and the groups wish to shut down these agricultural
enterprises, they do not hesitate to use the public danger issue in their politic.


Human fatality from reptile species remains no greater today than 50 years ago, despite a much greater interest in keeping them in
captivity, and a much greater human population encountering snakes in the wild. Indeed, statistics show snakebite death to be in
decline in the USA. 30 people died from snake encounters in 1960 and this number has gradually tapered to its present figure of
"less than 12 deaths per year" by the year 2006.

Compared to death from dog attack, death from the much more feared snakebite seems rather conservative. With 40,000 dog-bites
requiring hospitalization in any given year, bites from free-living snakes required medical treatment in only 6500 cases.

Attempts to link a higher incidence of snake-bite fatality to a greater interest in keeping snakes in captivity has not been fruitful.
Interactive snake-bite does occur, but the low mortality is remarkable when one considers the great number of snakes, both
venomous and constricting, being kept in the modern day. Snake ownership has gone from a "queer hobby" to an expected rite of
teenage boyhood (and in some case girlhood). Today there is hardly any boy in America who has not at some point owned a pet
constricting-snake. The actual figure seems to be about 1 in 10 children.

What has indeed changed is the greater publicity engine devoted to all freakish accidental deaths, and the urgency of animal
protection activists to use this material to their own advantage.

With almost half a billion venomous snakes running free in the United States, laws against putting at least a few of these animals into
cages on account of they "might escape and hurt somebody" seems absurd. Clearly this issue, when promoted by uninformed
individuals and special interest groups (like Animal Rights) with very self-serving agendas, has other goals than protecting people.

As this paper clearly shows, all animals are "inherently" dangerous to man. There are probably no animals (all of which are
biologically engineered to defend themselves) that are not capable of inflicting some degree of bodily harm. The extent of this harm
to humans is directly proportional to the degree of human interaction. Hence, horses, cattle, and dogs injure and kill far more people
than large carnivores. But human expectations are a very great determinate. People expect danger from large carnivores and
venomous snakes, so they less often put themselves in harm’s way. Accidents are by their very nature accidental. Either one is not
aware of the danger, or is not taking precautions. One does not expect to strike a deer while driving home from work at night: as a
consequence, about 150 people die in car wrecks involving deer every year. People do expect to be hurt by a tiger or a crocodile, and
as a consequence very few accidents happen. People limit their exposure to what they are most afraid of. Ultimately, the degree of
this exposure is a personal decision. If the public wishes to interact with wild animals it must accept the relatively minute burden of
danger that such interactions entail. This is essentially no different than saying that a rock-climber (or a stairs climber either, for that
matter) must accept the possibility of falling. The alternative - to cease interactions with animals and nature - will probably be felt
within other mortality statistics, such as suicide. For example, while mortality from animal interaction is no greater today than it was
50 years ago, intentional suicide has quadrupled, as has homicide. In the human search for meaning in life, social efforts to protect
mankind from "perceived dangers" reduce and limit human meaning in the process. Reducing the window of opportunity for finding
meaning in life cannot be a good thing. Ultimately, it can only have disastrous consequences for all society.


Animal Protection Institute. Captive Feline Incidents 1990 – 2006. Internet site.

Center for Disease Control (CDC) Injury Factbooks, series, 1979 - 2006

Chippaux, Jean Phillipe. 2006. Snake Venoms and Envenomations. Malabar, Florida.

Langley, Ricky. 2005. Alligator attacks on humans in the United States. Wilderness Environmental Medicine. 16, 119 - 124

National Safety Council (NSC) statistics information for the United States, 1990 – 2006.

Russel, Findlay. 1983. Snake Venom Poisoning. Scholium, Great Neck, New York.

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2004, "Ten Most Dangerous Jobs". Internet available.

Wikipedia articles on Big Cats, Snakes, and Crocodilians. Internet available.


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