The Myth Man-eating tigers and leopards no longer exist.
The Normal Party Conversation At a cocktail party in Washington, D.C. recently, I overheard a group of socialite city-slickers talking, wherein one “expert” proclaimed that there are no longer any tigers. When I said, “Actually, there are, and they attack and kill more people than you’d think,” you’d have thought I’d just spit a plug of Red Man in her fruity martini. Vigorous debate ensued, until, of course, someone Googled it.
The Leopard of Rudraprayag killed a couple hundred. It was also subsequently killed by Corbett after he survived a few hairy encounters with the well-oiled, human-slaying predator. The Leopard of the Central Provinces killed 150 people over a few year campaign. The list goes on and on. But while these attacks happened long ago, leopards are still very much actively attacking—and sometimes killing—humans.
The Answer Fact is, wild leopards, tigers and even African lions can and occasionally still do kill and eat humans. Some are even habitual offenders. While it is relatively uncommon for big cats to kill humans, it’s not as uncommon as many people believe. Just ask people living in northern India, rather than a random passerby at an urban cocktail party.