Sunday 29 March 2009

Gentleman Jim Corbett

The hunter-naturalist and cat killer Gentleman Jim Corbett was a fraud. He was a fraud to himself, too. He deceived himself into believing that he was a conservationist. How can you be a conservationist and a devout wildcat hunter and killer? Sure he hunted "man-eaters". Big cats, which were forced to attack people. But the underlying reason why these animals attacked people, usually women and children, is because of the activities of humankind. Take, for example, the famous man eating leopard the "Panar Leopard", shot by hero Corbett after a long battle of wits. This cat (not much bigger than a big dog with an average weight of about 135 lbs or under 10 stones) was hurt by a poacher and was thereafter forced to prey on children and women. We (people) caused the problem and we resolved the problem by eliminating it. The leopard lost out twice, once when shot by the poacher and then when killed by Corbett. He was no doubt hailed as a hero but I don't see it that way.

William Corbett
Gentleman Jim Corbett - gentleman?

All man eaters are going to be similar in one form or another to the Panar Leopard as a leopard will chose the easiest prey and if there is a more natural prey it will go for that. People are not the natural prey of leopards. Something has gone wrong if the leopard attacks people and the cause of that wrong is more than likely to be us. We cannot therefore praise someone as "a man of decency, honor and humanity" etc. when he has missed the point completely. He was deluded. At the time he and the others involved owed a moral debt to help the leopard not to kill it. Apparently he turned to photo safaris later in life, so I think he saw the light.

And to say he is "an Indian-born British hunter, conservationist and naturalist", (Wikipedia author) is an oxymoron (a figure of speech that combines two apparently contradictory terms). Lets look at the definitions:
  • hunter - "a person or animal that seeks out and kills or captures game"
  • conservationist - "one that practices or advocates conservation, especially of natural resources"
  • conservation - "The protection, preservation, management, or restoration of wildlife..."
  • naturalist - " One versed in natural history, especially in zoology or botany."
A person who kills cannot be involved in the preservation of wildlife when the wildlife in question is already endangered or likely to be endangered if killed needlessly. The leopard could have been trapped and placed in a reserve.

Hunter-Naturalist and Cat Killer Jim Corbett to Home Page

Gentleman Jim Corbett - Photo: published under Wikimedia® creative commons license license = Attribution-ShareAlike License

Gentleman Jim Corbett - Definitions:


  1. Hi Michael.
    , I have been an ardent reader of Jim.Corbett's books and myself have hunted birds in the villages of India in the early 1970's. During Jim.Corbett's era of the early 1900's , the tiger in India was as common as domestic cats in the abundant jungles and the country's population population was miniscule. Tigers were considered a pest akin to wolves in America due to their abundance and at times preying on village cattle."Man-Eaters" in early 1900's were not dealt in the same method as in the 1990's when the big cat population had decreased to extinction proportions in India due to habitat loss, a result of gross erradication of forests by an evergrowing Indian population.While judging Jim.corbett's motives we should not judge him in context of the late 20th and early 21st century lifestyle but as a person of his generation and values.In the early 1900's, "Big-Game" hunting was an aristocratic sport akin to golf or flying and hunting is definitely not the cause for numerous animal species facing extinction in the wild.We humans collectively have definitely caused the extinction of manny "Big cats" in their natural habitat by colonising most parts of "Wild animal territory".

  2. Hey Michael I am an Indian and have studied Jim Corbett for over 50 years. Your comments here saying that Jim was fraud shows how ignorant you are in the first place.You do not know the facts and by writing some utter nonsense you would like to be a hero yourself ???

    Michael add another pillow to your arm chair that can enhance your arm chair strategy which will interest only people like you.

  3. I ran into this site while searching for a picture of Jim Corbett. Your ignorance, sir, is profound, and the lack of perspective stupefying.
    You could consider removing this despicable post as a way of making amends.
    I'm a Tigerwallah, and I deeply respect 'Carpet Sahib'. Were you to read him, it would perhaps dawn even on your feeble intellect what a great man he was.

  4. Response to these comments. If you respect him you are foolish. He killed tigers. He as instrumental in part in the extermination of the Bengal tiger.

    He killed a a large number of man-eating tigers and leopards in India. Man eating cats are man eaters because people injured them or took away their prey due to habitat loss. Wake up.

    He turned to conservation probably belatedly realising that he was wrong.

    He was instrumental in creating the first reserve but it was too bloody small!

    Come on. Face reality and stop worshipping some old Englishman who liked to kill wildlife.

  5. Thanks for sharing that information about him. I didn't know that he actually live his life that way.

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