@major KahnA 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 .
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Me ( Center ) with another forest panther , which I had to follow in to the thickets and dispatch . Photograph taken by Tobin Stakkatz .
You cut a dashing figure in your younger days my friend. You should post a current photo of yourself.