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Lions at Tsavo benefit analysis of the Man Eaters: a Window of Opportunity to the Ohio USA Exotic Animals

Sunday, 23 October 2011
Lions The untold story of  The Man-eaters of Tsavo benefit analysis. What do we know about these big cats? What legend lies behind the Tsavo lions? Are they animals to be feared or revered?
The dangerous Tsavo lions at 
Tsavo the man 
eater of the Kenya Uganda 
Railway Attacks

Are the Tsavo lions famous?  How about the dangerous exotic animals at Ohio   in USA? With the turn of events history has its own way of repeating itself but with good warning systems and preparedness I am glad there is always a way of preemptive measures which have made man come to terms with our day today living.
Tsavo lions at Tsavo the man eater the Dangerous weapon which for the lions
Would they have been famous had they not been taken out with the big guns and the latest night visions arsenal as compared to the one and only Colonel Patterson who had to endure a lot pain while in the wilderness with one or no helper at all and with the the only weapon of the time? How long would it have been taken to track down such a huge migration of these exotic species from their enclosed comfort zones to the wild which would be steaming with human beings from all walk of life. 

Ohio USA African lions which were brought down after they were let lose
While in the wilderness during the Tsavo lion hunt, all the Tsavo railway workers run for the hills or up the trees and a good guess in our Ohio incident would have been to get a closer look at the animal not knowing whether it was a tamed animal, a scare tactics from any of the prominent  TV animal commercial or just a scene from Hollywood  and a good chance to pet these wild animals had it not been the quick response team to educate, inform and communicate to the masses through both the print and electronic media about the Lions, tigers and bears which were on the loose.
Tsavo railway workers building the Tsavo bridge during many of the attacks
What would have been the reality?  What was the reality living in the Tsavo area? Should the Tsavo lions be returned to the country where they brought a reign of terror as a few people would have thought it was a national treasure? What if the Ohio dangerous lions in USA would have become an epic of another maneater reign of terror in this new millennium. Was the window of opportunity on the side of the people of Ohio as compared to the natives of Tsavo? The Wataita, the Wakamba, the Maasai and the bigger community of the Kenya Uganda railway workers at large?
Tsavo men gathering to look for the Tsavo man eaters 
Were the lions of Tsavo lucky enough to endure a lot of freedom to move and live to fight another day as compare to the lions, Siberian Tigers and the Black bears of Ohio. Well I guess with different natural and animal habitat we could have seen a wave of man eaters on the rumpage  given a big window of opportunity as compared to the difficult conditions in the Savannah of  African, the Tsavo lions lived a story to tell.
Black bear attacks in USA and Canad
Well with many evens taking place and with many animal attack taking place, in our modern society such as the dangerous grizzly bear attacks in USA, the big cat attacks in Asia and not forgetting the dangerous elephant attacks in Asia as well. The lions of Tsavo may have had their part in the history of man eaters and made many forgiving and unforgiving events of animal rights to take place and at the same time bringing havoc too the killing of many of the great African natural wildlife almost to a grinding halt. 
Boma which was used to fence the fend the lion
At nearly 22,000km2, where the great man eaters of Tsavo were destined to benefit the from their distant ancestors yet know to man,  the present Tsavo lions are located at the largest national park in Kenya and one of the largest in the world..  With its immense size, The Tsavo National Park was divided into two - Tsavo West and Tsavo East with one of the world's largest game reserves, providing undeveloped wilderness homes to vast numbers of animals where many Africa Safari lovers from all walk of life East or West have had the greatest privilege to dine with these African lions , elephants and rhinos among the Big Five in the comfort of their 4 and 5 star hotels under the skies of the African jungles. 
Tsavo Animals that fed the Man Eaters all the year round.
Year in and years out , come rain come sunshine, a great number of many kilos and pounds of flesh were consumed by the Tsavo lions just like any other lion in the wilderness today. 

