Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Man-Eating Trees

Those of you who've read Kiki Strike are probably aware that the subject of carnivorous plants is among my many obsessions. So imagine my excitement when I came across this short article from the Express News Service in India:


MANGALORE: Carnivorous trees grabbing humans and cattle and gobbling them up is not just village folklore.

Residents of Padrame near Kokkoda in Uppinangady forest range sighted one such carnivorous tree trying to dine on a cow last Thursday. According to reports, the cow owned by Anand Gowda had been left to graze in the forests.

The cow was suddenly grabbed by the branches and pulled from the ground. The terrified cowherd ran to the village, and got Gowda and a band of villagers to the carnivorous tree.

Before the tree could have its meal, Anand Gowda and the villagers struck mortal blows to the branches that turned limp and the cow was rescued. Uppinangady range forest officer (RFO) Subramanya Rao said the tree was described as ‘pili mara’ (tiger tree) in native lingo.

He had received many complaints about cattle returning home in the evenings without tails. On Friday, the field staff confirmed coming across a similar tree in Padrane, partially felled down.

However no detailed inquiry was made as the authorities were not asked for any report, Rao said."

Holy moly! A quick web search turned up some more tantalizing information. According to Cryptomundo, from the 1850s to the 1940s, there were multiple reports of man-eating trees in Madagascar. Wikipedia adds that a Dr. Carl Liche claimed to have seen a woman devoured by an African tree in 1878. There are also accounts of such bizarre plant life in the Philippines and Central America.

Is it possible that there might be some truth to these stories?

For those of you who share my interest in meat-eating plants (such as the Venus Flytrap shown below), Wikipedia has an excellent entry on the subject.



Blogger International Mastermind said...

Holy Canoli! (or should I say cow?) That needs to be incorporated into Kiki Strike 3!
That would be So amazingly adventurous!

Though I may have to steer clear of Madagascar in my worldly travels...

2:55 PM  
Blogger Ariana said...

Speaking of Kiki Strike 3...
will there be one?

7:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i read a book that had a plant called burrowing ravenweed that if it caught you it turned you into a raven.

5:21 PM  

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