The Man Eater Of Kanpur

Major Khan

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Splendid storytelling Major. Why this beast shared the cunning of the rudraprayag (I spelled it the best I could) leopard. I wonder if the Panther smelled his own scent on the corpse?
You spelt it absolutely perfectly , Master Smith . And I am 100 % inclined to agree with you . This particular forest panther was neither the largest nor the heaviest man eater which I have ever had the good fortune to dispatch . How ever , it was certainly the most intelligent .
 

Major Khan

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major khan,

i will admit, you have balls of stainless steel!!! running after a man eater that was JUST shot! i would say, a bit reckless as well, but at this time in your hunting panthers, i suspect you knew how to do it best. well done! and of course a hairy, scary story!!
I am most flattered , 1dirthawker . There are actually 2 schools of thought , in regards to how a wounded forest panther must be spoored . Some professional shikarees ( Such as @Kawshik Rahman ) prefer to wait for an hour , prior to commencing spooring the brute ( In order to give the forest panther time to weaken from it’s wounds ) . Others , such as myself prefer to commence spooring it as soon as it sustains it’s injuries . Kawshik’s methods have served him extremely well ... With no less than 32 forest panthers under his belt . How ever , I always feared that the wounded brute would be lost .
 

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Was the picture of the forest panther with you in the middle taken from an Out Door Life story called "Tiger, and the Unexpected"? The gentleman holding the leopards chin looks familiar,
 

Major Khan

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Was the picture of the forest panther with you in the middle taken from an Out Door Life story called "Tiger, and the Unexpected"? The gentleman holding the leopards chin looks familiar,
I cannot say , Forrest . What year was the story published ? Several of our clients were writers for magazines . For example , we guided Mr. Tom Bolack ( Governor Of New Mexico ) who was quite a prolific writer himself ... In the international hunting community , back in those days .
 

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PARA45

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Major Khan, another nail bitter of a story. Sir, you need to put all your stories into a book so your stories will live on. I'm sure a lot of us here would buy one. :) Again, thank you sir for such a great story.
 

Major Khan

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Major Khan, another nail bitter of a story. Sir, you need to put all your stories into a book so your stories will live on. I'm sure a lot of us here would buy one. :) Again, thank you sir for such a great story.
Why thank you so much for your kind words , PARA45 . I am deeply flattered . Nothing can rival hunting forest panthers at night ... In terms of excitement .
 

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A post mortem had proven to be most educational . My 1st 2 spherical ball bullets had broken the right hind leg of the brute . Grand father’s 300 grain ICI Kynoch brand soft point bullet had ripped in to the man eater’s stomach . The remnants of my 3rd spherical ball bullet was found inside the brain of the forest panther . The brute was an old male , which weighed 178 pounds . Strangely enough , the animal did not appear to possess any signs of previous injuries ... A common occurrence with most man eating forest panthers .

My grand father speculated that the brute might have turned in to a man eater by coming across a human corpse in the forests around Kanpur and taking a few bites of the strange new “ Meat “ out of curiosity . No doubt , this was what had gotten the forest panther addicted to the flesh of man . At the time , I did not think much of my grand father’s theory . But what he speculated , may well have been pin point accurate . In 1981 , agricultural land developers had cut down a patch of forest around that Kanpur village . They found enough skeletal remains of human beings to put together 3 dozen corpses . Forensic research later determined that all of the skeletons were all of young females , and that the young women had all been murdered , dismembered and left in the forests in the mid 1960s . Till this date , no body has ever been able to determine exactly who killed those 3 dozen local women . Perhaps , it was a serial killer . Perhaps , it was a group of cultists . No body knew . India had ( And still has ) it’s fair share of both . But in my mind , the forest panther coming across 1 of these dismembered female corpses ... Was doubtlessly what had gotten him to begin craving the flesh of man .

The next morning , the 3 of us deposited the skin of the slain forest panther at the office of the local forest department and we collected the 500 Rupees reward money ... Before departing from Kanpur to Nagpur , on my Land Rover Series 1 . On the way back home , I wondered why the man eater had suddenly become alert up on reaching the corpse which we had set up as bait . Never in my life ( BOTH BEFORE AND AFTER THIS INCIDENT ) did I EVER have another man eating forest panther get suspicious of a human corpse , which I had set up as bait in order to entice it . Did the forest panther actually RECOGNIZE the corpse up on getting close to it ? Did it realize that it had attacked and fatally mauled this person , previously ? Did it suddenly realize , that is was walking in to a trap ?

