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 Post subject: Re: The man-eaters of Eden, life and death in Kruger NP
Unread postPosted: Wed Oct 07, 2009 8:19 am 
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ndloti wrote:
missings.a.! wrote:
In it he makes the claim, that a blind eye was cast during the years of apartheid, over lion eating mozambique illegal immigrants and I don't believe that.


What could the authorities have done to stop the lions eating the refugees ?
The border is impossible to watch in its entirety .
Certain of the refugees were caught a few times , some within 3 weeks of their last repatriation , so desperate were they to escape the civil war in Mozambique , and they travelled mostly at night to escape detection , and that is the time when lions become so bold and lose their instinctive fear of humans .


It would be useful if someone who was actually involved in the patrols of the boarder were to give a view. In the book, Frump states it had been happening throughout the 20th Century, but before 1994 there were major army and air force border patrols preventing terrorists entering S.A. from Mozambique. Plus, as I have said, the fence was electrified and that was turned off in 1994.

I am not saying it did not ever happen, I just don't believe that South Africans at that time would have ignored it. Many writers try to portray South Africans then as the equivalent of the Nazis and the SS.

I went to Moz from the Kruger several times and stayed at the Polana and in all that time I never heard anything or any gossip about refugees being eaten. I think it is more likely that it began when the boarder patrols were wound down.

In the book, he claims that all lion in The Kruger have eaten human beings which would certainly explain their familiarity and they are becoming too close for comfort. I heard that the private lodges are getting worried. Any thoughts on that?


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 Post subject: Re: The man-eaters of Eden, life and death in Kruger NP
Unread postPosted: Wed Oct 07, 2009 9:05 am 
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missings.a.! wrote:
ndloti wrote:
missings.a.! wrote:
In it he makes the claim, that a blind eye was cast during the years of apartheid, over lion eating mozambique illegal immigrants and I don't believe that.


What could the authorities have done to stop the lions eating the refugees ?
The border is impossible to watch in its entirety .
Certain of the refugees were caught a few times , some within 3 weeks of their last repatriation , so desperate were they to escape the civil war in Mozambique , and they travelled mostly at night to escape detection , and that is the time when lions become so bold and lose their instinctive fear of humans .


It would be useful if someone who was actually involved in the patrols of the boarder were to give a view. In the book, Frump states it had been happening throughout the 20th Century, but before 1994 there were major army and air force border patrols preventing terrorists entering S.A. from Mozambique. Plus, as I have said, the fence was electrified and that was turned off in 1994.

I am not saying it did not ever happen, I just don't believe that South Africans at that time would have ignored it. Many writers try to portray South Africans then as the equivalent of the Nazis and the SS.

I went to Moz from the Kruger several times and stayed at the Polana and in all that time I never heard anything or any gossip about refugees being eaten. I think it is more likely that it began when the boarder patrols were wound down.

In the book, he claims that all lion in The Kruger have eaten human beings which would certainly explain their familiarity and they are becoming too close for comfort. I heard that the private lodges are getting worried. Any thoughts on that?


Of course the South African government gave substantial support (of course with certain western powers turning a blind eye to it and in fact clandestinely supporting it) to the Renamo guerillas who were at war with Marxist Frelimo government . As a result of this Renamo controlled the area in Mozambique to the east of the KNP , so there was thus no longer a terrorist threat to South Africa from that area .
The RSA security forces were of course relatively thinly spread , taking into account the various other theatres of counter insurgency war it was involved in (in particular the Angolan border with SWA / Namibia ) , and the long border line with Mozambique would have in any been impossible to patrol effectively to prevent refugees crossing without a major army presence and infrastructure being established within the KNP - which would not have been allowed , thus the Renamo dominance of western Mozambique suited RSA perfectly , and was in fact part of the long term strategy , as was RSA'S support of Unita in Angola - but that is an entirely different story ...
As far as the Polana hotel & gossip within its comfortable confines concerning the problems of refugees crossing the border : The guerilla war was far removed from the city , except the odd visit by RSA special forces and Airforce visiting the city , the guerilla war was hardly on the minds of those able to afford the charms of that hotel ...

I certainly question the assertion that all Kruger lions have eaten human flesh , but there was certainly many a lion who did in the eastern areas , myself having seen the skulls of people killed by lion in the area .
I have also personally witnessed unusually bold behaviour by lions when on foot in the eastern area .

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 Post subject: Re: The man-eaters of Eden, life and death in Kruger NP
Unread postPosted: Wed Oct 07, 2009 10:17 am 
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Ndloti,

I did not refer to the gossip within the comfort of the Polana! What I said was, during the 70s I worked in the South African travel business and often travelled to The Kruger to stay and, then, travelled by road to what was then Lourenco Marques.

