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Jim Corbett was  an interesting paradox – a hunter who was also a very strong supporter of wildlife conservation. Born and brought up in British India, he embodies the love of all things natural! Here is his story  – 

  1. Born as a Foreigner, lived as a Local – 

As in the case of Ruskin Bond, Corbett was born to English parents who resided in India. But having been brought up in Nainital and Kumaon, he embraced Indian wildlife and culture wholeheartedly. 

2.An Adventurous Childhood

In his free time, Jim used to make frequent trips to the nearby forests and gradually, he came to identify most of the animals and birds present there, by their calls. He developed excellent trekking as well as hunting skills. 

3. A Hunter Conservationist

Jim used to hunt alone, taking great personal risk, since he knew that man-eaters are quite capable of stalking and killing the hunter as well. His sole companion was a small dog named Robin, about whom we read about in his first book ‘The Maneaters of Kumaon’. Jim’s most noted kills are the Champawat Tiger, the Leopard of Rudraprayag, the Tigers of Chowgarh and the Panar Leopard. He had thirty three kills, shooting  19 Tigers and 14 Leopards . Over time, however, he developed a love of wildlife photography and changed his stance on hunting. 

4. A Vow for Life

He vowed never to kill tigers or leopards unless it was absolutely necessary i.e. unless they turned into maneaters. 

5. Jack of All Trades

For some it may have been enough to be a hunter and conservationist – but not Corbett. He went on to become a stellar wildlife photographer, wrote numerous books on his experiences – which became bestsellers across the world – and even strengthened his conservationist efforts by moving to Nyeri, Kenya post independence. His greatest legacy though, is the Jim Corbett National Park, a 500 km2 haven for wildlife named after him. 

Read about Jim Corbett’s incredible journey in his own words, in Jungle Lore – free as part of #LiveLaughLearnLove!

 

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