Tiger With 436 K/D

Chances are that you, like most people, tend
to go for a swim in the ocean with no small amount of trepidation. You’ve seen Jaws, you know what’s out there,
lurking and waiting, possibly hungry and with an eye on you right now. The fact that you typically can’t see more
than a few inches in turbulent sea water doesn’t really help matters any, so you decide to
stick to the shallows- except the shallows is where most shark attacks happen. Yet while you’re afraid of being eaten by
a shark, what you should really be afraid of is tigers. Sharks kill on average 5 whole people a year,
that’s such a pathetic figure that we haven’t researched it, but we’re pretty sure more
people die every year from sneezing to death than shark attacks. Despite these paltry numbers, there’s likely
not a single day you’ve been to the beach that you haven’t eyed the waters warily, and
with no small amount of trepidation for the ancient, prehistoric, cold-blooded killer
that could be lurking beneath the waves right now. While sharks are putting up rookie numbers
though, Tigers are the Lebron James of animal fatalities, putting up real pro numbers on
the board. On average, 85 people a year are killed or
injured by tigers, and most of those fatalities occur in India. Thanks to a massively successful conservation
effort, tiger numbers have rebounded from near-extinction, and tigers decided to say
thank you by doing what tigers have done for hundreds of thousands of years: eating people. We’d be mad, but then again it was us that
drove them to almost be extinct in the first place, so fair is fair we suppose. Yet today’s tigers are nothing compared to
the tigers of yesteryear, and in at least once case your granddad may have been right:
things really were tougher in his time. That would be thanks to one particular tiger
who stalked Nepal in 1903. Named the Champawat Tiger, which we assume
is ancient Nepalese for Destroyer of Man, this tiger got a taste for man flesh in 1903
and decided that we made for better hunting, and eating, than swift, agile deer. This tigress began making a regular meal out
of local villagers, eating men, women, and children. Locals became so terrified that many refused
to enter the jungle unless in large groups, and even this tactic wasn’t always successful
as she learned to strike when individuals would wander away from the group, then drag
her victim silently back into the jungle to feast. Villagers grew so terrified of the tigress
that the government called up some of the best hunters in the land and sent them after
her. The tigress managed to avoid all of their
efforts and continued to kill, racking up an impressive kill count of 200 people. Eventually the situation got so bad that the
Nepalese army was called in to try and deal with the ferocious tiger, and even they would
not prove to be enough to capture or kill her. She managed to avoid hundreds of armed soldiers,
though at least she stopped killing villagers during the massive hunt. Unable to destroy her, the Nepalese army simply
formed a massive line of soldiers and pushed through the thick jungle, forcing the tiger
out of Nepal and into India. Having the tiger killing Indian villagers
instead of Nepalese villagers was basically a good enough outcome for Nepal’s government,
and they called their forces off. As far as Nepal was concerned, she was India’s
problem now. In turn of the century India and Africa, man-eating
animals were basically par for the course, and thus legendary hunters arose to track
down and destroy man-eaters. One of these hunters was Colonel James Corbett,
a British hunter of Irish descent who operated inside of colonial India. When the tigress began to snack on Indian
villagers, Colonel Corbett was immediately called up and asked to track and kill the
man-eating tiger. He agreed, but only on two conditions- that
all government rewards for the killing of the tiger be canceled, and that other hunters
employed by the government be recalled. Corbett’s reasoning was simple, as long as
a large bounty remained on the tigress’ head, and other hunters prowled the deep jungle,
then he ran a high risk of being accidentally shot. Corbett also feared however that non-offending
tigers would be destroyed in the public frenzy to find the one tigress responsible for the
constant killing. The government quickly agreed to his terms
and in 1907 Corbett began his legendary hunt for the world’s deadliest tiger. Female Bengal tigers weigh on average about
300 pounds, and are eight feet long from head to tail. When hunting the single deadliest tiger to
ever stalk humans, you’d think that Corbett would have equipped himself with perhaps a
suit of T-45 power armor, or at minimum a tactical nuclear weapon or two- but instead
Corbett took off into the deep jungle armed with nothing more than his trusty rifle and
a proper, gloriously British mustache. Corbett tracked the tiger down to a village
named Champawat, where he discovered that the locals had fortified themselves at home. Tiger roars had been heard in the jungle and
by now the tigress’ reputation was so fierce, that nobody dared to leave home unless absolutely
necessary. Some of the people had not left home for nearly
a week. Soon after his arrival though, the tigress
struck again, this time killing a sixteen year old girl and dragging her lifeless body
into the jungle to feed. This proved to be the last mistake the tigress
would ever make though, as she left behind tracks which were easy for Corbett to track
and follow. Splashes of blood from the victim also helped
mark the tiger’s path. After a few hours of tracking, Corbett ran
straight into the tigress, interrupting her feasting, and the two immediately engaged
