Going on an African safari sounds pretty exciting.
You can get up close to a lot of dangerous animals and not have to worry about them getting to you. Most safaris use big busses, trams, or sometimes a person’s own vehicle. Either way, you are safe inside a vehicle.
Most people know to stay in their cars and not to mess with lions and other dangerous creatures.
Apparently, these people didn’t get the memo. They saw a lion during their safari and just had to roll down the windows for a closer look.
The lion was lying right beside their cars, and they could see it perfectly from the safety of their vehicles. Some people just have to push their luck. As soon as this group of tourists rolled down their windows and started taking photos, the lion got angry.
Luckily, he didn’t attack anyone, but he did growl and make them think he was going to jump at them.
That’s when they all realized that if the lion did decide to attack or charge at them, they wouldn’t have any protection with their windows down.
Suddenly, all those signs they saw when they started the safari made sense. Lions don’t attack humans often, but they have been known to do so. They have been known to defend themselves against humans, track and kill poachers, and even hunt them for food.
In Africa, many villagers live their lives afraid of lions.
They have been known to drag children off in the night and take livestock. Many villagers go out to hunt and never return because they have become victims of lions.
Because a lot of attacks occur in remote villages, many of them are not reported. That makes it hard to know exactly how dangerous lions are to humans. It’s clear that they are much faster and stronger than us, so it makes sense to be scared of them.
In Africa, lions are at the top of the food chain, so if a human happens to wander into their area, they simply see them as food.
They are also very territorial, so even if they aren’t hungry, they could still take down a human for simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Luke Dollar, a conservation scientist who directs the National Geographic Society’s Big Cats Initiative, said:
“Almost any organism around lions might be a potential prey item, and for people to think that they are an exception is folly. I would imagine that every other primate that co-exists with big cats is acutely aware of the position they hold relative to the top predators of the world.”
Lions kill a lot fewer people than other animals that aren’t considered dangerous, such as hippos and elephants, but they are still responsible for their fair share of attacks.
A lot of them are to unsuspecting tourists who simply don’t know any better and just want to see a wild animal up close.
According to Smithsonian Magazine:
“Since not all attacks are reported, it’s hard to put numbers on the number of lion attacks seen globally. Estimates range from 20 to 250. Tanzania has the highest population of lions in Africa, and between 1990 and 2004, the country saw 593 deaths and 308 injuries from African lion attacks.”
These people were lucky that the lion gave them a warning instead of just attacking them.
The lion was clearly agitated and didn’t want anyone getting close to it. Even though they see people driving by all day, doesn’t mean it makes it any less annoying for them. Sometimes, they just want to rest in the sun without someone snapping a photo of them.
Now that they got a little scare, maybe these tourists will be more careful in the future and learn to respect nature. Otherwise, the next lion they find might not be so calm and might even come through their windows after them.
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