Thursday, May 8, 2008

A Legendary Hunter

Between 1907 and 1938, Jim Corbett killed a dozen large cats who were collectively blamed for more than 1,500 human deaths. While being hailed as India's most celebrated hunter of man-eaters, Corbett developed a vast respect for tigers and leopards. Years spent stalking intelligent and powerful predators through the forests convinced him that these were graceful creatures that deserved respect. Even these man-eaters held his respect, for he understood that they were merely adapting to their desperate circumstances. "The stress of circumstances is, in nine cases out of ten, wounds, and in the tenth case old age," Corbett once wrote, "Human beings are not the natural prey of tigers, and it is only when tigers have been incapacitated through wounds or old age that, in order to survive, they are compelled to take to a diet of human flesh." Indeed, Corbett admired the wild tiger as "a large-hearted gentleman with boundless courage", and he urged India's people to rally for the conservation of "the finest of her fauna." Read the rest of this fascinating biography at Damn Interesting.

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