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The Tsavo Man-Eaters

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posted on Mar, 30 2012 @ 03:43 PM
They are perhaps the world’s most notorious wild lions. Their ancestors were vilified more than 100 years ago as the man-eaters of Tsavo, a vast swath of Kenya savanna around the Tsavo River.

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So I was watching a movie today The Ghost and The Darkness, a movie I have seen serveral times in the past and never realized it was based on actualy events that happened on the Tsavo River in Kenya in 1898.

In March 1898 the British started building a railway bridge over the Tsavo River in Kenya. The project was led by Lt. Col. John Henry Patterson. During the next nine months of construction, two maneless male Tsavo lions stalked the campsite, dragging Indian workers from their tents at night and devouring them.

The exact number of people killed by the lions is unclear. Patterson gave several figures, claiming that there were 135 victims.[1][2]

The 135 victims is a very exaggerate number by Col. Patterson

The two lion specimens in Chicago's Field Museum are known as FMNH 23970 (killed on December 9, 1898) and FMNH 23969 (killed on December 29, 1898).

Scientists believe the real number to be around 35

This analysis estimated that FMNH 23969 ate the equivalent of 10.5 humans and that FMNH 23970 ate 24.2 humans [4] This leads to the conclusion that the lower number of 35 victims is more likely and that Patterson exaggerated his claims.[5]. It also adds credence to the infirmity theory that the root-tip abscess on the lower right canine of FMNH 23970 (the "first man-eater) triggered the man-eating episode.

posted on Mar, 30 2012 @ 04:04 PM
I loved that movie.
I did a little research into it after watching it once, and found that there are numbers out there ranging from a decent 20 killed to over 300 people that fell to them! Mind you, I subscribe to the idea that the number is much less than 300. I also found some pages from diaries of people who were there and the 2 lions seemed to display an eerie intelligence. Which led to the belief that they were possessed or never were lions at all.
Either way great story.

posted on Mar, 30 2012 @ 04:07 PM
Wander constantly into the path of a train, you are asking for it to hit you.

animals +1, humans - whatever is the number -?

posted on Mar, 30 2012 @ 09:09 PM
That is a great movie! Well worth watching!

A few years after I first saw the movie, I came across the book at a store and picked it up. Interesting read.

Ultimately, whenever humans begin to move in on territory occupied by large predators, humans drop down a bit in the food chain.

posted on May, 8 2012 @ 05:46 AM
The thing that struck me the most from that story was the reaction of the Masai warriors that came to kill them. These men are renowned lion hunters, and killing a lion is part of becoming a man. Certainly, they are experts in that area. These men, these lion-killing warriors, were afraid of those two. They said they weren't lions, but were demons. hence the movie title (and yes, GREAT film, if you can handle blood). I suspect the numbers killed were high. So many workers there, and the British would not necessarily document how many were killed. Definitely an interesting case. NOT normal behavior. I will tend to side with the experts that were on sight, over johnny-come-lately experts trying to debunk the story decades later. One of the best, and most chilling movies I have ever watched.

posted on Feb, 12 2013 @ 03:23 AM
reply to post by caf1550

The Tsavo man-eaters were brothers, they did have black manes.
Both the lions were killed and mounted they are being displayed in one of the worlds museums. In the lions den they found hundreds/thousands of human bones.
I do believe that African witchdoctors/shaamans/people with dark intents can indead cause an animal to become possessed to kill people by making a doll of the animal, i saw it on a programme on animal planet but i cant remember the name of it. The presenter of the show went to an african village were alot of people had been killed by hippo, a witchdoctor of that village believed that one of the villagers had caused the hippo to become possessed. so anyways, the witchdoctor entered what i call "the void" where they are neither in this world or the next and located one of the dolls, it was buried and the presenter was given the task of digging it up. He was convinced that the doll had moved when he grabbed it, after the doll was found and taken care of hippos stopped killing the villagers.

edit on 2/12/2013 by NZkraw because: (no reason given)

edit on 2/12/2013 by NZkraw because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 12 2013 @ 08:11 AM
reply to post by Ark005

We also love that movie-and yes,it did almost seem to have a supernatural,component,the way those lions were portrayed.Btw,in case anyone knows,at the end of the movie,the lion killing the wife and child of the character played by Michael Douglas,was that also factual,or was it just added for dramatic purpose?

posted on Feb, 12 2013 @ 08:17 AM
reply to post by LadyGreenEyes

You're right,the Masai are not easily intimidated by lions.I saw this in a doccy once,propably on NatGeo or Animal Planet:Two Masai warriors with spears walking at a brisk pace towards where 2/3 lions were laying in the grass-and the lions left the scene rather hastily on seeing the Masai approach.That impressed the hell out of me
A very chilling movie,and a dreadful time for those poor people.


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