When Mother Nature gets a taste of human blood, it can be hard to satiate her more murderous whims. Racking up a total kill count of over 1,600 people, these 10 beasts of the wild may not have had the mindset and intent of a serial killer, but they certainly had the blood lust to earn them the title of the top 10 animals that mass murdered their Homo sapien neighbors.
The Champawat Tiger
Responsible for around 436 deaths, the Champawat Tiger earned a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records for the highest kills from a tiger. During the late 19th century, the tiger took up terrorizing a region of Nepal near the Himalayas. After being driven to the Kumaon District by the Nepalese Army, the Champawat Tiger continued her spree. Over time, she abandoned her nighttime feasting and began attacking in broad daylight. Eventually, her incredibly high number of attacks prompted the involvement of Jim Corbett. In 1907, the hunter followed a trail of gore left by the murderous tiger and shot it dead.
Leopard of Panar
Though leopards are not likely to become man-eaters, they do have a blood-soaked reputation preceding them. Tens of thousands of deaths can be attributed to leopard attacks, and the leopard of Panar is amongst one of the worst cases. Before setting out to track the leopard of Rudraprayag, Jim Corbett was called in to hunt this man-eating fiend, which was believed to have claimed the lives of around 400 people. Its rampage of terror occurred within the remote Panar region of the Almora district in Northern India. It's believed that the leopard turned to man-eating after having been injured by a poacher, leaving it unable to hunt typical prey.
Those that have seen the 2007 American horror film Primeval already know this story doesn't have the happiest of endings. Stalking the waters of the Ruzizi River and the shores of Lake Tanganyika in Burundi, this 20-plus foot or 6-meter long, 2,000-pound or 900-kilogram Nile crocodile has been the subject of African folklore since the late 90's. With a kill count of 300 and counting, Gustave has proven to be a danger to locals that utilize the river and lake and, despite attempts to capture the oversized Crocodylus, the water monstrosity still roams. The last sighting of Gustave dates to June of 2015 when the crocodile was allegedly seen pulling an adult buffalo into the river.
Devilish Cunning Panther
Known by its more formal name, the Leopard of the Central Provinces, the Devilish Cunning Panther left a trail of blood throughout the Central Provinces of British India. Sometime during the early 20th century, the Indian leopard took approximately 150 lives, claiming its prey once every 2 to 3 days. The beast was known to travel long distances before appearing again, with killings sometimes taking place up to 30 miles or roughly 50 kilometers apart. While a hunter was hired to end the leopard's reign of terror, it was a farmer who's goats the leopard attacked that fired the fatal shot.
This devilish duo served as the inspiration for the 1996 Val Kilmer film, The Ghost and the Darkness, but their story was nothing but a bit of Hollywood magic. As Indian workers tried to finish the Kenya-Uganda Railway, this pair of male lions terrorized the campsites during a period of March through December in 1898. No matter what the workers tried - from campfires to thorn fences - the lions kept returning, eventually scaring off much of the railway crew and halting the project. The project's lead, Lt. Col. John Henry Patterson stayed behind to hunt the murderous pair, which had claimed the lives of up to 135 men. By December 11th, Patterson had bagged his prizes and construction on the bridge was able to continue.
Leopard of Rudraprayag
If not for famed hunter Jim Corbett, chances are the kill count of the Leopard of Rudraprayag would have far extended beyond the 125 lives it claimed. Starting with a villager from Benji Village in 1918, the leopard was active for a period of 8 years, over which it gained a hunger for human flesh. Up until its death, the leopard would go to great lengths for its prey, including leaping through windows, breaking through walls of huts to drag out prey, and breaking down doors. In 1925, Jim Corbett took up the hunt for the beast and spent 10 weeks seeking it out, finally tracking and killing it in May of 1926.
The Beast of Gevaudan
Just like with human serial killers like Jack the Ripper, there are animal serial killers that very well may have gotten away with their crime. During the 1760s in France, a total of around 60 people were mauled by an unknown creature. Marring the hunt for the feral beast was local lore that claimed it was a shapeshifting sorcerer with a need to feed on human flesh. Varied reports even made it difficult to pinpoint if all 60 kills were even from the same animal. Testimony put the creature as the size of a horse with a wolf or pig-like snout, large teeth, a long neck, and a tail that was used as a weapon. Though no real proof exists of this, the creature's killing spree is said to have ended when Jean Chastel shot it with a blessed silver bullet, linking back to suggestions of lycanthropy. Less fantastical theories blame a gray wolf or wolfdog for the attacks.
Nigerian Killer Cobra
When you think of animal "serial killers," you're often drawn to species with big claws, a nice full set of teeth, and probably a lot of girth to them. Well, you may want to expand your assumptions just a little further to include snakes. That's right, slithery, armless snakes. In Nigeria, over a period of 10 days in 1999, a 13-foot or roughly 4-meter long cobra was allegedly responsible for the deaths of 20 people and the injuries of many more. The snake was captured by Mallam Umaru Dorah, a snake charmer hired by the villagers of Kano to stop the deadly spree. While Kano's deputy governor requested the snake for a museum piece, Dorah refused to kill it and instead simply removed it from the village.
Osama bin Laden Elephant
A fitting name for a creature known for its murdering spree, the elephant that carried this moniker terrorized villagers of Assam in northeast India for two years. Over the course of his rampage, Osama was accused of killing 27 people, 14 of which occurred within a 30-day period. As a wave of relief washed over the village upon the killer's death in 2006, conservationists believed that the elephant killed was just an Osama "look-a-like" and that the terrorist still roamed free. Only days after the elephant was killed, several houses in the region were trampled by a group of elephants, possibly as an act of revenge.
Sloth Bear of Mysore
Say what you will about bears, as cute as they can be, they also have the ability to be bloodthirsty monstrosities of nature. During the majority of 1957 in the Nagvara Hills in India, a particular sloth bear had an itch it just couldn't scratch, leading to the deaths of 12 individuals and the mauling of more than 20 others. The tales behind the bear's murder spree range from fantastical to tragic, with some claiming it sought revenge after a young girl it abducted as a mate was rescued. British writer and hunter, Kenneth Anderson, who was responsible for the beast's demise, surmised that the sloth bear had been injured by humans in the past, causing its behavior to violently alter.