Below is our list of seven most dangerous animals in Africa based on the estimated number of human fatalities. With some of these animals, exact numbers were hard to obtain since most of the attacks happen in remote parts of Africa.
7. The Desert Locusts
Though they don’t kill humans directly, the devastation they cause to crops has a direct effect on humans and so they warrant a slot in Africa’s top dangerous animals.
The Desert Locust is one of about a dozen species of short-horned grasshoppers that are known to change their behavior and form swarms of adults or bands of hoppers (wingless nymphs). They may spread over an enormous area of some 29 million square kilometres, extending over or into parts of 60 countries. This is more than 20% of the total land surface of the world.
The last major Locust plague outbreak occurred in the summer of 2004 in West and North Africa . The swarms migrated over the continent causing devastation, and in November 2004 appeared in northern Egypt, Jordan and Israel for the first time in 50 years.
One swarm in Morocco was between Tarfaya and Tan-Tan and was 230 km long, at least 150 m wide, and contained an estimated 69,000,000,000 locusts(69 billion), which were being used as a food resource by 33 different bird species.
Its estimated that the costs of fighting this upsurge could have exceeded US$400 million and harvest losses were valued at up to US$2.5 billion which had disastrous effects on the food security situation in West Africa.
Below is a short video showing swarms of locusts out on the rampage destroying vegetation in their paths
The most famous incidents of lions attacking humans are the Lions of Tsavo in Kenya during the construction of the Kenya-Uganda in the 20th century. While lions don’t normally attack humans, some (usually male) lions seem to seek out human prey.
Studies have been conducted regarding the man-eating habit of lions especially in Tanzania. Between the period of 1990 to 2005 at least 563 people in a village in Tanzania villagers were attacked and many eaten over this period—a number far exceeding the more famed “Tsavo” incidents of a century earlier.
African crocodiles have very strong and powerful jaws that they use to bite their prey with extreme force. Its said that the force of a crocodile bite is in excess of 5,000 pounds per square inch which is considered to be the strongest bite of any animal! Compare that to an 800 per square inch bite by a hyena.
Of the crocodile species, the Nile crocodile and the Saltwater species is the most dangerous to humans. Every year, hundreds of attacks are reported through out Africa. Because most of the occur in remote regions, its hard to get accurate data of the actual number of people killed by crocodiles
Its said that most attacks on humans by large Nile Crocodiles and Saltwater Crocodiles are completed within a few seconds. Crocodiles kill their victims by dragging them under water and drowning them.
Being the largest land mammals, Elephants are among the world’s most potentially dangerous animals. Their huge size make them capable of crushing and killing any other land animal, including lions.
Adult male elephants go through something called musth. The animal becomes very aggressive and when in this state, a thick liquid secretion comes out through the temporal ducts from the temporal glands on the sides of the head. They say an elephant on Musth is aroused sexually or trying to be domineering but this is not conclusive. A musth elephant is extremely dangerous to humans and should be avoided at all costs.
It is claimed that an incident occurred in Africa where some young elephants attacked villages in what was said to be a revenge mission for the massive culling that took place on their herds in the 1970-80s. It seems the elephants never forgot and went on a payback mission.
Part of the “Big Five” wild animals in Africa, buffaloes are considered to be very dangerous animals especially the ones that are wounded. The Buffalo is a very strong animal which is respected by other animals including lions.
Apart from humans, they have very few natural predators. I could not find any official data to show the number of people killed by buffaloes but cases have been reported of people being killed or injured badly by these creatures when they cross paths.
Looking at hippos, one might think they are sloppy, slow and sluggish animals. Don’t be fooled by appearances! Hippos can outrun you and and are believed to be the second most dangerous animals in Africa. Because of human/animal land conflict the hippos invade farmlands at night to feed and destroy the crops and this is where the problem starts. I’ve read this story of hippos going on the rampage and attacking people and spreading terror in the Niger.
The mosquitoes is the most dangerous animal in Africa. I thought it weired that a mosquito would be considered an animal but according to Wordnet.Princeton.edu, an animal is defined as “a living organism characterized by voluntary movement“. Mosquitoes are the carrier of the deadly virus that causes malaria, one of the world’s deadliest disease.
- Malaria is responsible for nearly half of the deaths of children under the age of 5 years in Africa.
- It kills more than 2,800 children a day in Africa and according to Third World Network Features direct and indirect costs of malaria amounted to US $800 million in 1987 and were expected to reach US $1.8 billion annually in Africa by 1995.
- 80 to 90% of malaria deaths occur in sub-Saharan Africa where 90% of the infected people live.
- Other: Malaria kills 8,000 Brazilians yearly – more than AIDS and cholera combined!!
Source of Data
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