All through my investigations in the past 17 years, I've met many professionnals and I was surprised to see that they all have a different idea. Here are some of the ones I've met, and what their opinion is (click on the name to go right to it):
Franz thinks it might be a stripped hyena from Africa, and his explanation has nothing to laugh about, but is very logical:
the corps of Chastel's Beast which was brought to Paris can not have "been burried because of the smell". The schientists of that time,
Buffon first or Daubenton, would not have lost a chance to study such a fantastic animal. It's as if you brought a real bigfoot to a naturalist
and that he would burn it...because it stinks!
Unthinkable for Franz, and quite logical too. Then the animal would have followed the usual journey through the collections of the museum.
It will be exposed for a few years because in 1819, a booklet for the visitors of the ménagerie, show a stripped hyena and likns it to the one stuffed in the Cabinet of the King, who killed many people in Gévaudan. Probably dismounted around 1850, it track is lost. If it was in a too bad shape it would have been burnt but that's not sure: if it was not too damaged, it can have been used in an other naturalisation. Don't despair because one day maybe we'll find a skull in a naturalisation of canine, which would be the one of the Beast of Gévaudan….
He who know everything about police training thinks the Beast was trained to attack human beings.
His opinion is right here.
Surgeon veterinary who, for my first documentary in 2007, studied the report by maître Marin, Jean-Christophe deduced it was a dog from Eastern countries, tall and strong, even accusing nominally the Leonberg race.
In fact, the races of dogs we have today are not the same than the ones they had 250 years ago, and which would fit better the descriptions of the Beast more than any hybrid could. Moreover, The fact that the Beast was a hybrid of dog and wolf is not serious for him because the animal described by Marin is too big to have been one.
For him the Beast would have been a shepherd dog type, abandonned or escaped but trained, which came back to wild life and needing to feed, would have decided to go after human beings, who didn't scare him. Was he from Gévaudan or from the Balkans, nothing could tell us for sure because the report doesn't have any drawing of the beast itself.
This wolf defender explains in his book "The Beast of Gévaudan: innocence of the wolves" that the measures of the Best killed by Jean Chastel betray its nature. It can only be an hybrid of female dog an male wolf and he even claims that: considering the way of living of wolves during reproduction period, this hybridization was done in captivity.
In fact the heat period of wolves happening in january, a wild femal wolf would have gone away and a male wolf wound have eaten the dog (winter is hard for wolves). He even names the count Jean-François Charles de Molette de Morangiès and Antoine Chastel as the men responsible for the killings.
Zootechnical chief in the wolf park of Sainte Lucie (Lozère), he thinks it might have been a hybrid or a stripped hyena, but covered with a carapace, which is for him the only way to explain that bullets or even blades couldn't hurt the Beast. He also beleive the Beast was trained to kill.
Founder of the Fantastic Museum of the Beast of Gévaudan in Saugues, he thinks it was no wolf, according to Marin's report. But the track of sheepdogs coming from the south during the summer transhumance, even if it has not been searched, is interesting for him.
In fact, hybridization could explain that the Beast sometimes looked like a dog or sometimes like a wolf. Anyway, he is convinced that wolf is guilty though he's opened to any new vision.
For the president of the association "Au pays de la Bête" (In the land of the Beast) based in Auvers, the case of the Beast is only a matter of wild animals and not of trained animals or even men (besides one or two suspicious deaths that can be blamed on man).
Wolves, bigger than average and at least one hybrid would be responsible. This hybrid could come from a natural hybridization between a shepherd dog and a female wolf, or it could have been created for wolfhunting, and would have escpaed from his master.
Antoine killed a big wolf, as well as the Marlet brothers and Antoine's guards. Jean Chastel killed the hybrid.Top of page