Man-eaters of Kumaon

by Jim Corbett

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This is the Merlin Unwin Books edition and is the only one currently available which contains the iconic Raymond Sheppard illustrations which capture with remarkable verve and accuracy the dramatic highlight of each story. All royalties from the sale of the Merlin Unwin Books hardback edition go to the Corbett tiger reserve in India.

The presence of a man-eating tiger in the Indian province of Naini Tal spread fear and panic throughout the impoverished rural community. This tigress had already killed 434 villagers by the time Jim Corbett was approached to track and despatch her in 1907.

These thrilling and moving tales are Corbett’s first-hand accounts as, over the ensuing 29 years and at the request of desperate locals, he expertly tracks and kills various specific tigers and leopards which had become man-eaters, driven to this by injury or extreme old age.

No one understood the ways of the Indian jungle better than Corbett. A skilled tracker, he preferred to hunt alone and on foot, sometimes accompanied by his small dog Robin. Corbett derived intense happiness from observing wildlife and he was a fervent conservationist as well as a tracker and ace shot.

He empathised with the impoverished people amongst whom he lived, in what is today Uttarakhand, and he established India’s first tiger sanctuary there.

Corbett’s writing is as immediate and accessible today as it was when first published in 1944.



33 Black & white illustrations


Sep 05, 2017


About the Author:

Jim Corbett (1875–1955) was born in Naini Tal, northern India, the eighth child of Christopher and Mary Corbett. His father was postmaster there. Jim as a youth spent all his spare time in the surrounding jungle, mesmerised by its rich flora and fauna.

Few local people owned guns and were helpless in the face of the occasional man-eating tigers which marauded at intervals across miles of mountainous jungle in what is today Uttarakhand, killing hundreds of poor land-workers.

Jim devoted three decades to stalking and despatching these tigers on their behalf. He later established India’s first tiger sanctuary at Naini Tal.

On retirement he moved with his sister Maggie to Kenya where he died at the age of 79.

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