Saturday, July 05, 2008

Beware of the horse

I don't normally put news stories on my blog, but these coroner's statistics were so quirky I couldn't resist. Courtesy of the Sydney Morning Herald:

AUSTRALIA'S deadliest animals do not lurk on the banks of muddy Northern Territory rivers or slither on hot rocks. Nor do they hunt in the shallows of the sea or crawl on eight legs.

Horses are the creatures most likely to cause a human death, statistics compiled by the National Coroners Information System show.

Cows are the next most dangerous, followed by dogs. Sharks are in fourth position, while crocodiles and spiders account for only slightly more deaths than emus, cats and fish.

Of 128 deaths linked to animals that were investigated by coroners between 2000 and 2006, 40 were caused by horses.

Most occurred when riders fell off, including one that resulted in a coroner recommending that helmets be encouraged for commercial horse riding and mandatory for tourism operations.

Cows and bulls were linked to 20 fatalities, usually after a car hit the animal or swerved to miss it.

Dog-related incidents left 12 people dead, including two from cars trying to avoid them, two from people falling over them and seven from being attacked by them.

Of the country's traditionally most feared creatures, sharks were responsible for 11 deaths, snakes eight, crocodiles four and spiders three.

Two people were killed when their cars struck emus, another person died after a vehicle struck a sheep, and an elderly person died after tripping over a pet cat.

Final figures:
Horse 40
cow 20
Dog 12
Shark 11
Snake 8
Bee 5
Crocodile 4
Spider 3
Emu 2
Tick 2
fish 2
Sheep 1
Jellyfish 1
Cat 1

It's the last category that's really got me fascinated -- elephant?? hippo???
And why are these 4 animals grouped together? Are they not sure which one did it?
Things to ponder when you're really, really bored ..

No comments: