Does Shere Khan kill Akela in The Jungle Book?

Quick answer:

Shere Kahn does not kill Akela.

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The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling is a wonderful work of fictional literature, and not many people realize that the entire book is not focused on Mowgli. The Jungle Book is actually a compilation of stories. Several of them deal with Mowgli, Akela, Shere Khan, and other beloved characters, but other stories focus on animals, such as Rikki-tikki-tavi, the heroic mongoose.

The Mowgli parts of The Jungle Book have gone down in greater fame than the other parts of the book, and this is likely due to the movie versions of the same title that focus on Mowgli's adventures. Multiple films have featured Mowgli, Shere Khan, and the others, and each film has taken its own liberties with certain plot points or character backgrounds.

In Kipling's book, Shere Khan does not kill Akela. In fact, in "Tiger! Tiger!," Akela helps Mowgli kill Shere Khan, and the elder wolf is still alive when the book concludes. Akela will die in The Second Jungle Book, which was published a year after the first. He dies from his wounds in a battle against the dholes, influencing Mowgli's decision to return to the humans. It is only in the 2016 film that Shere Khan kills Akela, throwing him off a cliff and assuming leadership of the pack.

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