Lutra 62(1)_Thomassen_Editorial_2019

One of my favourite natural history books is “Monster of God”, by David Quammen, subtitled “The Man-Eating Predator in the Jungles of History and the Mind”. It tells the story of man’s relationship with big, fierce animals, the ones that can kill and eat us. To illustrate his story, Quammen draws on four examples, three of them mammals (Romanian bears, Russian tigers and Indian lions). He describes the threats to these species, the conflicts that arise where humans and large predators live near one another and the efforts of conservationists.

Many large predatory species have now been driven to the edge of extinction due to habitat loss caused by human encroachment and poaching, but things were very different in our shared past. There was a time when we....