Researchers have named the most avid cannibals
(ORDO NEWS) — Large predators, forced to share their habitat with people, are increasingly considering bipedal neighbors as prey.
Now scientists have named the family of mammals, from the fangs and claws of which people die most often.
As the planet becomes less and less untouched wilderness, and the number of mankind is steadily growing, wild animals have to face people more often, which inevitably leads to conflicts.
Around the world, large predators attack bipedal prey, with the percentage and circumstances of such incidents depending on both the type of animal and the level of income in a particular country.
After analyzing 5,089 reports of attacks by large predators of 12 species from three families (felines, dogs and bears) collected from 1970 to 2019, an international team of researchers noticed that over time the number of attacks has only increased, especially in low-income countries.
If the incomes of the population in the country were high and a person did not have to constantly invade the habitat of large predators in order to survive, most attacks occurred while walking in the national park or hiking in the mountains – in other words, people deliberately went to places where wild animals live.
By contrast, in low-income countries, 90 percent of attacks occurred while people were doing their daily activities fishing, herding, or working in the fields and dangerously close to predator hunting grounds.
Cats and dogs most often attacked to eat a person, while bears usually attacked only if they were protecting a cub or they were taken by surprise.
The most deadly were the attacks of large cats (lions, tigers, leopards, jaguars and pumas): about 65 percent of the cases ended in the death of the victim.
Whereas when attacked by canines (wolves and coyotes), 49 percent of the victims died, and when attacked by bears, only nine percent.
Preventive measures aimed at reducing the risk of predators attacking people should be adapted to the conditions in a particular country, the researchers said.
In high-income countries, educational work and strict enforcement of the rules of conduct when visiting national parks or camping areas are suitable.
However, in low-income countries where humans are compelled to encroach on the hunting grounds of predatory animals, it would be more efficient to divide wildlife habitats and fields for grazing and growing crops which, given a growing population, is almost impossible.
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