African elephants which were hunted during the elephant hunts by the rich
A comprehensive list of the animal types found in Tsavo East National Park  today includes the aardwolf, yellow baboon, bat, cape buffalo, bush baby, bushbuck, caracal, African wildcat, cheetah, African Civet, dik-dik, African hunting dog, African dormouse, Blue Duiker, bush duiker, Red duiker, eland, African elephant. Who would have thought that these beautiful animals would be wiped out by the natural environment and natural calamities. Well with the balance of nature and the ecosystem, the rinderpest a dangerous disease came and wiped out many of the African animals from the North of Africa to the Cape of Good hope and mainly Kruger National Park in South Africa which was then known as Sabie Game Reserve as Africa's oldest National Park way back in the 1898. 
Cheetahs endangered species

Millions of rare and exotic endangered animal species in Africa eaten by the man eaters or Tsavo lions perished. The African and specially the Tsavo lions having been denied their daily bread had to look for greener pastures  elsewhere for food, and the results were attacks on humans which increased across the continent. 
How many people were eaten by the Tsavo lions or the man eaters of Tsavo? Had all the people being eaten or killed by the lions of Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania alone been documented, I guess many of the world's museums would have a share of the African lions in their museums and a sizable treasure of $s and pounds to take home. 

But with such freedom of hunting which was prevailing during that era today a good number of people in many corners of the world have some of the best collection of well preserved animal heads with their skins looking very well alive than dead in a sense ranging scary lion mats, elegant tiger skins, scary grizzly bear heads and some of the largest elephant tusks hanging in their best decorated walls or well tiled floors as a sight of prestige or with a history to tell. How they got there or how they got the beautiful animal heads and skins goes way back when their great grand fathers  once visited the Dark Continent as it was called by then and took as the order of the day was, hunted or just bought them from the merchants who dealt with animals during the hay days of hunting. As the events unfolded, the African elephants' population also reduced drastically due to big game hunting which was a sport for the rich and the royals and the inevitable had to set in. 
The demise of the African Flora and fauna; No pasture no game

The African forest and woodlands started expanding and the African Savannah's grazers mostly the herbivorous were being driven away or just hunted down as history might tell and as a result once more all these animals were not spared once more. Bat-eared fox, greater galago, gazelle, large-spotted genet, small-spotted genet, gerenuk, giraffe, African hare, springhare, Coke's hartebeest, hunter hartebeest, East African hedgehog, spotted hyena, striped hyena, rock hyrax, tree hyrax, impala, black-backed jackal, side-striped jackal, klipspringer, Lesser Kudu, leopard, lion, banded mongoose, dwarf mongoose, Egyptian Mongoose, marsh mongoose, slender mongoose, white-tailed mongoose, black faced vervet monkey, Sykes' monkey, fringe-eared Oryx, clawless otter, ground pangolin, crested porcupine, cane rat, giant rat, naked mole rat, ratel, bohor reedbuck, black rhinoceros, serval, spectacled elephant shrew, bush squirrel, East African red squirrel, striped ground squirrel, unstriped ground squirrel, suni, warthog, waterbuck, common zebra and Grevy's zebra were reduced in great numbers.

What would have the Tsavo lions feasted on if almost all the animals in the wilderness had been wiped out? Well my good  guess same as yours would have been that; there would have been some other carnivores animals too. But for the sake of big game hunting, scores of lions, cheetahs and leopards  were also being hunted down in a large numbers too in the name of again Big Game hinting. Thanks be to God and all the awareness that something is now being done to reduce the |"Big Game Hunting" In this regard, the best solution for them would have been to get what they could only if there was less competition from other predators. 

