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Lions and Man eaters

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Lions and Man eaters

The first time I knew about lions was when I was growing up and I saw a movie called born free acted in Kenya; It was about a Lioness called Elsa, Elsa and her two sisters “Bigone” and “Lustica” were orphaned on First February 1956. Her mother (lioness) was shot by a game warden George Adamson and Joy Adamson, the lioness had charged to the game warden, after he shot her mother, he adapted the cubs and raised them.

Lions are the largest cats on earth and live in pride, each pride has one lion with many lionesses, sometimes there can be a coalition of more than one lion. Lionesses can live without the help of a lion, the pride is controlled by lionesses, they collaborate in hunting and raising the cubs if one of the lionesses is dead other lionesses will hunt and share their meat with her, the cubs can also suck milk from other lionesses around,  because of their social behavior lions are the most social big cats in Africa, the lioness is good when it comes to hunting, lions hunt mostly in the morning and evening,  they can spend about 18 hours sleeping,  don’t want to spend wasting a lot of energy during the day.  A mature lioness will be on heat for two days most of the time she is the one that initiates the mating, once the eggs are fertilized the lions will take one hundred and ten days before she perpetuates, she will not mate again for a year.

During the annual Masai Mara wildebeest migrations, they will prey on Zebras because they love their meat so much.   Sometimes due to human-wildlife conflict, there are cases that lions eat human beings.

Cub of a lion eating a carcass of a zebra
Re constructed remains of the Man eaters of Tsavo in Chicago field Museum

Where did Man eaters happen?

In 1898 lions had eaten about 135 railway construction workers in the man-eaters of Tsavo historic site. Africans who lived in the area (Wadawida tribe also called Taita, refused to build the railway because they feared that the British will take the land. An African prophet had prophesied that some foreigners will come passing their land from the coast Indian Ocean to Lake Victoria and they will take their land.   The tribes had also seen slave trade in the area and they did not want any interactions with foreigners.

Why were local people not eaten by lions?

When the British arrived in the area Tsavo Area, the communities didn’t collaborate with the British government.    The  British government had to bring skilled workers from India who did not know the environment and tactics to keep animals away from their homes.

Acacia tree

The Taita people use thorn trees from acacia trees growing in the area to protect their homestead from predators, in a well-secured homestead a lion can’t jump over an acacia tree fence, the Indians did not know to protect their camps with thorny trees,  Some of the lions in that area had been addicted to eating human flesh because slave traders used to drop the sickly and weak slaves to die in the wilderness during the slave trade, the Kenya Uganda Railways was used constructed along the slave route that passed through the Tsavo National Park.  Lions are skilled hunters, they can stock prey for hours or even days before they make a kill, they just not kill anyone animal they find, lions know how to target and aim at prey. Lions kill by suffocating the throat, breaking the neck, and sucking blood from the prey,  Mostly lions will attack the throat and suck the blood before they eat the fresh meat.

The coalition of two maneless lions in Tsavo West national park attacked the railway workers at the Tsavo River, these two lions would come in the night and attacked a suspicious person each night and killing the person.

Who killed the two Man eaters lions?

A British administrator Col Pettersen had been brought to supervise the construction of the railways in the Tsavo river and the Tsavo Bridge did not believe that lions could be killing people in the area. He did not believe it until he saw one of his workers who was killed by the lions. The railway construction was stopped for nine months.

When were the two man-eaters killed

On 12 December 1898 Col. Petersen used bait and killed one of the lions at night, he tracked the other lions and killed it two weeks later.

A total of 135 Indians had been killed by the two lions.

Later it was discovered that the lions used to take the victims one and a half meters to the cave near the Tsavo river.

On your way to Man eaters from Voi along the Mombasa – Nairobi highway, you will see very many baboons in a place called Manyani (baboon).

Baboons in Tsavo West National Park

Also, you will see very many zebras browsing along the Mombasa – Nairobi highway

The houses which Col Petersen had been living are there, Many people all over the world go to see for themselves the historic site in Tsavo West National Park.

Visiting this park, you will be accompanied by a warden from the Kenya wildlife service.

If you would like to book for this safari talk to us today.

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Big five

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The African continent is the home of much wildlife, it is a beautiful continent and many take a long journey to come to Africa to see many of this wildlife, there are five animals which many people love to see because they are unique animals, in shape, the size they are aggressiveness and very intelligence, most of this wildlife are in danger day by day and they need to be protected by all people.

African elephants or Loxodonta africana

Red dust elephants in Tsavo East National Park in Kenya

2013 asI was traveling from Voi to Mombasa town along the Mombasa Nairobi highway I was privileged to see the largest mammal on land, it was somewhere near a place to stay in Tsavo East National Park, Ngutini Lodge, these beast were brown in color and were eating some grass, all the passengers in the Matatu turned to look through the windows of the van to see the red dust elephants, It was the first time I had seen an elephant; I was surprised to see that they were red in color because   the ones I had seen in pictures were black

In Twenty fifteen I was living in a remote place in Taita Taveta County in a village called Kishushe, it was on December holidays and many farmers about to harvest the maize in their farms, My brother called Me to see the huge elephants that were browsing in the farm at night, It was the first time I saw the Matriarch.

