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Are Lions Friendly to Humans? Understanding Lion Behavior

Lions fear humans because of the danger they pose to them. Lions don’t befriend anyone who treats them with disrespect; they are only friends with humans who are friendly to them, even if they tolerate them in their territories.

However, when hungry, they lose their friendly disposition and start seeing all creatures on Earth as potential food, including humans when desperate.

Some lions are trained, especially those kept in zoos, and they may not be as notorious as those in the wild. Nevertheless, lions remain wild animals and should not be kept as pets.

If you love lions, you can donate and leave them under the care of lion organizations that understand and know the behaviors of lions. They will update you on each activity or any changes regarding your lion.

You can also contribute to projects aimed at the welfare of lions. Funds raised are used to enforce strict laws against lion poaching, hire skilled lion protection personnel to combat illegal hunting, educate the masses about the importance of lions, and teach communities the dos and don’ts when near a lion.

Lions can show affection by hugging fellow lions and even humans, indicating that you are accepted as a member of a certain pride. There are photographs on YouTube showing both adults and children embracing lions.

However, always be with security personnel while practicing this to help determine whether you are hugging a hungry lion or not. Some people claim that lions can remember a human who was once a friend, defending their view with the fact that lions fear humans due to past danger posed to them.

But this is just an allegation; no one knows whether it is true. What is known about these species is that they primarily focus on their prides, taking care of the young ones and hunting prey for the rest of the members in the territory.

Lions typically invite only those from their pride, so if you are not from their pride, you won’t be remembered.

If things go haywire, there are ways to scare away a lion, including:

  • Throw anything near you in different directions without bending, as the lion may mistake you for a four-legged creature and attack you.
  • Look straight into the lion’s eyes to show it that you are not a threat while waving your arms, then withdraw slowly while facing it, as turning in any direction may make the lion think you want to run, and it will chase after you. Humans are not as fast as swift lions. Do not make the mistake of trying to fight back against lions.
  • LED lights are mostly used by local people to protect their livestock from these hungry mammals. They can also be used by someone in a lion’s territory. Waving the bulb, which reflects the flash in different directions, can make the lion run away.
  • A loud shout will not leave the lion standing; it will run away, thinking that some huge animal is chasing it.

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