Perhaps , we will never know . But what I DO know ... Is that the Man Eater Of Kanpur was not your average forest panther .

THE END

View attachment 357172
Me ( Center ) with another forest panther , which I had to follow in to the thickets and dispatch . Photograph taken by Tobin Stakkatz .
Another great story from a brave, brave man. Thank you for sharing it.
Doug
 

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Poton, I just finished reading this recounting of your hunt for the Man-eater of Kapur. Another fascinating adventure, having your grandfather there with you makes this hunt even more memorable. How old was he at that time?
 

Major Khan

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Poton, I just finished reading this recounting of your hunt for the Man-eater of Kapur. Another fascinating adventure, having your grandfather there with you makes this hunt even more memorable. How old was he at that time?
It is my utmost privilege that you have enjoyed this article so much , my friend . Sepoy Jalaluddin Khan was 65 years old , at the time .
 

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Another wonderful story! Thank you sir.
 

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Very exciting adventure Poton! I don’t know how I missed it when you published it. Might have been off camping about the same time.
Thanks!
P.S. I hope Kawshik is doing OK? I have missed his stories.
 

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Marveling at such a beautiful hunting tale.
Admirable. Those kinds of hunts are very rare that can be achieved today.
Thank you very much for sharing it.
 
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In the out skirts of Kanpur in December of 1965 , a young boy had been sent by his parents to fetch a bag of rice from the family grain shed ... In the evening . He never returned , back to the house . The next day , his corpse was found about 300 yards away ... Savaged to with in every inch of his flesh . The way he had been clawed and scratched , with his stomach and rib cage torn open and both his lungs punctured ... Was the clear sign that this was the work of a forest panther and NOT a royal Bengal tiger . You see ... A forest panther always tends to disembowel it’s quarry , with its hind legs . A royal Bengal tiger , on the other hand ... Does not do this . The flesh from the child’s buttocks had been gnawed to the bone - The unmistakable tell tale sign of a forest panther , which had turned man eater . And thus , began the reign of terror of the “ Man Eater Of Kanpur “ .

It was on the 3rd week of May , 1966 ... When the presence of this brute , was 1st brought to my attention. I had just returned to Nagpur at the time , having finished guiding a Turkish client on a most exciting shikar for a Himalayan Brown Bear . After I had returned , I thought it extremely unlikely that I would be guiding any more clients for the rest of the season . Shikar season was to close on the 15th of June . So , I decided to spend those last 3 weeks engaging in some personal hunting with my grand father ... Sepoy Jalaluddin Khan . Perhaps ... Securing a delicious Chinkara , Black Buck and a 4 horned Buck . And some pea fowl and Chukar .

The day after I had returned from the Himalayas , my grand father and I were enjoying lunch at a cafe named Asoka . It used to be a magnificent little place . Their mutton seekh kebabs and crispy paratha flat breads were an addiction for me . 90 % of the time I would eat at Asoka cafe ... This was what I would invariably dine on . My grand father , a gentle man with a small appetite ... Would always opt for the chicken liver on toast . Invariably , we would cap the meal off with two cups of Danish vanilla ice cream ( Which still happens to be my favorite ice cream flavor , after all these years ) . This day was no different . There used to be a radio on the counter and the news would always play on the radio .

As grand father and I were enjoying our dessert ... we heard the grim news that the “ Kanpur Ka Shaytaan “ ( Devil Of Kanpur ) had struck again , and killed it’s 28th victim . Intrigued , I asked Mr. Narayan ( The manager at Asoka ) what the news on the radio was about . Mr. Narayan told us that a vicious man eating forest panther was on the loose , in Kanpur . It had already claimed the lives of 28 villagers and the local forest department was offering a reward of 500 Rupees for the destruction of the brute . Now , 500 Rupees was a great deal of money back in 1966 . I absolutely LOVE(D) hunting forest panthers ... And the wheels in my head had begun to turn .

