The maneater of Deval

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Shivaji.Dasgupta
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Re: The maneater of Deval

Post by Shivaji.Dasgupta » Sun Sep 27, 2020 8:13 pm

Vishnu2017 wrote:
Sun Sep 27, 2020 8:14 am
Respected prashantsingh sir,
Thanks for sharing your experiences , your experiences reminds me reading the book "Maneaters of Kumaun" by Jim Corbett , my request you should write a book about your experiences, am eagerly waiting for your next post
I too support Vishnu 2017. Your vast experience on man eating cats are a treasure. You should write them. This is really a recall of old golden days. Nice to hear from you after a long time. Keep it up.
Regards

Shivaji

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Re: The maneater of Deval

Post by prashantsingh » Sun Sep 27, 2020 9:49 pm

Our plan was that one person will sit over the bait. While the other will search with the jeep on the road .
The maneater was coming to the village on a daily basis. So, if our bait was vocal enough, their was more chance that it would come to the bait.
Zaheer would search from the jeep with a search light from dusk till 10 pm. This was the time we expected the leopards movement on the road as it came to the village. He would then take a break and again search from 3am till dawn....the time we expected the killer to return from the village.
i would tie the bait and spend the night on the machan (hide).
A friend Ryan Lobo had been kind enough to gift me an attachment and a powerful torchlight. The torch was small enough to fit below the barrel and powerful enough to illuminate an area upto 50 yards . I was now independent and did not depend on another person so show the flashlight. If the maneater came on the bait . I could switch on the light myself and shoot it.
As mentioned in my earlier posts. Sitting on the machan is never easy. Once ability to sit silently without moving is put to test. In the monsoons . The swarms of mosquitoes and humidity makes things worse. The slightest of breeze comes as a great relief. On a dark night . A leopard can see 6 times better than the human eye. Any movement on the machan can be spotted easily by the big cat

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Re: The maneater of Deval

Post by kanwar76 » Sun Sep 27, 2020 10:38 pm

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Re: The maneater of Deval

Post by drag73 » Sun Sep 27, 2020 11:26 pm

Now the question for you folks is. Do the department let you keep the hunt as trophy or do the forest department take the carcass?

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Re: The maneater of Deval

Post by shooter50 » Mon Sep 28, 2020 1:01 am

Great Story. Thank you for sharing (y) (y)

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Re: The maneater of Deval

Post by prashantsingh » Mon Sep 28, 2020 8:08 am

drag73 wrote:
Sun Sep 27, 2020 11:26 pm
Now the question for you folks is. Do the department let you keep the hunt as trophy or do the forest department take the carcass?
After the conflict animal is shot . The Shikari has to surrender it to the Forest Dept. No part of the animal should be missing. Three officials conduct a post mortem including two Vets . Tissue samples are sent the the lab.
In case of the Motichur maneater human flesh was found in the leopard's stomach
In case of the BHEL maneater . Human hair was found.
Having said that. I would also like to add that in a number of cases . No human parts are found.
This does not necessarily mean that the animal is not a maneater.
It simply means that at the time the animal was shot. It had not consumed human flesh.
For example . We shot the maneating leopard of Lansdowne on 5th March 2016. The leopard had killed two girls (not eaten) and injured one woman within a week. When the post mortem was conducted the stomach was empty. Yet all attacks on humans have stopped ever since ( been more than 4 years now) , confirming the correct animal was shot.
Even in case of Deval maneater. The last attack had taken place on Rakshabandhan. The animal was finally shot on 21 August. The animal did not get a chance to eat the kill and had to abandon it . I did not expect human flesh in the stomach

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Re: The maneater of Deval

Post by prashantsingh » Mon Sep 28, 2020 8:13 am

Contrary to this . Let us take another situation.
You may have heard of the Kedarnath floods. They took place a few years ago and thousands lost their lives.
Many bodies could never be retrieved and were washed downhill. It is believed a number of leopards and other carnivores must have fed on these bodies. If such a animal were shot and the gut contents examined . It would show presence of human flesh.
Yet . It would be wrong to classify the animal as a maneater ? This would be nothing but opportunistic scavanging

What I am trying to say is that Lab Tests can not prove weather the animal is a maneater.
Recently an Animal Rights group called Red Linx had filed a complaint against all registered hunters (including me) in the Hon. Supreme Court of India . The NGO is run by a lady named Ms Sangeeta Dogra . Her petition was supported by a number of people from India and Abroad.
The petition was rejected in the first hearing.

