The Urban Man Eater

Mort Hill

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This was a most fascinating story , Mort Hill . In your .375 Holland & Holland magnum , were you using a good soft nose bullet , like a Winchester Silvertip or Remington Core Lokt ? They were always my personal favorite cartridges for clients to use on Indian panthers .
And you must not judge yourself too harshly . We all make errors . During the very first time l ever attempted to hunt a panther , l made some extremely embarrassing mistakes as well .
I used an Eley Alphamax LG cartridge ( 8 pellets to the cartridge ) to try to kill a panther and l instead ended up accidentally blasting the goat , which l was using as bait , while the panther almost made good his escape . Fortunately , my maternal grandfather was there to assist me and he killed the panther when it charged , by using his .405 Winchester Model 1895 lever rifle . We all learn from our mistakes . We should not be ashamed of our mistake , but rather be proud of the lessons learnt from that mistake.

Yes, a was using a round similar to the core lokt. I had learned from previous leopard hunts that the ultra fast .375 loads tend to pass right through the soft skin leopard without a large damage channel, unless they hit bone. On the first leopard I ever shot, this was the case. Fortunately for me, the bullet clipped a rib bone that broke and spun like a knife creating a large wound and the cat lay dead at the bottom of the bait tree. He was a large cat that we had kept on bait for 8 days while we looked for a truly enormous cat that was in the area. Thank you for your kind words because I have learned more from my failures than all my successes combined.
 

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Stephen, I stand corrected because I did misread your post about Leopard and Panther being the same species but be that as it may, the main reas


Stephen, I stand corrected because I did misread your post and you are correct when you said that a Leopard and a Panther are the same species but be that as it may, the main reason that I responded to your post is because I think that it was unnecessary to correct an older gentleman who is giving us a rare gift by telling us his experiences into a world that will never be seen again

Sorry if I sounded harsh in my previous post

First off another great story :D Beers:.... @Major Khan ....but @Shakka when I saw the photo i was going to mention also it was a jaguar. ....I doubt Steven meant any disrespect anymore than I would have.....so not sure why anyone is jumping down his throat. ...:D Barman:
 

Major Khan

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First off another great story :D Beers:.... @Major Khan ....bit @Shakka when I saw the photo is was going to mention also it was a jaguar. ....I doubt Steven meant any disrespect anymore than I would have.....so not sure why anyone is jumping down his throat. ...:D Barman:
Thank you so much for your appreciation , Spike T. I am glad that you enjoyed the story.
 

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Major Khan

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Tonight , l will share an account to all of my dear readers about a man eating panther which certainly knew how to rack up a body count - 20 people dead and 7 injured in the 46 days that it terrorized the village of Takalghat , in the state of Maharashtra, India. It was also unusual among all the man eating panthers which l had killed in my entire career , because it simply did not fear people at all , even in large groups. Let us begin , dear readers.
Our story begins in April of 1968 , 1 of the hottest months of the year , in India. I was in Nagpur at the time , having successfully finished guiding a French client for a royal Bengal tiger shikar . So l had a week free , before another client would come to Allwyn Cooper Limited , on the 23rd.
I was using these free days to spend time with my girl friend and we had gone to an ice cream parlor 1 day , when news about the man eater first came to me . A vanilla ice cream cone used to cost 20 paise back in those days and a chocolate ice cream cone used to cost 25 paise back then . While we were enjoying our ice creams , we were casually chatting with the owner of the ice cream parlor , a kind , elderly gentleman named Mr. Gupta .
Mr . Gupta was talking about how 1 of his relative's children in Takalghat ( a village a few hours away from Napgur ) had been killed by a man eating panther . My shikaree's instincts got the better of me and l asked Mr. Gupta more about this panther . Mr. Gupta told us that the panther had killed over a dozen people and that the authorities were offering a big reward for the destruction of this brute . However , he did not know many other details about this man eating menace. No matter .

I began to ask around and l soon gathered enough information about this man eater . It was a forest panther , which had claimed 19 lives ( till now ) and the local authorities were offering 1000 rupees for it's death. This was considerably more than the average amount which local authorities would typically offer for the destruction of man eaters and nuisance animals back in those days.
Knowing that l had some free time before my next client came to Allwyn Cooper Limited for royal Bengal tiger shikar , l decided to try my luck in hunting down this man eater .
I asked my good friend and shikaree partner , the German American , Tobin Stakkatz if he would like to accompany me in hunting this brute down .
Old Tobin always had a love for challenges and a desire to save innocent people from getting harmed. He immediately agreed and we made plans to visit Takalghat .

In the next part of this 3 part article , l will relate what we found when we had reached Takalghat and the preparations which we had to take .

