Monsters Are Made To Be So
The Champawat Tiger killed, as far as anyone was able to record, 436 human beings in her lifetime. Mostly they were women and children, gone out into the forest to collect firewood or livestock fodder. She killed strategically, never hitting the same location twice and constantly staying on the move.
By any stretch of the imagination that is more than enough to call her a monster. It’s a perfectly fair assessment, and the leap of faith to ascribe it supernatural power would be quite small, given the circumstances. It’s as close to a true monster as you’re liable to get.
When the tiger finally died at the hands of Jim Corbett, the body revealed a different story: The two canine teeth on the right side of her jaw had been broken by a hunter’s bullet some 8 years before.
The Champawat Tiger was starving.
The damage to her teeth meant that she was unable to hunt her normal prey, and given the long-term pressure of habitat loss she would have been hard-up to find sufficient food in the first place. The killings were acts of desperation, brought upon by circumstances that made life as a normal tiger impossible. Perhaps it’s still right to call her a monster, but she was not a monster because she was born with some innate malice—she was only a very large cat getting on in years, desperate for food.
Jim Corbett was called upon to hunt down another fifty maneaters over the course of the next 35 years. Together, those tigers had killed over 2000 people, for much the same reasons as the Champawat Tiger—injury, desperation, starvation, and habitat loss.
Would you look at that.
The root cause was British colonialism.
436 people dead because some dumb shit went trophy hunting, because he just had to prove how big and strong his penis was to all his dumb shit friends….
Monsters have a cause.
That is the lesson of the Champawat Tiger.
Monsters are made to be so.