Often, I used to ask myself this question. There are many animals I thought it could be. But, without doing a little research, I could never be certain. I was not surprised by the answer, but had not considered this animal: The Bengal Tiger.
During the late 1800s and early 1900s, the Champawat Tiger was responsible for taking the lives of approximately 436 humans. She began her attacks in the country of Nepal, before being driven out by the Nepalese Army, causing her to cross the border into India.
However, her killings did not cease once the Champawat Tiger found herself in foreign territory. Surprisingly, she adapted by expanding her hunting grounds to include various villages, some being many miles apart. Interestingly, this behavior mimics that of a Siberian tiger, not a Bengal.
Sadly, most of her victims were women and children, as they would go into the forest to gather goods. Not a single one, was killed during the night; quite unusual, as Bengal tigers primarily hunt at night. Fear consumed the people in the hunted villages; some refusing to work. It was not uncommon for the roar of the beast to be heard.
The Champawat Tiger’s killing spree finally came to an end in 1907, when a hunter, Jim Corbett, shot and killed her. Upon examination, the tiger’s upper and lower canine teeth were found damaged. On the right side of her mouth, the upper tooth was cracked in half, and the lower tooth was down to the jaw bone.
Corbett thought this was the result of a past gunshot. Due to the animal’s wound, he believed the tiger was unable to hunt its natural prey, causing her to prey on humans. The Champawat Tiger was estimated to be ten to twelve years old.
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