The maneater of Deval

Got some old "Shikaar" tales to share? Found a great new spot to Fish? Any interesting camping experiences? Discussion of Back-packing, Bicycling, Boating, National Parks, Wildlife, Outdoor Cooking & Recipes etc.
Forum rules
PLEASE NOTE: There is currently a complete ban on Hunting/ Shikar in India. IFG DOES NOT ALLOW any posts of an illegal nature, and anyone making such posts will face immediate disciplinary measures.
prashantsingh
Poster of the Month - Aug 2011
Poster of the Month - Aug 2011
Posts: 1384
Joined: Fri Jan 08, 2010 6:06 pm
Location: India

Re: The maneater of Deval

Post by prashantsingh » Tue Sep 29, 2020 6:21 pm

At dawn break we resumed the search .
Step by step we followed the blood trail.
I expected the leopard to be right there.
People in the hills do terrace farming. Terrace farming prevents soil erosion
I was surprised at how far the leopard had gone after being hit .
It had jumped from one terrace to the other downhill and was finally found perfectly hidden in the crop. Stone Dead.
The maneater turned out to be a 6 year female . She had an injury on the left shoulder and another injury on the right abdomen. Probably the injuries were due to a territorial fight with another female.
This was the probable cause why the animal had turned maneater

For Advertising mail webmaster
prashantsingh
Poster of the Month - Aug 2011
Poster of the Month - Aug 2011
Posts: 1384
Joined: Fri Jan 08, 2010 6:06 pm
Location: India

Re: The maneater of Deval

Post by prashantsingh » Tue Sep 29, 2020 6:22 pm

When Inder posts the photographs you will be shocked to see the entry wound
It's huge
Looks like the animal has been hit by a rocket
The reason I shall explain subsequently

User avatar
kanwar76
Eminent IFG'an
Eminent IFG'an
Posts: 1850
Joined: Tue Jun 06, 2006 7:00 pm
Location: Bang-a-lure
Contact:

Re: The maneater of Deval

Post by kanwar76 » Tue Sep 29, 2020 6:43 pm

prashantsingh wrote:
Tue Sep 29, 2020 6:22 pm
When Inder posts the photographs you will be shocked to see the entry wound
It's huge
Looks like the animal has been hit by a rocket
The reason I shall explain subsequently


Doc, pics are in your earlier post.
I am the Saint the Soldier that walks in Peace. I am the Humble dust of your feet, But dont think my Spirituality makes me weak. The Heavens will roar if my Kirpan were to speak...

prashantsingh
Poster of the Month - Aug 2011
Poster of the Month - Aug 2011
Posts: 1384
Joined: Fri Jan 08, 2010 6:06 pm
Location: India

Re: The maneater of Deval

Post by prashantsingh » Tue Sep 29, 2020 8:32 pm

Thanks Inder
I did not realise.
Entry wounds are normally small and exit wounds are larger.
In this case there was no exit wound.
Initially the entry wound must have ben small. But with every stride. With every jump . The skin would have torn and the wound become bigger and bigger.
I have seen it happen once before when we shot the FRI maneater .
But what I still can not comprehend is the fact that a 6 feet 9inch leopardess could take that shot and still gather enough strength to cover that distance.
What strength . What power !!!!!

drag73
Learning the ropes
Learning the ropes
Posts: 33
Joined: Sun Aug 16, 2020 9:24 pm
Location: Bangalore

Re: The maneater of Deval

Post by drag73 » Tue Sep 29, 2020 8:39 pm

Yes pound to pound leopards are on of the strongest and powerful cats on the planet. Truly amazing creature. .375 mag is a giant killer.

User avatar
timmy
Old Timer
Old Timer
Posts: 2086
Joined: Mon Dec 08, 2008 7:03 am
Location: home on the range

Re: The maneater of Deval

Post by timmy » Wed Sep 30, 2020 5:45 am

Prashant, what an end to the story! The beast was setting up outside the outhouse for another kill; it had learned quickly. This is a story with a lot of mixed emotions. The animal is beautiful, and one can easily understand (especially an old, retired man like me) how the creature would turn to easy, but very dangerous prey in the extremity of not being able to successully hunt anything else.

