Jungle Book Wiki
Ranjan is telling Baloo the bear Mowgli and Shanti are in danger.jpg
This character has multiple pages, because of it's differences in all the differend movies, series and books.
This article is about the character from Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book.
You may be looking for Shere Khan (original), Shere Khan (Disney's animated films), Shere Khan (2016), Shere Khan (Mowgli's Story), Shere Khan (2018), Shere Khan (1997), Shere Khan (1942), Shere Khan (Shōnen Mowgli), Shere Khan (Jetlag film), Shere Khan (Adventures of Mowgli), Shere Khan (Mowgli's Brothers), Shere Khan (3D TV series) or Shere Khan (1990).

Shere Khan is a male Bengal tiger, and, unlike in all other movies, he isn't the main antagonist in Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book, but "the jungle's royal keeper" and protector.


Shere Khan is similar to his animated counterpart as he despises humanity to the full extent. However, unlike his animated counterpart, it turns out that the true reason behind his hatred for humanity is because of several hunters' desire for hunting down animals for fun rather than for food, an act that angers him so much. He is also willing to strike down anyone who tries to attack him. This was shown when the local guide Nathoo courageously fought against the tiger to save Buldeo, resulting the tiger to maul Nathoo to death, though it is only in self-defense rather than out of malice as Shere Khan had no intention in killing Nathoo.

Despite his hatred for humanity, Shere Khan is willing to spare those who are willing to oblige the jungle law; this was shown when he was only targeting the hunters for shooting down several animals for fun while leaving the other humans alone. He even spared Nathoo's son, Mowgli, when the latter roared back at him in defiance, seeing him as a fellow creature in the jungle and even moaning and chuffing at him as a sign of remorse for killing Nathoo; he even did the same to Kitty Brydon since she is a fellow animal lover who never broke the jungle law.


Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book[]

Shere Khan also appears in the 1994 live-action film, being portrayed by a real tiger. However, Shere Khan is presented as a more sympathetic character in this film. Khan appears rarely and instead serves as a major antagonist turned anti-hero of the film while an arrogant British captain named William Boone (played by Cary Elwes) serves as the main antagonist of the film. Unlike his animated counterpart, Khan does not kill for sport, and his sole goal is to protect the jungle from those who break its laws, namely humans who kill animals for fun instead of food. He is described by the narrator of the film as "the jungle's royal keeper", and by Buldeo as the "king of tigers".

At the beginning of the movie, he sees two British guards and a hunter named Buldeo shooting animals for fun, and becomes enraged at this. He roars in his fury, letting the soldiers know he's returned and proceeds to follow the column of soldiers that the guards and Buldeo are part of. That night, he attacks the humans' camp in revenge for the animals' death, killing the two guards before turning on Buldeo. But before Khan can kill Buldeo, Nathoo (Mowgli's father and the soldiers' guide) shields the hunter. Although Nathoo tells Buldeo to shoot Khan, the ungrateful hunter runs away and abandons Mowgli's father to be killed. Khan's attack is also what led Mowgli to being separated from civilization and living in the jungle. Although he was heard growling when Bagheera found Mowgli, the tiger made no attempts to attack Mowgli at any point over the years (probably because Mowgli hasn't broken the jungle law).

Shere Khan is not seen again until the second half of the movie. By this time, Mowgli has fallen in love with his childhood friend Katherine "Kitty" Brydon and made an enemy in Captain Boone, who has his henchmen kidnap Kitty and her father to force Mowgli to take them to a treasure. Like before, Khan roars to announce his return, though why he started stalking the group is not revealed (it was possible to avenge Baloo's earlier shooting by Boone and Wilkins). Boone plans to kill Shere Khan for his skin, though Buldeo tries to convince him otherwise, knowing how dangerous the tiger is. Two of Boone's henchmen die before Khan catches up to the group, where he scares the villains into splitting up. Once separated, Shere Khan kills Lt. John Wilkins, a henchman of Captain Boone, while Buldeo is buried alive while trying to shoot Mowgli.

After the climactic battle between Mowgli and Boone (ending with Boone being killed by Kaa), Khan and Mowgli meet face to face for the first time. Khan is obviously distrusting of Mowgli (and all humans in general) and attempts to scare him away by roaring in his face, but Mowgli stubbornly roars back and stares Khan down. Seeing Mowgli's courage, Khan develops a newfound respect for him, and begins to see him as a fellow "creature of the jungle". Because of this and the fact that neither broke the jungle law, Shere Khan spares Mowgli and allows him and Kitty to leave peacefully.


Jungle Book Wiki has a collection of images and media related to Shere Khan (1994) which can be found at Shere Khan (1994)/Gallery.