The Child Eater Of Terai

Discussion in 'Articles' started by Major Khan, Mar 28, 2020.

  1. Major Khan

    Major Khan AH Elite

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    Tonight , I am going to share a most special reminiscence with all of our fellow members of African Hunting Forums . A reminiscence of what I consider to be 1 of my greatest personal accomplishments .
    It is the story of how I had to contend with a man eating forest panther which had killed at least 14 unfortunate human beings between 1969 and 1970 in the Terai region of West Bengal , India . While a man eating forest panther is terrifying enough , as it is ... this particular forest panther was in fact FAR more depraved than any other ordinary man eater . The reason for this was because this particular brute only ever ate CHILDREN . All 14 of it's wretched victims were small children under the age of 10 .
    What is particularly special to me about this specific man eater ... is that it is 1 of the very few forest panthers whose skin I have actually been able to keep with me , to this very day even after I permanently left India in 1972 ( exactly how I got this fortunate ... shall be related at the climax of this 3 part article . )
    I do sincerely hope that this story shall prove enjoyable . Let us wind the clock back , Dear Readers... to August 19th , 1970 .

    Below , I have provided a photograph taken by myself of the skin of the Terai child eater .... My prized possession and momento of 1 of my greatest personal victories since 1970 .
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  2. Jeffro

    Jeffro AH Veteran

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    As usual, you have me hooked already!
     
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  3. Brent in Az

    Brent in Az AH ENABLER SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Looking forward to the story.
     
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  4. Newboomer

    Newboomer GOLD SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    C'mon. Give. The suspense is killing me.
     

  5. Major Khan

    Major Khan AH Elite

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    Between December of 1969 and and August of 1970 , there was a disturbingly high number of children in the Terai region of West Bengal , who were getting mauled by a particularly aggressive forest panther . It had mauled 31 children in a span of less than 8 months ... 14 of which had eventually succumbed to their injuries ( numerous of which had eventually turned septic . ) Attempts made by the Terrai Forest Department to track down and dispatch this brute had invariably culminated in failure . Local authorities were offering a reward of 100 Rupees to any licensed shikaree who would be successfully able to rid the Terrai region of this brute .
    I was in fact, on vacation for 2 weeks from my duties at Allwyn Cooper Limited at the time and I decided to spend some free time with my girl friend . My girl friend ( who used to be a fashion model ) had a fashion show at Siliguri ( which fell within the Terai region ) and she was extremely eager that I accompany her to Siliguri to see her at the fashion show . Like any devoted boy friend would... I readily agreed.
    It was quite a pleasant drive to Siliguri in my Land Rover Series 1 ( Yes. I now know that Land Rover is a company which opposes our Majestic art of shikar... However, I had no idea about this until I joined African Hunting Forums . )
    As always , among other things which we had packed ... was my trusty “ Old Belgian “ and a good supply of my hand loaded 12 Bore 3 inch Eley Alphamax magnum “ High Brass “ spherical ball cartridges , 2.75 inch Eley Alphamax AAA cartridges, 2.75 inch Eley Alphamax # 2 cartridges and 2.75 inch Eley Alphamax #6 cartridges . I never left ( or leave ) my house without that old Belgian shot gun and ( as this article shall relate further down ) this habit greatly benefitted me on this occasion ( and countless other occasions , as well . )

    We rented a motel room in Siliguri and enjoyed an entire week touring Siliguri . My girl friend’s fashion show went as planned , on Thursday and we were to set off for Nagpur on Saturday . Now that my girl friend was happy , I decided to dedicate Friday to doing what I loved most... Hunting . There was a small stream on the out skirts of Siliguri which was abundant with Chawkha Ducks and I spent the entire day there hunting these delicious ducks , while I sent my girl friend off to the local bazaar ( market ) with a good amount of pocket money so that she could enjoy buying some nice dresses , slippers and jewelry and spend her time without getting bored .
    In the mean time , I was having the time of my life . There I was... armed with my “ Old Belgian “ , which was loaded with an Eley Alphamax #2 cartridge in each barrel. Those Chawkha Ducks did not stand a chance and I took 14 of them , in less than a span of 1 hour , with 10 cartridges ( I was fortunate enough to down 2 of them with 1 cartridge from the modified choke barrel of my old shot gun . ). I spent the rest of the day field dressing these delicious birds.
    Below , I have provided a photograph taken by my good friend , fellow forum and former fellow professional shikaree , Sergeant Kawshik Rahman of me with my “ Old Belgian “ after a successful Chawkha Duck shikar .
    DE81A5DA-B1D0-47C0-9E05-335423219F4C.png

