Only 17 people have been killed by stingrays since 1890, and among those was the hugely popular TV personality and animal lover Steve Irwin, known as the Crocodile Hunter on the Discovery Channel and worldwide. At just 44 years old, Irwin was pierced in the chest by the lash of a stingray tail while filming an aquatic segment in 2006. The tragic death was even caught on tape [source: USA Today]. After years of wrangling alligators and risking his life in bold adventures, his untimely end came in a most unusual way while standing in shallow water.
Another young animal lover, 40-year-old Dawn Brancheau, had less fame as an animal trainer for SeaWorld in Orlando, Fla., but her untimely death in 2010 came after simply slipping and falling into the water tank of whales she trained daily. On the day of her fall, Tillikum, an orca whale, suddenly attacked Brancheau, shaking her and holding her under water long enough and with such force that she drowned [source: CNN].