Since most lions, leopards, tigers, cheetahs and hyenas are dangerous predators and scavengers they too had a bad time roaming the great African plains as far as their habitat is concerned just to make their vicious cycles a success story.
Tsavo Lions a Destiny in The Making
The Tsavo lion as the name says is located just a few hundred kilometers from Mombasa and Nairobi. The friendly tribes are mostly the Wataita and the Kambas who have been coexisting. Were the Tsavo lions destined to be hunt down and become part of history or was it just sheer destiny. We find that in Mombasa the Waswahili or Swahili merchants the datives of the coastal area  traded with the people as far as Uganda people on their way passing through Tsavo while trading in Ivory from most of the Tsavo elephants which would be hunted down at will, precious leopard, cheetah and lions hides and skins, and probably slaves as early as 700 AD. With all the benefits furnishings the man eaters in the making, the transport of goods and people with all the commerce which was as old  fashioned as the barter trade  trade this process was chauffeured from the Swahili Coast through a network of extended kinsmen.

When you go to Tsavo do what the Taitas do
With the scramble for Africa still at its hay stage around the 19th  century the  British and German explorers visited the Orma and Watata during their big game hunting, expedition and what was the outcome, they ended up being  viewed them as hostile toward their interests. It was only a matter of time that the British began to double their efforts to colonize the interior of Kenya and built a railway through Tsavo in 1898. What ensued was what has become one of the best sellers of those days as the "man-eating lions" terrorized the construction crews. Was there any other factor which could have kick started the man eating? Well there are many stories and you be the judge as modern scholarship attributed the Wataita for kidnapping and killing Indian and British laborers in an attempt to stop the unwanted intrusion into their territory. Was that the order of the day or were the Wataita just playing their Gorilla tactics as they were the babes in the woods with all the mane less lions roaming in their midst?  
The Pride of the Mane Less lions 
It was at this Tsavo animal habitat where the famous slave trade rout in some way contributed to the eating of the living dead in this part of Tsavo. Humans dead or alive were being eaten. The kind of people or slaves who could not make it along with the caravan train walking all the way home to the port of Mombasa just ended up in the mouth.
Both Man eaters were huge Tsavo lions while some say they were enormous brute how about”, “powerful beast in every way", These are just some of the perfect true qualities of a Tsavo lion or the greatest man eaters of all which is also one of the reason as to why the lion is always crowned as the king of the beast or the king of the African jungle.  With staggering lengths of 9’8” long (nose to tail) and 44” in height at the shoulder, the Tsavo lions had all the power, the energy and the courage to take any kind of prey whether humans which came with ease as had been the tradition in many remote areas of the Kenyan great plains and enchanted territories.
When did the man eaters start being man eaters at Tsavo, well the natives could have a better scientific proof but due to communication lag from the Mombasa coast with the famous ort Jesus or way west to the Ruwenzori Mountains of Uganda where the railway line was destined had little to do with the modern data collection. These Tsavo lion’s attacks incidents have been part and parcel of the even before the Tsavo lion attacks on a caravan in 1896 at the very crossing point of the Tsavo River over which the railway bridge was subsequently constructed.
When Preston arrived in Tsavo as far as his duty with regards to the construction of the railway line is concerned, by January of 1897 he started putting all the lion bookings with a great hit of d the deaths of two railhead workers due to the dangerous Tsavo lions. This was just the beginning of the famous Tsavo man eaters coming to the limelight of the Tsavo lions to the railway workers and the world at large. Little was it known that these dangerous lions of Tsavo would end up devouring between them no less than twenty-eight Indian coolies who were working with the railway construction which had Tsavo.

Death of the First Man eater

On the morning of December 9, an African man came running to Colonel Patterson, shouting "Simba! Simba!" ("lion" in Swahili). Patterson learned that a lion had tried to capture a man from his camp a short distance away and had failed. So, the lion killed a donkey and was busy eating it. The Superintendent of police had left Patterson a heavy rifle, so he grabbed it, and ran off with the man. After a patient stalk, Patterson and this man were nearly on to the lion. But the man stepped on a rotten stick, which broke with a snap. The lion was scared off into a thicket.
Patterson then rounded up his remaining Coolies, and instructed them to bring along things with which to make noise. They surrounded the thicket. Patterson then stood near an animal trail coming out of the thicket. On his signal, the Coolies advanced, making all sorts of racket. It was then that Colonel Patterson actually saw one of the maneaters for the first time—a huge maneless male. He lifted his weapon, a Martini-Enfield chambered in .303 caliber, to fire. Click! The twin-barreled rifle had misfired! Intimidated by the noise, the lion jumped past Patterson and started to run off. Suddenly remembering he had another shot in his rifle, Patterson fired. He managed to hit the lion in the back, but it got away.