A matriarch who had twins in Amboseli, unfortunately twins dies

After one year or two, the Matriarch will lead other elephants to the same route.  Elephants are animals that can remember for a long time, they live in a family which is lead by a matriarch,  An elephant when gets pregnant it takes about two years before they give birth, at the time of birth calf weighs about 90 kilograms.

An African elephants with her cub in Amboseli National Park, Kenya

In Kenya, the population of elephants is estimated to be thirty-four thousand. The number of elephants had reduced very much in the late ’90s which made the Kenyan government intervene, many animals were poached and thousands of elephants died.  Eleven tones of ivory were burned by the Second president of Kenya in 1989 and he also decreed a shoot-to-kill order to anyone found poaching wildlife in the only national Park found in a city, the Nairobi national park l which is also home to some endangered black rhinos. The adult elephants weigh about 1.8 tons to 6.3 tones, a female may weigh between 2.7 tons to 3.6 tones, and they can consume about 13630 kilograms and about 210 liters per day.  They do not see very well during the day but can smell items at very far distances.

Bull elephant (5th leg of an elephant)

Elephants are very intelligent mammal; they can differentiate between a motorbike and bicycle when motorbike revolution came to Kenya in around 2008, elephants were not afraid of people riding on bicycles because are harmless, but they were afraid of motorbikes when it makes the vroom noise.

Sometimes along the Nairobi – Mombasa highway in one of the wildlife corridors, you might see many elephants distracting small vehicles, you won’t see them distract large trucks from the port of Mombasa.

Lions or Panthera leo

The first time I knew about lions was when I was growing up and I saw a movie called Elsa acted in South Africa; it was an orphaned cub that a farmer had kept after she had killed her mother. It lived with humans until he had to train it and release her to the wild.

 They are the largest cats on earth and live in a pride, each pride has one male and many females, and the lioness is the most dangerous when it comes to hunting, lions hunt mostly in the morning and evening because they don’t want to spend wasting a lot of energy during the day.  A mature lioness will be on heat for two days most of the time she is the one that initiates the mating, once the eggs are fertilized the lions will take one hundred and ten days before she perpetuates, she will not mate again for a year. During the annual Masai Mara wildebeest migrations safari, they will go for Zebras because they love their meat so much.  

Two lionesses with cubs

Do lions eat human beings? Man-eaters of Tsavo West

Lions also eat human beings In 1898 lions had eaten about 135 railway construction workers in the man-eaters historic site, the victims were carried to a cave about 1.5 kilometers from the Campsite, Colonel Petersen used a bait (zebra) to kill the two man-eating lions in Kenya If you are in Tsavo East National Park or Tsavo West National Park you can stay at the man-eaters camp near the man-eaters historic site.  A similar incident happened in Mfuwe in Zambia, the lion killed six villagers in 1990, there are two types of lions, the maneless lions, and the common lions, the maneless lions are found in the Tsavo East National Park.

Leopards or Panthera pardus

They love to stay on trees and only come to the ground to hunt, they are very fierce and very angry animals, they are not like lions when they are hunting, some people compare them with tiger sharks in the Indian ocean because of the way they attack other animals, they can kill ten animals yet they can eat only one, the rangers always say that it is very dangerous to meet a Leopard than to meet a charged buffalo, male and female also have territories, however, the territory of a male leopard will be larger than the female. The cubs are born with the ears and eyes closed.

A cub of a leopard

During the construction of the standard gauge railway in Kenya, a terrible incident happened in Kenya in Tsavo West National park, near man-eaters, railway construction workers from the china roads and bridges that were constructing the new standard gauge railway, cut down a very large tree during the day when they tried to clear some bushes using the bulldozers.

Unfortunately, the leopard had her cubs on the trees; the felling of the tree killed the two cubs during the day. Later that night a guard was positioned to look after the bulldozer that night.   During the night he came out of the bulldozer for a call of nature. 

The leopard seeing him jumped to him and killed him, other workers only heard him screaming, they took him to the nearest hospital in Voi, unfortunately, he succumbed to death.

Buffalos or Bubalus bubalis

African buffalo in Tsavo East National park

It was in twenty eleven when I and my friends visited Haller Park in Mombasa city in Kenya, Haller Park is found in Bamburi near Nyali, it abandoned quarry a mining company had mined limestone.   This was the first time I saw a buffalo, A buffalo is a large black mammal that looks like a cow, it is actually bigger than the largest cow in the world.   The horns are about one and a half meters long; the legs are very huge and strong.

Visitors at Haller Park in Mombasa,Kenya

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