In one day in January 1764, in Gevaudan forest located in the southwest region of France, a young woman who had brought the cows to pasture in the way he met a fierce beast, which rushed over her. The beast, which was the size of a cattle or a donkey, like a giant wolf. Frightened, the dogs were given on fumes but courageous cattle were driven beast împungând it with horns. This woman was more fortunate than her sisters and they subsequently met the creature was to be known as "the beast of Gevaudan."
Not long after, news began circulating that the mutilated bodies were found some shepherds - men, women and especially children - scattered in the area. The first victim apparently was a little girl, discovered in July, his heart torn from her chest. After a time, other bodies of men were found in late August or early September, fearless creature attacking groups of people. Terrified peasants were sure that a loup-tourniquet (a werewolf) haunting in their land. Rumors have got land when many people stray, who claimed that the creature trăseseră gun or that spintecaseră, argued that it seemed almost invulnerable to human weapons. On 8 October, after two hunters were downloaded in full rifles from a distance of ten feet, the beast ran away limping. The news spread and, briefly, thought she had retired to give his spirit, but after a day or two she started to kill again.
Paris Gazette outlined, based on statements made by witnesses, a portrait of the beast. "She was much taller than a wolf and have sharp claws. The hair was red, his head was high and resembled the nose of a greyhound, ears were small and sharp, broad chest and was gray with black stripes on his back, nose was large, equipped with sharp teeth. " On June 6, 1765, St. James' s Chronicle, an English magazine, observed: "It seems that this is not a wolf, tiger or hyena, but a mongrel beast of the last two mentioned, which gave rise to new species .
After an attack on two children, killed and torn apart in front of other older youth, who vainly attempted to destroy the beast with pitchforks and scythes, a complaint was lodged at the royal court of Versailles. King Louis XV sent a detachment of light cavalry under the command of Captain Duhamel, in the region. Duhamel has put more soldiers to wear women's clothes, on the theory that the animal was attracted to women. Hunters discovered the beast several times and opened fire on them, but she always managed to escape. After the carnage seemed to have ceased to believe that the beast Duhamel died of wounds received. But once he and his dragons retreated, to kill the beast resumed.
Establish a big prize in the region has attracted professional hunters and soldiers. They were killed over a hundred wolves, but the beast continued its aggressions. Several hunters, including one specializing in hunting of wolves - which had been sent from the personal command of the king - announced they were seriously wounded beast, but it seemed nothing can stop her. In the summer of 1765, massacre of children was particularly ferocious.
Months passed and during that entire villages were left deserted. Farmers have abandoned their homes, claiming to have spotted the beast while he watched through the window. Those who have dared to venture out on the street were attacked. The peasants were afraid even dare to pull the beast offered a safe target.
In June 1767, events reached its climax. Marquis d'APCHER, who lived in the western part of the Gevaudan region, drew hundreds of hunters and other specialists who have spread into small groups. On the night of 19, the beast attacked a group. Jean CHASTEL, which - prudent - he loaded the gun with silver bullets, assuming they could have to do with a loup-tourniquet, shot twice in the beast. The second bullet hit her right in the heart, killing her. When he was cut in the stomach of a young girl was discovered collarbone. Before being shot down, the beast had killed 60 people. The state spent more than 29,000 pounds, a fortune for those days, in an effort to come HAC killer beast.
Monstrous corpse was walked across the region over the next two weeks, then was packed to be sent to Versailles. Meanwhile housing began to rot, why was not sent to the Royal Court, but was buried somewhere in the countryside.
Although the story seems a horror scenario, there is no doubt that it really happened. Many famous naturalist believes that stories about the attacks made by wolves against humans (if the beast was attacking a wolf, as modern historians assume) are very suspicious, what Roger A. Caras cause it to argue that "many of them are exaggerated" . However, despite the myths and exaggerations, there is apparently widespread and credible reports about ravenous wolves, especially before the advent of firearms. In a study on the relationship between wolves attacking humans and its legends werewolves, WMS Russell and Claire had said that "modern wolves probably have more experience behind them generations of ancestors who had to deal with weapons Fire. "
It is, on the one hand, an extraordinary event in the annals of animal behavior. On the other hand, the mere size of the transfer problem in criptozoologiei beings. This episode raises many questions that it is doubtful that they will give answers to two centuries after it happened.