JIM CORBETT: Slayer of Man-eaters (Tigers, Leopards) and Writer

spotted deers roam around Jim Corbett National Park
spotted deers roam around Jim Corbett National Park
Corbett in Nyeri before his death
Corbett in Nyeri before his death
Champawat Tigress recorded to have killed 436 people
Champawat Tigress recorded to have killed 436 people

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In Memory of JIM CORBETT

THIS write-up is a tribute to the memory of the late Jim Corbett. Supposedly my intention was to publish this on the 25th of July which coincides with his 133rd birthday anniversary but circumstances beyond control prevented me from doing so.

Edward James "Jim" Corbett- better known as Jim Corbett - saw the first light of day on the 25th of July 1875. He was 2nd to the last of 9 children born to Mary Jane and William Christopher Corbett. He grew up in present-day state of Utaranchal in North India. Of Irish stock, his parents were British immigrants to colonial India. Jim Corbett- accomplished Indian-born British hunter, conservationist, naturalist, colonel (in the British-Indian army), employee (in the Bengal and North Western Railway, slayer of man-eaters, honored as saint and writer, died on the 19th of April 1955 of heart attack at the age of 79.

Corbett enjoyed life so much in the wilderness. An accomplished hunter and fishing enthusiast early in life, he took to big game photography later on. In the forest he could easily identify all forms and varieties of flora and fauna. Ghasnashyam- a fellow MoraChat contributor- testified that Corbett once demonstrated convincingly in a hall the different roaring sounds of a tiger- hungry, happy and going to rest. Corbett was truly a master in copying tiger and other animals call. Another MoraChat master- Piya84 volunteered the information that Corbett was able to flush out from its lair and killed the male leopard man-eater of Rudraprayag by mimicking and sending her female leopard mating calls.

In time Corbett's admiration for tigers and leopards grew. Thus he resolved never to shoot and kill them unless they turned man-eaters or posed a threat to cattle. He preferred to hunt alone and on foot when pursuing dangerous game. Often he had with him his small dog- Robin- when hunting.

Corbett had mastered the art of hunting so well that he could tract and get close to his prey some 20 meters away without being noticed. As much as possible he wanted to get very near his target to make sure it's the correct prey. He has killed once a wrong prey and he regretted it so much.

From the year 1907 up to 1938, he tracked and killed at least 12 man-eaters which devoured more than 1,500 men, women and children. Under the British-Indian Army, Corbett held the rank of Colonel. He was connected with the Bengal and North Western Railway under the government of united provinces now Indian states of Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand.

A man of great character, Corbett upon request would take leave from his work and go tracking and hunting for days the dreaded man-eater.

In a nutshell below are accounts of tigers and leopards which have turned man-eaters that Corbett has shot and killed in keeping with his vow:

(1) Champawat Tigress-

A Bengal tiger shot very near Gaida gorge in 1907 by Jim Corbett. The Nepalese army drove her across the border into India after killing over 200 people in Nepal. She settled in Kumaon district in India where she terrorized villagers. She killed and ate a total of 436 people including those from Nepal. That very day she was shot by Corbett, she has just made a kill of a 16-year old girl. Postmortem reveals that this female man-eater has long-suffered broken canine teeth

(2) Panar Leopard -

A male leopard which is alleged to have killed 400 persons over a span of several years in the Kumaon district of Northern India. It was driven to killing people after it was wounded by a poacher rendering it unable to hunt its normal prey. Hunted and killed in 1910 by famed big cat hunter and author Jim Corbett.

(3) Talla-Des Man-eater -

A female tiger which killed 150 people. It roamed in Talla-Des and its environs for 8 years before it was shot to death in April 1929. It had 2 grown-up cubs when Corbett hunted it down in Talla-Kot or Boyal..

(4) Mohan Man-eater -

A tiger which roamed in Kosi Valley and has eaten a number of persons. Corbett shot it to death in the summer of 1930.