    On Saturday morning , with everything packed up ( Including an Ice Chest full of field dressed Chawkha Ducks ) ... my girl friend and I set off for home in my Land Rover Series 1 . While on the road ... we suddenly saw a large group of villagers on the road near a Mango Garden , screaming and panicking . As we got down and asked what happened ... we were both given the horrifying news . A 7 year old little boy had been attacked by a forest panther , which had given him a severe mauling , just a few minutes prior to our car crossing the area . The child’s mother was howling in rage and despair ... clutching her injured son . The poor little boy was crying in pain .... covered in blood and barely conscious . His entire back side was raw .... massive chunks of flesh had been ripped off and he was missing a lump of flesh from the back of his neck . The villagers had wrapped the boy in a blanket , and had gathered all around him to pray for his recovery .
    Knowing that every single moment was vital for the little boy’s survival ... I immediately volunteered to provide medical aid to the boy , as well as I could. I made my girl friend retrieve our 1st aid kit for the dash board of the Land Rover Series 1 and I hurriedly took out a bottle of ethanol , which I began to pour over the boy’s numerous injuries in order to sterilize the wounds and prevent them from turning septic . The boy screamed in pain , due to the sting of the ethanol seeping in to his wounds and those illiterate villagers actually thought that I was hurting the child. The fact that my girl friend and I were both wearing western clothes ( which we much preferred to traditional clothes ) certainly did not aid us in winning the confidence of the villagers in any way , who perceived western clothes as “ sinful “ . A few of those ignorant buffoons were actually shouting that cow urine should be rubbed in to the boy’s wounds , because Hindus consider cows to be Gods ( and many radical Hindus actually drink cow urine and bathe in it , believing it to have medicinal qualities . ) .
    Nevertheless , I finally succeeded in sterilizing all of the boy’s injuries , even with so many of those ignorant villagers , and so called “ Wise Men “ protesting . I then properly bandaged the boy’s back side , with a long , clean roll of cotton gauze from our 1st aid kit and offered to drive the boy and his mother to the nearest hospital.
    However , the boy’s mother and the villagers told us that they preferred to take care of the child themselves . I could tell that these people still did not trust us. Thus , having done my bit and knowing that my conscience was clear ... my girl friend and I got back in to our Land Rover , ready to continue our journey back to Nagpur again. It was then , that the villagers noticed my “ Old Belgian “ which was propped up against my seat inside the Land Rover Series 1 . They immediately begged me to hunt down the forest panther and shoot it , before it killed attacked . I secretly chuckled to myself sarcastically upon hearing this. They do not trust a man to save a child , simply because he is wearing a dress shirt , a pair of dress trousers and a pair of braces ...yet they are begging him to risk his life trying to kill a problem animal , simply because he possesses a fire arm . How typical .
    I asked the villagers if this brute had ever attacked human beings prior to today .
    Occasionally , a forest panther who merely runs in to a human being by chance , will maul them instinctively ( in perceived self defense ) , before quickly making good their escape , without ever repeating this action again . However , even while asking the villagers this question ... I knew that this was not what had happened today in the case of THIS particular forest panther . This particular forest panther had attacked the child from behind .
    They , then disclosed to me the sickening piece of information that this particular forest panther had fatally mauled at least 14 children in the Terai region for the last 8 moths and had badly injured at least 16 other children prior to this .
    Knowing that these villagers were dealing with a man eater ( or should l say , “ Child Eater “ ? ) on their hands ... I finally agreed to step in , and dispose of the brute .
    Not knowing how long it might take me to hunt down and dispatch the brute ... I sent my girl friend back to Nagpur in the Land Rover Series 1 after retaining my “ Old Belgian “ and my luggage ( 1 suit case ) . I had taught my girl friend how to drive the Land Rover shortly after I had 1st commenced courting her , SPECIFICALLY so that she would never need to depend upon me for driving anywhere in the event of an emergency . Clearly , my philosophy had paid off that day . Now that I was alone in the Mango Garden ....It was time to begin taking steps to hunt down this brute .

