With the recent deaths of visitors to Yellowstone National park (via grizzly attack) and the White Sands National Monument (via heat exposure), you might think twice before planning your next camping or hiking excursion. But there’s no need to worry. Those situations were not the norm, as proven by stats from the National Park Service. CNN has the story.
A total of 1,025 people died in national parks from 2007 to 2013. While the loss of those lives is tragic, it’s a minuscule proportion of the nearly 2 billion visitors to national parks in that time span — and exponentially lower than the mortality rate in the general population of the United States: 821.5 deaths per 100,000 population in 2013, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Despite all the wild animals in protected parkland, wildlife only killed six people over those seven years. Grizzly bears killed four people, a mountain goat killed one visitor, and one person died from a snakebite, the NPS reports.
The NPS says 87 visitors died from natural/environmental causes between 2007 and 2013 — including 26 from heat illness. That’s a far cry from the 2,000 U.S. residents a year who die from weather-related causes, including some 600 a year from heat exposure, according to the CDC.
The vast majority of deaths in national parks turn out to be from things that could happen anywhere to anyone: drownings, crashes, and slips and falls… [continued]
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