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Animal-related deaths in Australia

Released March 2020
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animal-related deaths, 2001-2017
deaths per year on average
of deaths involved land mammals


Australia has a reputation for being home to some of the world’s most dangerous animals. Thousands of hospital admissions are attributable to contact with bees, hornets, wasps, spiders, snakes, ticks, ants and marine animals each year in Australia.

However, deaths as a result of these interactions remain relatively rare, particularly in comparison to deaths associated with other species.

There were 541 animal-related deaths reported to an Australian coroner between 2001 and 2017, with an average of 32 animal-related deaths reported per calendar year. Land mammals comprised the majority (71.0%) of deaths, with nearly one third (31.8%) of animal-related deaths involving horses.

This is an update of a previous NCIS fact sheet published in 2011.

Data sources

The data was obtained from the NCIS in January 2020. The data set contained every fatality identified as involving an animal reported to an Australian coroner between 1 January 2001 and 31 December 2017 where the coronial investigation had concluded. See explanatory notes for information on data sources and limitations. For further data, request a data report.


Content is provided under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0), unless otherwise stated. Attribution must be provided to the National Coronial Information System (NCIS).

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