Lions have captured the human imagination since the dawn of mankind. Celebrated in art and literature throughout the world, this remarkable animal has fed us and eaten us ever since we first walked on two legs.
Today, lions are increasingly endangered and the challenges of conservation are profound: man-eaters have killed more than a thousand people in the past two decades and innumerable livestock have been lost. Sport hunting draws the rich and famous to Africa but has become increasingly controversial and more conspicuously corrupt.
“As the human population continues to grow, lions and people will be crowded ever more closely together, and all these problems could spiral even further out of control,” says University of Minnesota Lion Center Director Dr. Craig Packer. “Without changes to policy and a fresh approach to conservation, the outlook is bleak.”
The world’s leading expert on the iconic, endangered African lion, Dr. Craig Packer is a Professor of Ecology, Evolution and Behavior in the College of Biological Sciences at the University of Minnesota, where he also directs the Lion Center.