After being discharged from the British Armed Forces at the end of the Second World War, Hugh Allen – and his widowed sister Babs – decided on impulse to settle down on an estate in Mandikhera, an obscure village in central India, hoping to live the quiet life of a farmer. But even as his crops flourished, they suffered the attentions of the hungry denizens of the surrounding forest. Allen was thus compelled to take up arms to defend his crops and, occasionally, the villagers of Mandikhera.
The Lonely Tiger recounts Allen's encounters with animals of all kinds: snappish tigers in heat; a wounded, angry leopard; a surly, murderous boar; chattering, helpful monkeys; an enraged she-bear protecting her cubs; and a melancholy tiger that has lost his family to poachers.
Hugh Allen narrates his adventures in spare, taut and thrilling prose which brings the jungle – and the hunt – to pulsating life. And while The Lonely Tiger is one of the best shikar books to have been ever written, it is also one of the earliest appeals to conserve India's rapidly vanishing wildlife.
First published in 1960.
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Hugh Allen served in the British Armed Forces during the Second World War but, when a bad head wound put him out of active service in 1942, he was hospitalized in India. He learnt to love the country and took up farming amongst the jungles, developing his skills for big-game shooting out of necessity, rather than entertainment.