Saturday, September 08, 2007


Saw a show on the subject of 'maneaters', specifically about lions. The first segment was about a lion in the Rufiji River area in Tanzania the locals named Osama. Killed and ate 50 people in the area before a game ranger was able to put him down. This was in 2002, in an area alive with game of all kinds; it's just that, as one researcher put it, "We're so much easier to kill than buffalo and zebra."

Two things about this: one is that, when they put those numbers down, I always wonder how many might not be known of. Jim Corbett, who hunted a bunch of man-eating tigers and leopards in India, knew of many kills by some of them than were not on the 'official' list for various reasons. Last I heard the average daily kills of people by crocodiles in Africa, Asia and Australia runs about ten. Again, that we know of. There's an official number of people killed by sharks each year, but if some swimmer or fisherman just disappears...

Second, they interviewed the ranger who put paid to Osama, by setting up in the high grass around the last two victims- both killed in the same night- to catch him when he came back to feed on what was left. Pictures of Osama showed two holes in his forehead: one to put him down, and one to make sure. The rifle the ranger uses?

#4 Mk1 Enfield, with the forend cut back. Good things still work.

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