    Below , I have provided a brace of photographs taken by myself of me , holding up the brute’s fore paw earlier today . Observe the small , hook shaped claws on the brute’s paws . Getting clawed by 1 of these paws is the equivalent of getting a row of fish hooks stabbed in to your flesh and then ripped out , forcefully .
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    IMG_20200328_232355_01.jpg
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2020

  6. WebleyGreene455

    WebleyGreene455 AH Enthusiast

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    I'm looking forward to the rest of this story.

    "A few of those ignorant buffoons were actually shouting that cow urine should be rubbed in to the boy’s wounds , because Hindus consider cows to be Gods (and many radical Hindus actually drink cow urine and bathe in it , believing it to have medicinal qualities.)." The only valid point to cleaning something with cow urine is that, when it is properly boiled down into a paste and sterilized, it becomes ammonia, which is something of an antibacterial chemical (but not much of one, from what I understand). Some cultures allegedly did use it as an ointment for injuries, but pouring straight cow urine on a wound (or drinking it, for that matter) is indeed just plain stupid and would probably have given the poor child a severe infection. It's unfortunate to think that other victims might have been saved with proper medical attention.
     

  7. Major Khan

    Major Khan AH Elite

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    I was practically in a handicapped state , when it came to hunting down the Child Eater. I had no tracker with me and I was hunting in an unfamiliar terrain .Therefore , I took it upon myself to gather as much information about the brute , as I possibly could ... from the villagers . From the villagers , I was eventually able to gather the following information :
    > The panther never attacked any adults and only attacked small children. This allowed me to theorize that the Panther was not a very large 1 in size . Therefore , it was hesitant to attack adult human beings . This was why it preferred to attack only small children , whom it knew that it could easily overpower without any repercussions , whatsoever.
    > Based on the proximity of the locations of each of the children when they were attacked , it immediately became quite evident to me that the brute was operating predominantly within the Mango Garden itself . Therefore , it would be safe for me to assume that the brute had set up his lair either somewhere around , or inside the Mango Garden .
    > The 14 children who had died as a result from their injuries inflicted by the forest panther , did not actually die from the bites or the clawing directly . They were all killed , because their injuries had quickly turned septic . This made me theorize that rather than attacking the children with the primary intention of eating them... this brute was attacking them out of pure malice .

    Thus , I made some small mental notes of my adversary . I was dealing with a panther , which was on the smaller scale of things in terms of size . It was holed up somewhere inside the Terai Mango Garden . And it was attacking children out of naked aggression . Okay . I now knew exactly which course of action to undertake.

    I had seen a large sounder of Wild Boars less than 1 mile away from the Mango Garden when my girl friend and I were driving my Land Rover Series 1 on the journey back to Nagpur . Loading both of the barrels my “ Old Belgian “ with a brace of my hand loaded 3 inch Eley Alphamax magnum spherical ball cartridges ... I made my way towards the area where I had last seen the Wild Boars . I asked 2 villagers to accompany me .

    I saw the Wild Boars near a small muddy marsh... cooling themselves in the mud . I silently approached them to within 30 yards and raised my “ Old Belgian “ to my shoulder . Taking aim at the head of a small male boar ... I let off my left barrel at the creature ; my point of aim being right behind the animal’s right ear . The boar dropped to the shot ... lifeless , while the other boars approached him and sniffed his corpse for a few moments before moving off on their own , unconcerned about their dead comrade . As soon as the other boars had moved off , I sent the 2 villagers to collect the corpse of the boar which I had shot . Then , all 3 of us returned to the Mango Garden .

