The Terrifying True Story of the Champawat Tiger, the Deadliest Animal in History by Dane Huckelbridge
The story of the Champawat Tiger and his pursuit by Jim Corbett is told in this tremendous book No Beast So Fierce by Dane Huckelbridge. This true story is filled with history, narrative and enough details to keep you interested throughout the book and I am glad to add it to my collection. I got an advanced copy from the publishers as I rarely pass up the opportunity to get a good book. This copy came in handy as I got the opportunity to read it while I was recovering from the annual #Shotshow crud(I got sick) after the show. I have read a good number of stories about Jim Corbett and I have even gotten the chance to see the tribute rifle produced in his honor.
The story of the Champawat tiger starts in Nepal in 1900 and over a period of 7 years took an astonishing 436 lives and probably many more that were not reported. No Beast So Fierce reads like part history, part thriller, and bounces around the complexity that exists around humans living amongst large apex predators. This is not your standard hunting tale and it is not a simple story about a simple time. The book often reads like a detective novel going back and forth with the information of the area, the tigers, the people and the hunter called upon to take down this deadly maneater.
Jim Corbett at the time was basically unknown and working for the railroad. This story shares his growth as a hunter and a conservationist working to protect the tigers that he once hunted. Corbett is known for his dedication to hunting and later in life he became known for his work to save the Bengal tiger and its habitat. The Jim Corbett National Park currently preserves over 200 square miles with the Corbett Tiger Preserve inside of the park.
Dane Huckelbridge spent actual time on the ground in the Indian Himalayan region retracing the steps of Corbett as well as the steps of the Champawat tiger. Huckelbridge focuses on the entire story covering everything from the colonialism of the times, the natural history of wild tigers during that time, and the evolution of Jim Corbett. Huckelbridge tells this story well and you walk away from this book feeling rewarded with knowledge as well as entertained.
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