“ Nana “ I said eagerly “ Chulo hum ek Chita Baagh shikar kare ! “ ( Grand father , let us go and kill a forest panther ! ) . Hearing me talk in such an excited manner , grand father sighed . He replied , “ Thik heye , Beta . Chulo . “ ( Fine , boy . Let us do it ) .

And thus , we had decided to embark on yet another adventure .
@major Kahn
My dear friend Poton you just can't resist a Forrest panther shikar. Even to this day if you were offered one you would eagerly go without hesitation. Such is your passion for panther hunting. I have learnt from your stories it is your favorite.
I will eagerly read it my friend and be enthralled and envious at the same time.
You were very fortunate to have lived through such exciting times. It is a shame that bitch Ghandi ruined it all.
Your humble reader and friend.
Bob Nelson
 
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Anxiously , I was waiting inside that hole in the ground . I was constantly keeping watch on the corpse . By now , I was beginning to lose hope . Would the man eater show up , at all ?

At around 3 AM at night , I saw some thing ... A dark mammalian form slowly creeping towards the direction of the well . It was the forest panther. I knew that if I was seeing the man eater , then my grand father and Ponual were seeing it as well . The brute drew closer and stopped near a banyan tree . It began to clean it’s claws on the bark of the banyan tree ... An act which forest panthers are always wont to do , right before attacking their prey . I smiled in satisfaction . Yes . The brute would soon be mine . The brute drew closer and closer . When it would come with in 30 feet , I was to do what I had mastered by now - Leap up , flick on the pencil torch light which was attached to the fore end of my “ Old Belgian “ ( With the aid of masking tape ) , shine the beam on the brute’s head and then , shoot him right between the eyes as he turned to look at me . Every thing was going according to plan and I fully expected every thing to be perfectly routine . Unfortunately , when hunting dangerous game , no matter how well 1 takes preparation ... Things some times go awry , no matter what .

The brute suddenly stopped in its tracks . It stared at the corpse ... And began to bound AWAY from the bait ! Panicking , I leapt up from the hole , while simultaneously flicking on the pencil torch and shouldering my shot gun . I gave it a quick left and right , in the hind quarters . It roared in agonizing pain , as a 3rd bullet ripped into it's side from above . Grand father had taken a shot at the brute from the roof , with his .405 Winchester Model 1895 lever rifle ... As well . The resilient forest panther still managed to make it in to the thickets .

I shouted to my grand father and Ponual that I was going to spoor the wounded man eater , through the thickets . I opened the breech of my “ Old Belgian “ and turned it up side down , in order to dump out the empty cartridges ... On to the ground . I hastily slipped 2 fresh Eley 2.5 inch spherical ball cartridges in to the chambers of the shotgun and closed it shut . Then , I rushed after the brute . I was using the illumination from the pencil torch light to follow the blood trail of the wounded forest panther . It had sustained considerable injuries . The blood trail was thick , and was indicative of some serious wounds . I pressed on , leery of being ambushed by the brute at the most unexpected moment .

Suddenly , it occurred to me that the blood trail had ceased . The man eater had to be some where , nearby . I looked around , cautiously . And then , I had heard it . A low guttural growl of rage . It was coming from the left of me . Instinctively, I swirled to my left , snapping the shotgun up to my shoulder in a single swift motion . The enraged brute charged , right at me ... it’s fangs bared and it’s claws poised . I pulled my left trigger , just as the man eater was with in a mere 2 feet away from the muzzles of my “ Old Belgian “ . “ Boom ! “ went the left barrel of the grand old gun , as the 1 ounce spherical ball of hardened ball blew clean in to the region right between the brute’s 2 eyes ... smashing right through the skull an in to the creature’s brain . And that was that . The slain brute lay at my feet ... It’s life permanently extinguished . Now , it was time to conduct a post mortem .

View attachment 357155
The slain Man Eater Of Kanpur . Photograph taken by local police constable .
@major Kahn
My dear friend you do ad excitement to your stories by giving us exciting endings. You certainly do like to cut things fine by allowing the Forrest to get so close. For me 2 feet is a bit to close for comfort.
Another job well done my friend.
Bob.
 

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