(5) Chuka Tigress -

With 2 small cubs, it had Ladhiya Valley within Chuka Village as its home. Claiming to have eaten a number of Indian villagers, Corbett tracked and killed it in April 1937.

(6) Thak Man-eater Tigress -

It was killed in November, 1938 in Thak Village. Corbett at age 63 stalked with little rest and sleep for almost 3 weeks, climbed the steep path to Thak several times and eventually bagged his prey at point-blank range. When skinned. Corbett discovered 2 gunshot wounds in the man-eater's body which never healed.

(7) Chowgarh Tigress and her sub-adult cub -

These man-eaters have devoured 64 people in Eastern Kumaon spread over 5-year period. Corbett fatally shot the animal (Mother Tigress) on April 11, 1930 in Kala Agar. Postmortem reveals the animal claws and front teeth were all worn down and one canine tooth broken.

(8) Man-eating Leopard of Rudraprayag -

This is an elderly male (Wikipedia) leopard which is recorded to have killed 125 villagers in India's Kumaon district. Of all the man-eaters, this leopard is the most famous for terrorizing the pilgrims and the Holy Hindu Shrine Kedarmath and Badrinath for more than 10 solid years. Autopsy showed the man-eater was suffering from serious gum recession and tooth loss making it harder for him to kill its normal prey so it turned to killing people who were much easier to kill. Upon request of the British Parliament, legendary hunter, Corbett stalked and killed it in the autumn of 1925. In the town of Rudraprayag there is a signboard which marks the spot where the leopard was shot. People there consider Jim Corbett to be a sadhu (saint).

Corbett- despite his prolific hunting skills- never killed an animal for sports. He was a great conservationist. He moved to Kenya after retirement when he could no longer hunt because of his age. In Kenya he put his Indian adventures to writing books. Corbett produced a total of 7 books which were all highly acclaimed. He spent likewise his waking hours to raising alarm about the sad plight of animals in India. In 1957 India's first national park in the Kumaon region was named in his honor. In 1968 one of the remaining subspecies of tigers was named after him: Panthera Tigris Corbetti, better known as Corbett's tiger.

He was buried upon his death at St. Peter's Anglican Church in Nyeri.

Corbett's books are enumerated below:

1) Man-eaters of Kumaon, 2) The Man-eating Leopard of Rudraprayag, 3) My India, 4) Jungle Lore, 5) The Temple Tiger and more Man-eaters of Kumaon, 6) Tree Tops, 7) Man-eaters of Kumaon and the Temple Tiger

ADDENDUM: Mudit 29 hours ago

Nick, I would like to point out that Corbett was as great a human being as he was a writer or hunter. People of the village, Chhoti Haldwani near Nainital, revere him a lot. His muzzle loader gun, Moti House (the house he built for Moti Singh) and the wall he built to protect his village and tenants is being used by the villagers to promote community based eco-tourism. Even after his death, he is in service. (visit www.corbettvillage.in)

nain 2 months ago

nik,can u plz give any information about the Moti house and Choupat built by corbett.(Dear readers: Please furnish information or link about Corbett's Moti house and Choupat to satisfy nain. The Author)



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Comments 28 comments

Andrea 6 years ago

What happened about the two bullet shots in the tiger that Corbett noticed?

Please email me at popangel99@hotmail.com

Thank You


nick071438 profile image

nick071438 6 years ago from City of Catbalogan, W, Samar, Philippines Author

Andrea, you are talking of the Thak man-eater tigress. Corbett shot it to death. After which, it was skinned (the source didn't state the purpose) and while doing so, Corbett discovered 2 unhealed gunshot wounds in the carcass. Corbett believed tigers and leopards turned man-eaters when they are mained or suffering tooth/gum problem which decrease to a great extent their innate capacity to hunt for game. Thank you for taking your time to read this hub.


