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The Lions of Tsavo: Exploring the Legacy of Africa's Notorious Man-Eaters by [Patterson, Bruce]
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The Lions of Tsavo: Exploring the Legacy of Africa's Notorious Man-Eaters Kindle Edition

4.0 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Length: 324 pages

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Product Description

From the Publisher

  • Paterson is the authority on the maneless lions of Tsavo
  • Each year, more than 300,000 visitors come to the Field Museum to see the stuffed Tsavo lions which are on exhibit there. It is their most popular exhibit second only to Sue the dinosaur.
  • From the Back Cover

    "Deftly written . . . Patterson's book must now be considered the definitive Tsavo lion study. Patterson's research at Chicago's Field Museum and Tsavo National Park--the most important wildlife preserve in East Africa--have established him as one of the world's leading experts on lions as well as an important conservationist."--Publishers Weekly

    "It was a great relief to find this wonderfully thorough, scientific, and hugely accurate tome . . . the thrill of so many new details (and newly found photos) put together in historical (Darwinian) biological and ecological perspective. Not a stone is left unturned in this cunning cat and mouse game (on a big scale) where the hunter is the hunted and the jungle beast appears like a ghost at night to kill."--Peter Beard, Photographer, Naturalist, and Author of The End of the Game

    "Through tenacious research and in elegant words, Bruce Patterson has demystified one of Africa's most celebrated tales of derring-do. Thanks to the spirited curiosity of this 21st Century researcher and his team, history can, at last, be told, and the lion can take its place, in a fashion, as king of the beasts. Even man-eaters, we may conclude, are worthy of our admiration."--John Heminway, filmmaker, producer, and Author of Yonder: A Place in Montana

    "The man-eating lions of Tsavo are but two of more than 22 million specimens in the Field Museum's collections. Each has stories to tell. Like the Tsavo lions, each can speak to evolutionary origins, growth and development, ecology, functional morphology, and behavior. Patterson's account criss-crosses these now-disparate fields, recalling a time when all were unified as 'natural history."'--John W. McCarter, Jr., President and CEO, The Field Museum

    A little over a century ago, at the height of European colonial expansion in Africa, the British undertook to "tame the wilderness" with a trans-Kenya railroad from Mombasa on the Indian Ocean to Lake Victoria. One hundred and thirty miles in, at what is now the Tsavo National Park, one of the world's largest wildlife preserves, nature struck back in the form of two male lions, which began to systematically hunt, kill, and devour railroad workers. The rampage lasted for more than nine months and is thought to have claimed the lives of 135 people. More lives would have been lost if not for Colonel John H. Patterson, a civil engineer tasked with building a bridge across the Tsavo River who, after an arduous 9-month hunt, killed the lions, earning the title of "liberator" among his crews and international acclaim as a sportsman.

    The story of the Tsavo man-eaters has captivated the public's imagination for more than a century while giving rise to considerable scientific debate. What compelled those lions to prey on human beings--was it a matter of necessity, self-defense, or simply one of opportunity? And why are the lions indigenous to this region maneless? Is there something about maneless lions that makes them especially prone to becoming man-eaters, or is human predation by lions more common than we have been led to believe? What can the events of 1898 teach us about the extraordinary Tsavo lions and about lions in general?

    In an effort to answer these questions, Bruce Patterson, principal investigator of the Tsavo Research Program and curator at the Field Museum, where the Tsavo man-eaters are on exhibit, has conducted extensive field research throughout the region. Now, in The Lions of Tsavo, he shares his findings. Working from original accounts, he retells the harrowing story of those bloody nights in Kenya. In a balanced discussion of competing alternatives, he presents forensic evidence that the man-eating behavior exhibited in 1898 was likely due to pathology, but argues that most man-eaters and stock-raiders today result from human encroachment on wild habitats.

