Five predatory Lions killed a man as he took a shower in Zimbabwe, above all places, in a protected conservation area. Â The businessman, apparently was taken by surprise by the pack of lions as he showered. Â What could have been done to prevent an attack from a pride of lions, and why do animals attack?
Peter Evershed, 59, a businessman in Zimbabwe was camped in a "protected" conservation area near the Mana Pools when he wasÂ viscouslyÂ attacked and mauled by a pride of five lions. Â It is likely the predatory big cats were acting in a concerted fashion, as they are social animals that work together in hunts.
Eyewitness accounts say that by the time help arrived, after hearing Evershed's harrowing screams, it was too late. Â While taking a shower, they said, he died from a large gash to his throat by the pack of lions. Â They only retreated once shots were fired and vehicles approached.
The nature of the attack sheds light on the instinctual habits of carnivorous creatures like lions. Â Because the businessman died from a gash to his throat, it could mean the lions were in fact, on a hunt. Â Lions in the wild learn from an early age by the teachings of the alpha female, how to hunt. Â They hunt in a group called a pride, with all members contributing to taking down the stalked prey. Â Once they subdue their quarry, they sink their long fangs into the neck region, suffocating their victim by cutting off its breathing. Because the lions who killed the man in the shower delivered the fatal bite to his neck, and because they numbered five, in all probability, they were hunting.
But, why do animals attack and kill humans? Â These are just a few reasons:
- Territorial: Â Animals are instinctively territorial. Â Lions form a pride and protect the group by any means necessary, from rival groups, and even threats from humans who haphazardly enter their domain. Â Perhaps, the man killed by a pride of lions while he took a shower was not aware just how close he was to their territorial rein.
- Food Needs: Â Animals, like lions, must hunt constantly, not just for themselves, but for every other member in the pride in order for their them to maintain their strength in numbers. Â At times, during the dry and monsoon seasons, or some other reason that limits the amount of food, they widen their territory. Â Often times, in an effort to find alternative food sources, they cross paths with humans. Â This could be the case surrounding Peter Evershed's death.
- Fear or threat perception: Â Animals, even the most viscous among them, are subject to fear. Â Remember, animals like lions are on the constant lookout for attempts to compromise the pride, threaten their members, or lodge an attack. In other words, they are inherently programmed to do what is necessary to fend off a perceived attack. Â Perhaps, past encounters with poachers have conditioned them to associate humans with fear and the act of being threatened.
Whatever led to the lions killing the man while he took a shower is unclear. Â However, given the nature of animals in their personal space, past attacks on record, and the skimpy details of the attack, it is probable that they felt either threatened or had become man-hunters.