Animals

Famous People Who Were Killed in Animal Attacks

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Updated November 5, 2019 539.7k views 22 items

List of famous people who were killed in animal attacks, including photos, birthdates, professions, and other information. These celebrities who died in animal attacks are listed alphabetically and include the famous animal attack victims’ hometown and biographical info about them when available. You might also be interested in people who were killed by bugs and hunters who became the hunted. If you'd like the celebrities to win, then see which celebrities are pro-hunting.

This list of people who were attacked, mauled, and killed by animals includes Timothy Treadwell, Steve Irwin, Diane Whipple, and more. Some of these cases of animals attacking humans are unsolved, but still tragic. Featuring fatal stingray attacks, dogs mauling owners, and more, this list has it all. 

These notable animal attack deaths include modern and long-gone famous men and women, from politicians to religious leaders to writers. Everyone on this list has killed in animal attacks as a cause of death somewhere in their public records, even if it was just one contributing factor for their death.

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George Went Hensley is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Famous People Who Were Killed in Animal Attacks
Photo: Russell Lee/Florida State University

George Went Hensley is an American minister who popularized the literal interpretation of "snake handling" from the Bible. He believed that a true believer who was free of sin would be able to handle poisonous snakes without being bitten. Multiple people were bit and killed by snakes during his sermons, all of which Harmon described as "messages from God" meant to test the faith of the congregation.

On July 24, 1955, Hensley was bit by a five-foot viper he was trying to put into a jar. He became immediately ill but refused treatment, a decision which killed him later that day.

Age: Dec. at 75 (1880-1955)

Birthplace: East Tennessee, Tennessee

Alexander of Greece is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Famous People Who Were Killed in Animal Attacks
Photo: Metaweb (FB)/Public domain

King Alexander of Greece ruled from June 1917 until his untimely death at 27 in 1920. He was bit by a domestic Barbary macaque and died of an infection. He came in contact with the monkey while walking around the Tatoi Estate with his dog. When the two animals started attacking one another, he tried to intervene, and received a deep bite on his leg and torso.

Unconcerned, he did not have his wound cauterized and it became infected. Doctors amputated his leg in an attempt to save him, but ultimately he died from his injuries more than two weeks later.

Age: Dec. at 27 (1893-1920)

Birthplace: Tatoi Palace, Greece

Nationality: Greece

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Jean Batten is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Famous People Who Were Killed in Animal Attacks
Photo: Metaweb (FB)/Fair use

Jean Batten was a famous female aviator from New Zealand. She became one of the most famous people in New Zealand in the 1930s because of her many record-breaking flights around the world. She was the first person ever to fly from England to New Zealand in a single flight.

In her later years she became a bit of recluse and traveled the world, living in different places all over the globe. In 1982, she was bitten by a dog on the island of Majorca. After refusing treatment, she died from infection.

Age: Dec. at 73 (1909-1982)

Birthplace: Rotorua, New Zealand

Nationality: New Zealand

Profession: Pilot

Joseph Bruno Slowinski ... is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Famous People Who Were Killed in Animal Attacks
Photo: Mark Moffett/Outside Magazine

Joseph Slowinski was a herpetologist (snake expert) who was famous for his work with extremely poisonous snakes. He also was the creator of the first online herpetological journal which he maintained and worked on as editor-in-chief until his death.

On September 11, 2001, he was bitten by a venomous multi-braided krait while doing research in Myanmar. 

He died 29 hours after being bit. Bad weather prevented medical help from reaching him. 

Age: Dec. at 39 (1962-2001)

Birthplace: New York City, New York

Nationality: United States of America