↓ Read on to watch this amazing video
In theory, a dog of this size is unlikely to stand up to a full-grown lion. This dog doesn’t care what’s written on the paper! You have to marvel at its bravery and persistence in defending a home or territory from this big cat intruder. It’s not uncommon for dogs to risk their lives in the service of human families – we can read reports of service dogs doing this all the time. However, this appeared to be a particularly calm lion, which seemed confused rather than angry with the dog. This may be because the lion was raised by humans or close to humans and it has become accustomed to them and their pets.
This is an old question with so many variables that it’s impossible to answer with a simple yes or no. Can an average household pet dog kill a healthy adult male lion? No, it cannot. Could a pack of dogs from a large and aggressive breed kill a young, sick or elderly lion? Probably. Some dogs, such as the Kangal and Rhodesian Ridgeback, were bred to protect farmland and livestock from human intruders and predators, and to accompany hunters. They will be exposed to lions.
If a kangaroo were to be compared directly to a lion, the lion would likely win the battle. The big cat was simply too big and muscular, and its claws and teeth were too sharp for the dog to deal with a sustained attack.
Another breed that is often referred to as the “lion killer” is the magnificent Rhodesian ridgeback. The history of these dogs can be traced back to continental breeds brought to South Africa by Boer colonists who then crossed these breeds with native dogs. They were eventually bred to accompany professional hunters on big hunting expeditions.
These “lionhound” dogs needed to be strong enough to physically keep up with the hunt, but agile enough to avoid the swinging paws and gnashing teeth of lions. They weren’t made to fight lions at all – that’s a misconception. These dogs aren’t meant to actually come into contact with a lion, but to tease and confuse the big cat, while human hunters brace themselves. This requires courage, agility and intelligence. Not that they can go one-on-one with the Lions!
I am broadly interested in how human activities influence the ability of wildlife to persist in the modified environments that we create.
Specifically, my research investigates how the configuration and composition of landscapes influence the movement and population dynamics of forest birds. Both natural and human-derived fragmenting of habitat can influence where birds settle, how they access the resources they need to survive and reproduce, and these factors in turn affect population demographics. Most recently, I have been studying the ability of individuals to move through and utilize forested areas which have been modified through timber harvest as they seek out resources for the breeding and postfledging phases. As well I am working in collaboration with Parks Canada scientists to examine in the influence of high density moose populations on forest bird communities in Gros Morne National Park. Many of my projects are conducted in collaboration or consultation with representatives of industry and government agencies, seeking to improve the management and sustainability of natural resource extraction.
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