Shark Week is upon us!
To many of us animal enthusiast, we anxiously await these seven days-known as Shark Week– much like many others would count down the days to their beloved holiday.
Although Discovery Channel’s Shark Week still isn’t what it used to be, they are at least pushing some programs this year that portray this top predator in a more positive light instead of the stereotypical ‘man-eaters’ that seem to draw in the views and feed the fears.
But if I were you, I don’t think it’s sharks I would be afraid of. . .
Sharks are keystone species. And, by now, we have learned that they are essential for maintaining healthy ecosystems and the greatest amount of biodiversity in our oceans.
However, does this important fact quiet that “Jaws” soundtrack playing in the back of your mind when catching a few waves?
Didn’t think so.
How about if I told you that only 10 deaths per year are caused by sharks- only 1/yr in the U.S? Ergo, your odds of dying from a shark attack is 1 in 3,748,067. . . . I repeat. 1 in over 3.7 MILLION!
That’s right! According to World Health Organization (WHO), you need to worry more about tapeworms, mosquitoes, wasps and one another than sharks!
Here is the line up
(human deaths per year)
- Sharks- Only 10
- Wolves- 10; about the same as sharks
- Leopards- 15
- Horses- 20 (riding accidents)
- Cows- 25 (being kicked)
- Ants- 30 (mainly fire ants)
- Jelly Fish-40
- Tiger- 85
- Lions- 100
- Deer- 130 (car collisions)
- Elephants- 100-500 (conflicting resources)
Crocodiles- 1,000 (not to be confused with alligators)
- Tapeworms- 2,000
- Scorpions 5,000 (don’t worry too much about the big ones; it’s the small ones that will get you. )
- Dogs- 25,000 (deaths are cause by stray dogs infected with rabies)
- Snakes- between 50,000 and 100,000 (mainly in Africa and Asia)
- Tik-tik flies (sleeping sickness)- 300,000
- Humans- difficult to calculate, but only species that kill humans intentionally
- Mosquitoes- 725,000 to 1,000,000
Surprising, isn’t it?
Have no plans on traveling from the safety of the USA? Here is a chart from past years of the U.S’s annual animal-caused fatalities.
Don’t let those Hollywood summer blockbusters and drama filled programs hook you into fearing these incredible creatures. They need our help.
Approximately 100 million sharks are killed globally each year, and one of the major incentives for this is the shark fin trade.
With their slow growth and low reproductive rates, sharks are highly susceptible to extinction, and it is difficult for many shark species to replenish their populations as quickly as they are being diminished.
As Baba Dioum once said:
“In the end we will conserve only what we love; we will love only what we understand; and we will understand only what we are taught.”
Until next time, this is Ms. Mallory inviting you to. . .
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