The Urban Man Eater

krish

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Sam Kunal

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Tobin and l prepared for our trip to Takalghat . I took my old Belgian 12 calibre double barreled shot gun and 8 cartridges of Eley Alphamax Lethal Ball ( 2.75 inch ) . I also took along 10 cartridges of Eley Alphamax triple A , in case l wanted to shoot any geese or crane for the pot , and 10 cartridges of Eley Alphamax no. 6 shot for jungle fowl .
By now , Lethal Ball cartridges were getting increasingly difficult for my clients to find and bring for me . Eley had stopped manufacturing new Lethal Ball cartridges in 1958 , but massive stocks of cartridges were still available for sale for many years to come ( fortunately for me ) . By 1968 , however , the sources were finally starting to dry up and l had to economize my shots fired .
Below , l have provided a photograph taken by myself of my old Belgian shot gun and a photograph taken from the internet of an Eley Alphamax Lethal Ball bullet , removed from the cartridge case.
View attachment 320069
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Tobin took his Fabrique Nationale .423 Mauser bolt rifle , along with 15 RWS cartridges , loaded with 347 grain metal covered solid bullets .
Below l have provided a photograph taken from the internet of an FN .423 Mauser bolt rifle , for reference .
View attachment 320074

We took our shikar licenses , fire arms licenses and a few other supplies and a spare set of clothes for each of us and we set off next morning by Tobin's jeep to Takalghat . It took us merely an hour or so to reach the village of Takalghat .
Upon arriving there , we received the grim news that the panther had claimed yet another victim the previous night . It was a delivery boy who used to deliver groceries to the local chandler's shop .
Tobin and l had an opportunity to examine the unfortunate young boy's corpse before his family cremated his corpse . He was not more than 13 or 14 perhaps and he might have had a full life ahead of him . He had been bitten in over 30 places by the panther and was savagely clawed across the chest so badly that his rib cage had been ripped open and his lungs were punctured . His throat also had a massive chunk of flesh ripped out from it and the jugular vein had been severed . No doubt , that if the punctured lungs did not kill the poor boy , then the severed jugular vein certainly did .
The wound patterns on the boy's corpse indicated that it was a very heavy forest panther . 7 people had been unfortunate enough to cross paths with this brute , but they were fortunate enough to survive ( albeit badly wounded ) . Tobin and l decided to speak to the survivors about this menace . As we interviewed each survivor 1 by 1 , some new information had come to light , which was quite disconcerting , yet at the same time , it helped us understand our adversary .
This was a most plucky panther . It was coming right into the midst of the town town centre after sun down and attacking it's victims . It was even attacking villagers if they were in groups of 4 or 5 people . On 1 occasion it had actually killed 2 villagers during 1 attack .
No body knew why this panther had suddenly started attacking people , nor did they know where it came from . It seemed to have come out of the blue .
But what was certain was that this rascal had refined his palate from cheetal venison to human flesh . And he had to be stopped. Some of the survivors had lost an eye . Some lost an ear . Some were clawed badly across the face , chest and stomach . But all had been very deeply scarred , both physically and psychologically.

In the next part of this article which l will write tomorrow , l will detail how we actually engaged the brute , along with a photograph of the monster .
Nice reminiscence. The Lethal Ball just proved to be effective in your experienced hands..I came across a few pieces in one of my relatives ammo box. It was kept for emergency.It was very beautiful.However it was lost when they foolishly deposited it with the gun during the Naxalite problem..
I am searching for them and will hopefully get some for collection..
 

Major Khan

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Nice reminiscence. The Lethal Ball just proved to be effective in your experienced hands..I came across a few pieces in one of my relatives ammo box. It was kept for emergency.It was very beautiful.However it was lost when they foolishly deposited it with the gun during the Naxalite problem..
I am searching for them and will hopefully get some for collection..
Get ahold of them as quickly as you can , Kunal Beta . They are extremely effective . You can load them in to 1 of my 2 shot guns ... And use them to hunt cheetal deer with me , when you come to visit Bangladesh .
 

