In the jungle, the mighty jungle, the lion sleeps tonight…Who is kidding who? In the jungle, the might jungle the lion hunts at night and soon to be released by Vanilla Heart Publishing is The Devil in Eden, Book 1 in the Piet van Zyl Adventure Thrillers. Allow me to introduce you to the awesome Introduction, and to the book that will soon be available in all e-book formats…so ask yourself…are you ready to have a look at Eden…but be warned…you just might not like it after dark.
Man-eater…the one statement that is capable of spreading fear like a wildfire through a community, and why…well a Man-eater is the animal version of a serial killer…an animal that has developed a taste for human flesh, an animal that has no fear of man, an animal that sees man as the perfect prey…why…because man is the easiest prey of all, and due to the encroachment of human settlements into their natural habitat, there is plenty to go around.
The only way to end a man-eaters reign of terror is to hunt him down.
I use the male term – for a male lion will take to hunting man a lot easier than the female. The lion is an opportunist, and the male always takes the easiest route.
Many man-eaters are wounded or old; some have been deprived of natural prey sources, and have simply developed a fondness for human flesh, and the easy hunt.
Most man-eaters are nameless, but in our story the locals are calling him, “Devil” much like the one that hunted near Kasawa, they called him “The Cunning One,” who was responsible for 43 deaths before he was shot. Another one that was doing the rounds in Tanzania was called “Paper Lion,” because he seemed to drift from victim to victim, like a scrap of paper floating in the wind.
Early in 1909 there was one large male who was almost a celebrity called Chiengi Charlie, he teamed up with two other males and spread their eating habits over several villages, reportedly eating 90 people. This particular man-eater was clever and eluded all manner of traps and hunters, until he was finally shot in a gun trap.
Most man-eaters will take their human prey as they find them, in the fields, at the river bank collecting water or the bolder ones will act in much the same way as the “Devil” does, and clawed through the sides of the mud hut, or enters the hut through the thatch roof.
There was one in Rufiji, Tanzania called Osama, named after Osama bin Laden because of his terrorist attacks, and the locals in the area put up a billboard for this man-eater depicting his bloody deeds. He terrorized the area from 2002 to 2004 and was accused of killing more than 50 people. He was shot by game scouts in April 2004 and found to have a large abscess on one of his molars, but plenty of man-eaters have perfect teeth.
Msoro Monty; hunted in the Luangwa River Valley during 1929 and was stalking his victims near the Msoro Mission which is how he got his name. This man-eater had a gift for smelling out traps and after killing a large number of people, he just disappeared. He could have been an old animal and simply died, but no trace of him was ever found.
There was another in the Luangwa River Valley in 1991, near where Monty hunted who took out 6 people, he was called The Lion of Mfuwe and was finally killed by a visiting hunter from the U.S.A. who waited in a blind for 20 nights for the Man-Eater to show up. This lion was not small as he measured over 10 feet long and was totally mane-less.
The man-eaters of Tsavo, called Ghost and Darkness not only killed to feed, but killed for the pure pleasure it gave them, something like 140 people killed during that period, but the experts reckon, only about 35 people eaten, until they too were hunted down and shot. These two had no fear of man, as some attacks were recorded taking place in daylight, in full view of the labourers working on the railway lines.
Another record of man-eating by lions happened in Tanzania between 1932 and 1947, and this time it was not just one hunting humans, but a whole pride. They called them the Man-Eaters of Njombe, and this pride did their killing in the afternoon, using the night hours to travel as far as 15 or 20 miles to an unsuspecting village, and it is believed that they used a relay system to drag bodies into the safety of the bush. Before they were hunted down and shot, it is estimated that they were responsible for as many as 1500 kills.
We still have man-eaters today, and the Kruger National Park which borders Mozambique, have lion that feed on the people who cross the borders into South Africa. These animals sometimes patrol the roads at night waiting for the unsuspecting illegal immigrants to arrive. Most of these deaths go unreported, but rangers have found remains.
I would like to share a pre-release review with you related to The Devil in Eden.
A real African Thriller!
“I’d read Paul Zunckel’s Blood Moon Trilogy and was very happy to receive the ARC for The Devil in Eden from the publisher. The Devil in Eden adds to the incredible suspense and African cultural interests in those three books, with a ‘devilish’ plotline of African animals, the workings of cultural fears, and a fantastic setting of the varied sceneries of African life. Great job, Paul! I am looking forward to all the next in this series! ”