The Tsavo lions: The Legendary man-eaters

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The story of Tsavo lions, or popularly known as man-eating lions dates back to 1898. That is when the first incident occurred. At the time, workers from India worked on a railway in Tsavo, Kenya. In a period of 10 months, two lions killed up to 135 people.

Tsavo lions are a distinct variety of Masai lions. They live around the Tsavo river in Kenya. Male species are notable for the lack of mane and smooth pelt.

There are several hypotheses why male Tsavo lions do not have a mane. One if closely related to climate in the region where they live.

As for 2006, stats show there are 675 Tsavo lions around the river. There are total of 2,000 Tsavo lions in Kenya. They protected in Tsavo. However, there are reports that local population kills these lions.

The railway incident is not the only one. Bruce Patterson, who works as a Field Museum zoologist, spent years studying the lions and found out that the lions actually ate less people.

In 2017, he looked into their diet. He studied the clues found on the teeth of the lions, and called for dental microwear texture analysis. They found another lion that killed and ate six people in 1991. His analysis found out that Tsavo lions skipped the bones because of their own preference. Fleshy parts were much more attractive.

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