Yet, the cruelty of those parents at losing a child in such a way, and as you point out, the needfulness of this procedure to save the few of these magnificent creatures that are left, really is the final word on this whole story.

Also, however, your narration allows all of us a little glimpse into the yesteryear days of Maharajahs and Jim Corbett (and others like him). No longer can our environment support those sorts of things, but through your experiences, we can live a small part of those days and understand them.

Above all, no more little girls are being taken, and you and your colleagues are safe.

Thank you for sharing such a fascinating account with us, Prashant.
“The principle of self defense, even involving weapons and bloodshed, has never been condemned, even by Gandhi.” - Martin Luther King, Jr.

User avatar
Hammerhead
Shooting true
Shooting true
Posts: 603
Joined: Thu Aug 04, 2011 6:52 am
Location: Toronto

Re: The maneater of Deval

Post by Hammerhead » Wed Sep 30, 2020 7:21 am

A Leopard at 25 yards , I would have fainted long before the shot ring - Bravo !
The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. - Edmund Burke

miroflex
Shooting true
Shooting true
Posts: 549
Joined: Sun May 27, 2012 6:56 pm
Location: Allahabad, Dehradun, Usha Farm (Kheri), Lucknow.

Re: The maneater of Deval

Post by miroflex » Wed Sep 30, 2020 10:56 am

The whole sequence of events has been narrated in a very graphic and interesting manner, holding the reader's attention throughout. A challenging and dangerous task very ably performed.

Congratulations to the entire team!
"To the man who loves art for its own sake, it is frequently in its least important and lowliest manifestations that the keenest pleasure is to be derived." Sherlock Holmes in "The Adventure Of The Copper Beeches" by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

SMJ
One of Us (Nirvana)
One of Us (Nirvana)
Posts: 413
Joined: Fri Dec 12, 2014 11:10 am

Re: The maneater of Deval

Post by SMJ » Wed Sep 30, 2020 12:35 pm

Congratulations Dr Prashant and team. You gents must have nerves of steel to say the least. To accomplish what all of you did under such tough conditions with a looming pandemic was no mean feat.
Regrettably, the beautiful big cat had to be put down.

User avatar
kanwar76
Eminent IFG'an
Eminent IFG'an
Posts: 1850
Joined: Tue Jun 06, 2006 7:00 pm
Location: Bang-a-lure
Contact:

Re: The maneater of Deval

Post by kanwar76 » Wed Sep 30, 2020 9:43 pm

Few more pics from Prashant
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
I am the Saint the Soldier that walks in Peace. I am the Humble dust of your feet, But dont think my Spirituality makes me weak. The Heavens will roar if my Kirpan were to speak...

prashantsingh
Poster of the Month - Aug 2011
Poster of the Month - Aug 2011
Posts: 1384
Joined: Fri Jan 08, 2010 6:06 pm
Location: India

Re: The maneater of Deval

Post by prashantsingh » Wed Sep 30, 2020 9:51 pm

Thank you Inder for the last set of photos.
After retreiving the carcass. The maneater was brought to the Govt School Deval which is near the Shiva Temple on the main road.
People from the village started to trickle in to get a glimpse of the killer.
Zaheer and I addressed the gathering
All those who have gone through my previous posts must have read about this .
When ever a female is shot . I have observed the male comes looking for the female.
It happened on my very first hunt ( The maneater of Chnadmari)
It happened in FRI
and I was quite sure it would happen here as well.
The male was living in close proximity to this female and was most probably her partner.
I was quite sure it would come looking for her

prashantsingh
Poster of the Month - Aug 2011
Poster of the Month - Aug 2011
Posts: 1384
Joined: Fri Jan 08, 2010 6:06 pm
Location: India

