Tsavo Lions Size?

A recent study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences has shown that the two man-killing lions of Tsavo very likely did not kill and eat as many people as claimed. Looking at hair and bone samples from the pair of male lions, now resting in the Chicago Field Museum, researchers were able to determine that the Tsavo lions likely killed and ate approximately 35 people, not 135 as claimed by Lieutenant Colonel John H. Patterson.
How big were these Tsavo Lions, what was their size?
Were they huge?

asked by Frederick in Other - Pets & Animals | 6862 views | 11-02-2009 at 10:52 PM

The Tsavo maneaters were a pair of notorious man-eating lions responsible for the deaths of a number of construction workers on the Kenya-Uganda Railway, from March through December 1898.
There was a movie about this.
Nobody knows their exact size, but they were enormous, very big lions.

In March 1898, during the building of the Kenya-Uganda Railway, Engr. Lt. Col. John Henry Patterson led the construction of a railway bridge over the Tsavo River in Kenya. During the construction period, many Indian railway workers were killed by two maneless male lions (Tsavo lions), which dragged men from their tents at night and devoured them. The workers built bomas (thorn fences) around their camp to keep the maneaters out; but the maneaters were able to crawl through. Patterson set traps and tried several times to ambush the lions at night from a tree. After repeated unsuccessful endeavors, he finally shot the first lion on 9 December, 1898. Three weeks later, the second beast was found and killed. By that point, the maneaters had supposedly killed 135 workers. According to Patterson's calculations, though, railway records only recorded 28 deaths; Patterson, however, later said that 28 Indians were killed, as well as a large number of native Africans, so that the total number is closer to 135. A number of these deaths were unrecorded locals. Newer evidence suggests a much lower number of 35 and that Patterson had exaggerated his claims.

After two-and-a-half decades as Patterson's floor rugs, the lions' skins were sold to the Chicago Field Museum in 1924 for a sum of $5,000 US. The lions arrived at the museum in very poor condition. The lions were then reconstructed and are now on permanent display along with the original skulls. The mounted lions are smaller than the monstrous measurements Patterson reported, whether because he exaggerated their size in the field or because they had been trimmed to serve as trophy rugs in Patterson’s home.

answered by Randy | 11-02-2009 at 10:55 PM

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