The Champawat Tiger was responsible for 436 deaths in Nepal & India

Paul Pinkerton

During the late 19th century, a Nepalese region close to the Himalayas was terrorized by the most notorious and prolific man-eater of all times.

Men, women, and children were ambushed in the jungle by the dozens. The attacks were so frequent and so bloody that people started talking about demons, and even punishment from the gods.

The responsible party was a Bengal tigress who had been shot by a hunter. She had escaped, but the bullet had broken two of her fangs. In constant pain, and rendered unable to hunt her usual prey, the tigress had become a man-eater.

Jim Corbett with the Champawat tiger.
Jim Corbett with the Champawat tiger.

The tiger began her attacks in a region of Nepal close to the Himalayas, with people being ambushed by the dozen as they walked through the jungle. Hunters were sent in to kill the tiger, but she managed to evade them. Eventually, the Nepalese Army was called in.

Despite failing to capture or kill the tiger, soldiers managed to force the tiger to abandon her territory and drive her across the border (river Sarda) into India, where she continued her killing activities in the Kumaon District.

She eventually grew bolder and began killing people in broad daylight and prowling around villages. Life across the region was paralyzed, with men often refusing to leave their huts for work after hearing the tiger’s roars from the forest.

Jim Corbett, hunter, and naturalist.
Jim Corbett, hunter, and naturalist.

In 1907, the tiger was killed by British hunter Jim Corbett. The tiger had killed a 16-year-old girl in the town of Champawat and left a trail of blood and limbs, which Corbett followed.

Corbett found the tiger and shot her dead the next day, a dramatic feat confirmed by about 300 villagers.

A postmortem on the tigress showed the upper and lower canine teeth on the right side of her mouth were broken, the upper one in half, the lower one right down to the bone. This injury, according to Corbett, probably prevented her from hunting her natural prey.

By the time she was finally captured, the tigress had killed 436 humans, and these were only the recorded victims, with probably more who were never reported.


jack-beckett is one of the authors writing for Outdoor Revival