Animal Attacks in the News

I just arrived home after a couple of days away and was catching up on my reading. The comments are full of thoughts related to captive animal management and animal attacks around the globe.

I am short on time this morning but found it interesting that several articles came across my desk–a disturbing elephant attack video of a temple elephant attack in Kerala has graphic video of a tusker that went on a rampage–killing three people.

Locally, a woman is claiming that a mountain lion attacked her dogs–killing one. However they did not see the animal nor were there any pug marks to substantiate the claim. They want to blame the attack on a mountain lion because they saw a cougar near the property last year.

Usually it is the urban coyotes that pick off the pets. Not to say that a mountain lion wouldn’t (we had one jump into a yard after two large dogs up here in the mountains not too long ago) but the probability is much lower than that of coyotes.

In the meantime, not too long ago a cougar was killed on the North Side of Chicago by police and a DNA analysis is being done because the theory is that the animal is thought to have migrated some 1,000 miles from South Dakota.

I suspect that it is probably a local animal that they were not aware of–animals do move into new territory or over long distances if they have the motivation but I doubt this is the case in this situation.

Cougar territories have been known to maintain a range from 13 to 124 miles with one instance of the range being over 1134 miles.

Anyway, just thought you might find these incidents of interest. One reader said that his friend was killed by an elephant during a safari. I wrote about the rise in elephant attacks a couple of years ago–and so did the New York Times.

National Geographic did a documentary called, Elephant Rage and estimates (in 2005) are that at least 500 people per year are killed by elephant attacks. 

It is no longer as rare as it once was. I think the reasons behind it are complex and include many influencing factors.

Here are a few other news stories:

Elephant attack on jogger 

Wendy Martin has something to say about safari elephant attacks 

Veronica & Charlotte Parker 

Elephant Charge in the Congo 

 National Geographic (Search Elephant Attacks)

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  1. Monrovia neighbors are reporting on a mountain lion incident:

    Also, wolf attack worries neighbors in Montana:

  2. William Golden says

    I’m looking for statistics on “traditional” and domestic animal attacks vs. those incurred by reptiles. This info is for a speech I’m giving on resposible exotic pet keeping for a college course. the information must be verifiable. I’ve spent days researching this and am having problems finding statistics for my argument. as an exotic pet keeper,namely reptiles,this issue is very dear to me, and I’m attempting to show that as with any animal,most of the propblems are not with the animal but with how it is usualy the fault of the keeper. if ou can offer any info I’d apreciate it. thank you. William Golden

  3. William, I replied to you directly but the resource you should have started with is the Bureau of Labor Statistics and perhaps the Center for Disease Control related to outbreaks of zoonotic complications.