The Beast of Gévaudan
(French: La Bête du Gévaudan, Occitan: La Bèstia de Gavaudan) is the historical name associated with a man-eating animal or animals which terrorised the former province of Gévaudan (consisting of the modern-day département of Lozère and part of Haute-Loire), in the Margeride Mountains of south-central France between 1764 and 1767. The attacks, which covered an area spanning 90 by 80 kilometres (56 by 50 mi), were said to have been committed by one or more beasts with formidable teeth and immense tails, according to contemporary eyewitnesses. Most descriptions from the period identify the beast as a wolf, dog, or wolf-dog hybrid.
Victims were often killed by having their throats torn out. The Kingdom of France used a considerable amount of money and manpower to hunt the animals responsible, including the resources of several nobles, soldiers, royal huntsmen, and civilians. The number of victims differs according to the source. A 1987 study estimated there had been 610 attacks, resulting in 500 deaths and 49 injuries; 98 of the victims killed were partly eaten. Other sources claim the animal or animals killed between 60 and 100 adults and children and injured more than 30. The beast was reported killed several times before the attacks finally stopped.