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Saturday, 3 August, 2002, 16:16 GMT 17:16 UK
Lion 'devours' young lover
Lioness in Serengeti National Park, Tanzania
The man escaped the lion's attack
Police in central Tanzania say a young woman was devoured after a lion attacked a couple who were making love in the bush near their village.

Late on Wednesday night, a lion surprised two young lovers in the region of Singida, in the forest near Mpungizi village, police told Tanzania's official Daily News newspaper.

The animal attacked the woman, but the young man escaped unharmed.

He returned to the area with other villagers as reinforcements, but by then the lion had disappeared.

Nothing remained but the woman's skull and parts of her limbs, regional police chief Harun Bachbira was quoted as saying.

Eroding habitat

There are often reports of lion attacks in Tanzania and other African countries, especially during times of drought when food is scarce.

Conservationists have also long warned that agriculture and human settlements are eroding the animals' natural habitat - setting the stage for confrontation between lions and humans.

Wildlife experts fear that lion populations in many parts of Africa are too small to be sustainable, and that the species is threatened with extinction in parts of the continent.

In addition to losing their habitat, the animals are threatened by hunting and poisoning.

See also:

31 Oct 01 | Africa
22 Oct 01 | Science/Nature
07 Jan 02 | Africa
23 Oct 01 | Asia-Pacific
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