|There are many types of tragic deaths, but being killed by a lion isn?t
something most Prep students commonly think of. However, those who live
in regions of Africa where wildlife is abundant may think differently.
lions that live in Africa are among the largest of all lions ? the
adults generally weigh at least 300 pounds, and often as much as 600
pounds and sometimes more. Also, African lions live with a large prey
base and they are second most abundant large predator. Recently, in
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (the center city of Ethiopia), groups of lions
have been spotted hunting for humans. Tadesse Gichore, an officer in
the remote southern Soro district, said that since September, these
lions have killed 20 people, attacked 14 villagers, and killed 750
The killer lions came out from the bushes,
in groups of two to four, seeking food. They usually attacked during
the day, when the local farmers were outside and while people were
engaged in their daily activities in their homes and nearby places.
These lions attack and eat humans because the area?s wild prey has been
reduced by over-hunting, deforestation, and population growth. Even the
older lions hunt for humans because they are easier prey then wild
Killing humans is not unusual behavior for these
lions. When they lose habitat and their natural prey, they frequently
enter areas inhabited by humans. Since the start of these attacks, at
least 1,000 Ethiopian farmers have fled their homes. They say that
there is no way they can protect themselves from these man-eating
lions. They hope they will eventually be able to come back.
solution for this problem, says Tadesse Gichore, is for the authorities
to hunt and kill the killer lions. According to the police statement,
?Killing these lions would be the only way to rescue the residents in
the area and prevent other casualties.?
However, killing these
lions may not be not the best permanent solution for this problem. This
is because over-hunting in those areas is increasing rapidly. In
addition, for centuries Ethiopia?s natural high forests have been
degraded by human impact, and since 1973, the country?s forest coverage
has decreased by more than 50%.
Killing the lions may solve this problem now ? but not for the future.
HISTORY REPEATS ITSELF
This current killing spree is not the
first. The 1996 movie ?The Ghost and the Darkness? was based on the
true story of the Lions of Tsavo.
In 1898, the British started
building a railway bridge over the Tsavo River in East Africa. Over a
nine-month period, two large male lions killed and ate nearly 140
railway workers. Hundreds of workers fled Tsavo, halting construction.
work could resume, bridge-building engineer John Patterson had to
eliminate the lions and their threat. This he eventually did, with the
assistance of acclaimed wild game hunter Charles Remington. The first
lion killed measured 9 feet, 8 inches from its nose to the tip of its
tail; it took eight men to carry the carcass back to camp.