Preventing Lion Attacks On Cattle With Deterrent Measures: The Role Of Fake Eyes

As human settlements encroach on wildlife habitats, conflicts between humans and wild animals have become more frequent. One of the major problems faced by farmers is the loss of livestock due to attacks by predators, such as lions. Farmers often resort to illegal methods to protect their herds, leading to a reduction in wildlife populations.

To address this issue, researchers from South Wales University have come up with an innovative solution.his method also promotes coexistence between farmers and wild animals, which is essential for the long-term conservation of wildlife.e. By educating farmers about non-lethal methods of protecting their herds, this approach can help maintain good relationships between farmers and wild animals.


After four years of research with Botswana Predator Conservation and local leaders, the researchers found that painting fake eyes on the backsides of cattle can significantly reduce lion attacks. The concept of defense through deception is not new, and many animals use it to avoid becoming prey. The researchers observed that lions were disheartened with the fact that their attacks on cattle painted with eyes were unsuccessful.

While this solution is not foolproof, it has the potential to significantly reduce the number of casualties due to lion attacks.. As a result, these cattle were more likely to survive lion attacks than those without any markings or those with a cross mark.


The researchers conducted 49 sessions over four years, observing 2061 cattle in total. The cattle were divided into three groups: those with painted eyes, those with a cross mark, and those with no markings. Out of 683 cattle with painted eyes, none died from lion attacks, while 15 out of 835 cattle without any markings and four out of 583 cattle with a cross mark died from lion attacks.

In conclusion, painting fake eyes on cattle is an innovative solution that can help reduce the number of casualties due to lion attacks. This approach not only protects the herds but also promotes coexistence between farmers and wild animals .As humans continue to encroach on wildlife habitats, it is essential to find sustainable solutions that protect both humans and wildlife.

More info & Photo courtesy: Botswana Predator Conservation

Written by Chanuka

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