Talk:Beast of Gévaudan

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It's a lion!![edit]

Panthera leo persica male.jpg

Wolf? Hyena? Creodont???? What the hell! Look at the picture of the right, it's a lion with no doubt!

  • It has a clear mane over head, shoulders and torax.
  • 5 fingers, yet it only walks on four. All fingers have the large curve claws of a feline, and the beast is said to make thuds. This is consistent with a feline and not other type of carnivore.
  • The tail is long and curves upright, like any member of the Panthera genus.
  • There is a tuft at the end of the tail!
  • The long tongue, supposely to suck up the blood of its victims. Lions lick the blood over their hair after killing a victim, in order to clean up it.
  • A large male lion is consistent with the large size ("like a young bull calf"), speed (up to 90 km/h in short distances) and unusual strenght that the beast was said to be. They can easly root away arms, heads or cut human bodies in two, thing that a wolf cannot do. Plus, the witnesses, who were familiar to wolves, said that it didn't look like any of them, and the hunters who chased the beast used anti-wolves useless tactics.

This picture and other similar works strongly look like how an artist would draw a lion after the description of people who had not seen a lion before - like the peasants of Gevaudan. Of course, there aren't lions in Europe, so the beast would be introduced by man... and what happen to lions who are bred by man? They lose their natural instinct to fear/avoid humans. If a lion escaped, or was released at some point in central France, it would not have large game animals to prey but would find humans abundant, weak, stupid, slow and easy to kill compared to other animals. And everybody knows that after a lion kills a human, it develops a clear tendence to do it again. Remember the Tsavo maneaters.--Menah the Great 13:19, 30 April 2007 (UTC)

There is the problem that the victims didn't resemble typical big cat kills, and the sexualized stripping and mutilation of the corpses strongly implies a human element which would be more problematic with lions. But it does tie in better with the physical descriptions and behavioural patterns of the beast than it does with wolves, hyenas or alot of the other creatures suggested. If you can find sources with other people making the case for the beast being a lion and citations for the evidence backing up this theory then there's nothing to stop you from adding it to the explainations section. 22:23, 3 May 2007 (UTC) Elmo
There's one big problem with this theory: lions were indeed already well known in Europe at that time. Countless Coat of Arms are bearing lions and there were menageries all over France showing lions. Although a lot of peasant might never have seen one, it is unthinkable that all those people involved in the hunting would not have identified a lion. 09:28, 5 May 2007 (UTC)
Not to mention that the Gevaudanais had been pastoralists for centuries, and since the wolf was an absolute staple of their culture there is no reason to doubt their identification of the Beast as such. Bearerofthecup (talk) 18:09, 10 December 2007 (UTC)
Wrong color.Cyrus Beautor (talk) 00:49, 21 February 2008 (UTC)

No illustration of the Beast may be used as evidence, as none can be certifiably attributed to a direct witness. Most were drawn by illustrators from imagination, or at best from twice- or three-times removed testimony. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:53, 24 October 2008 (UTC)

Maybe a skilled Wikipedia editor could draw an image for the article, based off of Beauterne's description, which not only gives the dimensions of the Wolf of Chazes but its other singular characteristics. Bearerofthecup (talk) 04:55, 31 March 2009 (UTC)
Shouldn't we be keeping our pet theories out of this? In any case, as the other's have said, the actual descriptions of the Beast, as well as its behaviour don't line up with what I've read about lions that have developed a taste for long-pig. Interiorcrocodile (talk) 19:08, 10 November 2013 (UTC)

This article's quality is atrocious. Stick to the facts! There is a report, written on June 20th, 1767 (one day after the hunt) with a detailed description of the cadaver, including height, length, number of teeth, fur-colour etc. Only possible conclusion is: either a big dog or a hybrid between dog and wolf. But the Rapport Marin (in the Archives Nationales)is not even mentioned in the article!-- (talk) 17:46, 1 July 2014 (UTC)

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