Below , l have provided a photograph taken from the internet of an Indian forest panther , as l do not wish to reveal the photograph of the panther killed by us , until the climax of this article.
View attachment 320049
Friend Ponton
They are certainly a beautiful animal it is a pity they go rouge at times.
Cheers my Friend, Bob
 
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If he reads my comment he will correct himself, I know jaguars, and I know leopards/panthers, what he posted is a jaguar.
SteppenZambia
I don't think the photo makes any difference to the story. I don't think I would like to have to confront one of them turned man eater with a 12 bore shotgun. It is the story of how 2 men tried to help a village not a shit fight about who is right or wrong over a picture.
Just sit back and enjoy a lesson in history instead of being pedantic ove a picture. I know friend Ponton will show a picture of the slain animal at the end of the story and his loyal readers and many friends couldn't care less if it is the wrong photo. It is the story that's important. I could show you a picture of a male and female Oryx and you would have a hard time telling the difference. Panther, leopard, jaguar all spotted cats to us.
Cheers
Bob Nelson
 
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Poton and Kawshik, I've been remiss in not saying something that I've been thinking about for the past couple of months. It is an American expression of admiration so please don't be offended.

"YOU GUYS HAVE MORE BALLS THAN A BRASS MONKEY."

Some people would think that going into the bush, at night, after a wounded Leopard with a flashlight is nuts!
Shootist43
Or as my dad used to say YOUR A BETTER MAN THAN ME GUNGER DIN. Friends Ponton and Tobin are either very brave or silly or a combination of both. No Matter what way you look at it they are exceptional men
Cheers mate Bob
 
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We did a post mortem of the creature and we saw that Tobin’s 347 grain solid metal covered bullet had blown a a clean hole through the panther and raked it from end to end . It had even ruptured a chunk of the panther’s heart. An yet , it was still full of fight , half an hour later , when Tobin and l had to face it’s charge in the thickets.
Even though , Tobin was my best friend and a far better shikaree than l could ever dream of being , it is my belief that if Tobin had used a soft point expanding bullet instead of a solid metal covered bullet for that shot on the panther , then he would have killed it far more swiftly ( perhaps even , then and there ), because the soft point bullet would have expanded and opened up a larger wound cavity inside the brute’s vital organs . However , my friend did not trust soft point bullets at all , so what to do ? I do not blame him 1 bit , because the .423 Mauser soft point bullets from RWS used to be very foul things back in those days and known to disintegrate all too easily ( I some times still imagine what his reaction would be like , if he ever was able to see a Swift A frame soft point bullet in his life time ).

We found another unusual thing about this panther . He was completely unblemished. There were no injuries on him , which we typically associate with panthers who become man eaters. Usually , conventional wisdom dictates that a panther turns man eater , due to some injury , like a a wound from a shikaree’s bullet or getting pricked by the quills of a porcupine or getting hit by the tusks of a boar , or something of that sort . However , there were no such marks on this panther . He had apparently turned man eater , for no reason what so ever . Perhaps , just like normal men and evil men , there are also normal animals and evil animals . My learned colleague and fellow forum member , Sgt. Kawshik Rahman certainly seems to think so , at least as far as crocodiles are concerned. And l am inclined to agree.

About 2 weeks later , when my girlfriend and l were having dinner with Kawshik , his parents and Kawshik ‘s girl friend , Antora ( May Her Soul Rest In Peace ) at Kawshik’s family home , I related this story to them at the dinner table.
Antora , being extremely well read told us that she had read a book written by the Maharajah of Kooch Bihar which mentioned that some female panthers who become man eaters , raise their cubs to become man eaters from birth as well .
As we pondered about this possibility , it made a great deal of sense ( about 1 year later , l would actually end up discovering this for myself ) . Perhaps the man eater of Takalghat had been raised a man eater ever since it’s birth by it’s mother . We will never truly know why it had suddenly developed a fondness for human flesh and chosen to target the people of Takalghat just like that , in the summer of 1968. But it did.
I hope that this article has proven enjoyable. I will now slowly respond to all the kind feed back from my dear readers on this site.
Friend Ponton
Another enthralling story for yourself, once again I totally enjoyed your stories.
Keep safe and well my friend, Bob
 

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I loved reading it major Khan. Great hunt. Really a natural hunt as it can be.
 

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I have had the 505 gibbs for over 7 or 8 years. Also have the sako 500 jeffery. I am still working on getting a load that would give me 2150 to 2200 fps with 600 grain bullet. Slow powders dont burn all the powder. I have tried rl25 145 to 150 gr.ns. looks like I need a hotter primer than Federal 215. I dont want to use fillers. At 145 grains rl 25 the charge is 100%. Between work 7days a week 12 hrs a day and rest of the things I have to do it is taking time to find the perfect load. Since lack of time at precent I am collecting the fire arms I like. In the process of acquiring 450 rigby, cz 500 jeffery AHR. PICKED UP 7 YESTER DAY FROM MY FFL. CZ 416 RIGBY, RUGER RSM 416 RIGBY, CZ 458 LOTT, 350 REMINGTON MAGNUM, A 308 VEPR MOLOT 25 INCH BARREL AND COUPLE OF CZ SAFARI CLASSIC ACTIONS. I will send you some pictures
 

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