The Champawat Tiger was a female Bengal tiger responsible for an estimated 430 deaths in Nepal and the Kumaon area of India, mostly during the 19th century. Her attacks have been listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the highest number of fatalities from a tiger. She was shot in 1907 by Jim Corbett.
The tiger began her attacks in a region of Nepal close to the Himalayas during the late 19th century, 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 grew paralyzed, with men often refusing to leave their huts for work after hearing the tiger's roars from the forest.
In 1907, the tiger was killed by British hunter Jim Corbett. The tiger had killed a 16-year-old woman 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.
In Champawat, near the Chataar Bridge and on the way to Lohaghat, there is a "cement board" marking the place where the tigress was finally brought down. However, the exact place where the tigress was killed by Jim Corbett is closer to the present location of the hydroelectric powerhouse that is about 1 km (0.62 mi) from the "cement board".
The details about the Champawat Tigress and how she was brought down can be found in the book Maneaters of Kumaon (1944), written by Corbett himself.
- Mills, Stephen (2004). Tiger. Firefly Books. ISBN 978-1-55297-949-5. OCLC 57209158.
- Corbett, Jim (1944). Man-Eaters of Kumaon. Bombay: Oxford University Press.
- Mason, Paul (2007). The world's most dangerous animals. Chicago: Raintree. ISBN 978-1-4109-2485-8.
- Mishra, Hemanta; Ottaway, Jr, Jim (2010). Bones of the Tiger: Protecting the Man-Eaters of Nepal. Globe Pequot. ISBN 978-1-59921-491-7.