Tsavo National Park Lions

TSAVO NATIONAL PARK LIONS

Tsavo National Park Lions  : Tsavo Man-Eaters were a pair of man-eating male lions in the Tsavo regions, which were responsible for the deaths of dozens of construction workers on the Kenya-Uganda Railway between March and December 1898.They are notable for unusual behaviour of killing men and the manner of their attacks they were estimate as 135 people hundreds of men fell victims to these savage creatures, whose very jaws stepped in blood. This ended in December when the British officer called Ly.Col.John Henry Patterson killed both the beasts.

Lions are perhaps the world’s most notorious in Tsavo national park, their ancestors were vilified more than 100 years ago as the man-eaters of Tsavo, a vast swath of Kenya savannah around the Tsavo River, Bruce Patterson has been the past decade studying lions in the Tsavo region, on such forays Patterson has come to better understand the Tsavo lions. Their prides, with up to 10 females and just 1 male, are smaller than Serengeti lions pride, which have up to 20 females and 2 more males. In Tsavo, male lions do not share power with their other males.

Tsavo males look different as well. The most vigorous Serengeti males sport large dark manes, while in Tsavo they have short, thin manes or none at all, It’s all about water, Patterson says, Tsavo is hotter and drier than the Serengeti, and amale with a heavy mane ‘’would squander his daily water allowance simply panting under a bush, with none to spare for patrolling his territory, hunting or finding mates’’. But it’s the lion’s reputation for preying on people that attracts attention. For centuries Arab slave caravans passed through Tsavo on the way to Mombasa, said Samuel Kasiki, deputy director of Biodiversity Research and Monitoring with the Kenya Wildlife Service, that the death rate was high; it was a bad area for sleeping sickness from the tsetse fly; and the bodies of slaves who died or were dying were left where they dropped. So the lions may have gotten their tast for human flesh by eating the corpses.

Tsavo National Park Lions
Tsavo National Park Lions

Lieutenant Colonel Henry Patterson shot the lions (a 1996 movie, The Ghost and the Darkness, dramatized the story) and sold their bodies for USD 5,000 to the Field museum in Chicago, were stuffed they greet visitors up to date, Bruce Patterson, a zoologist with the museum, continues to study those animals the lions. Chemical tests of hair samples recently confirmed that the lions had eaten human flesh in the months before they were killed. Patterson and his colleagues estimate that one lion ate 10 people, and the other about 24-far fewer than the legendary 135 victims, but still horrifying.

Still, today’s lions are not innately more bloodthirsty than other lions, Patterson says; they attack people for the same reason their forebears did a century ago, our encroachment into what was once the territory of lions. Injured lions are especially dangerous. One of the original man-eaters has severe dental disease that would have made him a poor hunter, Patterson found, such lions may learn to attack people rather than game, he says,’’ because we were are slower, weaker and more defenceless’’.

The original story was that those lions were desperate and eating anything they could, even crunching on bones, said Larisa De Santis of Vanderlit University in Tennessee. Seemingly supporting this narrative, Tsavo was going through a drought and a rinderpest epidemic at the time, and Colonel Patterson himself described the lions chomping into the bones of their victims.

An alternative argument indicates that the first lion had severely damaged tooth that would have compromised its ability to kill natural prey. This theory has been generally disregarded by the general public and Colonel Patterson, who killed the lions, personally disclaimed it, saying that he damaged that tooth with his rifle while the lions charged him one night, promoting it to flee.

Tsavo National Park Lions
Tsavo National Park Lions

Studies indicate the lions ate humans as a supplement to other food, not as a last resort, eating humans was probably an alternative to hunting or scavenging caused by dental disease and /or a limited number of prey. In a 2017 study carried out by the team of Dr. Bruce Patterson found that one of the lions had an infection at the root of his canine tooth, which made it hard for the lion to hunt. Lions normally use their jaws to grab prey like zebras and wildebeests and suffocate them. There were two reasons to why the lions hunted humans; that was the lions lacked prey because of the cattle plague and plus an unusually influx of new food exposed humans along the railway.

Currently Tsavo national park is one of the largest game reserves, providing undeveloped wilderness homes to vast numbers of animals, famous are the Tsavo lions, a population whose adult males often lack manes entirely, in total there are about 675 lions in the Amboseli-Tsavo ecosystem. The diet of the lions mostly consists almost entirely of grazing animals such as the zebra, waterbuck, buffalo and among small species of animals in the Tsavo national park.

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