Nine years ago I moved to South Dakota. I survived allergies, ridiculously cold weather, ridiculously hot weather, and the ultra-annoying drone of cicadas. I have taken on these challenges with good humor and grace but now I have another concern: being attacked by large mammals. That fact comes via The Tribunist Blog.
What Kind of Beast Hides on These Plains?
I am a native New Englander, so I am used to coexisting cows, white tail deer, and the occasional moose or bear. Interestingly the all of New England has insufficient data on animal destruction. South Dakota is a completely different story. It seems that the plains are ripe with sinister beasts. What kind of atrocities are the people of South Dakota hiding from me? I can only assume that it is some type of wild-super-gorilla that hides in the hills of Great Bear at night. Or maybe it’s just a really pissed off bison…
I Don’t Really Like These Odds
According to the article, I have a 1 in 814,179 chances of meeting my end at the hands (or hooves) of a beast. South Dakota ranks third in the nation for animal deaths behind Montana and West Virginia. The entire population of South Dakota according to the 2016 census is only 865,454 people compared to an estimated 3.5 million head of cattle. That’s only cows! How many other types of large mammals are waiting to crush the life out of me?
If there is a bright side, here it is
The article does identify some other animals that kill. If I had to find a bright side, it is that South Dakotans will be able to see their attackers coming. For example, Texans are most likely to die from venomous arthropods (spiders and scorpions). And Illinois and Missouri have the highest chance of being killed by a large reptile (I didn’t even know they had large reptiles in Illinois). If I had to pick an attacker, I guess death by large mammal is better than by alligator, scorpions, or a swarm of angry bees.
Turns out the culprit fairly average
As usual, when looking into the actual numbers the story is not nearly as exciting. The menace is not a super mutant bison thirsting for my Yankee blood, most of the deaths are due to car accidents caused by deer. The second most deadly creatures are flying insects like bees, wasps, and hornets. I guess the real lesson here is to drive safely and watch out for those dumb-as-hell deer.
I Ain’t Scared Tho
As stated previously, I have survived everything that the great state of South Dakota has thrown at me. I will not let some giant hell-bison or car crushing deer scare me out of this state. The real culprit might be deer, but I still wonder what kind of beasts out there on the prairie.