Bill Gates seems to think so, since he puts humans just behind the mosquito as the second deadliest animal in terms of killing humans, to the tune of 475,000 annually, in contrast to lions, who have only100 kills to their name. My take? It depends. The World Lion Day website offers an estimate of a 25-30,000 lion population today. That’s roughly 3~4 human lion-deaths per year per 1,000 lions. By comparison, with approximately 7 billion human beings on this planet, there are only 0.7 human human-death per year per 1,000 humans. A lion in your neighborhood is vastly more dangerous than your run-of-the-mill hoodlum. Think about that the next time you call on the world to help save the lion.
Now you may say that my point is meaningless for now, since there are so few lions left. That may be true for people like you and me, whose only opportunity to come face-to-face with a wild lion will be
come in a locked SUV. But try
telling that to the people who live there. If we are going to ask them to bear
the risk of sharing their habitat with lions to the benefit of our conservation
goals, then they should be compensated accordingly.