Large carnivores that become marauders and man-eaters are frequently thought to be old or infirm, apparently incapable of normal predatory behavior. To evaluate whether this “infirmity theory” offers a general explanation for animal–human conflicts, we examined teeth and jaws of lions (Panthera leo) in museum collections. Although tooth wear and breakage are normal in lions, they are rarely accompanied by severe pathologies. Although the infirmity theory may explain specific instances of carnivore–human conflict, including the infamous case of Tsavo's man-eating lions, most other conflicts can be linked to alternative explanations, especially prey depletion in human-dominated areas, which trigger the opportunity and necessity of exploiting people or livestock (or both) as prey.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.