MAN IS A SOCIAL PREDATOR. When living in nature he learned to hunt in groups, more or less like wolves do. The evolution towards more and more effective hunting methods led to the extinction of several animal species, like e.g. the cave bear, the mammoth, the woolly rhinoceros, the giant sloth and the sable tooth tiger. Even a long series of birds, like the great auk, the dodo and the walking pigeon, disappeared forever. Extinction by man of more types of animals and birds continues even today. About one/fifth of the worlds known animals is considered to be endangered species.
THE ANCIENT HUNTING POPULATIONS were often admirers of the big predators.
Lions, jaguars, tigers and wolves were thought to be holy totem- and cult animals. When man passed to the keeping of tame domestic animals, like cattle, the real conflict between man and the other predators came about.
The killing of a single domestic cow could mean doom for a whole family of man. That is, why man initially decided to limit the numbers of competitive predators, which, eventually led to the total extinction of some of them. From bear spear and wolf pits, the development went at high speed, via poison and traps, to today’s advanced arsenals of weapons, equipped with red point sights to high speed bullets.
This trend has reversed however, and presently there are more predators living in Sweden than what was during the latest one hundred years. This is a consequence of the change of thinking about and the evaluation of the big predators by the people living here. More and more, man allows the other predators to own their obvious places in nature. Conditions have improved substantially for the 5 big predators to live side by side.