Have you been thinking of moving Down Under – the sea, the sun, the sand, the quality of life, scuba diving, skiing, a Sunday barbie and a slab (that’s a pack of 24 beers), only to be put off by the thought of your life being cut short by a spider or snake bit, or being chosen as the main item on the menu by a croc or a shark. Well, think again.
Horses and Dogs?
There is no need to forego that dream of moving to Australia for fear of dying from Australia’s deadliest. The results of a study conducted at the University of Melbourne’s Australian Venom Research Unit show that more people were killed by horses between the years of 2000 and 2013, than all the venomous creatures, sharks and crocs combined.
Dr. Ronelle Welton from the University of Melbourne says “Australia is known as the epicentre of all things venomous.” The results of this study say otherwise. During the period studied, 74 people died due to either being thrown from a horse or trampled by one. The next highest number of deaths was from bees and stinging insects, where 27 people died. Snake bites also caused 27 deaths. Sharks were responsible for 26 deaths during that period and your faithful canine managed to kill 23 people. Crocs came in almost last with only 19 kills to their name. Five people died from tick and ant bites and three from jelly fish stings. And, no one died from a spider bite. In fact, the last death from a spider bite was in 1980. So, if your fear of Australia’s nasties is stopping you from moving there, think again.
Everyone moving to Australia can’t wait to go to Bondi. The surf, the sun and all the beautiful people. However, another surprising fact regarding deaths in Australia is that around 300 people drown every year. So, again, those deadly critters are really getting bad press. Staying safe when moving to Australia is as easy as making sure you swim between the flags.
Dr. Welton said that 42,000 people were admitted to hospital with bites or stings during this 13-year period. Over a third of these were due to an allergic reaction to wasp and bee stings. 11,000 people were hospitalised due to spider bites and 6,000 for snake bites. There are over 140 varieties of land snake in Australia, but Dr. Welton insists that your chances of being killed by a snake bite are extremely remote, as the statistics show.
The final word belongs to Dr. Welton, “the biggest surprise is just how small the numbers are — from a national perspective, we get a lot of media hype on how dangerous these creatures are, but if you look at things like drowning, there were nearly 5,000 deaths in the same study period. Burns — there was nearly 1,000 within the same period, so it’s nothing to be alarmed about, just be prepared, make sure you understand your first aid, if you do have allergies or know someone who does.”
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