On a positive note, specimens of the salted animals which Roosevelt submitted to Smithsonian were preserved for posterity and duplicate animals donated to other American museums. Roosevelt too contributed to knowledge about Kenya’s wildlife by penning his experiences in a book, African Trails-An Account of the African Wanderings of an American Hunter, published in 1910 and which became a bestseller.
The president’s fascination with the lions must have been partly fuelled by his host’s affinity with the felines. At his home in Donyo Sambuk, which was part of Juja estate, McMillan had tamed lions and kept one chained to door.
According to Aldrick, the hunter derived pleasure watching the chained lion feed at his doorstep.
The theatrics by Juja estate’s most famous visitors’ has long been forgotten just as the lions, which roamed around Thika and the plains beyond have disappeared, but the name which to some belongs to West African idols still remains.