Los Angeles, California
December 27, 2004
Dominic set us straight on this mane misconception. He said the lions in and around Tsavo seem to be a local species of Panthera leo. In fact, he said there were two famous lions called the man-eaters of Tsavo, who killed many workers building a railroad bridge in the area.
On our next visit to the gift shop, we saw the book The Man-Eaters of Tsavo and bought it. We started reading this incredible story set in the late 1890s of the lions that ate over 100 workers, sometimes dragging them out of their tents as they slept at night. What a thing to wake up to! The workers even built very thick thorn fences around their camps, but the lions got through. Finally, the lions were shot by Colonel Patterson of the British Army, who was in charge of the building project.
The railroad bridge is not far from Salt Lick Lodge, and on our way back to Nairobi, Dominic drove us by there. We later found out from speaking to one of the guests at the Nairobi Hilton that the man-eaters are on display at the Field Museum in Chicago. If you look at the Field Museum’s website, there is a photo of Colonel Patterson sitting next to one of the dead lions. That lion is huge. See more information on The Field Museum.
From journal A Heavenly Kenyan Safari