Kenneth Anderson (writer)

Last updated

Kenneth Anderson
Photograph of Kenneth Anderson.jpg
Kenneth Anderson and his pariah dog Nipper, whom he adopted during his hunt for the Leopard of Gummalapur
Born8 March 1910 (1910-03-08)
British India (now India)
Died30 August 1974 (1974-08-31) (aged 64)
Bangalore, Karnataka, India
NationalityBritish
Subject Wildlife, big game hunting, Southern India
SpouseBlossom Fleming
Children2

Kenneth Douglas Stewart Anderson (8 March 1910 – 30 August 1974) was an India-born, British writer and hunter who wrote books about his adventures in the jungles of South India.

Contents

Biography

Kenneth Anderson was born in Bolarum and came from a British family that settled in India for six generations. His father Aryan Stewart Anderson was superintendent of the F.C.M.A. in Poona, Maharashtra and dealt with the salaries paid to military personnel, having an honorary rank of captain. His mother Lucy Ann née Taylor was the grand-daughter of John Taylor who, for his services, had been gifted land in Bangalore by Sir Mark Cubbon. Douglas like most British soldiers took an interest in sport hunting and influenced Anderson's interest in the outdoors and hunting. [1] [2]

Anderson went to Bishop Cotton Boys' School and also studied at St Joseph's College, Bangalore. He was sent to study law at Edinburgh but he quit studies and returned to India. He worked for fifteen years in the posts and telegraph department and later worked at the British Aircraft Factory in Bangalore (later HAL) in the rank of Factory Manager for Planning. He owned nearly 200 acres of land across Karnataka, Hyderabad and Tamil Nadu. In 1972 he was diagnosed with cancer from which he died in 1974. He was buried at the Hosur road cemetery. [1]

Family

Anderson met Cheryl Majoire Blossom Minnette née Fleming who came from Sri Lanka (her mother Millicient Toussaint was a Burgher while her father Clifford Fleming was from Australia) at Bowring Club in Bangalore. They married in April 1929 at Sorkalpet, Cuddalore, then had a daughter named June (born 19 June 1930) and a son named Donald (18 February 1934 - 12 July 2014) who also took an interest in hunting. The couple separated in later life; Kenneth Anderson moved to Whitefield, while Blossom stayed on at Prospect House, their home on Sydney Road (now Kasturba Road). Blossom died on 11 March 1987. [1]

Outdoors and writings

His love for the inhabitants of the Indian jungle led him to big game hunting and to writing real-life adventure stories. He often went into the jungle alone and unarmed to meditate and enjoy the beauty of untouched nature. As a hunter, he tracked down man-eating tigers and leopards. His kills include the Sloth bear of Mysore, the Leopard of Gummalapur, the Rogue Elephant of Panapatti, the Leopard of the Yellagiri Hills, the Tigress of Jowlagiri, the Tiger of Segur and the Tiger of Mundachipallam.

He is officially recorded as having shot 8-man-eating leopards (7 males and 1 female) and 7 tigers (5 males and 2 females) on the Government records from 1939 to 1966 though he is rumored to have unofficially shot over 18 man eating panthers and over 15–20-man eating tigers. He also shot a few rogue elephants.[ citation needed ]

Anderson's style of writing is descriptive, as he talks about his adventures with wild animals. While most stories are about hunting tigers and leopards – particularly man-eaters – he includes chapters on his first-hand encounters with elephants, bison, and bears. There are stories about the less 'popular' creatures like Indian wild dogs, hyenas, and snakes. He explains the habits and personalities of these animals.

Anderson gives insights into the people of the Indian jungles of his time, with woods full of wildlife and local inhabitants having to contend with poor quality roads, communication and health facilities. His books delve into the habits of the jungle tribes, their survival skills, and their day-to-day lives.

He also explored the occult, and wrote about his experiences for which he had no explanation. Anderson was often sought to shoot man-eaters in villages in southern India. He spoke Kannada, the language of his home town Bangalore, and Tamil, a language of the neighboring state of Tamilnadu. He had a Studebaker car and usually hunted with a .405 Winchester Model 1895 rifle. He was a pioneer of wildlife conservation in southern India, and spent his later years "shooting" with a camera.

Anderson expounds his love for India, its people, and its jungles. He believed in the power of alternative medicine and carried a box containing natural herbs from the jungle. He refused most treatments based on Western medicine and died of prostate cancer. (However, when he was mauled by a man-eating tiger, he took penicillin to counter the possible infection.) This incident is described in his book Man Eaters and Jungle Killers in the chapter entitled "The Maurauder of Kempekarai". [3] His last book, Jungles Long Ago, was published posthumously. He wrote a novel called the Fires of Passion which highlighted the situation of the Scottish people in South India. [4]

In his introduction to Tales from the Indian Jungle, Anderson writes: "He [Anderson] appears to be of the jungle himself, and we get the impression that he belongs there. This is the home for him and here is the place he would want to die; the jungle is his birthplace, his heaven and his resting place when the end comes."