    I had the villagers butcher the boar in to 6 portions . Keeping 2 portions as spares ( all of you gentlemen shall know why , momentarily ) ... I instructed the villagers to use the 4 remaining portions in order to set up baits on the 4 corners of the Mango Garden. This was done by taking a length of twine and hanging a portion of the Wild Wild Boar from the branch of a tree . I took care to instruct the villagers to hang the bait at just the correct length . Too high ... and the brute would not even attempt to reach it. Too low ... and the bait could easily get devoured by wild dogs and jackals .
    No , the bait had to be hanging at the very least ... 2 feet above the ground .
    After this was all done ...we all went indoors for the night .

    The next day , I had the villagers check all 4 of the baits . True enough ... the bait on the South side of the Mango Garden had been gnawed at and large chunks of raw pork had been bitten off from it . Excellent . I now knew which route the brute was using , in order to traverse through the Mango Garden .
    I had the villagers replenish the bait on the South with 1 of the 2 extra portions of Wild Boar , which I had kept in reserve . Tonight was the night that I finally dispose of this brutish panther .
    Since there were no large or strong trees present in the Mango Garden , which I could have a “ Macchan “ ( or “ Blind “ as you Western gentlemen term it . ) built on ... I had to resort to plan B . I had the villagers dig a hole in the ground for me to hide in , roughly 10 yards away from the bait . Then , I had a small fire lit inside the hole and used a locally made hand fan in order to fan the smoke all around the hole . This was done in order to kill / drive out any snakes , rodents , insects or vermin which might have been lurking inside the ground where the hole was dug . As an added precautionary measure ... I personally emptied half a tin of insect repellent aerosol in to the hole.
    As the sun had begun to set , I sent all of the villagers indoors and I went in to the hole , to hide and wait for ambushing my adversary ,The hole was covered with a green tarpaulin cloth , which was topped with leaves and foliage . I left just enough of a small gap open , so that I could keep observing the tree from which the bait was hanging . In my hands , was my “ Old Belgian “ which was loaded with a 3 inch Eley Alphamax magnum hand loaded spherical ball cartridge in the chamber of each barrel . Attached with masking tape to the fore end of my shot gun ... was a pencil torch light ( in order to provide me with visual aid , during my nocturnal shooting . )
    My long wait began.

    Below , I have provided a photograph taken by myself today , of the brute on a black surface . As can clearly be seen ... spotting 1 of these creatures in the pitch black darkness of an Indian summer night , with only a small pencil torch light to aid you , can be a little trying upon 1’s nerves .
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    Last edited: Mar 28, 2020

  8. Major Khan

    Major Khan AH Elite

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    By the grace of God , the foliage in that Mango Garden was not dense at all . This considerably aided in my visibility. At around 11:45 PM at night ... I could slowly begin to hear rustling through the grass of that Mango Garden . I kept my eyes glued on the bait , as it lay hanging from the branch of that mango tree . I could see the very pronounced shape of the panther , as it slowly crept up towards the bait .
    After sniffing the bait for a few seconds , the brute began to gnaw on the raw pork with a feeling of impunity. This was my opportunity.

    I slowly raised my “ Old Belgian “ to my shoulder and took aim at the feeding and unsuspecting brute . I pressed the button of my pencil torch light and shone the beam of the pencil torch light on to the head of the panther . As the brute turned to stare at me ... I did not give it any time to react . I let off my left barrel at the brute , at a distance of 10 yards ... my point of aim being the region right between the brute’s 2 eyes. And that was that . It dropped lifeless.

