"As a result of widespread persecution, cats in the wild have become one of the most threataened major groups of land animals. Nevertheless, the African lion numbered perhaps 200,000 individuals in 1991. They are generally protected even through some 150 humans have been mauled in the Gir National Park alone. Conversely in the Skeleton Coast Park in West Africa's Namibia the lions are all gone. Some were killed outside park boundaries by livestock herdsmen; others were forced to leave by drought."
"Humans are fearful of being attacked by lions and of their livestock being killed by lions. In most cases, this has not been a large problem. Lions have historically coexisted with the Masai and their cows in east Africa. When the prey base is plentiful, lions do not typically attack cattle. Also, if a lion sees a human on foot, it will typically run in the opposite direction. (Eltringham, 1979; Packer and Pusey, 2001)
There have been well-publicized attacks on humans by lions, such as the man-eating lions of Tsavo (killed 135 construction workers) portrayed in the 1996 movie The Ghost and the Darkness. As lions lose habitat, they are more frequently entering human inhabited areas, thus creating more conflict and potential for "problem lions" that attack humans. (Dudley, 2002; Pickrell, 2004)
Lions are frequently infected with FIV (Feline Immunodeficiency Virus) which is similar to HIV. In Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park, Ngorongoro Crater, and Kruger National Park of South Africa, 92% of lions tested had FIV. FIV does not seem to adversely affect lions but it will kill domestic cats. (Packer and Pusey, 2001; Urban and West, 2002)"
"Lions developing a taste for humans"