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Monday, September 24, 2007

The Controversy Of The Man Eaters Of Tsavo


Nothing yet has had a bigger impact on East Africa than the impact of what was then called the Uganda Railway which cut into the interior (through what is today Kenya) and ended up in present day Uganda.

But what has for a long time fascinated Kenyans, East Africans and historianms the world over is the chilling account of the lions of Tsavo that developed a taste for human flesh and caused scores of deaths in 1898.

In that year as the story goes, as the railway was being built in that part of what is now the Tsavo national park, two lions notorious for eating humans caused havoc and almost brought work on the railway to a halt.

Amazingly the lions behaved very strangely and not like any other lions then and to date. The would enter a health center (attracted by the scent of human blood and drug out a live human being whom they would promptly kill and feast on. The lions were also known to drag humans from inside tents.

Lions are by nature very intelligent animals but are not known to hunt humans, which is exactly what the two famous Tsavo lions would do.

Locals and the coolies from India swore that the beasts were not lions but evil spirits angry at the railway line being built across that particular area and now hungry for human blood. This seems to have been confirmed by some Maasai warriors hired to take care of “the problem” who left after a few encounters with the lions. They confidently passed the verdict that those were NOT lions but evil spirits that took the form of animals. This scared those working on the railway line even more because the Masai had a long tradition of hunting down and killing lions and so if they were unable to deal with these “lions” then surely they were not lions.

To this day experts have not been able to explain the lion’s...

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Anonymous said...

Chris, " Nothing yet has had a bigger impact on East Africa than the impact of what was then called the Uganda Railway which cut into the interior (through what is today Kenya) and ended up in present day Uganda."

can u really say this had a big impact on East Africans other than the precious waters of Lake Victoria ? U do know that we have Egyptian officials monitoring the water levels in all countries that Lake Victoria touches

kenyaone said...

thanks chris for some diversity. Incidentally when am being a 'couch potato' on the national geographics channel theres some interesting info. The reason its assumed that lions becoma man eaters is a defective gene. this leads to brittle teeth. teeth get damaged and cause the animals alot of pain. they can no longer hunt their natural prey and find humans easier to kill. the gene defect can be noticed by the absence of a mane. both the man eaters of tsavo were maneless males. Incidentally in tanania recently there were notorious maneaters around the rufigi delta that killed over 100 people. As it says on their website: 'The anxiety among these villagers is completely understandable. Not only have lion attacks on people increased dramatically in the past 15 years in Tanzania—with more than 800 incidents resulting in 563 deaths and at least 308 injuries during that time—but almost half of those cases occurred in six coastal districts here in the south. Worse, the district we're in now, Lindi, holds the notorious distinction of being ground zero for Africa's man-eating lion problem. From 2001 to 2004, at least three different outbreaks occurred at the same time in Lindi, meaning three separate roving groups of lions terrorized the district at once. The mayhem left 113 people dead and 52 others severely mauled. After a lull in attacks in 2005, lions are once again engaging in the kind of ominous behavior that residents here remember all too well'. more on

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Take care as u begin your career in f*****ing
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