This is one of those mysteries that never will be solved–unless the French decide to let searchers dig up the gardens at Versailles. Because that’s where the Beast of Gevaudan is buried.
From 1764 through 1767, in a rural district of France, “the Beast of Gevaudan,” whatever it was, attacked some 200 people, killing 90 of them. The government sent thousands of professional hunters to bag it, all to no avail. A local man finally shot it, bringing the Beast’s reign of terror to an end.
They called it a wolf, but there’s reason to doubt that identification. I have nothing convincing to offer in its place, though.
All we can say for sure is that this was one of the all-time greatest cryptid stories.