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The most common animal-related fatalities in the U.S. are from large mammals

From 1999 to 2014, 921 people died from hornets, wasps or bees, the CDC says

CNN —  

When a 2-year-old boy was snatched by an alligator in a lagoon at a Walt Disney World resort hotel in Orlando on Tuesday, it was without a doubt horrific – and extremely rare.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission notes that even though the state averages about seven unprovoked alligator attacks per year – a rate that has been increasing about 3% a year – the likelihood of being seriously injured in a random attack is roughly one in 2.4 million.

But among both children and adults, how common are animal attacks in general? Are they occurring more frequently than ever before?

According to the numbers, no. The likelihood of a horrific attack is still low.

Dr. Joseph Forrester, a surgeon at Stanford University, co-authored a 2012 review of fatalities nationwide from venomous and nonvenomous animals based on data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

You may have heard that mosquitoes kill the most humans by spreading diseases such as malaria. Forrester and his colleagues, however, looked closely at which creatures fatally attack the most humans.

Now, four years after his research was published, Forrester still thinks many people would find the data on animal attacks to be surprising.

“The most common animal-related fatalities are