    Below, I have provided a photograph taken by myself today of the brute’s head and am pointing to the bullet hole inflicted by my 1 ounce spherical ball of hardened lead . This is the region which I would always select as my point of aim for panthers .
    8A094BF1-A323-483E-8CFB-507BB4997880.jpeg

    Upon examining the panther , I learnt that it was not a large 1 at all . It was in fact, what the local Indian shikarees living in West Bengal , referred to ... as a “ Clouded Leopard “ . The brute weighed only 52 pounds and had a nose to tail length of 4 feet and 5 inches .

    Below , I have provided some more photographs taken by myself of the brute , along with measuring tape for indicating my accuracy in measurements .
    FE5E1237-7FC3-43E4-9E96-61339E0FB218.jpeg
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    It now became crystal clear to me , as to why the “ Child Eater Of Terai “ was only attacking children. A panther of this size would typically not be a fatal threat to an adult human being .For small children however ... this panther could present a perfectly legitimate threat , especially if the wounds of the children became septic ( which they did . )

    Upon skinning the brute , we found no less than 6 large , squirmy maggots inside the brute’s brain . Was this the cause of the panther’s depravity ? It may very well be so .

    I was initially a little skeptical if I had actually dispatched the real culprit that had mauled all of those children . So , I asked the villagers if they could bring some of the children who had been non fatally wounded by the panther , to come and see the corpse of the slain brute . True enough ... every single 1 of the wounded children were dead certain that THIS was the exact same panther , which had attacked them . Safisfied with my actions... I decided that it was time to go home .
    After collecting my 100 Rupees reward money from the local Zamindaar ( Land Lord ) who owned the Mango Garden , I packed up my luggage ( Including the panther skin ) and my “ Old Belgian “ , before hitch hiking a ride from a friendly truck driver to the Siliguri train station .
    And in no time at all , I was back in Nagpur , in the pleasant company of my girl friend , my grand father , Ponual and Old Tobin ... ready to resume work from the following week as a professional shikaree for Allwyn Cooper Limited.

    I had in fact, gifted this panther skin to Kawshik’s late girl fiancé , Antora on her birthday as a present . She liked it very much . But after Antora was killed during “ Operation Search Light “ by the West Pakistani Army in the Buet University Genocide Of March 25th , 1971 .... her parents locked up all of her possessions in the attic of the family house in Bangladesh ( which used to be East Pakistan , prior to the Bangladesh Liberation War of 1971 . ) . After Antora’s parents had both passed away by 1999 ... her younger sister and her family decided to permanently immigrate to Switzerland. Before leaving , her sister returned the panther skin to Kawshik ... who in turn , returned it to me . A fine momento it is... of happier times for all of us .

    As I conclude this article ... I find myself wondering something which I often do wonder , whenever I think about the Child Eater of Terai . Those 14 children who died after getting injured by the panther ... who actually killed them ? Did their injuries really turn septic after getting mauled by the panther ? Or was it human stupidity which actually did them in ? I have no doubt that those villagers must have considered it a common practice to “ treat “ those mauled children with cow urine. Any rational person does not even need to THINK about how infectious cow urine can really be ( especially , when applied on to the open wounds of injured children .)
    There is no doubt about it that the panther was a menace , which needed to be dispatched . However , I often wonder if the villagers inadvertently had a hand in the deaths of those 14 children , as well.

    I certainly hope that this article has proven enjoyable , Dear Readers . I sincerely hope to commence writing my next article day after tomorrow. But until then ...
    THE END
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2020
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  9. Wyatt Smith

    Wyatt Smith AH Fanatic

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    Why that cat is scarcely larger than an American bobcat, and to think it caused so much carnage. Luckily you were able to end the brute with that large hole in his head.
     

  10. Panther Shooter

    Panther Shooter AH Enthusiast

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    A fine story just like all of your other writings , Major . We used to have these fiends wreaking great havoc in Jolpaiguri , as well . We refer to them , as “ Baagh Dhasha “ . Like miniature buzz saws, they are. Extremely devastating on goats and chickens . I have seen these fiends attack small children on a few occasions , as well .
    Speaking of Antora ( May She Rest In Peace ) , I heard from Newaz and his wife that Antora killed a “ Baagh Dhasha “ as well with a shot gun , loaded with an AAA buckshot cartridge . Is that really true ? AAA for a “Baagh Dhasha “seems a little light , wouldn’t you say ? An Eley Alphamax 2 3/4 inch LG cartridge ( which holds eight pellets of .36 caliber ) seems like a much better choice by my reckoning , if buck shot is to be used on these fiends , at all .
     