Sam Kunal

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Get ahold of them as quickly as you can , Kunal Beta . They are extremely effective . You can load them in to 1 of my 2 shot guns ... And use them to hunt cheetal deer with me , when you come to visit Bangladesh .
I will surely visit you someday if time permits . God Willing.
 

Doug Hamilton

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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.
Major Khan,

I dearly love reading your stories! I feel as if I am transported through time and space to an old India that was greater before the vegetarians took over. It is a lesson that I think we as Americans should learn from.
If it is not too much to ask, I am a little confused about these leopards though. I know what a clouded leopard is, and why they target children. I am not clear about the difference between a hunting panther and a forrest panther. When you write your stories, you refer to them as one or the other but don't use the terms interchangeably. I think they are the same species, but different habits or habitats?
Keep writing. You have some dedicated fans here, and you can count me as one.
Doug
 

Major Khan

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Major Khan,

I dearly love reading your stories! I feel as if I am transported through time and space to an old India that was greater before the vegetarians took over. It is a lesson that I think we as Americans should learn from.
If it is not too much to ask, I am a little confused about these leopards though. I know what a clouded leopard is, and why they target children. I am not clear about the difference between a hunting panther and a forrest panther. When you write your stories, you refer to them as one or the other but don't use the terms interchangeably. I think they are the same species, but different habits or habitats?
Keep writing. You have some dedicated fans here, and you can count me as one.
Doug
Why thank you so much for your kind words , Doug ! Please allow me to answer your question in depth .

I hail from the Central Indian state of Maharashtra . Fellow forum members , @Kawshik Rahman and @Panther Shooter hail from West Bengal .

What they call " Leopard " in West Bengal ... Is what we refer to , as a " Panther " in Central & South India .

So ,
A "Hunting Leopard / Forest Panther " refers to the largest of the South East Asian leopards / panthers . These are typically extremely shy creatures and avoid human beings ( Save for man eaters ) . A fully grown mature male can easily weigh in excess of 200 pounds ... And they live predominantly upon cheetal deer , hog deer , Chinkara , Barasingha , 4 horned buck and black buck .
Screenshot_20200130-064452_01.png


A " Spotted Leopard / Village Panther " is noticeably smaller in size than a hunting leopard / forest panther . A fully grown mature male typically weighs up to 160 pounds. They have no fear of man and typically lurk around villages . They live predominantly upon goats and chickens ... Which they steal from villages .
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A " Clouded Leopard / Clouded Panther " refers to the smallest among the South East Asian leopards / panthers . It typically lurks around tea gardens in hilly regions ( such as Sylhet in Bangladesh , or Terai in the India - Nepal border ) . A fully grown mature male will typically weigh in excess of 52 pounds . They live predominantly upon chickens , baby goats , puppies , mouse deer , baby kakar deer , baby 4 horned buck and baby black buck .
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Doug Hamilton

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Why thank you so much for your kind words , Doug ! Please allow me to answer your question in depth .

I hail from the Central Indian state of Maharashtra . Fellow forum members , @Kawshik Rahman and @Panther Shooter hail from West Bengal .

What they call " Leopard " in West Bengal ... Is what we refer to , as a " Panther " in Central & South India .

So ,
A "Hunting Leopard / Forest Panther " refers to the largest of the South East Asian leopards / panthers . These are typically extremely shy creatures and avoid human beings ( Save for man eaters ) . A fully grown mature male can easily weigh in excess of 200 pounds ... And they live predominantly upon cheetal deer , hog deer , Chinkara , Barasingha , 4 horned buck and black buck .
View attachment 348031

A " Spotted Leopard / Village Panther " is noticeably smaller in size than a hunting leopard / forest panther . A fully grown mature male typically weighs up to 160 pounds. They have no fear of man and typically lurk around villages . They live predominantly upon goats and chickens ... Which they steal from villages .
View attachment 348032

A " Clouded Leopard / Clouded Panther " refers to the smallest among the South East Asian leopards / panthers . It typically lurks around tea gardens in hilly regions ( such as Sylhet in Bangladesh , or Terai in the India - Nepal border ) . A fully grown mature male will typically weigh in excess of 52 pounds . They live predominantly upon chickens , baby goats , puppies , mouse deer , baby kakar deer , baby 4 horned buck and baby black buck .
View attachment 348033
Why thank you so much for your kind words , Doug ! Please allow me to answer your question in depth .

