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Last Updated: Tuesday, 11 September 2007, 10:46 GMT 11:46 UK
Kenya wants Tsavo man-eaters back
Man-eating lion of Tsavo 1898 c The Field Museum
Col Patterson hunted down the Tsavo man-eaters in 1898
Kenya is trying to recover the remains of two infamous lions which killed 140 railway workers in the 19th Century.

They are the legendary man-eaters of Tsavo which caused havoc among the Indian labourers who built the railway line between Mombasa and Lake Victoria.

The lions' skulls and hides are housed at a museum in the US city of Chicago.

But Kenya's National Museum says they represent an important part of Kenya's history and heritage - and it wants them back.

The two lions struck over a nine-month period in 1898, bringing construction of the line to a halt.

An Oscar-winning film was made about the Tsavo man-eaters in 1996.

They were eventually shot by a British engineer, Lieutenant Colonel John Patterson, who later sold the skulls and hides to the Chicago Field Museum.

A spokeswoman for the state-owned National Museum of Kenya (NMK), Connie Maina, said: "We will use international protocols to repatriate them... it would be good to get them back."

Ms Maina said the NMK was planning an exhibition of its artefacts in the United States and would ensure the lions' remains were part of the exhibition on Kenyan history.

"We hope these artefacts will form part of these exhibitions," she said.

Officials said the Chicago Field Museum might host part of the exhibition.

Tracking the maneless lions of Tsavo
19 Sep 05 |  Science/Nature

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