A History of Man-Eaters

Wild animals as a group tend to avoid humans, because humans are dangerous. However, humans are also tasty and filling. Big cats occasionally develop a famous taste for human flesh, as in the case of the Leopard of Rudraprayag in India.

It’s believed the Leopard of Rudraprayag turned to man-eating after the 1918 flu pandemic that caused millions of deaths in India. So many died that the normal rites of cremation weren’t performed and the plague’s victims were left in shallow, mass graves or even unburied. Scavenging from the corpses, the leopard learned man was an easy meal.

Roaming the Uttarkhan area of Northern India for 8 years, the leopard terrified villages. In the middle of the night, his victims would wake to find the cat clawing through their thatched mud walls to drag them from their beds.

By 1926 alone, the leopard was responsible for killing 250 people. That same year, Jim Corbett shot and killed the leopard, which measured 7’10″ at its death.

Read also about the Panar Leopard, the Champawat Tiger, the Tsavo Man-Eaters, and the Man-Eaters of Njombe, all famous big cats that killed hundreds of people. Then read about the factors that cause these cats to turn to hunting humans for food, at the Art of Manliness. Link

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