Nairobi had theaters, boasted of plays and moving pictures, hosted fancy dress balls, teas, dinners, and most other elements of a modern, civilized town. But just on the other side of that city was wild Africa, and once in a while it encroached on the residents. Still, most tragic incidents occurred when people entered the wild animals’ turf. Some of these were hunting accidents such as the following example from the May 15, 1920 issue of Standard of East Africa, weekly edition.
A Greek man was hunting big game and shot a lion in the shoulder. The wounded lion went into the tall grass, disappearing from sight. Any hunter will inform you that wounded animals are more dangerous than the non-wounded one. They are in pain, they are fighting for their life, and often the hunter is now entering their fight or flight space, forcing a reaction. That’s why the next part of the article is most curious.
According to the paper, the hunter handed his rifle on to his gun bearer and went into the grass after the lion. One can assume that he thought he’d killed the animal. Perhaps the hunter carried a side arm and felt safe. Whatever his motive, it proved a fatal error in judgment. As soon as he walked into the grass, the lion pounced on him and shredded him from the shoulders to the legs. The article says the man had to lie there for 20 hours before medical help could arrive.
The remainder of the article is faint, the microfilm copy partly unreadable. We can see the man was picked up by “Guard” and taken to Naivasha where he “expired.” The phrase “blood poisoning” is also visible. Nothing is said of the lion, whether it expired or escaped after mortally wounding the hunter.
Next week: DANGERS OF BIG GAME PART 2
My apologies for not posting these on a regular weekly basis. As I said at the start, the blog will have clockwork regularity, but it’s a clock in need of a stimulant. I will do my best to get at least 3 articles a month on line at least. Please keep on reading and let me know by a posting what you think or any particular topics you’d like to hear about.
Labels: hunter, Lioness, Nairobi