At first glance, leopards are not as fearsome as tigers. They do not possess the same brutal strength and size as tigers, but that is no reason to underestimate their ferocity and success as predators. And, when they take to man-eating, as Jim Corbett points out, they are often as deadly as tigers. In his best-selling book, The Man-eating Leopard of Rudraprayag, he wrote about a leopard which killed one hundred and twenty-five people in what is now Uttarakhand state. Remarkably, the Rudraprayag leopard wasn’t the deadliest leopard that Corbett hunted. That killer was the Panar man-eater which killed four hundred people in Almora district in Uttarakhand before it was finally dispatched.
The Hour of the Leopard brings together, for the first time, all the stories Corbett wrote about hunting leopards, including an account of the first leopard he ever shot as well as his stories about dispatching the man-eaters of Panar and Rudraprayag. The collection is introduced by a piece in which the author spells out the differences between man-eating leopards and tigers.