Dismayed, Colonel Patterson went back and looked at the donkey. The lion had just begun it's meal on the hindquarters. A nice donkey like this would be too good a meal to abandon. The lion might return to finish his meal.
Then, Patterson had an inspiration. Taking 4 poles, and a plank of wood, he constructed a platform close to the donkey carcass. This platform, called a machan, would serve as an artifical "tree" from which to hunt the lion—there were no nearby trees to sit in. He lashed the donkey carcass to a nearby tree stump with wire, so it couldn't be dragged off. Normally, Colonel Patterson, an experienced big game hunter, would stand vigil with his gun-bearer, but tonight the gun-bearer was sick. So, Patterson began that night's vigil alone.
It wasn't long before Patterson heard a twig snap and a sigh of hunger. The lion had indeed returned! But, as he watched, he determined the lion had detected him. Now, the lion was stalking Colonel Patterson! For two hours, it circled the rickety platform. All the lion would have to do was knock out a pole or jump at the platform to dislodge Patterson. Instant easy meal! The whole situation made Patterson's flesh crawl.

Suddenly, something hit Patterson on the head! It turned out to be a large owl that had confused him for a tree branch. He quickly recovered his wits. Below, the lion growled, and moved in for the kill! Very carefully, Patterson raised his rifle, this time a .303 Lee Enfield, and fired. There was an angry growl, and the lion began jumping around all over. Then it leapt into the bush. Patterson fired away into the brush. The growls continued, but were growing weaker. They finally ceased altogether. One of the maneaters was finally dead!
Word quickly spread to the camps, and a wild celebration ensued. The next morning, the body of the lion was recovered. He was a maneless male, 9 feet 8 inches long from tip of nose to tip of tail. The lion had taken two shots—one in the shoulder penetrating the heart (probably the first shot), and another in one of the hind legs. It took 8 men to carry it to camp, and soon it was in the skinning shed.
The Death of the Second Tsavo Maneater
There was peace for a few days. Then, a railroad Inspector in the Tsavo camp was paid a visit one night by a lion outside his house. Thinking it was just a drunken Coolie, he ignored it and didn't open the door. Robbed of a human for dinner, the lion made a quick meal of two of the Inspector's goats.
The next night, Colonel Patterson camped out in a shanty close to the Inspector's home. He tied three full-grown goats to a 250 pound piece of railroad rail. He then entered the shanty, and watched and waited. Just before dawn, the lion came. He killed one of the goats and began to carry it off...along with the railroad rail and the other two still-live goats. Patterson fired, but only managed to kill one of the goats!
When morning came, it was not hard to follow the trail of the goats and the railroad rail. The lion was quickly found, still feasting on goat-meat. Upon being discovered, the lion charged Patterson and the men that were with him. Luckily, the lion was more concerned with getting away than with attacking, so he ran right by Patterson and another man, escaping into the bushes. From there, the lion slunk away, and could not be tracked.

Colonel Patterson had a strong platform erected near the goat carcasses. That night, he and his gun-bearer took turns watching from the platform. The lion did indeed return, and Patterson was able to get two shots into the lion's shoulder. Unfortunately, the lion got away. Some more shots were fired into the bushes, but nothing more happened.

The next morning, the blood trail was easily spotted and followed. However, it soon grew faint and disappeared altogether. 10 days passed without any further incident. Everybody hoped the lion had gone into the bush and quietly died. Nevertheless, no one lowered their guard.

