of Tsavo : Exploring
the Legacy of Africa's Notorious Man-Eaters
by Bruce D. Patterson
review by Ed Vincent
Mr. Patterson does a wonderful
job of researching and investigating just about every known case of lion
predation upon humans in Africa. This book alone is
worth one or two doctoral thesis's,
if the writer was
not already a Ph.d. The
notes and references are quite extensive and the groundwork both in books
and time on the actual soil of Africa is well represented in this fine
work of engaging writing.
I had read some of the earlier
books from the other
Patterson ( not related
to Bruce Patterson), Lt. Col. John Henry Patterson (1865-1947)
man who made the Lions of Tsavo famous, after killing them, writing his
memoirs of their horrific deeds, and selling their remains to Field Museum
In his book we find the many
other wild beasts of
Africa and India that have chosen
humans as meals, and some thoughtful explanations as to how and
The books reads well and clearly
to the reader of all backgrounds.
I remember in my youth that many felt wild animals only ate people when
they were in some way unable or injured in
a manner that prohibited their
eating wild game.
This book will tell you how that
is no longer a
popular belief among persons
in the know.
I had read years ago another
reason why it was thought lions might be eating humans and the reason was
merely that we tasted good. In Patterson's book he does note that
we taste sweeter than the other
great apes (reported
by a cannibal from Africa ) but does not tell us what we taste like.
Knowing numerous anthropologists you will soon learn that we taste like
pork. So the other white meat may in fact be humans as well as pork.
I am sorry if you are having BBQ tonight, to have mentioned that.
The book is well worth a good
read and you will have a better understanding of nature, man, disease,
and ecology in general.