I hail from the Central Indian state of Maharashtra . Fellow forum members , @Kawshik Rahman and @Panther Shooter hail from West Bengal .

What they call " Leopard " in West Bengal ... Is what we refer to , as a " Panther " in Central & South India .

So ,
A "Hunting Leopard / Forest Panther " refers to the largest of the South East Asian leopards / panthers . These are typically extremely shy creatures and avoid human beings ( Save for man eaters ) . A fully grown mature male can easily weigh in excess of 200 pounds ... And they live predominantly upon cheetal deer , hog deer , Chinkara , Barasingha , 4 horned buck and black buck .
View attachment 348031

A " Spotted Leopard / Village Panther " is noticeably smaller in size than a hunting leopard / forest panther . A fully grown mature male typically weighs up to 160 pounds. They have no fear of man and typically lurk around villages . They live predominantly upon goats and chickens ... Which they steal from villages .
View attachment 348032

A " Clouded Leopard / Clouded Panther " refers to the smallest among the South East Asian leopards / panthers . It typically lurks around tea gardens in hilly regions ( such as Sylhet in Bangladesh , or Terai in the India - Nepal border ) . A fully grown mature male will typically weigh in excess of 52 pounds . They live predominantly upon chickens , baby goats , puppies , mouse deer , baby kakar deer , baby 4 horned buck and baby black buck .
View attachment 348033
Thank you for educating me! So a forrest panther and a village panther are are different by size and habitat. Are they different species or subspecies/race? Sorry if I appear dense, I'm somewhat more familiar with the African leopard.
We have clouded leopards at a local zoo. Without your writing, I wouldn't have realized that they were big enough to be a threat to anyone!
Regards,
Doug
 
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Major Khan

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Thank you for educating me! So a forrest panther and a village panther are are different by size and habitat. Are they different species or subspecies/race? Sorry if I appear dense, I'm somewhat more familiar with the African leopard.
Regards,
Doug
Please , Doug . Do not ever embarrass me by apologizing . I consider it an utmost privilege to be able to dialogue with you .
You are correct . The forest panther and the village panther are both different sub species.
 

Doug Hamilton

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Please , Doug . Do not ever embarrass me by apologizing . I consider it an utmost privilege to be able to dialogue with you .
You are correct . The forest panther and the village panther are both different sub species.
Thank you!
 

Nyati

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Thank you Major, for another great story which I immensely enjoyed.
 

7x57Joe

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I dearly love reading of your experiences! I can't imagine following up a wounded panther at night using only a double barrel shotgun and small flashlight. As someone said, your stories transport us to a different time and world which will never be again. Thank you for telling us how it was in your country.
P.S. My wife cooked chicken fried steak a few days ago and as I was enjoying it I thought about how it is your favorite meal. :D
 

Major Khan

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I dearly love reading of your experiences! I can't imagine following up a wounded panther at night using only a double barrel shotgun and small flashlight. As someone said, your stories transport us to a different time and world which will never be again. Thank you for telling us how it was in your country.
P.S. My wife cooked chicken fried steak a few days ago and as I was enjoying it I thought about how it is your favorite meal. :D
Why thank you so much for your kind words , Joe ! I assure you . Following up a wounded forest panther at night with my " Old Belgian " and a pencil torch light ... Is quite a simple affair . I am 100 % confident that you could easily accomplish this simple task .

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Ah , you know my tastes extremely well .
No meal on God's Green Earth can ever surpass chicken fried steak , butter milk biscuits , collard greens , mashed potatoes and pepper cream gravy .It is truly Southern comfort food ... At it's finest .
 

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