The Man-Eaters of Tsavo, and Other East African Adventures

The Man-Eaters of Tsavo, and Other East African Adventures

by J H Patterson
3.8 17

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The Man-Eaters Of Tsavo And Other East African Adventures 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 17 reviews.
LisaDunckley More than 1 year ago
I have read many books about the reign of terror caused by the two lions of Tsavo, but this is the tale told by J. H. Patterson, THE guy who was there. Patterson was the character played by Val Kilmer in The Ghost and the Darkness, he was the a construction engineer (and later famous big game hunter). Patterson was hired to oversee the building of a railroad in Africa. While construction in Africa is never routine, this project became the buffet for two lions. There always were, and probably always will, be confrontations between lions or other predators, and humans in Africa. But this was different. These lions were deliberately hunting people to eat them, taking them in preference over any other prey. The lions later proved to be healthy, fit, strong adults—not injured or old lions who couldn't catch anything else and who were starving. Nope, these guys just liked to eat people. Another oddity was that it was two lions together who had this habit. Did they both independently develop the taste for man, and team up? Or were they perhaps brothers, who lost their mother and their entire pride, and ate man out of necessity until it became a habit? Scariest of all, there have been occasional reports of lionesses teaching their cubs to hunt man...did that happen here? The lions basically held them hostage for 9 months, effortlessly evading Patterson's attempts to hide up in a tree and wait for them. They seemed supernatural, they were so good at snatching a victim from the opposite of wherever they were expected to show up, and their timing and ability to work together contributed to this. Many natives felt that they were bad spirits who didn't want the railroad built. The book reads like adventure fiction, with close calls and terrifying escapes. Killing the lions becomes the number one focus for Patterson, more important than the railroad he's actually hired to build (understandably!). The matter-of-fact way that he describes the events makes them more chilling, and builds up to the edge-of-your-seat conclusion. There are other Africa adventures related in the book that are also exciting to read about (I'm just always the most intrigued by the lions!). Good book for anyone interested in true adventure stories, or lions, or Africa!
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