Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Man-eating lions in Africa threaten conservation efforts, author says

Dar es Salaam, Tanzania (PRWEB) November 21, 2006 -- Author Robert R. Frump says that human-animal conflict - essentially man-eating behavior - may be reaching all time highs in Africa with only a few conservation groups addressing the matter.

Mr. Frump, who recently completed a month-long expedition with Tanzanian researchers in an attempt to humanely trap suspected man-eating lions and fit them with GPS collars, said environmentalists need to embrace a new paradigm that protects both villagers and animals.

"Each year, more than 200 Tanzanians are killed by lions, elephants, crocodiles and hippos," Mr. Frump said. "Until conservationists and environmentalists understand the consequences of this terrible toll, wildlife will be seen more as a negative than a positive by African villagers and so will be endangered in the long run."

Mr. Frump is the author of "The Man-eaters of Eden: Life and Death in Kruger National Park" about the rise of man-eating behavior among lions in South Africa. Information about his book and more details about the Tanzanian situation can be found at www.man-eater.info .

"Kruger is horrible, but Tanzania makes Kruger look like a shopping mall," Mr. Frump said. "In Kruger, refugees passing through the park are attacked and eaten and that is awful. In Tanzania, in some of the southern villages, the lions literally go door to door and seize peaceful farmers and their children from mud huts and front porches.

"That is a horror beyond imagination until you meet the villagers," Mr. Frump said. "Often, all they have to face 400 pound lions is a machete and fish nets."

Mr. Frump, a conservationist who supports wildlife preservation, accompanied an expedition organized by famed lion research Dr. Craig Packer of the University of Minnesota. Dennis Ikanda, a Tanzanian scientist, lead the expedition, which included famed American trapper Dairen Simpson, and Harunnah Lyimo, one of the foremost scientific guides and interpreters of Tanzania. ( e-mail protected from spam bots )

Packer and Ikanda have authored a scientific journal published in Nature that shows the rate of attacks by lions have tripled since 1990. Both men are ardent conservationists, but feel this human loss must be addressed so that Tanzania's wildlife does not suffer from a political backlash.

Mr. Frump is writing about the Tanzanian expedition in a work in progress entitled, "Belling the Casts: The Quest to Study and Stop Africa's Worst Man-eaters." Excerpts can be viewed at www.man-eater.info

http://www.prweb.com/releases/2006/11/prweb480795.htm

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