India has been a British colony for nearly 200 years. This period is popularly referred to as the Raj and has a permanent place in Indian history. It was the period of development and enlightenment when the English rulers set themselves the task of advancing the Indian people. Of course they had an ulterior motive in this development as a sinew to strengthen their government. But after the British left, the good work they had done remained.
The Raj period was also the time of great game hunters like Jim Corbett. Corbett was born in Haldwani in India in 1875. He grew up under the aegis of the Raj. But about him it must be said that from his young age the wild life and in particular the big cats have fascinated him.
Corbett began hunting the man-eating tigers that were rampant in India at the time as the tiger population was at its peak. He is credited with killing 33 big cats including 19 tigers. He has risked his life countless times to save the simple Indian villagers from the predatory man who eats tigers. Only once did Jim shoot the wrong beast and feel tremendous remorse after that murder.
Jim Corbett killed his first tiger, the infamous Champarnet beast, which had killed 436 humans in the early part of his life. He followed up by shooting another 18 later. He was active as a hunter until 1937, but later changed his mind and dedicated himself to saving the tiger. A work for which he will also be remembered. He has done monumental work and lectured across India and overseas to save the big cats. His efforts soon paid off in the form of Corbett National Park at the foot of Nainital. The park was renamed after him in 1957.
Corbett retired to Kenya and settled in Nyeri where he died in 1955. His retirement period saw him write a series of books based on his extensive tiger hunting experiences. These books are immensely popular, the most famous being “Rudraprayag’s Man Eating Leopard” and “Kumaon Man Eaters”. Jim has written six books in all.
Jim Corbett was the archetype of the British Indian. He was born in India and has also lived his whole life in India. He has only visited England once. But he has done a lot for the Indians from saving the villagers from the scourge of man-eaters to keeping them in his later years. Jim was very concerned about the decrease in the number of tigers and he wanted to educate people on tiger conservation.Guelphextermination.ca