What Is the Deadliest Animal in Africa?

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The hippopotamus kills more humans than any other animal in Africa. This animal, which has an average weight of about 7,000 pounds, is responsible for 3,000 human deaths every year, according to the African Wildlife Foundation.

Many human deaths occur because male hippos aggressively defend a given territory from predators. Additionally, female hippos become aggressive when potential predators come around their young. In many cases, humans become victims after wandering too close to a river bed that a hippo is protecting. Hippos tend to live in groups of about 15, with a single bull protecting the rest of the herd.

In other cases, a hippo will attack poachers who get too close to the animal’s habitat. These poachers will kill the animal and sell its valuable tusks, teeth and fat.

Escaping from a hippo attack is difficult, as the animal can run at speeds of up to 20 miles per hour. By comparison, Usain Bolt, the fastest human in recorded history, reached a top speed of 27.44 miles per hour during a race in 2009. His average speed over a 100 meter race is 23.35 miles per hour.

Mosquitoes indirectly kill more people in Africa than hippos, as they spread diseases like malaria and dengue. Malaria alone kills more than one million people annually on the continent, with most of the fatalities being children.