in a duel to the death. The tigress leapt and lashed out with her
razor sharp claws, while Corbett deftly parried with his hunting rifle and counter-attacked. Man and beast danced and weaved around each
other in a deadly dance of death, claws and blades flashing, lashing out at each other,
seeking an opening to land a mortal strike. Just kidding, Corbett pretty much just shot
the tigress in the face, because that’s how guns work, and just like that the reign of
one of the deadliest tigers in history was over. Authorities would estimate that the Champawat
tiger had killed and eaten 436 people during her four year reign of terror, but this might
be an inaccurate number as in turn-of-the-century India, tigers pretty regularly made a snack
out of people. This means some of the kills attributed to
the Champawat tiger may actually have been committed by other tigers. Before he launched his hunt for the tigress,
Corbett had a theory though on why this particular tiger had taken to eating people. Believe it or not, people are not a regular
diet item for tigers, which is kind of surprising because we are really just the worst at defending
ourselves in the wild unless we have guns. While other animals have sharp claws, quills,
spikes, fangs, or are really fast and agile, we pretty much got the short end of the stick
when it comes to natural weapons. You’d think that at some point tigers would’ve
figured out that we’re basically the popcorn shrimp of the wild kingdom, and make for really
easy prey. So if we aren’t a normal part of a tiger’s
diet, Corbett reasoned that the tigress was likely under a large amount of stress which
forced her to change her eating habits. Perhaps prey was in short supply, and so she
turned to eating humans- if that were true then though she would’ve resumed eating wild
prey when forced across the border from Nepal. Thus Corbett reasoned that the tigress probably
suffered from some sort of debilitating injury which left her unable to hunt wild game- that’s
right, humans are such pathetic creatures that when a tiger is too injured to hunt real
prey, they turn to us instead. Like we said, humans are basically the popcorn
shrimp of the animal kingdom. Sure enough, after killing her Corbett discovered
that the legendary Champawat tiger’s fangs were broken. She had likely suffered from some periodontal
disease and then struggled with prey, or perhaps was simply getting along in years and shattered
several of her sharpened fangs. Unable to deliver quick and efficient killing
blows, the tigress turned to humans, since you really don’t need to do much to kill a
human being. Corbett would go on to continue his career
tracking down man-killing beasts, ending his career as a hunter after taking down the Bachelor
of Powalgarh, which is not a terrible reality show and was in fact one of the largest tigers
ever recorded. Perhaps reflecting on the killing of such
a magnificent animal, Corbett turned conservationist, and helped establish India’s first national
park. He would die in 1955, and the park that he
founded would be named after him: the Jim Corbett National Park. Today tigers still like to occasionally snack
on humans, and in the late 1980s people living in the Ganges delta in India discovered a
surprising way to drastically reduce the number of tiger attacks on villagers. The men of the delta regularly had to trek
through marshy swampland to various job sites, and these were prime hunting grounds for tigers. The tigers, who are ambush predators, could
find perfect concealment in the tall grass, and if you’ve ever seen the Jurassic Park
2 scene where the raptors attacked in the tall grass, then you can pretty accurately
picture what would regularly happen to villagers. 60 people would die a year from tiger attacks
in this one area alone- until people started getting into the tiger’s head. Recognizing that tigers are ambush predators,
the villagers began to wear halloween masks on their heads backwards. The pair of eyes on the back of their heads
would fool the tigers into thinking that they were being watched, and didn’t have the element
of surprise. As insane as this sounds, the tactic worked,
and tiger attacks dropped off steeply in the following months. Today the tactic is still used in many places
in India, and it turns out that for all their ferocity, Tigers have a bit of a self-esteem
problem. If they think they can’t get the jump on a
prey item, then they simply won’t even try. For us, we’re just grateful that tigers have
low self-esteem and don’t realize that whether we see them coming or not, humans could do
literally nothing to stop a tiger attack. Because once more, we’re basically the popcorn
shrimp of the animal kingdom. The Champawat tiger may be the pound for pound
champ of man eaters, but there have been quite a few other famous human hunters that have
given her a run for her money. There were the man eating lions of Kenya who
made meals of 135 people, the leopard of India’s central provinces who took down 150, and who
could forget Gustave, the famed 18 foot (5.5 meter), 2,000 pound (900 kg) crocodile of
Burundi who is estimated to have eaten over 300 humans! And while just like the Champawat tiger, all
of their kill counts are rough estimates at best, it just goes to show you that humans
often aren’t the apex predator of their environment. How would you try to protect yourself from
a tiger attack? Would you have tried to hunt down the Champawat
tiger?! And which famed maneater would you want to
hear about next? Let us know in the comments! And as always if you enjoyed this video then
don’t forget to Like, Share, and Subscribe before a tiger eats you.

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