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Badass of the Week. Carl Akeley "I felt no pain, Leopard man I certainly never thought for a moment that I would come out alive.
I was rather Leopard man, as a matter of fact, except for a tremendous and wildly pleasant thrill I felt, knowing that I was battling for my life. To say this bearded badass is the world's greatest taxidermist is kind of Leopard man saying Wayne Gretzky was pretty good Leopard man hockey or that bacon is sometimes edible if you cook it right.
He's a man who not only excelled at the art craft? He also, you know, killed a fucking leopard with his bare hands as it was in the process of devouring him, drank beers with Teddy Rooseveltsurvived having his chest cavity stomped inside out by an elephant, passed through a crocodile-infested river by riding a dead animal as a raft, had a pet monkey named J.
Junior, and survived being charged straight-on by three rhinos at the same time, and he did it all in the name of science and education and being totally fucking awesome whenever possible.
Perhaps most interestingly of all, despite the fact that this dude mowed down dozens of wild animals from the Olympic Peninsula to the Horn of Africa with a bitchin' as hell nickel-plated double-barreled elephant gun capable of firing a.
And even the most bitter rivals have to agree that this was a guy who really put himself out there for his work: Carl Akeley was born ina quiet, soft-spoken, pale skinny farm boy from upstate New York who loved animals and nature like almost to an unhealthy degree that bordered on obsession.
While all of his friends and other assorted jackasses were out studying and frolicking and throwing rocks at girls this kid was out in the woods drawing realistic pictures of animals and plants in his own blood and teaching himself to paint so that he could create more lifelike renderings of the shit he was observing the fuck out of in nature.
In he told college to get bent, ran off to Rochester, and took a job making shit money apprenticing with a dude named Henry Ward who was basically the only semi-competent taxidermist in world at this point in time.
While giving slave labor to Ward, Akeley kind of got the idea about how this stuffed animals shit was supposed to work, but taxidermy in the s basically meant you took an animal skin, stuffed it with straw, sewed it up and call it a day.
As you can imagine, the end result generally looked like a vaguely-animal-shaped pile of shit. He dedicated his life to Chuck Testa -ing together the most lifelike dead animals around, a process that, among other things, involved creating a lifelike sculpture of the creature out of plaster and modeling clay, paying special attention to the musculature, behavior, and skeletal structure of the creature, and going out of his way to make it look like it was still alive.
To take it a step further he then put the animals in lifelike environments, devising new ways to create lifelike trees and plants out of wax, wire, thread, and other bullshit, and took painstaking care to ensure that any museum exhibit he designed was as lifelike and realistic as possible.
Taxidermy museum exhibits, circa After bouncing around at museums in Chicago and Milwaukee, Akeley ended up at the American Museum of Natural History in New York, where he agreed to work for free as long as the museum would finance him on a bunch of trips to Africa to collect specimens i.
Now, sure, it might offend some folks' delicate ASPCA sensibilities to think about a guy being funded to travel to Africa in the s, cap wild animals, and bring their hides back to be displayed in museums, but for Akeley this was a mission of conservation rather than one of pretentious personal glory.
Akeley lived at a time when essentially every asshole with a few extra bucks and a functional trigger finger was going to Africa and machine-gunning gigantic bullets in every direction on Oregon Trail-style hunting trips, and Akeley was concerned that this wanton, senseless destruction of wildlife would end up completely depopulating entire swaths of the African countryside.
Essentially Akeley wanted his great-grandchildren to know what a hippopotamus looked like running free in the African brush even if hippos had been extinct for decades. Feel free to debate the merits of this all you want, but this whole taxidermy aspect of the story is basically ancillary to what I want to talk about, which is all the crazy fucking badass shit that went down while he was on these expeditions.
Akeley was headed back to the spot where he'd bagged a hyena and a bigass warthog earlier in the day, but when he got there all he saw was a couple of big bloody streaks leading off into a thick brush.
Akeley froze, realizing what was happening, and when a noise came from the brush, he raised his rifle and fired to try and scare it off. Suddenly, out of the thicket came this gigantic fucking leopard screaming towards him teeth-first like a psychotic killer cat being launched out of a horrible predator-launching cannon.
Unable to get his weapon back around quickly enough, Akeley dropped his gun and threw his arm up just in time to prevent the vicious beast from ripping out his throat.
The leopard latched on to Akeley's left hand, chomping down with all its might, and kicking at him with its back legs like a rabid pound feral housecat intent on brutally mutilating him beyond recognition and burying his body in the back yard.
Yes, you are reading that correctly. Carl Akeley, noted philanthropist and respected wildlife conservationist, punched a fucking leopard in the esophagus from the inside.
The leopard gagged, Akeley pulled his hand out, and then he took the thing, bodyslammed it to the ground, and jumped on it with both knees, crushing it to death. Akeley, bleeding profusely from horrific wounds on both hands, clawed to shit, still recovering from a recent battle with malaria, and barely able to stand, then picked up the leopard despite a shattered handthrew it over his shoulder, walked back to camp with it, and taxidermized it for a museum exhibit.
Another life-or-death duel with nature took place on the slopes of Mount Kenya a few years later. Akeley and his crew of African porters had just seen the biggest goddamned elephant Akeley had ever seen in his entire life and this guy saw a lot of fucking elephants, FYIso they decided to track it for a while and maybe bust some caps in its ass.
Despite an intense, driving rainstorm Akeley followed the behemoth pachyderm into a thick wooded area, where he and his porters suddenly lost the trail. With no time to go for his double-barreled elephant gun, Akeley popped up to his feet, wiping the blood out of his eyes just in time to see the foot tall, two-ton rampaging creature lunge straight at his chest with a gleaming ivory tusk.
Akeley broke a half-dozen ribs, one of which punctured a lung, and blacked out from the concussive force of being headbutted by a fucking elephant.
The psycho pachyderm then chased the natives around for a while before running off unharmed into the woods to kill again. The natives, seeing Akeley's crushed, motionless body, believed him to be dead, and since it was against their religion to touch a corpse they just built a fire and left him flat on his back in the rain in three inches of wet mud like assholes.
Akeley woke up five hours later, got help, spent three months in the hospital, and as soon as he could walk again the 46 year-old explorer was right back at it again.
And this shit is just for starters. One time in Uganda he shot a gigantic crocodile as it was basking on the far side of a large river, but when he and his porter swam across to get the body suddenly the porter was grabbed by a croc from below and dragged down to his death.Aleksandra Ivanova Campos English 10, 5 May 19, Individuality.
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Origin. Haines was blackmailed for over 9 years by a man named Sanders who performed as Sandu, the Leopard Man. Haines couldn't take it any more and decided to kill Sanders, using the leopard claws on his costume. Find great deals on eBay for leopard man.
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Once upon a time, Danny Perry took a stab at being a writer/director on a number of film projects. Each project was a tremendous failure. This series chronic.