Friday, July 23, 2010

The Tsavo Lions

I’ve been glued to the TV screen this past 2 hrs. watching the movie: The Ghost and the Darkness.
Plot: In 1898, the British started building a railway bridge over the Tsavo river in East Africa (Kenya-Uganda). Lt Col Patterson(Val Kilmer) is an Engineer employed to oversee the project. His arrival is unfortunately marked by the appearance of man-eating lions who terrorize the camp turning his construction workers into prey. It was up to Patterson and Remington (Michael Douglas) a Game hunter to kill the Lions and get the construction back on schedule.
Wow: My love for Val Kilmer has been renewed. This movie was ace! I’m so tired of human/zombie villains. Nature makes a great change. And those Lions were sneaky devils! There was also this believable undertone of voodoo which added more intrigue and anticipation. Just ace!
Comic: The max exodus of the railway workers after the attack at the camp clinic. Enough is enough, lol!
Ginger scores it: 7.7/10

Sh*t! the story is actually adapted from true life! The lions killed 135 workers between March 1898 and Dec 1898. Averaging 16/month. Damn that’s a lot of food for two lions or maybe not. I read a long time ago, that lions usually turn rogue (going near human settlements eating man/cows) if they are wounded hence unable to hunt normally. The chase and kill. So what could have gone wrong with this two? Did they turn to man cause the urbanization and clearing had destroyed their natural source? Wish there was a way we could find out.

I told y'all: Debate continues over why the Tsavo lions became man-eaters.
a)Some say that in the 1890s an outbreak of rinderpest disease killed millions of Zebra, gazelles and other wildlife. Lions had to look elsewhere for food and attacks on humans increased across the continent.
b)Forensic examination of the lion’s skulls shows that the ‘first man eater’ suffered an abscess of the lower right canine that would have prevented it from killing large vigorous prey. The 3000 railway workmen thus became an alternative. Thank you Wikipedia!
After 25 years as Patterson's floor rugs, the lions' skins were sold to the Field Museum of Natural History, Illinois, Chicago where their likeness was reconstructed using the skin and skull.

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