  11. mark-hunter

    mark-hunter AH Elite

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    Dear Major,

    i wanted to ask, how come that rozzetes are so uncommon on this leopard, but you have already answered this: clouded leopard.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clouded_leopard

    So, once again, I learn from you for leopard subspecies, forest leopard, village leopard, and this time I learned of clouded leopard. Also noted well, specifies type - black panther, iconic leopard!

    Dear Major, Panther Shooter, Kawshik Rahman, Capt Nwz,

    i went there to investigate men eating leopard fatality rate on local population.
    from wikipedia, several notorius leopards were recorded:

    - Leopard of Panar, calimed 400 lives (!!!)
    - Leopard of central provinces, 150 lives
    - Leopard of Rudraprayag, 125 lives
    - Leopard of Gollis range, 100 lives
    - Leopard of the Mulher Valley, 30 lives
    - Leopard of Kahani: cca 100 lives
    - Leopard of Punanai 12 lives

    Many of man eaters mentioned by your friends and yourself here, are not even noted in various public media, until you joined this forum.

    If, we asume that men eating leopard, before being put down in average mauls 20 people, I am wondering how many lives have been saved by your friends and yourself, 4 excellent shikarees!

    Well done, gentlemen, well done! I dont think I can say more then that, to all 4 of you!
     

  12. Wyatt Smith

    Wyatt Smith AH Fanatic

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    Well said mark hunter
     
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  13. Bullhunter

    Bullhunter AH Enthusiast

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    Wonderfull story (again), Mayor Kahn.
    Thank you.
     
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  14. perttime

    perttime AH Enthusiast

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    I have been wondering....
    You have taken many cats from a hole in the ground, and from a "Macchan". Did those methods ever fail?
     

  15. Major Khan

    Major Khan AH Elite

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    Well , I should hope that you enjoy the rest , Jeffro .
     

  16. Major Khan

    Major Khan AH Elite

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    I do hope that you shall enjoy the rest of it , Brent .
     

  17. Major Khan

    Major Khan AH Elite

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    Your long wait is over , New Boomer .
     

  18. Major Khan

    Major Khan AH Elite

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    I do not mean to flatter you , Webley . But your analytical skills are DEADLY as always . You have a tendency to always think outside the box and look at all of the contributing factors behind any particular set of circumstances . You picked up on some thing quite early on , which I do not reveal until the end of the article. As you shall discover by the time you finish reading the climax of this article .... after this particular shikar was over , I found myself wondering the exact same thing . No doubt the panther was a depraved 1 , which had to be dispatched , in order to prevent it from attacking any more children . However , the question which arises in my mind is this :
    Did the children who died , die as a result of their injuries becoming septic from the panther's claws ? Or did those children die , as a result of their injuries becoming septic after the villagers " Treated " their wounds with cow urine ?
     

  19. gesch

    gesch AH Enthusiast

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    Thank you for another well written report. Even more importantly thank you for saving the lives of many children! I am proud to know you. Your friend, Brian
     

  20. Major Khan

    Major Khan AH Elite

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    The small sized panthers are actually the most challenging to hunt , Master Smith . They can hide in holes in the ground ... which makes it extremely difficult to spot them , even in open terrain .
    Also , following up on these brutes presents 3 massive problems :
    > They are far more nimble and fast , than their larger counterparts .
    > They have a malicious propensity to hide in trees and pounce upon the shikaree when the shikaree passes under the tree.
    > They invariably attempt to attack their hapless victim by pouncing on them from behind , latching on to them with their hind claws and then tearing in to their flesh with their fangs and the claws on their fore paws .
     

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