Re: The maneater of Deval

Post by prashantsingh » Wed Sep 30, 2020 9:54 pm

I warned the villagers about it.
I told them the male will come
He will call out for the female in a deep throated cough " Haanh, Haanh Haanh"
He will be very vocal and will move around the village calling her.
This will continue for 3 to 4 days and will abruptly stop
DO NOT MISTAKE the male as the maneater
Stay a safe distance away from him
Let him satisfy himself that his female is no longer there
He will go his own way looking for another female
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
Last edited by prashantsingh on Wed Sep 30, 2020 10:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

prashantsingh
Poster of the Month - Aug 2011
Poster of the Month - Aug 2011
Posts: 1384
Joined: Fri Jan 08, 2010 6:06 pm
Location: India

Re: The maneater of Deval

Post by prashantsingh » Wed Sep 30, 2020 10:24 pm

I expected the male to come from 3 days to a week.
But the male surprised me .

We reached Tehri (the next day) on my birthday 22 Aug .
The beautiful leopard reduced to a stinking mass of flesh lying in the back of my jeep.
Villagers stopped us en route to take one final look at the man killer.
The post mortem was conducted in the presence of the Forest Officials and Veterinary doctors and the carcass was put to flames.
By the time everything got over it was 5 pm.
We were dead tired after the hunt and couldnt possibly have driven back to Dehradun the same day. So I requested the DFO to organize our stay in a Forest Rest House close by.
He obliged.
A gent had booked the Forest Rest House in advance. He reached half an hour after we had moved in. The poor guy came with his family of 5 all the way from Rishikesh, and on arrival, was told that his booking had been cancelled. The Chowkidar told him that the Shikaris were staying and they would have to make their arrangements else where. He read out a special clause at the back of the booking document (which no one would ever bother to read). I felt rather guilty about the whole thing but was too tired to do anything about it. The gent would have to fend for himself and look for a hotel instead.

The Forest Rest House was very comfortable. Nestled in thick Cheer Pine forests it gave a panoramic view of the mighty Himalaya
This was indeed Devbhoomi. The abode of the Gods.
No wonder all the Rishis , Munis and Sages came here for meditation.

After a long time we could stretch ourselves and sleep . A large spacious room to each one of us . We had a good hot water bath and got ready for the evening.
The cook at the 'Bangla' made a fresh hot meal for us.
It was time to relax.
I pulled out my J W Black Label and poured out a large drink
Zaheer does not drink . So I found myself drinking alone. We had barely sat down for dinner when my mobile rang.
The male had arrived at Deval and was calling out for the female.
He had surprised me . Come much earlier than I had expected him. I repeated the instructions and the villagers followed them . He roamed around for a couple of nights. He was spotted on the road by a driver once. The villagers continued to maintain their night curfew.
From the 4th day onwards there was no sign of the male.

It has been more than a month since the maneater was shot

Peace has finally returned to Deval and life is back to normal.
Last edited by prashantsingh on Wed Sep 30, 2020 11:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
kanwar76
Eminent IFG'an
Eminent IFG'an
Posts: 1850
Joined: Tue Jun 06, 2006 7:00 pm
Location: Bang-a-lure
Contact:

Re: The maneater of Deval

Post by kanwar76 » Wed Sep 30, 2020 10:45 pm

Happy belated b’day Prashant. Really a riveting story. You chaps are lucky to live a life of the days gone by.

Congrats on a successful hunt.

-Inder
I am the Saint the Soldier that walks in Peace. I am the Humble dust of your feet, But dont think my Spirituality makes me weak. The Heavens will roar if my Kirpan were to speak...

prashantsingh
Poster of the Month - Aug 2011
Poster of the Month - Aug 2011
Posts: 1384
Joined: Fri Jan 08, 2010 6:06 pm
Location: India

Re: The maneater of Deval

Post by prashantsingh » Wed Sep 30, 2020 10:55 pm

Thank you all for your comments.
It's always a mixed feeling when a majestic big cat has to be eliminated . One feels bad for these beautiful big cats who are struggling to survive in an ever shrinking habitat with an ever increasing human population.
The only consolation is that no more human lives will be lost.

Post Reply