Human and ecological risk factors for unprovoked lion attacks on humans in Southeastern Tanzania

Hadas Kushnir, Helga Leitner, Dennis Ikanda, Craig Packer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Lions (Panthera leo) have attacked over 1,000 people in Tanzania since 1990. We worked in the two districts with the highest number of attacks, Rufiji and Lindi, and conducted interviews in two villages with high attack numbers and two neighboring villages with no attacks. Logistic regression analysis of 128 questionnaires revealed the following risk factors: ownership of fewer assets, poorly constructed houses/huts, longer walking distances to resources, more nights sleeping outdoors, increased sightings of bush pigs (Potamochoerus porcus), and lower wild prey diversity. A comparative analysis revealed significant differences between the two districts: while high bush pig and low prey numbers affected both districts, hut construction was only significant in Rufiji, and walking distances, asset ownership, sleeping outdoors, and house construction were only significant in Lindi. Such information will help relevant authorities develop site-specific methods to prevent lion attacks and can inform similar research to help prevent human-carnivore conflict worldwide.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)315-331
Number of pages17
JournalHuman Dimensions of Wildlife
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2010


  • Human-wildlife conflict
  • Mitigation
  • Predators
  • Risk


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