Understanding the timing and distribution of attacks on rural communities will help to prevent them.
Large carnivores inspire opposition to conservation efforts1,2 owing to their impact on livestock3,4,5 and human safety6,7. Here we analyse the pattern of lion attacks over the past 15 years on humans in Tanzania, which has the largest population of lions in Africa8,9, and find that they have killed more than 563 Tanzanians since 1990 and injured at least 308. Attacks have increased dramatically during this time: they peak at harvest time each year and are most frequent in areas with few prey apart from bush pigs (Potamochoerus larvatus), the most common nocturnal crop pest. Our findings provide an important starting point for devising strategies to reduce the risk to rural Tanzanians of lion attacks.
Subscribe to Journal
Get full journal access for 1 year
only $3.90 per issue
All prices are NET prices.
VAT will be added later in the checkout.
Rent or Buy article
Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.
All prices are NET prices.
Kellert, S. R. et al. Conserv. Biol. 10, 977–990 (1996).
Wilson, C. J. Mammal Rev. 34, 211–232 (2004).
Ogada, M. O., Woodroffe, R., Oguge, N. O. & Frank, L. G. Conserv. Biol. 17, 1521–1530 (2003).
Patterson, B. D., Kasiki, S. M., Selempo, E. & Kays, R. W. Biol. Conserv. 119, 507–516 (2004).
Treves, A. et al. Conserv. Biol. 18, 114–125 (2004).
Kerbis-Peterhans, J. C. & Gnoske, T. P. J. East Afric. Nat. Hist. 90, 1–40 (2002).
Löe, J. & Röskaft, E. Ambio 33, 283–288 (2004).
Chardonnet, P. Conservation of the African Lion: Contribution to a Status Survey (International Foundation for the Conservation of Wildlife, France, and Conservation Force, USA, 2002).
Bauer, H. & Van Der Merwe, S. Oryx 38, 26–31 (2004).
Rushby, G. C. No More the Tusker (W. H. Allen, London, 1965).
Nicholson, B. The Last of Old Africa (Safari, Long Beach, California, 2001).
TRAFFIC. Food For Thought: The Utilization of Wild Meat in Eastern and Southern Africa (IUCN/WWF, Cambridge, UK, 1998).
Treves, A. & Karanth, K. U. Conserv. Biol. 17, 1491–1499 (2003).
The authors declare no competing financial interests.
About this article
Cite this article
Packer, C., Ikanda, D., Kissui, B. et al. Lion attacks on humans in Tanzania. Nature 436, 927–928 (2005). https://doi.org/10.1038/436927a
To tell a different story: Unexpected diversity in local attitudes towards Endangered Aye‐ayes Daubentonia madagascariensis offers new opportunities for conservation
People and Nature (2021)
Quantitative Spatial Ecology to Promote Human-Wildlife Coexistence: A Tool for Integrated Landscape Management
Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems (2020)