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Akela

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Akela
Akela

Real Name

Akela

First Appearance

Mowgli's Brothers (1893)

Created by

Rudyard Kipling

Origin

Akela (occasionally called The Lone Wolf or Big Wolf) was a Wolf, chief of the Seeonee wolf pack and presided over the pack's council meetings. It is at such a meeting that the pack adopts the human cub Mowgli as one of its own and Akela became one of Mowgli's mentors. Akela means "alone" in Hindi, Urdu, and Punjabi. Nine or ten years after Mowgli's adoption, his enemy, Shere Khan, the tiger, with the aid of some young wolves he had persuaded to support him, planned to depose Akela so that he would no longer be able to defend Mowgli. A wolf who became too old to hunt was traditionally driven out or killed by his pack. Akela was far from decrepit but, the young wolves deliberately drove a young, healthy buck deer toward him knowing that he would not be able to catch it. When the council met to depose Akela, Mowgli defended him with a blazing branch and drove Shere Khan and his allies away.

After Shere Khan's departure, the remaining wolves begged Akela to stay but, he refused to remain pack leader and decided to hunt alone. Phao became the new pack leader, Mowgli returned to humanity, at least for a time, and Akela hunted alone. During this period, Akela helped Mowgli to kill Shere Khan with the aid of the human village's water buffalo herd.

Some years later, when Mowgli had been rejected by humanity and the pack was threatened with extinction by a rampaging pack of dhole, Akela joined the battle and fought to the death, finally dying in Mowgli's company. Akela's death was a major factor in Mowgli's decision to finally return to human society at the age of 17.

Public Domain Appearances

  • Mowgli's Brothers
  • Tiger! Tiger!
  • Letting In the Jungle
  • Red Dog

See Also

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