Deadliest Man-Eaters

Cape Breton Coyotes
Coyotes are commonly viewed as wily scavengers not dangerous man-eaters, but in just two years, two teenage girls have been attacked by coyotes in Nova Scotia's Cape Breton Highlands National Park. In fall 2009, Canadian singer Taylor Mitchell was killed by two coyotes while she was on a hike. Then this fall, a teenage girl was mauled while camping in the same park. Authorities have warned visitors about the coyotes and are actively working on trapping them. There are about 8,000 coyotes in Nova Scotia and authorities hope to cut that number in half. Photo: Christopher Bruno
Kamchatka Bears
In 2008 at least 30 bears trapped a team of geologists working for a coal mining company in east Russia. The giant bears (some measuring 10 feet in length) caught two of the scientists out in the open and killed them, forcing the rest of the geologists to take cover in their camp. Hunters were taken to the camp in all-terrain vehicles to dispatch the bears and save the geologists.
Jersey Sharks of 1916
Shark attacks on the East Coast occur from time to time, but none have been more gruesome than the attacks in 1916. In the first attack a young man was gored by a shark while swimming in shallow water. Not much was known about sharks at the time, and experts suggested the culprits to be everything from sea turtles to killer whales. But a few days later several people were attacked by sharks while swimming in the freshwater Matawn Creek. Today experts believe bull sharks were responsible for the attacks. In total, four people were killed and one was injured. The brutal event later inspired the Peter Benchley's book Jaws and the subsequent movie.
Hyenas of Malawi
Hyenas are not typically known for attacking humans in large numbers, but in 1992 a pack of Hyenas killed six people around the Malawi Lake area of Tanzania. Locals feared that the hyenas were possessed by witchcraft, but the government sent in rangers to track down and kill the animals. Photo: Ikiwaner
Lion of Mfuwe
This brazen lion prowled the Luangwa River Valley in Zambia during 1991. The giant maneless lion killed six people and even walked through the center of a village carrying a laundry bag that it had taken from one of its victims. Eventually a hunter killed the lion after spending 20 nights in a hunting blind waiting to ambush the man-eater. The massive lion is on display in the Chicago Field Museum. Photo: pranav
Two-Toed Tom
This legendary alligator is said to have lived along the borderline of Florida and Alabama during the 1920s. Hard facts on two-toed Tom are scarce and the 14-foot lizard has become almost mythical over the years. The gator is said to have eaten his fair share of mules, cows and people. Tom survived several shootings and even a dynamite explosion. His tracks were recognizable because he had lost all but two of his toes on his left hand. Photo: Ianare Sevi
Wolf of Gysinge
During a three-month period one wolf wounded 31 people and killed 12 during the winter of 1821 in Sweden. Most of the wolf's victims were women and children. As a pup the wolf was captured and held in captivity. When it escaped as an adult, it became a vicious man-eater. The Wolf of Gysinge was eventually killed on March 27, 1821. Photo: Amphibol
The Sloth Bear of Mysore
A sloth bear might not sound like the most dangerous of game, but one extremely aggressive bear that roamed the Nagvara Hills in India (in the state of Mysore) killed 12 people and mauled dozens of others. The victims were attacked in brutal fashion with the bear clawing and biting at their faces. Local legend says that the bear had kidnapped a girl as its mate and when the girl was later rescued by villagers, the beast went on a rampage as revenge. However the rogue bear was later hunted and killed by Kenneth Anderson, who suggested it was previously injured by humans and became aggressive toward them. "[Sloth] Bears, as a rule, are excitable but generally harmless creatures. This particular bear carried the mark of Cain, in that he had become the wanton and deliberate murderer of several men, whom he had done death in most terrible fashion, without provocation," Anderson later said. Photo: Kelson
The Wolf of Sarlat
While wolf attacks in France were not uncommon during the 1700s, what made the wolf of Sarlat unique was that it only attacked adult men, not women and children like most cases. The wolf was known for jumping up on its hind legs to reach its victims neck and face. During the summer of 1766 the wolf attacked and wounded 17 people. A hunting party of 100 men was organized and Monsieur Dubex de Descamps finally cornered the beast in a meadow. He shot it at point blank range as it charged him, according to the book Wolf-Hunting in France in the Reign of Louis XV: The Beast of the Gevaudan.
Wolves of Uttar-Pradesh
While wolves do not typically attack people in North America, they do commonly target humans in India. Among the worst of these attacks occurred in 1996 when 33 children were snatched up by wolves in five months and 20 others were seriously mauled. Thousands of villagers and police officials went out on wolf hunts, but they were only able to kill 10 of the animals. Children began to dissapear at such an alarming rate that locals began to blame the attacks on infiltrators from Pakistan. As more and more children were taken, neighbors turned against each other and even lynched suspicious strangers.
Wolves of Uttar-Pardesh continued Here's an excerpt from the New York Times: "When the man-eating wolf came to this tranquil village toward dusk on an evening in mid-August, it was every child's worst nightmare come true. The wolf pounced while Urmila Devi and three of her eight children were in a grassy clearing at the edge of the village, using the open ground for a toilet. The animal, about 100 pounds of coiled sinew and muscle, seized the smallest child, a 4-year-old boy named Anand Kumar, and carried him by the neck into the luxuriant stands of corn and elephant grass that stretch to a nearby riverbank. When a police search party found the boy three days later, half a mile away, all that remained was his head." However the attacks in the 1990s were not the worst in the area. In 1878, 624 people were reportedly killed by wolves in that region of India. Photo: The Indian Wolf
The Wolves of Paris
During an especially harsh winter of 1450 a pack of wolves snuck through the dilapidated city walls of Paris, France and began to feed upon its citizens. The pack killed at least 40 people and panic swept through the city. Parisians even named the leader of the pack "Courtaud" or Bobtail in English. Eventually a group of people were able to lure the wolves into the center of town where they killed the pack with spears and stones in front of the Notre Dame cathedral.
