Jim Corbett was a man of the legends. He was born James Edward Corbett in Nainital on July 25, 1875. He was one of the eight children of Christopher and Mary Jane Corbett. The Corbett family had two residencies, one in Nainital for the summers and other for the winter retreat which was located in Kala Dhunghi. Jim Corbett grew in this cradle of nature, in the wilderness. He was perceptive about the ways of the Kumauni people which led him learn about the ways of the jungle and the decorum of the culture and language. History has it that Corbett was asked to lead a contingent comprising 500 Kumauni in France during the First World War.
After the World War, he came back to the forest of Kumaun, often called to villages to protect the villagers from the rampant man eaters. Jim Corbett was a legend as a hunter. He interpreted and deciphered all the possible jungle signs for the presence of the man eater. Whether it is a ripple dust of a dry steam bed or a blade of grass caught in the act of springing back of the animal, Corbett was aware of every uncalled for situation.
Several of the animal sounds were known to Corbett, and he could mimic most of them. He could use his voice as bait to mimic a tiger and lure him to an imminent face to face encounter. His skills have led to the killing of tigers in several ways.
In the rich bio diversity of the region and the subtle liaison between man and nature has been his greatest inspiration for the conservation of the wild life. His long time friend and the pioneer of jungle photography in India, F.W. Champion, have motivated him to take up the camera rather than the gun against the wild life.
Jim Corbett has also reached his fame due to his books. Man-eaters of Kumaon, Man-eating Leopard of Rudraparayag, My India, Jungle Lore, The Temple Tiger and Tree Tops, was the chronicle of all the encounters and the exploits about the tiger. Post World War 2, Jim Corbett had migrated to Kenya to settle down with his sister, Maggie, where he succumbed to cardiac failure on April 19, 1955. Throughout his lifetime Corbett has incepted the India’s wildlife conservation movement. To honor scientist in 1968, had christened one of the five sub species of tiger, South East Asian Tiger after him: Panthera tigris corbetti.