Sydney, Jul 5 : Horses are the animals that are most likely to cause human deaths in Australia, according to a report.
Statistics compiled by the National Coroners Information System suggests that cows are the second most dangerous, followed by dogs. Sharks were fourth on the list of the most dangerous creatures. The statistics also suggested that crocodiles and spiders accounted for only slightly more deaths than emus, cats, and fish. For their investigation, coroners studied deaths linked to animals between 2000 and 2006. They found that 40 of the 128 deaths were caused by horses. Most of such mishaps took place 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. The coroners also found that cows and bulls accounted for 20 fatalities, usually after a car hit the animal or swerved to miss it.
Dog-related incidents claimed 12 human lives, including two from cars trying to avoid them, two from people falling over them, and seven from being attacked by them.
According to the coroners, the country's traditionally most feared creatures sharks were responsible for 11 deaths, snakes eight, crocodiles four and spiders three.
Two persons died when their cars struck emus, one died after a vehicle struck a sheep, and an elderly person died after tripping over a pet cat.
Referring to the statistics, a Sydney Morning Herald report also said that 34 of the investigated deaths occurred on streets and highways, 28 at homes, and 22 on farms.
The report also said that other casualties happened at sports fields, mines and schools.
It added that over 50 per cent of the fatalities took place while people were travelling or involved in recreation, and men accounted for 87 of the 128 deaths.