    In attempting to solve the century-old mystery of the Tsavo rampages, Patterson goes beyond the "Reign of Terror" of 1898 to offer a fascinating natural history of Panthera leo. A leading expert on lions and their ecology, he shares much about the evolutionary biology, anatomy and physiology, social behavior, mating patterns, and hunting strategies of the king of predators. And in the process, he comes to the somewhat disconcerting conclusion that, for lions, once they have tasted human flesh, "man-eating very quickly becomes a habit, a routine, a way-of-life."

    Product details

    • Format: Kindle Edition
    • File Size: 1181 KB
    • Print Length: 324 pages
    • Simultaneous Device Usage: Up to 4 simultaneous devices, per publisher limits
    • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Education; 1 edition (12 Feb. 2004)
    • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
    • Language: English
    • ASIN: B003TXT99I
    • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
    • X-Ray:
    • Word Wise: Not Enabled
    • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
    • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews
    • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #647,888 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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    Customer Reviews

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    Top Customer Reviews

    Format: Hardcover
    This book is written by Bruce Patterson, NO RELATION to Colonel JH Patterson, who wrote ' the man eaters of Tsavo'. In 1898, while building the 'Uganda Railways' , many indian workers were taken and eaten by 2 maneless lions of Tsavo. Bruce looks at this story and tries to find out as to why the lions of Tsavo were maneless and looks at investigating the whole story of man eating lions.
    He looks at the anatomy, biology, physiology and the chemistry of the man eaters.Patterson JH, himself explains his own adventures about this very interesting story, which was made into a movie called' the Devil and the Darkness'. Watch the DVD of this movie and enjoy the African countryside.
    When you visit Tsavo and take a picture of the Tsavo Railway bridge from the main road between Mombasa and Nairobi, you may say what was the fuss about! And when you do your game drives in East and West Tsavo, you may see these maneless lions even today.
    Read both books and enjoy the adventure and the terror caused by these lions. Ofcourse, the lions may have been used to eating humans after the arab caravans passing through these territories used to leave weak african slaves in the jungle. The hyaenas and the lions may have wellcomed the food and this could explain their man eating habit. The book looks at all theories and possiblities.
    But the man eaters were not just confined to Tsavo ?
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    Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
    I have a particular interest in this book since I am a veterinarian and have worked in various parts of Africa in the last 40 odd years. I enjoyed the book and I think it is obvious that it reflects a great deal of effort both academically and practically in the field over a number of years. As with any scientific paper, thesis or book, references are recorded systematically - and there are a lot! Bruce Patterson was very brave, some would say foolhardy, to attempt to write a book which was aimed simultaneously at the academic and the general reader. Many have tried to do just that and have failed. I don't think Patterson has succeeded either but he has given it a very good try. After correlating his own observations and those of many others, he comes to the conclusion that, though there are many ancillary reasons and circumstances for lions eating people, the main one is opportunity. I believe that Indian workers in northern India have come to a similar conclusion in regard to man eating tigers there, in contradistinction to the thoughts of Jim Corbett. While in Mocambique in the '60s a friend who was a big game hunter there, recalled how a game ranger was eaten by lion in Gorongoza National park after deciding to walk from the rest camp to the entrance gate after dark. The pride, I believe, was subsequently shot.
    The discussion on maned and maneless lions is very interesting but, for the general reader, could have been shortened greatly. Not many general readers have even a basic knowledge of genetics let alone a working knowledge sufficient to follow and question the propositions. It was wise and a nice touch to include the thoughts of F C Selous, that amazing hunter of the 19th and early 20th century.
    If you are interested in African wild life then, despite the more abstruse plunges into genetic drift and suchlike, I would definitely recommend this book.
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    Format: Hardcover
    Great book on a well documented topic. The author keeps up a good pace andpunchy approach to topics which in other similar books, drop intodisiteresting science text book speak. This is a well researchedinformative extension, of the subject that the account of the infamouslions of Pattersons original book first started and is brought up to datein extending the discussion right to modern times. Great read.
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