Why lions don’t attack people in a safari vehicle: We explain

We have come across several incidents in the past were wild animals have attacked people and vehicles that pass too close to them through the road that cuts through the forest. In most cases, people narrowly escape from the attack but, there have been many incidents, where people were injured due to animal attacks. While we have heard many such incidents, we have rarely come across such incidents in a jungle safari park. In many African countries, there are wildlife safari parks and people use open jeeps to get closer to the wildlife there. The same happens here in India too but, we have rarely heard of a tiger or a leopard attack people travelling in a Safari vehicle. Why is that so? Let’s have a look at the video to know the reason.

The video has been uploaded by WildThing on their YouTube channel. The video specifically talks about Lions or predators from the cat family. We have seen many videos on social media and television where big cars like Cheetah, leopards, lions get very close to the safari vehicle, and even then they don’t see to get aggressive. These jeeps are not closed and are designed in such a manner that the tourists get 360 degree view of the area and can spot animals from all angles.

Even if the cars come too close to the animals, they don’t show aggression until and unless it is an elephant or wild buffalo. When people are sitting in a safari vehicle, the animals think about them and the vehicle as one big object or animal. To the lions and tigers, people are just parts of a very large beast. So as long as people do not step outside the vehicle and sit, they will be safe. When people step out or put their heads out, then the animal may think that this is a person and might attack.

The reason why these animals don’t get aggressive is that when an area is categorised as a national park and opened for tourists, the authorities do some preparations. They often drive the safari vehicles close to the animals to know their behaviour as it is an alien object in their world. The animals might get aggressive for the first time but, over a period of time, they get accustomed to the vehicles and people travelling in it. They won’t look associate people and the car as food.

Why lions don’t attack people in a safari vehicle: We explain

They don’t see them as a prey or threat and behave normally. The other reason is the size. These safari jeeps are huge and animals like lion and cheetah don’t like to spend too much of their energy in huge  prey as there is a risk of them getting injured. The animals only look at the vehicle and not focus on the people sitting in it. If a person gets out of the vehicle, there are chances that the animal behavior might change. If a lion or any of the big cats show any sign of aggression, it is not recommended to panic and drive the car away as these animals like to chase their prey.

Depending on the size of the animal, the driver of your safari vehicle will know how to behave as he will be an experienced person. If an elephant or rhino is seen running towards the vehicle, the best way to escape from the spot is simply drive the car away as fast as possible. There are many wildlife parks outside India that allows private vehicles inside the park and people can see these animals from their car only. In such cases, it is always recommended to keep the windows closed and doors locked as these animals might try to break into the vehicle or come too close in search of food.