This turned out to be a good thing, for on the evening of December 27, the lion was discovered trying to get at a man sleeping in a tree close to Colonel Patterson's boma. Because the night was so dark, nothing could be done but fire some warning shots. The next day, an inspection revealed the lion had explored all of the tents in the camp (which were empty because most of the workers had fled), and had stalked the man in the tree at length.
The next night, Colonel Patterson and his gun-bearer took up a position in the same tree. (Patterson was almost bitten by a poisonous snake in the process!) He took turns standing watch with his gun-bearer. At 2 AM, Patterson handed the watch over to his gun bearer, and dozed off. An hour later, he suddenly woke up, sensing something was wrong. At first, nothing was seen, but eventually, the man-eater came into view, patiently stalking them! With great fascination, the two men watched the lion stalk them, taking advantage of every bit of the sparse cover in their vicinity. Just as patiently, Patterson readied his .303 Lee Enfield rifle. When the lion was 20 yards away, he fired. It was a hit, but it failed to knock down the lion. The now-angry lion ran off, growling fiercely. Three more shots were fired, one of which also hit him.

The next morning, Colonel Patterson, his gun-bearer and a native tracker set off after the lion. The bloody trail was easy to follow. About a quarter mile away, they found him. He was hiding in the grass, glaring at the men with bared teeth.
Patterson aimed carefully, and took a shot. The lion then charged him with all the muster it had left. Another shot knocked him over, but he got up and continued his charge. A third shot had no effect. Patterson reached for another rifle, only to discover his gun-bearer had abandoned him to the safety of a tree. Patterson had no choice but to follow suit. If one of the shots hadn't broken one of the lion's hind legs, Patterson never would have made it. Once in the tree, the Colonel grabbed a carbine from his gun-bearer and shot the lion once more. It collapsed.

Rather foolishly, Patterson quickly climbed down. To his complete surprise, the lion charged again! A shot in the chest and another in the head finally did the brute in. Even so, the lion bit savagely at a branch until the last bit of life drained out of him.

Colonel Patterson had all he could do to prevent the dead lion from being torn apart by the workers. He had it carried to his nearby boma for examination. This lion (also a maneless male) had taken at least six shots. There was also a slug buried not far into the flesh of the back. This was the slug from the shot fired 10 days before. In any case, this lion measured 9 feet, 6 inches from tip of nose to tip of tail. Soon, this lion took it's turn in the skinning shed.

Just like a fairy tale, this story has a happy ending. The workers returned, the bridge was finished, and the railhead reached what would soon be Nairobi. On January 30, 1899, the workers presented a silver bowl to Colonel Patterson in return for the bravery he had shown in relentlessly hunting down the maneaters.
The day after the bridge was complete, and all of the temporary rigging removed, a torrential downpour washed away both of the trolley bridges that had been constructed to move the stone from the quarry to the bridge!

Colonel Patterson left East Africa in late 1899. He returned in 1906 and spent several years there as Chief Game Warden in Kenya. It was during this time that he wrote The Man-Eaters of Tsavo. The book was published, and became immensely popular. He later served with the British Army in World War I. He published four books and lectured widely on his adventures.

After speaking at The Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago, Illinois in 1924, Patterson sold the museum the lion skins and skulls for the then-sizeable sum of $5,000. After two-and-a-half decades as Patterson's floor rugs, the skins arrived in less-than-perfect condition—in real life the lions were even larger than they appear as taxidermy mounts. The skins were also blemished by gunshot wounds and thorn scratches. Museum taxidermist Julius Friesser did an extraordinary job creating the life-like mounts, which were first put on display in 1928. They have been on permanent display along with the original skulls ever since.

Although both of these lions are male, neither has much of a mane. Lion manes vary from place to place in color and thickness; Tsavo-area lions are often maneless. This may be a "family trait" common in the area—although it is not known if these two lions were closely related.