Mudit 6 years ago

Nick, I would like to point out that Corbett was as great a human being as he was a writer or hunter. People of the village, Chhoti Haldwani near Nainital, revere him a lot. His muzzle loader gun, Moti House (the house he built for Moti Singh) and the wall he built to protect his village and tenants is being used by the villagers to promote community based eco-tourism. Even after his death, he is in service. (visit www.corbettvillage.in)


nick071438 profile image

nick071438 6 years ago from City of Catbalogan, W, Samar, Philippines Author

For your information, I have appended your comment to the main body of this hub, including your name. It is important that current and related events being done in his (JIM CORBETT) honor be given due recognition. Thank you, Mudit.


nain 6 years ago

nik,can u plz give amy information about the Moti house and Choupat built by corbet!!!!!


nick071438 profile image

nick071438 5 years ago from City of Catbalogan, W, Samar, Philippines Author

nain, I have appended your request re the Moti house and Choupat in the main hub with the hope that readers who may have knowledge about them may share or post the information about them here.


Karel Karmazin 5 years ago

I like to know places as Kala Agar or Dalkania. I can not to find them on google map. Please email me at karel.karmazin@tiscali.cz

Thank You, Karel


nick071438 profile image

nick071438 5 years ago from City of Catbalogan, W, Samar, Philippines Author

I'll try to help you find said places, Karel. Thank you for reading this hub.


VENUGOPAL SIVAGNA profile image

VENUGOPAL SIVAGNA 5 years ago from India.

Jim Corbette has written a book on the tigerland called "My India". He has brought to light various hardships faced by the people of that area. A foreigner.... has took much pains to help the tribal people. But no indigeneous man has cared about them... because their own hardships need another story. However, Indians should thank all foreigners who helped Indians.


nick071438 profile image

nick071438 5 years ago from City of Catbalogan, W, Samar, Philippines Author

Information like this must go on to perpetuate Corbett's goodness to the people of India. This is the only way to let people know what he has done for them, Without knowledge of his pains and sacrifices, people will not respect him especially the new generation.


wildwildwest 5 years ago

I have entered Jim Corbett's name on Findagrave. An easy way to pull up this page is to go to Findagrave, enter last name Corbett, died 1955 in Kenya. Unfortunately, entering Jim or James as his first name won't work since his first name was Edward. Though he claimed otherwise, there is no question he was enormously brave and modest and a truly great human being. Another stated that Corbett was the greatest hunter of man-eating big cats that lived to tell his stories. I say he was without question the greatest hunter of that type the world has ever seen. He called the tiger a big-hearted gentleman with boundless courage, which others have said describes Corbett as well. I am totally convinced that the tigers and the leopards that matched wits with Corbett soon understood that they had never encountered a human like this one, a human that walked alone, seemingly could not be tricked or ambushed, had outstanding jungle skills, and appeared at times, to be hunting them! I think they came to sense or realize that whatever he was, he was something to fear, posing some sort of a real danger to them that other humans obviously did not. They were so correct.


Ajit 5 years ago

The Champawat tigress he killed in 1907 and not in 1911

In his book temple tiger he has write that.


nick071438 profile image

nick071438 5 years ago from City of Catbalogan, W, Samar, Philippines Author

Thanks Ajit for your correction as when the

Champawat tigress was killed. I still maintain

it was killed in 1911. See my source: http://listverse.com/2010/10/16/top-10-worst-man-e...


nick071438 profile image

nick071438 5 years ago from City of Catbalogan, W, Samar, Philippines Author

Thank you wildwildwest for your suggestion.


Khawar 4 years ago

Champawat Tigree was killed in 1907, Muktesar Maneater was killed in 1911.

