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The maneless, man-eating lions that terrorized Tsavo, Kenya, in 1898. (Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago)

Buffalo Lion, River lion or Tsavolion is a maneless big cat of Kenya. Etymology: After its preference for large prey such as buffalo. Male lion without a mane. Length, 9 feet 8 inches, including tail. Weight, around 400 pounds. Solitary. Adept at attacking large prey. The famous pair of maneless, man-eating lions of Tsavo, Kenya, were responsible for killing 140 railway workers during a nine-month period in 1898. Now on exhibit at the Field Museum in Chicago, these large males were shot by Chief Engineer John Henry Patterson in December. In 1998, two maneless male lions were pho-tographed in Tsavo National Park after bringing down a buffalo cow.

Possible explanations[]

  • Manelessness among male Lions (Pan-thera leo) could be due to hormonal prob-lems or genetic defects. The condition may even constitute a form of natural selection in response to the preference by big-game hunters for lions with impressive manes.
  • A surviving Cave lion (P. l. spelaea), a Middle Pleistocene felid from Southern Eu-rope, although it was much heavier, ranging from 550 to 1,100 pounds.