With a fiance also in the business, in fact a South African who has spent his whole working life in the South African travel business, I never ever heard talk of refugees being killed in the Kruger until recently. And I would have thought, knowing so many people travelling there every week, that something would have leaked.

Perhaps the presence of Renamo patrolling the area not only prevented terrorists, but also refugees entering South Africa. An electrified fence would not be too easy to negotiate either.


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 Post subject: Re: The man-eaters of Eden, life and death in Kruger NP
Unread postPosted: Wed Oct 07, 2009 10:19 am 
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ndloti wrote:
I certainly question the assertion that all Kruger lions have eaten human flesh , but there was certainly many a lion who did in the eastern areas , myself having seen the skulls of people killed by lion in the area .
I have also personally witnessed unusually bold behaviour by lions when on foot in the eastern area .


I can tesitfy to the above as well. Have done many a trail since 1991 and the lions behaviour is getting much more bold.

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 Post subject: Re: The man-eaters of Eden, life and death in Kruger NP
Unread postPosted: Wed Oct 07, 2009 10:54 am 
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leelee wrote:
ndloti wrote:
I certainly question the assertion that all Kruger lions have eaten human flesh , but there was certainly many a lion who did in the eastern areas , myself having seen the skulls of people killed by lion in the area .
I have also personally witnessed unusually bold behaviour by lions when on foot in the eastern area .


I can tesitfy to the above as well. Have done many a trail since 1991 and the lions behaviour is getting much more bold.


I am very interested in this and wonder whether you would mind explaining the difference in their behaviour.


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 Post subject: Re: The man-eaters of Eden, life and death in Kruger NP
Unread postPosted: Wed Oct 07, 2009 11:02 am 
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missings.a.! wrote:
Perhaps the presence of Renamo patrolling the area not only prevented terrorists, but also refugees entering South Africa. An electrified fence would not be too easy to negotiate either.


I imagine that Renamo could not prevent the population from fleeing , and they did not coduct a terrorist war against the rural local population per say .
The locals , seeking a better life , were fleeing a famine and break down of infrastructure as a result of the war .
I suspect little was spoken about the refugee situation in the cities as the war did not affect city dwellers in the same manner as it did affect the rural population .
The fence was easy enough to continue breaching after the initiall breaching , as the electricity supply was thus interrupted and could not easily and quickly be repaired to prevent people crossing .

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KNP is sacred. I am opposed to the modernisation of Kruger and from the depths of my soul long for the Kruger of yesteryear! 1000+km on foot in KNP incl 56 wild trails.200+ nights in the wildernessndloti-indigenous name for serval.


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 Post subject: Re: The man-eaters of Eden, life and death in Kruger NP
Unread postPosted: Wed Oct 07, 2009 11:10 am 
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In the early 90's, you could count yourself very blessed if you came across lions on trail and could watch them (undisturbed). First signs of humans and they would flee. Only when they were not aware of our presence - we were either hidden by shrubbery or would watch them from an elevated height - was it possible to watch them.

However, the last few years I have had many a scary moment on foot when either being charged by lions or growled at (not including the times we 'by accident' came across them). Luckily so far the shouting and clapping of the rangers have been sufficient. I guess it is because we did not run away that it was not necessary for further actions to be taken.

Trust you get the idea, missings.a.!

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STOP HOTEL DEVELOPMENT IN KRUGER!!

"We must use time wisely and forever realize that the time is always ripe to do right" -Nelson Mandela.


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 Post subject: Re: The man-eaters of Eden, life and death in Kruger NP
Unread postPosted: Wed Oct 07, 2009 11:21 am 
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leelee wrote:
In the early 90's, you could count yourself very blessed if you came across lions on trail and could watch them (undisturbed). First signs of humans and they would flee. Only when they were not aware of our presence - we were either hidden by shrubbery or would watch them from an elevated height - was it possible to watch them.

However, the last few years I have had many a scary moment on foot when either being charged by lions or growled at (not including the times we 'by accident' came across them). Luckily so far the shouting and clapping of the rangers have been sufficient. I guess it is because we did not run away that it was not necessary for further actions to be taken.

Trust you get the idea, missings.a.!


Thankyou. Yes I get the idea. Don't think I will be going on a bush walk though.


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 Post subject: Re: The man-eaters of Eden, life and death in Kruger NP
Unread postPosted: Wed Oct 07, 2009 11:35 am 
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missings.a.! wrote:
Thankyou. Yes I get the idea. Don't think I will be going on a bush walk though.


Did not mean to scare you off going on a trail. It is a definite must and I have found that most rangers are extremely professional and in control.

Hope to read a TR of one of your trails or day-hikes soon :wink:

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God, please bless our wilderness!

STOP HOTEL DEVELOPMENT IN KRUGER!!

