Lion and Club

Conversation - Activity 3 - Which Animals are the Most Dangerous?

One of the best-known stories about David Livingstone is his attack by a lion, shortly after he began his travels through Africa. When you think of a lion, what do you think of? Big scary teeth? Long sharp claws? Fearsome roar?

Lions are not to be trifled with, that’s for sure. The community David stayed with shortly after arriving in Africa was worried about a group of lions living nearby that had been attacking their animals. David wrote in his diary,

“It is well known that if one of a troop of lions is killed, the others take the hint and leave that part of the country. So, the next time the herds were attacked, I went with the people to kill one of the lions in the hope that the whole pride would leave the area.”

When they reached the group of lions, David was able to shoot one. While he was reloading his gun, the lion attacked him and broke his arm very badly. After attacking two of Livingstone’s companions, the lion died from its wounds.

From this story, which do you think is more dangerous – the lion or the human?


We are very grateful to our key funders the National Lottery Heritage Fund, Historic Environment Scotland and the Scottish Government for their support in helping us deliver the Birthplace Project. Note: Please note that David Livingstone Birthplace (and the David Livingstone Trust) is no longer part of National Trust Scotland (NTS). NTS members will therefore no longer receive discounted/free entry to the Birthplace Museum.

National Lottery Heritage Fund
Scottish Government
Historic Environment Scotland

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