Thursday, January 12, 2006

Throw Them to the Lions?

Lion attacks are on the rise in parts of Tanzania and Mozambique. Apparently, the king of beasts discovered his taste for humans by accident. Many people in the region sleep in their fields at night to keep out pesky bushpigs. As it turns out, lions in the area started hunting the pigs, not a traditonal quarry, because other sources of food have disappeared. In the process of hunting the new dish, lions stumbled upon an alternative fare that runs on only two legs. The lions seem to have placed man near the top of the prey list. Officials estimate that one killer lion, recently destroyed, killed an estimated 40 humans.

The problems of Africa need no illumination. Cursed by climate, criminal governments and the scourge of disease, many Africans struggle to survive day by day and even minute by minute. The dangers posed by wild animals doesn't often arise in dicussions on the lack of development in Africa. It has to be hard to scratch out a living subsistence farming even without having to worry about becoming the main course. It does lead to several questions concerning the plight of Africans. Does our worship of the wild justify sacrificing 40 humans to let one wild beast roam the wilderness? Can African nations develop side-by-side with so many deadly animals in their midst? On poaching, do poachers only hunt down endangered species for the money or do they see it as a pre-emptive attack on an enemy who would certainly kill them first if it had the chance? These are tough questions, meaning the answers don't come easily.

At least they don't have to worry about the beasts of the air these days.


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