"We must use time wisely and forever realize that the time is always ripe to do right" -Nelson Mandela.


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 Post subject: Re: The man-eaters of Eden, life and death in Kruger NP
Unread postPosted: Wed Oct 07, 2009 11:57 am 
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the lioness we saw on the Olifants River Backpack Trail ran away as soon as she became aware of us. We were at least 150m away when she started running.

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 Post subject: Re: The man-eaters of Eden, life and death in Kruger NP
Unread postPosted: Wed Oct 07, 2009 12:56 pm 
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leelee wrote:
missings.a.! wrote:
Thankyou. Yes I get the idea. Don't think I will be going on a bush walk though.


Did not mean to scare you off going on a trail. It is a definite must and I have found that most rangers are extremely professional and in control.

Hope to read a TR of one of your trails or day-hikes soon :wink:


I am a bit of a scaredy cat. Probably best off in a Landrover or some other vehicle. :redface:


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 Post subject: Re: The man-eaters of Eden, life and death in Kruger NP
Unread postPosted: Wed Oct 07, 2009 1:00 pm 
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Certainly field staff were discouraged from camping in certain hotspot areas at the height of the refugee crossings .
I would assume the decrease in refugees has resulted in less of them being eaten , and I assume the successive generations of lions have lost their familiarity with man ?

Perhaps just an impression , but I get the idea that trails rangers walking in the previous hotspot areas are more careful , perhaps avoiding vegetated and potential hide - up areas areas where there is a larger chance of running into problems ?

Really little need to be afraid , missings.a.! - the possibility of an incident is very low indeed , you have a larger chance of coming to grief by other means in the human populated parts of the world .

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KNP is sacred. I am opposed to the modernisation of Kruger and from the depths of my soul long for the Kruger of yesteryear! 1000+km on foot in KNP incl 56 wild trails.200+ nights in the wildernessndloti-indigenous name for serval.


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 Post subject: Re: The man-eaters of Eden, life and death in Kruger NP
Unread postPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2009 8:11 am 
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Bruce Brydon makes mention of refugees in his book, "Memories of a Game Ranger". Harry Wolhuter alludes to problems in his book, covering the first half of the last century. It has been a problem for decades. It will remain a problem as long as people are driven by poverty and desperation to seek a better life. If there is to be finger pointing, it must be at everything that leads to starvation.

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 Post subject: Re: The man-eaters of Eden, life and death in Kruger NP
Unread postPosted: Sat Oct 10, 2009 4:25 pm 
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It seems to me that I am the only person to have read this book (excluding the OP).

You can buy it from Amazon co uk, and they will deliver to South Africa.


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 Post subject: Re: The man-eaters of Eden, life and death in Kruger NP
Unread postPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2009 8:12 pm 
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Meandering Mouse wrote:
Bruce Brydon makes mention of refugees in his book, "Memories of a Game Ranger". Harry Wolhuter alludes to problems in his book, covering the first half of the last century. It has been a problem for decades. It will remain a problem as long as people are driven by poverty and desperation to seek a better life. If there is to be finger pointing, it must be at everything that leads to starvation.


To add to that ...

Alex Hawes wrote:
(South Africa's Once and Future Park)

Dedicated rangers crisscross Kruger via Land Rovers, bicycle, helicopter, and on foot to make sure that doesn't happen. Yet when tourism, conservation, and commerce all tug on the wildlife fabric, the edges start to unravel.

Containing Nature

As the adage goes, fences make good neighbors. Ideally, fenced wildlife parks keep wild animals in, and livestock and people (save low-impact tourists) out. This doesn't always happen. Kruger borders Zimbabwe to the north and Mozambique to the east. Conservation quickly becomes complex in such a geographical bind. Since 1992, Mozambique has struggled with the transition to peace after two decades of revolution and civil war. The turmoil in Mozambique, the world's poorest nation, has produced a steady flow of illegal immigrants into South Africa, the continent's richest. From 1993 through 1997, more than 16,000 illegals were picked up in Kruger; from January to July of this year, 2,160 were arrested. The eastern border offers a perfect entry spot for those seeking to disappear into the bush. Perfect, with one exception: the carnivores on the other side.

How many illegals are killed is anyone's guess. Rangers report human footprints in the veld vanishing into nowhere and cite scraps of torn clothing as evidence of immigrants being killed by wild animals. One notorious pride of lions killed at least seven Mozambican immigrants in two weeks. Fearing the safety of its own personnel, the park management decided to shoot the pride. "It was very scary, I promise you," says Kruger's head veterinarian Douw Grobler. And at 6'4", Grobler—known as the "Gentle Giant"—does not scare easily. He hopes in the future to use radiocollars to keep track of man-eating lions, and to avoid having to kill carnivores that are simply following their instincts.

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