New book puts spotlight on best way to ensure lions and humans can co-exist

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The killing of Cecil the lion in July 2015 focused public attention on conservation issues surrounding this endangered species

Now a new book by a renowned conservationist at the University puts the spotlight on the relationship between people and lions in Africa.

In his book, entitled Humans and Lions: Conflict, Conservation and Coexistence, Professor Keith Somerville places lion conservation in its historical and current political context.

The book traces man’s relationship with lions through history, from hominids, to the Romans, through colonial occupation and independence, to the present day.

It concludes with an examination of the current crisis of conservation and the conflict between Western animal welfare concepts and sustainable development, thrown into sharp focus by the killing of Cecil the lion.

Professor Somerville, of the University’s Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology, said: ‘The killing of Cecil the lion brought the issue of lion conservation to the public’s attention. Among the questions raised were what was the best form of conservation and how best can lions be saved from extinction in the wild in Africa amid an expanding human population?

‘My new book aims to answer these questions and provide a roadmap to ensure that this magnificent species can continue to co-exist with humans.’

Humans and Lions: Conflict, Conservation and Coexistence is published by Routledge.