Through Jade's Eyes

This blog is about the fictional character, Jade del Cameron (www.suzannearruda.com), and the historical time period in which she lives.

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Location: www.suzannearruda.com, United States

I'm the author of the Jade del Cameron historical mystery series set in 1920's Africa. Lots of action, intrigue, mystery and a dash of romance. Follow me at www.twitter.com/SuzanneArruda *The audio link (view complete profile) is an interview by Baron Ron Herron (9/17/2009, Santa Barbara {CA} News-Press Radio, KZSB, AM 1290

Monday, March 19, 2007

DANGERS OF BIG GAME PART 2

There are a lot of dangerous animals in Africa, and most of them probably made the Nairobi newspapers at one time or another. The Leader of British East Africa, March 12, 1921, reported that a hunter in Tanzania was tracking down a wounded antelope when he discovered that his legs were pinned. To his horror, he was in the grips of a “huge python,” sixteen feet in length, which not only was constricting him, it had bit him in the arm and leg.

Luckily, this hunter regained his presence of mind and took to beating the head of “the brute” with his shotgun’s butt end. One the animal released its bite and pulled its head back, the hunter shot it eight times, killing it. The man retained both severe bruises and the python’s skin as souvenirs of this encounter.

Now one major adventure in the bush is one thing, but this man seemed to make a habit of it. According to the paper, this same man came face to face with a lion a few yards away the previous year. The hunter’s shotgun was only loaded with buck-shot, but he let fire at close range and nearly took the head off the lion.

Lion attacks feature most often in the papers, attacking and injuring both native Africans and colonists. Those tales involving the Maasai are some of the more exciting since they do not involve firearms. A few of them will be covered another time when we take a look at various tribes. But for drama and daring, nothing beats the tale of the South African, Mr. Klopper, and the lion. Forget “Tiger by the tail,” this next one is more memorable.

Next week: DANGERS OF BIG GAME PART 3

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Monday, March 05, 2007

DANGERS OF BIG GAME PART 1

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.

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