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February 26, 2024

Our Fiercest Foes on the Planet

By Ndaba Sibanda

Our Fiercest Foes on the Planet

Are the deadliest threats to humans,
huge creatures like foreboding sharks?

Or lumbering elephants and charging apes?
or time and again slighter living things

That destroy life through spreading disease
rather than through the use of sharp teeth?

The figures that I'll share with you are unsettling
estimates, or so clarified his learned, lanky mom.

Roaring at number ten are the kings and queens
of the jungle: the lions, they slay 200 souls a year.

Her son said: I wouldn't tickle a lion in his den,
not even in my wildest and bravest dream, never!

His mom continued: at number nine are hippos,
these huge creatures kill 500 people per year.

At eight are elephants with 600 deaths per year,
at seven, crocodiles take the lives of 1000 a year.

With 3300 lost lives a year, at six are scorpions,
at five are assassin bugs with 10,000 losses a year.

Barking at four are dogs with rabies, they account
for a staggering 59,000 fatalities of humans per year.

Hissing at three are snakes with a death toll of ...
138,000 per year, these are deadly, scary reptiles.

Guess what ... even scarier and riskier to humans
are ... sadly, humans, fierce folks with guns and all.

Yes, at two, humans kill 400,000 humans per year,
at number one, mad mosquitos kill 725,000 a year!

Article © Ndaba Sibanda. All rights reserved.
Published on 2022-05-09
Image(s) are public domain.
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