Jungle folk

Kenneth Anderson became well acquainted with many jungle folk from various aborigine tribes; Byra the Poojare from the poojaree tribe, Ranga a petty shikari who also occasionally took to poaching, and Rachen from the Sholaga tribe. Some of his friends such as Hughie Hailstone also had estates in South India and he also tells us about Eric Newcombe, his friend from his young days who used to get into a lot of trouble.[ citation needed ]

Books

Hunting books

Other publications

Omnibus editions

Kenneth Anderson Omnibus Vol. 1

Kenneth Anderson Omnibus Vol.2

Translations

Anderson's books have been translated into many languages. Popular Kannada writer Poornachandra Tejaswi has translated some of his hunting experiences into Kannada which were published in 4 volumes as Kadina Kategalu (Volume 1 - 4)/ಕಾಡಿನ ಕತೆಗಳು (ಭಾಗ ೧ - ೪)

See also

Related Research Articles

Sloth bear Species of bear

The sloth bear is a myrmecophagous bear species native to the Indian subcontinent. It feeds on fruits, ants and termites. It is listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List, mainly because of habitat loss and degradation.

Jim Corbett British hunter, tracker, naturalist and author

Edward James Corbett was a British hunter, tracker, naturalist, and author who hunted a number of man-eating tigers and leopards in India. He held the rank of colonel in the British Indian Army and was frequently called upon by the Government of the United Provinces of Agra and Oudh, now the Indian states of Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, to kill man-eating tigers and leopards that were preying on people in the nearby villages of the Kumaon-Garhwal Regions.

<i>Man-Eaters of Kumaon</i> 1944 book by Jim Corbett

Man-Eaters of Kumaon is a 1944 book written by hunter-naturalist Jim Corbett. It details the experiences that Corbett had in the Kumaon region of India from the 1900s to the 1930s, while hunting man-eating Bengal tigers and Indian leopards. One tiger, for example, was responsible for over 400 human deaths. Man-Eaters of Kumaon is the best known of Corbett's books and contains 10 stories of tracking and shooting man-eaters in the Indian Himalayas during the early years of the twentieth century. The text also contains incidental information on flora, fauna and village life. Seven of the stories were first published privately as Jungle Stories.

The Champawat Tiger was a Bengal tigress responsible for an estimated 436 deaths in Nepal and the Kumaon area of India, during the last years of the 19th century and the first years of the 20th century. Her attacks have been listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the highest number of fatalities from a tiger. She was shot in 1907 by Jim Corbett.

Kalesar National Park Park in Haryana, India

Kalesar National Park and adjacent Kalesar Wildlife Sanctuary are protected areas in Yamunanagar district of Haryana state in India, 122 kilometres (76 mi) from Chandigarh. Both are also contiguous to Simbalbara National Park in Himachal Pradesh and Rajaji National Park in Uttrakhand. Kalesar is a popular destination for leopards, panthers, elephants, red jungle fowl and bird-watching. This forested area in the Shivalik foothills is covered primarily with sal with smattering of Semul, Amaltas and Bahera trees as well. Wildlife jeep safaris are available on 3 tracks. Park is closed July to September and during the remaining months visiting hours are 6 am to 10 am and 4 pm to 7 pm during summers, and 7 am to 11 am and 3.30 pm to 6 pm during winters.

Nagarhole National Park Tiger reserve in Karnataka, India

Nagarhole National Park is a national park located in Kodagu district and Mysore district in Karnataka, India. It is one of India's premier Tiger Reserves along with the adjoining Bandipur Tiger Reserve and Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary.

John Alexander Hunter, born near Shearington, Dumfries-shire, Scotland was a white hunter in Africa from the early 1900s through the 1950s who led many notable safaris. He moved permanently to British East Africa in 1908, where he later led the Livermore expedition, with the aid of A.P.de K.Fourie, that opened up the Ngorongoro Crater to European hunters. He held several world records for big game at various times, and killed over 1,000 rhinos in Kenya, most of them in the Makueni hunting ground, which the Government needed to get rid of, in order to give these lands for re-settlement of the Kamba people. Besides safaris and other control operations for the Kenya Game Department, in Makueni Hunter killed 996 alone, from 26 August 1944 to 31 October 1946. It turned out that those lands were useless for human settlement. In later years, he became concerned about the possible extinction of the wildlife he had so assiduously hunted, and spoke in favour of conservation. His writings were notable for betraying his colonialist attitude, although his writings similarly betrayed a genuine respect and affection for the locales and peoples that he interacted with.

Indian leopard Leopard subspecies

The Indian leopard is a leopard subspecies widely distributed on the Indian subcontinent. The species Panthera pardus is listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List because populations have declined following habitat loss and fragmentation, poaching for the illegal trade of skins and body parts, and persecution due to conflict situations.

