When Civil War Made Humans Prey for Carnivores

[VIEWER DISCRETION ADVISED: The above video contains graphic images of animal and human remains.]

Episode 3: Carnivores

With reports that they were killing a person each week, (now former) Kruger Park Ranger Louis Oliver shot and killed five lions in 1997. When he and his team cut the big cats open, they found the partially digested remains of one of his fellow Kruger employees. Other victims included some of the thousands of Mozambican immigrants who attempted to walk through Kruger National Park to settle in South Africa during the Mozambican civil war and its aftermath. In the third episode of Through the Prides, we investigate the incidence of lion attacks on humans migrating through Kruger Park. We learn how immigrants evade predators as they walk and we speak to carnivore experts about what would compel a lion to prey upon a human.

About This Series

Through the Prides is a documentary web series funded by a National Geographic Young Explorers Grant that focuses on immigration through Kruger National Park in South Africa. For hundreds of years, Kruger has been a common migratory route for both South Africans and Mozambicans living along the park’s border. Immigration through the park increased dramatically in the ’70s and ’80s as Mozambique descended into civil war. Entire families were known to walk through the park, risking encounters with dangerous animals, to find safety in South Africa. Immigration has declined within the park since the end of the civil war as immigration laws changed and security has heightened in the park due to the threat of rhino poaching. Families remain separated by strictly enforced park borders, and some people still risk walking through Kruger in order to see their loved ones. Through the Prides focuses on one woman, Constance Nyathi, and her struggle to return to her family in Mozambique after crossing through the park illegally in 2008.

See All Through the Prides Episodes


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Meet the Author
Jaclyn Skurie and Madeleine May are a Young Explorer team documenting conflict between lions and Mozambican immigrants crossing the border into South Africa through Kruger National Park. Follow their project at www.throughtheprides.com.