Lions on the loose – the cost of humans on animal habitats

lion near nairobi

Human-caused damage to the earth’s natural environment has resulted in a number of serious ecological problems, including global warming and rising sea levels.  Human encroachment on natural habitats have been a serious factor in world habitat destruction, especially in the Middle East.

Africa’s natural habitats, particularly wildlife habitats, have been decimated in recent years by human encroachment, poaching, and other human caused activities which could eventually result in many animal species becoming extinct in the wild.

A prime example of human encroachment is occurring in Kenya, where human development activities are threatening natural habitats of many animal species, including lions. A recent  incident involving lions that escaped from the Kenya National Park near the capital Nairobi, resulted in an elderly man being attacked and the lion shot dead by police.

According to a story on the BBC and other news sources, lions have been leaving the national park and coming into populated areas near Nairobi to search for food. The main reason for this happening is being attributed to human infringement on the natural habitat of the lions, resulting in it being more difficult for the lions to find enough animals they depend on for food. Lions and other large African carnivores, like cheetahs and leopards, depend on plains animals like wildebeests, zebras and various species of antelopes as prey. When their natural habitat is made smaller by farming and construction projects, carnivores like lions have more problems in finding food.

This problem is known all too well in the Middle East, where natural animal habitats have been disappearing at an alarming rate. Species like lions disappeared in countries like Jordan, Iran and Israel well over 100 years ago. Other carnivores such as leopards are highly endangered and on the verge of extinction in Israel, Jordan, Oman and other Middle Eastern countries.

As for Africa, continuing human encroachment on natural animal habitats will result in more incidents of lions and other large carnivores paying “visits” to human populated areas.

Read more on human destruction of natural habitats:

It’s not the tide. It’s not the wind. It’s us
Despite ruinous bridge, Saudi and Egypt vow to Protect the sea
Amazing “Atlas” tracks Arab world habitat destruction over time (video)
Emirati Royalty Threaten 48,000 Maasai in Lucrative Hunting Deal

Photo of lion near Nairobi Kenya by the BBC/AFP

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