Thursday, February 24, 2011

Best Jim Corbett book: ‘The Man-Eating Leopard of Rudraprayag'

Yesterday I wrote about the great Jim Corbett (1875-1955), the renowned big-game hunter, conservationist and author.
I recently finished reading all six of his books about hunting man-eating tigers and leopards in British India and his memories of living in India and Kenya.
For my money, his best book is “The Man-Eating Leopard of Rudraprayag” (1947). It’s a ripping good read about a terrifying predator that killed over 125 people in northern India.
The leopard got a taste for human flesh after eating corpses that were not properly disposed of during the 1918 influenza pandemic.
For eight years, people in the Garhwal region would not go out at night. But they weren’t safe in their homes either. The leopard would claw his way in and drag victims out.
Also well worth reading is Corbett’s first book, “Man-Eaters of Kumaon.”
His complete works are available in "The Jim Corbett Omnibus" and "The Second Jim Corbett Omnibus" from the Oxford University Press.

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