La bête féroce

The Beast of Gévaudan, Dalrymple explains, was

a wolf of monstrous size and cunning, or a hyena or other hideous carnivorous creature, who terrorised many of the villages through which I pass on my way to my house from England, by maiming, killing, decapitating, eating and stripping naked many victims, principally young girls while tending their flocks.

At one time,

20,000 people were out hunting for him, and though two large wolves were eventually killed, it is still not certain that these were not scapewolves.

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