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Re: The maneater of Deval

Post by prashantsingh » Mon Sep 28, 2020 8:21 am

But I dread to imagine the day . When such petitions will be entertained by the courts. My heart goes out to the poorest of the poor. Who will then have to suffer the wrath of these beasts.
Infact it will be a sad day for conservation as well.
If you do not remove the man killer .
The villagers will take out their frustration and anger on any big cat they see.
They will poison any kill and many more innocent animals will be killed
Last edited by prashantsingh on Mon Sep 28, 2020 8:29 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The maneater of Deval

Post by prashantsingh » Mon Sep 28, 2020 8:25 am

drag73 wrote:
Sun Sep 27, 2020 11:26 pm
Now the question for you folks is. Do the department let you keep the hunt as trophy or do the forest department take the carcass?
Coming back to your question.
Once the carcass is handed over to the Forest Dept. The atopsy is conducted and the animal put on a pyre and burnt .
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Re: The maneater of Deval

Post by drag73 » Mon Sep 28, 2020 11:04 am

prashantsingh wrote:
Mon Sep 28, 2020 8:25 am
drag73 wrote:
Sun Sep 27, 2020 11:26 pm
Now the question for you folks is. Do the department let you keep the hunt as trophy or do the forest department take the carcass?
Coming back to your question.
Once the carcass is handed over to the Forest Dept. The atopsy is conducted and the animal put on a pyre and burnt .
Thank you for the clarification

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Re: The maneater of Deval

Post by drag73 » Mon Sep 28, 2020 1:39 pm

prashantsingh wrote:
Mon Sep 28, 2020 8:21 am
But I dread to imagine the day . When such petitions will be entertained by the courts. My heart goes out to the poorest of the poor. Who will then have to suffer the wrath of these beasts.
Infact it will be a sad day for conservation as well.
If you do not remove the man killer .
The villagers will take out their frustration and anger on any big cat they see.
They will poison any kill and many more innocent animals will be killed
Completely agree with you. These so called NGO'S have become a big problem. We loose so many children in a modern city like Bangalore to stray dogs killing children, my personal opinion is they are nothing but man eaters of cocnrete jungle. The NGO'S dont even let you touch these ferocious strays. Apart from deaths from direct kill due to bites, India has dubious reputation of being Rabies capital of the world. Sorry if digressed.

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Re: The maneater of Deval

Post by prashantsingh » Mon Sep 28, 2020 2:55 pm

drag73 wrote:
Mon Sep 28, 2020 1:39 pm
prashantsingh wrote:
Mon Sep 28, 2020 8:21 am
But I dread to imagine the day . When such petitions will be entertained by the courts. My heart goes out to the poorest of the poor. Who will then have to suffer the wrath of these beasts.
Infact it will be a sad day for conservation as well.
If you do not remove the man killer .
The villagers will take out their frustration and anger on any big cat they see.
They will poison any kill and many more innocent animals will be killed
Completely agree with you. These so called NGO'S have become a big problem. We loose so many children in a modern city like Bangalore to stray dogs killing children, my personal opinion is they are nothing but man eaters of cocnrete jungle. The NGO'S dont even let you touch these ferocious strays. Apart from deaths from direct kill due to bites, India has dubious reputation of being Rabies capital of the world. Sorry if digressed.
Almost 70 lac people are bitten by stray dogs every year
300 children below the age of 15 have been killed by stray dogs in the last 5 years.
IMG-20200928-WA0029.jpg
Stray dogs are a threat not only to humans but also to our wildlife .
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Re: The maneater of Deval

Post by SMJ » Mon Sep 28, 2020 2:58 pm

Another riveting account from Dr Prashant after ages! Doctor If I'm not mistaken, I believe you had mentioned in an earlier account that you were switching from the .30-06 to 375 mag as you expected that there would also be an increase in elephant- man conflict. Has this prediction (sadly) also come to pass?

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Re: The maneater of Deval

Post by prashantsingh » Mon Sep 28, 2020 3:10 pm

SMJ wrote:
Mon Sep 28, 2020 2:58 pm
Another riveting account from Dr Prashant after ages! Doctor If I'm not mistaken, I believe you had mentioned in an earlier account that you were switching from the .30-06 to 375 mag as you expected that there would also be an increase in elephant- man conflict. Has this prediction (sadly) also come to pass?
Yes it has.
The minimum calibre for a tiger and an elephant is a .375 mag
We had a maneating tigress in Ramnagar sometime back that i could not go after as I was in Canada for a month on a holiday with family. The tigress was finally shot by a friend.
There was a rogue tusker in BHEL Haridwar which had killed 3 people.
In a spectacular operation . A one of its kind in North India . The young bull was darted and captured by the Director Rajaji National Park and his team, and subsequently trained by expert mahawats.
The elephant (now named Raja) is being used by the Forest Dept in anti poaching operations.
The entire story has featured in the April issue of CHEETAL .....Journal of the Wildlife Preservation Society (Estd 1958)
I happen to be a life member of the Society and its Executive Vice President.
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Re: The maneater of Deval

Post by prashantsingh » Mon Sep 28, 2020 8:45 pm

Coming back to the hunt
The next three nights were spent on the bait while Zaheer carried on the search at night (in the jeep) to try and find out the maneater's movement .
But the animal appeared to have vanished in thin air. We could spot the pug marks on an almost daily basis. But no one ever saw the beast.
This was actually surprising because all houses in the village were occupied.
Earlier when we used go for hunts we would find that the villages were almost half empty. With little employment opportunity in the hills most young folks preferred to work in metros like Delhi and Mumbai. With Covid 19 at its peak in India they were back home now. Every house in the village was occupied. The villages in the hill state suddenly appeared to be bubbling with activity.

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