New Evidence In The Long-Standing Mystery Of The Tsavo 'Man-Eater' Lions

CAustin

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Advocatus Diaboli

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I'm reading "Man eaters of Kumanon" by Jim Corbett right now. The book is about his adventures in India hunting several tigers and leopards that preyed on humans. (Excellent read by the way). He came to the same conclusion in 1944 as the article, explaining that these big cats could no longer hunt their normal prey (due to injury or disease) so they were forced to choose between starvation/death or eating something relatively easy to kill, man... a choice and outcome not foreign to our own species.
 

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Thanks for sharing, interesting read! I read the book when I was about 12 years old, and saw the movie also. I have the book, on my read pile, and it's next after I finish reading The Operator by Robert O'Neal.
 

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Thank you for posting the article.

It seems like I read an article or in a book that the reason the Tsavo Lions may have turned to man eating was they were conditioned to it. The article pointed out that much of the labor for building the railway was imported from India. The article stated that when a worker died they were more often than not left in the bush instead of being buried. This was believed to have taught the local carnivores that humans were an acceptable meal and that the transition from eating dead ones to hunting and killing live ones was the next logical step.

Just my 2 cents.
I read the same thing in Capsticks "Death in the Long Grass". The first chapter is about Patterson and these lions. Also mentions the Njombe maneaters. Capstick and Corbett both repeatedly claim that most (but not all) of the maneaters they were personally involved with were not sick or injured or old. They just figured out man was easier. A lot of the time they were conditioned by plagues or illness leaving a lot of dead people laying around the bush (or in this case dead railway workers not being buried) and figuring out the live ones weren't much harder to grab than the dead ones. Lets face it, without our knowledge of weapons, we aren't much trouble to African sized predators.
 

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