Champawat tigress was the first maneater shot by Jim Corbett as he himself told, and then he also mentions his maneating carrier comprised of 32 years and ended in 1938, after shooting Thak maneater.Even the metal badge awared to him after killing champawat tigress is the best source to track exact date on which it is carved that tigress was killed in 1907. Thanks


Khawar 4 years ago

Correction please, Muktesar maneater was killed in 1910, not in 1911. Jim Corbett metions in hhis book that this tigree was shot in the very same year when the Panar Leopard was also killed i.e. 1910


nick071438 profile image

nick071438 4 years ago from City of Catbalogan, W, Samar, Philippines Author

Ajit and Khawar, both of you maintained that the Champawat tigress was killed in 1907. I think both of you are correct. It's easy to change the date. But kindly post your source.

Khawar, I mention nothing about the Muktesar maneater here in this hub. It could have another name. Tell me more about it. In your first comment above, you said this was killed in 1911, then in your second comment, you corrected yourself by saying it was killed in 1910. Which is which?

Thank you for your interest.


Khawar 4 years ago

Muktesar maneating Tigress was killed in 1910, the story is mentioned in ''The Temple Tiger and more Maneaters of Kumauon'', published in 1954. I rechecked the book and there is clearly mentioned by Jim Corbett himself that Panar and Muketesar, both maeaters were killed same year, in 1910.

About Champawat Maneater Corbett himself mentions that it was his first hunting of maneaters and killed a few years before Panar Leopard.

Almost all resources say it was killed in 1907, and i also have seen the pic of the metal badge which was awarded by Government to him on which it is carved very clearly that Champawat maneater was killed in 1907.

Also we can guess on our own that in ''Maneaters of Kumaon'' Jim Corbett very clearly indicates that Champawat maneater was the very first maneater he hunted, then again in ''The Temple Tiger and more Maneaters of Kumaon'' he clearly states that both Muktesar And Panar maneaters were shot in 1910, so the conclusion is that if Champawat was the first maneater hunted by Jim Corbett, then its hunting date must be prior to Panar and Muktesar maneaters.

Hope my words would help.

And at last i must saythatif we read all maneater hunting books of Jim Corbett clearly we can get hunting dates of all maneaters he mentioned in his 3 books......



Khawar 4 years ago


nick071438 profile image

nick071438 4 years ago from City of Catbalogan, W, Samar, Philippines Author

Thank you very much Khawar for providing the links. So it is now clearly established that the Champawat tigress was shot to death in 1907 and the Muktesar tigress maneater in 1910 by the same hunter Jim Corbett. I already made the necessary correction in the body of the hub.

Khawar, you have writing skills. I am inviting you to join hubpages not so much for the money but for the thrill and satisfaction you'll get for seeing your works and name published and being afforded the rare opportunity of having your written English polished as well. If interested, just click on the button "Click here to join" It's up in the body.


Kaushlendra 4 years ago

Where are skins of all maneaters shot by jim corbett ?


nick071438 profile image

nick071438 4 years ago from City of Catbalogan, W, Samar, Philippines Author

Kaushlendra, in answer to your query, I can only guess that if effort were made to preserve the skins of maneaters killed by Corbett, they were made into rugs and coats, etc. In fact, Tibetans have been seen and pictured wearing tiger skins. Others have also attached medicinal value to tiger skin rug that by just sitting on it cures high fever caused by ghosts. Visit the links below for the use of other parts of maneaters:

http://www.wildcatconservation.org/Tiger.html

http://lion_roar.tripod.com/Tiger_Parts.html


Ajay 4 years ago

Can anyone knows that where are the photographs or cine photographs of wildlife done by Corbett? Even I want to see some more rare pics of Corbett. Another thing about her pet tigress Diana. Is it true that Corbett has brought a tigress??


nick071438 profile image

nick071438 4 years ago from City of Catbalogan, W, Samar, Philippines Author

Hi, Ajay, thanks for writing. All I can show you is a part of the jungle studio where Corbett made his pioneering cine films of tigers in the 1930s by clicking the link below. Perhaps others can tell you the whereabouts of his cine photos and his pet Diana:

http://www.kumaonexplor.com/menu_page.php?id=81


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