Jackal, Coorg -
Bibliophiles and cinema buffs have long known ‘The Jackal’ as a furtive killer whose presence is felt only after he’s gone, leaving in his wake, a dead body or two (the real Jackal, though, doesn’t believe in leaving dead bodies behind, as we shall see). One doesn’t know if, Carlos the Jackal, the most famously elusive political assassin of them all, was named after the animal, or earned the label after Forsythe’s bestseller insinuated the name into the consciousness of a world coming to grips with this new animal called terrorism. Whatever the case, Jackals are past masters of the night, being one with the shadows as they hunt. Again, unlike Carlos, they aren’t too particular about doing the job themselves: they are only too content to claim for their own, what others have hunted down (this ‘charming’ trait must, we’re sure, remind readers of the many jackals prowling the corporate world). Non-discriminative scavengers, they eat anything that they find: from snakes, insects, and birds, to berries, fruit and grass. When they tire of scavenging, they hit the road in pairs or small packs to hunt down goats and sheep, or even the odd deer. They can keep up a fast trot for hours on end and communicate through their trademark yipping (an example of giving those poor deer a bad case of the yips?) before using the combination of stamina and stealth to bring down their target. While they’ve had a bad rep for millennia-typified by how the jackal-headed Egyptian god, Annubis, is tasked with the job of guiding the dead to their judgement-they are among the few mammalian species that are loyal to their mates for life, and are exemplary parents who love and nurture their children. But then, these aren’t the traits that’ll endear them to the next generation of Forsythe or Ludlum readers, are they?