Osama, named after Osama bin Laden, ravaged the area of Rufiji, Tanzania from 2002 to 2004. The lion was part of a pride that was responsible for killing more than 50 people from eight different villages. He was only 3 1/2 years old when he was gunned down by game scouts in 2004. Photo: Mara 1
Tigers of Chowgarth
This pair of Bengal tigers, an adult tigress and here male juvenile cub, killed a reported 64 people in eastern Kumaon, India over a span of five years. Famous big-game hunter, Jim Corbett, was called upon to solve the problem and he eventually stalked the pair as they were feasting on a cow in a ravine. Corbett shot and killed the younger of the two, but the tigress escaped. Years later Corbett returned to the area to hunt the old tigress once again. He finally shot and killed the big cat as she prowled above him on a boulder. Photo: Paul Mannix
Osama the Crocodile
It took 50 men, but Osama the crocodile, known as the terror of Lake Victoria, was captured in 2005. The crocodile is believed to be at least 60 years old and has killed more than 83 people. The 16-foot croc was known for grabbing children as they filled up pales of water, and he also flipped over small fishing boats and then devoured their passengers. Finally, a brave group of locals caught the giant crocodile alive with a snare trap. Osama now resides in captivity where he is used to breed other crocodiles for their skins. Photo:
Chiengi Charlie
This man-eating lion was missing half of his tail and was light colored, making him easy to identify. He terrorized Chiengi, a British outpost in Zambia during the early 1900s. Charlie ran with two other male lions and killed up to 90 people. Charlie's reign of terror came to an end when he was finally trapped and shot. "In the district in which he carried on his nefarious practices Charlie (became) a celebrity, almost an institution," according to the "He was alluded to with the almost affectionate familiarity with which some people speak of the devil." Photo: Kjunstorm
The Ghost and the Darkness
Two of the most famous lions in history halted the construction of a railway in the Tsavo area with their brutal and frequent attacks. The two maneless lions, believed to be brothers, would grab railway workers from their tents during the night and drag them into the bush. They were nicknamed Ghost and the Darkness for their ability to disappear into the impenetrable underbrush under the cover of night. The lions killed more than 100 people, often licking the skin off their victims before devouring them. Finally John Henry Patterson, the chief engineer for the railway project, hunted down the lions. Patterson himself was almost killed by the pair, but he was finally able to out maneuver both man-eaters and the railway was finished. Books and movies were later written about the horrors of the Ghost and the Darkness. Photo: Jeffrey Jung
Leopard of Rudraprayag
This leopard is said to have killed more than 125 people over eight years in northern India. The cat would ambush travelers at night as they made their way along the road between Kedarnath and Badrinath. But when people stopped using the road at night, the leopard would claw through village huts, jump through windows and break down doors to reach its victims. Finally, the British Parliament called upon Jim Corbett, who killed the leopard in 1925. The episode was so dramatic that a movie was made based on its events in 2005 called the Man-Eating Leopard of Rudraprayag.
The Beast of Gevaudan
The Beast of Gevaudan was believed to have been a giant wolf that roamed the French province of Gevaudan in the 1760s. While the exact number of attacks is unknown, it's estimated that 210 people were attacked by the beast during a four-year period. The maulings were so frequent and brutal that locals believed the attacker to be a werewolf. Finally the beast was killed by a local hunter named Jean Chastel. The animal was found with the remains of its last victim still in its stomach. Today experts think that the Beast of Gevaudan was not actually a wolf but an exotic Asian Hyena that escaped from captivity.
Gustave is a massive crocodile that was estimated to be 60 years old and measure 20 feet in length. The giant croc is believed to have killed at least 300 people along the banks of the Ruzizi River, in central Africa. Because the crocodile is so large (if it is in fact 20 feet long it would be the longest recorded croc in Africa) it has reverted to eating larger prey like wildebeest, hippopotamuses and humans. A French Naturalist named Patrice Faye attempted to catch the crocodile in the 1990s but was unsuccessful. Photo: Sarah McCans
The Panar Leopard
Although leopards are significantly smaller than lions and tigers, they can be just as deadly. The Panar leopard is said to have killed more than 400 people in India during the early 20th century before the great Jim Corbett took care of the man-eater once and for all.
Champwat Tiger
This Bengal Tigress was so deadly and elusive that the Nepalese government was called in for support. The great cat was once shot by a hunter and lived, but became extremely aggressive toward humans. During the early 1900s the tigress prowled villages near the Himalayas and killed more than 400 people. Finally Jim Corbett tracked down the cat and killed it in 1911. The locals were so thankful that they granted Corbett with the status of a holy man. Editor's note: a photo of the Champwat tigress was not available. This is a photo of Corbett and the bachelor of Powalgarh.
The lions of Njombe
In 1932 a pride of man-eating lions terrorized the Tanzanian town of Njombe. In the worst lion attacks in history, experts estimate that between 1,000 and 2,000 people were killed in that area over a period of a few years. The death toll became so bad that locals believed the lions were being controlled by an evil witch doctor. Finally George Rushby, a renowned big-game hunter, set out to stop the killings and hunted down 15 lions from the pride. Photo: Schuyler Shepherd

Some animals have gained legendary reputations by preying on hundreds and sometimes even thousands of human victims. Check out the most infamous man-eaters in history.