Expert reveals survival tips when humans encounter wild lions

Saturday, 27/01/2024, 19:14 (GMT+7)

If one day, you accidentally encountered a lion, what would you do first? If the answer is to run, it will be a fatal mistake.

When humans stumble upon wild lions, knowing how to survive such a dangerous encounter becomes crucial.

Here are tips from experts in wildlife conservation and safety that can help you survive and observe them safely.

The survival story of a South African expert

Expert Steve Conradie, an expert with more than 40 years of experience surviving in the African wilderness since he first set foot in this place in 1976.

Conradie said despite living in the wilderness for many years. But this was the first time he brought his family along.

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What do you do if you encounter a lion? Image Credit: Getty

They camped in a jungle in Africa and Conradie was asked by the members to take them to see a real lion, different from the ones they had seen in wildlife parks.

Conradie heard the lions calling each other with their majestic roars that night and decided to make everyone's dreams come true.

When dawn had just broken out, a convoy of 3 hunting vehicles carrying a group of 11 people, including 4 children, faced 16 to 18 lions, leading to everyone's surprise.

Lions hold an important position in Egyptian culture

According to Egyptian culture, lions hold a special position, symbolizing power and strength.

Lions in the Roman period were often used as entertainment and even murder tools for the wealthy class.

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Lions are a vulnerable species. Image Credit: Getty

African lions can attack powerfully enough to kill or even eat humans in the blink of an eye. According to estimates, each year about 250 people die from lion attacks.

However, the lion is an extremely vulnerable animal.​

The decline in the number of African lions

In sub-Saharan Africa, there are only about 23,000 individuals left, said Philip Muruthi, chief scientist and vice president of science and species conservation at the African Wildlife Foundation (AWF).

Besides, about one-third of lions are concentrated in Tanzania in East Africa.

Therefore, they are classified by the National Union for Conservation of Nature as vulnerable species, one level higher than the level of extinction.

Over the past two decades, the number of African lions has decreased by 43%, a significant number compared to their current numbers.

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The number of lions has decreased significantly over the past two decades due to human impact. Image Credit: Getty

The reasons for the decline of lions come from conflicts with humans due to the loss of natural hunting environments.

A male lion can weigh up to 550 pounds (about 225kg), while a female lion weighs about 320 pounds (about 145kg).

Survival tips when humans encounter wild lions

Experts reveal the best way to keep yourself safe on wildland is to follow your tour guide's advice and always keep your eyesight at a safe distance.

In case of leaving a vehicle, the distance recommended by experts is 100 meters (330 feet). However, this is a rare case as walking outside is illegal because it is extremely dangerous.

In addition, moving in bushes and forests also makes you safer than in the vast plains.

A good pair of binoculars and a camera are indispensable for a trip to visit lions. You will be able to observe better in far away or out-of-sight locations to avoid accidentally encountering unwanted things.

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You need to prepare everything well before setting foot in the wilderness. Image Credit: Getty

6 notes that you need to know when encountering lions

Don't act with pride

Experts emphasize that you should never drive with pride and rush into the middle of a pride of lions. This is an act of disruption that can drive lions crazy.

Seeing lions alone in the bush is a bad idea, especially for beginners.

Going alone will make you more vulnerable and unable to deal with danger without anyone to help fight lions or other wild animals.

Always stay in the hunting vehicle

Experts explain that hunting vehicles seem to be a familiar sight to lions, so they can go closer to them. However, don't reach out to touch them if you don't want to lose a part of your body.

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Always stay in the hunting vehicle when visiting lions. Image Credit: Getty

Don't go hunting during peak hours

Even though we always need to be careful when sightseeing lions. However, when lions hunt, they will become more aggressive.

Be alert during prey migration

If you go hunting in East Africa, during the migration of other animals, you will witness terrifying chases between herds of wildebeest, horses, or other species and lions. They won't care that humans are also present there.

Don't try to mess with lions while they are mating.

Different from their usual appearance, male lions become more aggressive when they mate. 

Experts warn that although the scene will be very attractive, you absolutely should not get close or interfere with the mating process. This will make the lions agitated and hunt you.

It's more important not to get close to lion cubs because mothers are very protective of their cubs. They will hunt anything that comes close to their children.