Tiger of Segur
The Tiger of Segur was a young man-eating male Bengal tiger. Though originating in the District of Malabar-Wynaad below the south-western face of the Blue Mountains, the tiger would later shift its hunting grounds to Gudalur and between Segur and Anaikutty. It was killed by Kenneth Anderson, who would later note that the tiger was blind in one eye, preventing it from hunting its natural prey.
First hunt for the tiger
Kenneth Anderson began his hunt for the tiger after it had killed a girl collecting water from the Segur river, then a herdsman a week later at Anaikutty.
“I visited both localities and by careful measurement and examination of the pugs, which were very clear on the river bank at Segur, determined that the tiger was a smallish-sized male of considerably less than adult age.”— “The Man-Eater of Segur”, from Nine Man-Eaters and One Rogue, Kenneth Anderson, Allen & Unwin, 1954
Upon hearing that the tiger frequently traversed the ten miles of forest road between Segur and Anaikutty, Anderson decided to sit up on the route connecting the two places, but for a whole week, he saw no sign of the tiger. He was informed on the seventh day that a man had gone missing on the foothills of the Nilgiris, though upon finding his body, it turned out that the culprit had been a sloth bear.
Second hunt for the tiger
Two days later, a report came in from Mahvanhalla stating that a woman had been taken by the tiger near a bridge by which the main road to Tippakadu crossed the Mahvanhalla stream. Anderson went deep into the surrounding jungle with a guide and eventually found pieces of the woman, which he took back to her husband for burial. Anderson tied a buffalo bait near the Segur river, but he did not expect the tiger to attack anytime soon after having already eaten, so he did not spend the night in the vicinity. Next day he was surprised when he found buffalo dead, and immediately set up a hunting platform above the carcass. Though the tiger called out through the night, it never made an appearance.
Third hunt for the tiger
Two days later, just as Anderson considered leaving for Bangalore, a Badaga child was taken in Segur whilst taking a midday meal to his father. After convincing the boy’s father to leave the body as bait for the tiger, Anderson moved it to a densely covered location a few yards from the kill site in order to hide himself better in the tiger’s vicinity. By 9 in the evening, the tiger returned, but it left soon after without touching the corpse, possibly having become suspicious of how its victim had been moved.
Fourth hunt for the tiger
Seven days later, the tiger killed the 18-year-old son of a Forest Guard stationed at Anaikutty. Accompanied by the boy’s father, Anderson investigated the scene of the attack and found the boy’s cap and slippers discarded. Following the tiger’s trail with Karumba trackers, the group entered the jungle and found the boy’s corpse. There had evidently been a great struggle, as the surrounding vegetation had been crushed, and the tiger had finished the boy with a skull crushing paw swipe. Anderson set up a platform above the body, but was thwarted that night after a downpour of rain and a malaria infection.
Death and post-mortem
After three days recovering, Anderson went to the Segur river with his Karumba trackers, when suddenly they heard the alarm call of a sambar deer and quickly took cover. After 10 minutes of waiting, the tiger revealed itself at the river’s edge. Taking aim, Anderson fired his .405 Winchester at the tiger’s left shoulder, killing it.
Upon examining the carcass, Anderson noted that the tiger had only one good eye, the other having been badly damaged by a shotgun slug.
- “The Man-Eater of Segur”, from Nine Man-Eaters and One Rogue, Kenneth Anderson, Allen & Unwin, 1955