Lakkavalli Village in Karnataka, India

Lakkavalli is a small town / Hobli in Tarikere Taluk of Chikkamagaluru district, Karnataka state, southern India. Lakkavalli is the site of a dam across the Bhadra River; the dam is used for irrigation and power production and agriculture. Lakkavalli is malnad hobli of tariere taluk since it belongs to malnad region. The biodiversity of the place is well known since the British. Even the hunter Kenneth Anderson,in one of his book,claimed to have killed a Man eater here. The Kuvempu University, which is one of the premier learning centre is just 7 km from here. The state highway T-M Road passes through the Village. A Jain Matha exists here and it is headed by Bhattaraka Swasti Sri Vrushabasena.

Man-eater is a colloquial term for an individual animal that preys on humans as a pattern of hunting behavior. This does not include the scavenging of corpses, a single attack born of opportunity or desperate hunger, or the incidental eating of a human that the animal has killed in self-defense. However, all three cases may habituate an animal to eating human flesh or to attacking humans, and may foster the development of man-eating behavior.

Tiger attack Human-animal conflict

Tiger attacks are an extreme form of human–wildlife conflict which occur for various reasons and have claimed more human lives than attacks by any of the other big cats. The most comprehensive study of deaths due to tiger attacks estimates that at least 373,000 people died due to tiger attacks between 1800 and 2009, the majority of these attacks occurring in South and Southeast Asia. In Southeast Asia, attacks gradually declined after peaking in the nineteenth century, but attacks in South Asia have remained high, particularly in the Sundarbans.

The Leopard of the Central Provinces, also known as the Devilish Cunning Panther, was a man-eating male Indian leopard which over the course of a couple of years, killed over 150 people, all women and children, in the Central Provinces of British India in the early 20th century. The leopard reportedly claimed a victim once every 2–3 days, each time in a different area to the last, with the killings sometimes taking place 20–30 miles apart. The leopard caused such panic that the native communities in its range rarely left their homes alone or unarmed.

<i>Shikari</i> (2012 film) 2012 film by Abhaya Simha

Shikari is a 2012 Indian bilingual film in Kannada and Malayalam. The film written and directed by Abhaya Simha, stars Mammootty and Poonam Bajwa in the lead, with Aditya, Mohan and Innocent in other major roles. The film was the Kannada debut of Mammootty, and Malayalam debut of director Abhay Simha and music director V. Harikrishna. Both Mammooty and Poonam Bajwa play double roles, set in two different timelines.

The Thak man-eater was a female Bengal tiger who killed and ate four human victims between September and November 1938. She was operating in Kumaon, at the Nepalese border, between the villages Thak, Chuka, Kot Kindri and Sem. The tigress was shot at about 6:00pm on 30 November 1938 by Jim Corbett. This was the last man-eater killed by Corbett. The story about Thak man-eater is known as one of the most dramatic stories about man-eating animals. It was the last story in the USA edition of the bestselling book Man-Eaters of Kumaon. In the UK edition the last story of the book was "Just Tigers". The book Man-Eaters of Kumaon became the book of the year in USA in 1945, and a Hollywood film Man-Eater of Kumaon was made in 1948.

Leopard attack Leopard Hunting Prey

Leopard attacks are attacks inflicted upon humans, other leopards and other animals by the leopard. The frequency of leopard attacks on humans varies by geographical region and historical period. Despite the leopard's extensive range from sub-Saharan Africa to Southeast Asia, attacks are regularly reported only in India and Nepal. Among the five "big cats", leopards are less likely to become man-eaters—only jaguars and snow leopards have a less fearsome reputation. However, leopards are established predators of non-human primates, sometimes preying on species as large as the western lowland gorilla. Other primates may make up 80% of the leopard's diet. While leopards generally avoid humans, they tolerate proximity to humans better than lions and tigers, and often come into conflict with humans when raiding livestock.

John Hampden Porter, M.D. was a U.S. Army assistant surgeon during the Civil War. He later became a writer, sociologist, naturalist, and big game hunter. He traveled extensively in Central America at the end of the 19th century and early 20th century, and wrote papers for the Smithsonian Institution and the International Bureau of the American Republics. He wrote popular books and a weekly column for the New York Tribune based on his world travels and adventures as a big game hunter.

The 10.75x68mm Mauser, also known as the .423 Mauser, is an obsolete rimless bottleneck centerfire rifle cartridge developed by Mauser and introduced in the early 1920s.

Tocher and Tocher Taxidermists

Tocher and Tocher were a firm of Anglo Indian taxidermists located in Bangalore, India. William Tocher was born in India in 1853 and was of Scottish ancestry. William’s father, James, had arrived in India with the East India Company. William became involved in taxidermy as a hobby; he later started his own taxidermy business in 1906.

References

  1. 1 2 3 Anderson, Donald; Mathew, Joshua (2018). The Last White Hunter. Reminiscences of a Colonial Shikari. Indus Source Books. pp. 205–236.
  2. Shaji, K. A. (17 July 2019). "How the legacy of a colonial hunter has inspired conservation efforts in the forests of south India". Mongabay.
  3. Anderson, Kenneth "Man Eaters and Jungle Killers", Swapna Printing Works
  4. Hunters Tales, Frontline Onnet