Animal Attacks Archive

Blame or Responsibility?

Neither Rin Tin Tin or Baloo are real, folks. The gorilla was and it had to be killed. The mother was negligent. And the Cincinnati Zoo’s gorilla display isn’t safe enough. A good portion of my life has been spent teaching the dangers of anthropomorphization: Everyone involved from the zoo to the mother and child, […]


Lion Futures

A ranger’s report filed yesterday from northern Kenya explains so perfectly why lions in the wild may quickly becoming a thing of the past. Ewaso Lions is a stellar NGO working in the Laikipia/Samburu region of northern Kenya, a beautiful semi-arid terrain just north of Mt. Kenya. The small under 25-person group is run by […]

Cecil & Swales

The killing of Cecil the lion has now been followed by the killing of Swales the guide. Both tragedies are pathetic examples of horrifically poor safari management typical of Zimbabwe. Neither would have happened in Kenya, Tanzania or South Africa. I haven’t written about Cecil until now, although canned hunting, which was the cause of […]

Reckless & Barbaric

The young American killed yesterday by a lion in South Africa was as irresponsible as the lion park she was visiting. Fatalities and serious injuries to visitors to these improperly named “parks” is exponentially greater than in the real wildernesses of Africa. I see these obscene facilities as modern gladiator stadiums built specifically to create […]


Violence is not Genetic

A recent study of chimps in Uganda is being misinterpreted to suggest human murder is natural, and sloppy scientists are reenforcing these beliefs. Chimps have long been known to be murderers and cannibals. While dominance within many species is often violent and considered essential for the social organization of many species, it very rarely extends […]


Culling & Killing

Hunting and culling are acceptable in certain cases to protect the lives and livelihoods of people. In Africa this is a complex and difficult topic. In my series on hunting this week I argue that hunting is no longer a good conservation tool and that in most cases should be outlawed. But there are reasons […]

Don’t Walk on Safari

As my clients well know, I don’t approve of walking safaris anywhere in East Africa, today. Tuesday morning another tourist was killed by an elephant near Tarangire National Park. Thomas McAfee of San Diego was on a guided walking safari arranged by Tarangire River Camp where he was lodging. The details are not complete, but […]


Maul Special

Pretty story but not very effective: recruit Maasai morani – the legendary warriors that are expert lion killers – to protect lions. Sort of like hiring the ultimate teenage hacker to protect HSBC. Lion numbers are dropping alarmingly, and better than any other great African savannah animal lion are a true indicator of the health […]

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Wild Animals Aren’t Nice Anymore

Pepper spray, moats, blow horns, flashing lights … nothing seems to work. People around the world are getting fed up with wildlife. And it’s becoming frighteningly unclear if the benefits of tourism are greater than the disadvantages that local communities now believe they must bear to support that tourism. And which is more important: agriculture […]

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Animals are Not People

Time and again men and women unable to foster human relationships create them with animals whose only ability to resist is to kill them in return. I love animals and always have. I expect someone watching me play with my lab/hound mix would ascribe all sorts of human characteristics to the relationship, and undoubtedly while […]


Ele Kills Zimbabwe Guide

Last week a bull elephant killed an employee within a hundred meters of a popular Victoria Falls hotel, further proof that Zimbabwe is not a safe place to travel. There have been about a dozen tourists killed by elephant every year in Africa since tourism began in the 1960s, and reporting a single incident is […]

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Buggiest Place in the Universe!

I have been in some of the most uncomfortable, dastardly places on earth. But I just returned from the buggiest place in the universe. Try to guess where this unbelievable, inhumane place is. Of of the four top worst buggiest places I’ve ever been in, none are in eastern or southern Africa where I spend […]

Don’t Visit Zimbabwe

Contrary to very strange suggestions I’m reading in the travel press, it’s still too dangerous to safari in Zimbabwe. Tourists are being murdered. And not by political thugs, either. Zimbabwe’s economy is recovering from a hole some of us feared would spew forth the lava from the center of the earth. And the opposition democrat […]


California Wildlife Management

Wednesday early morning police (it took three of them) shot (multiple times) and killed a mountain lion found in a residential area of Berkeley, California. A 90-pound mountain lion (also known as a cougar) is roughly the same size as a cheetah, although stronger. The cheetah is built for speed whereas the cougar is built […]

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The Crocodile Attack Alarm

This weekend officials on Kenya’s coast warned of increasing crocodile attacks on local residents. Nonsense. If the reports of increased lion and crocodile attacks in Kenya are true, why are they not true in neighboring Uganda and Tanzania? Do those animals not have visas? Like the incorrectly reported increase in lion attacks made last week […]

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