I must admit that some of the information I'm about to share with you is going to be a bit of a buzzkill. You probably thought, like I did, that one of the great benefits of living in Illinois is our distinct lack of dangerous animals and creepy-crawlies.

But, if that were actually true, how is it that Illinois leads the Midwest, and a big portion of the entire country in dangerous wildlife encounters?

Let's continue and find out just how dangerous Illinois animals and bugs can be, and how we were lulled into a false sense of animal security.

Branta canadensis
"Look at me! I'm a total jerk, and will attack you, yet I'm protected by the government!" (Getty Images)
Getty Images
"Whatever, goose-boy. I'm gonna bite this dude's hand off." (Getty Images)

A New Study Takes A Look At Animal Attacks Of All Sorts Since The Year 2000 In The United States, And Breaks It Down State By State


Comparing data from the last 20+ years, we’ve been able to determine the most and least dangerous places to live in America according to the number of animal attacks that occur there – as well as your chances of being confronted by the local wildlife.

Here in Illinois, when you combine fatal attacks from mammals, arthropods (insects, spiders, mites, centipedes, etc.) and fish since the year 2000, you get a grand total of 116.

For contrast, Wisconsin had 107, Iowa had 42, Minnesota had 60, Missouri had 109, and Indiana had 70.

Getty Images
These guys can take you out, too. (Getty Images)
Cute Scottish fold cat biting a human hand while playing.
This is too cute to actually count as an attack. (Getty Images)

The Most Dangerous And Likely States For An Animal Attack Are Mainly In The South

According to BetOhio.com's numbers, no state has recorded more animal attack related fatalities than Texas, with a count of 559 over the last 22 years.

Next comes California (breaking the South's monopoly), with a total of 312.

Then, it's Florida with 257, North Carolina with 180, and then Tennessee with 165.

LOOK: Here are the pets banned in each state

Because the regulation of exotic animals is left to states, some organizations, including The Humane Society of the United States, advocate for federal, standardized legislation that would ban owning large cats, bears, primates, and large poisonous snakes as pets.

Read on to see which pets are banned in your home state, as well as across the nation.

WATCH OUT: These are the deadliest animals in the world

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