Database of Captive Wild Animal Attacks

In late August, Born Free USA launched a database of what it describes as “deadly and dangerous captive wild animal incidents” that have occurred since 1990. There have been over 1300 of them, believe it or not. The database is available at

You can browse the database by state, date, species, type (animal death, human death, attack resulting in injury, and so on), and facility type (basically zoo, circus, or pet.) You can also do a keyword search. I found the browsing more useful.

Looking at all incidents in Texas found 93 results. Results show the date and place of the incident, short description, and the species involved. Click on the description for a more details, source of the information, and a map. Not all of the incidents are of the “animals attack!” type. On the first page of the Texas results I saw two incidents of elephants dying in accredited zoos of unfortunate but not unusual causes. Born Free USA offers a search widget for embedding the search on other sites.

Born Free USA is an animal advocacy organization, and you will see proselytizing on its Web site. But in addition to the exotic animal incidents database, you’ll also find a database of animal-related legislation, both state and federal level.

Database of Venomous (not Poisonous) Snakes from WHO

The World Health Organization has launched a database of worldwide poisonous venomous (I am informed that venomous and poisonous do not mean the same thing, I apologize) snakes and available venom antidotes. It’s a far cry from the sociological data sets I’m used to seeing from WHO, but also potentially very useful! The new database is at

Database nav is on the left. You can search by region (dropdown menus) or by snake name (common name or species; dropdown menus and keyword search.) There’s also a search for antivenom products (product or manufacturer.) I did a search for coral and got a table of 13 results. The table included a picture of the snake (except for the first three), the category of danger the snake represents (either 1 or 2, meaning either the highest or secondary medical importance) the common name, and the species name.

Click on the image of the snake and scientific information, the regions where it is active, and available antivenoms. There’s also a larger snake image which is downloadable as a PDF, with more images below it.

I found some of the navigation a little confusing (click on an antivenom name and it gives you a list of snakes that it’s useful for, but the list sometimes looks like you’ve gone back to your search results) but it’s a useful set of information searchable in a variety of ways. But man, if ever a site needed a shorter URL and a mobile version…