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destitute of gracefulness and dignity, unless massiveness and strength impart dignity. The towering vast head, rising abruptly from the shoulders, almost without the intervention of a neck, and the huge body supported on four pillars, for such do the legs appear to be, strike the beholder for the first time with astonishment. The tusks in the African elephant are of huge size, and are very valuable as ivory. Some of the tusks of the Indian elephant weigh from seventy to a hundred pounds each, but those of the African elephant are heavier. The elephant cannot graze because the shortness of its neck will not enable it to apply its mouth to the ground; it cannot browse on the foliage of trees, because the shape and position of its mouth prevent it from so doing. Nature has, however, overcome the difficulty, by providing it with a trunk or proboscis, exceedingly flexible, sensitive, and powerful. This organ can break off a stout branch of a tree or pick up a straw. By its means the animal collects the herbage on which it feeds, and puts it into its mouth. It drinks also by means of this proboscis, the end of which it dips into the water, and when it has filled the two canals therein, it inserts the extremity of it into its mouth,
and discharges the contents. It can retain water in its trunk for a long time, and discharge it at will either in playfulness, anger, or in time of thirst. In general the elephant is exceedingly gentle, docile, and obedient when tamed.
The following account of the mode in which elephants are ensnared is interesting :
“The herd, when discovered, is surrounded by a circle of men, divided into small parties, at the distance of twenty or thirty yards from each other; these, by noises of various kinds, and by fires lighted at different posts, drive the animals into a body; in the morning the circle opens, and the herd is slowly driven forward towards a spot where a new circle is prepared to receive it; the people closing up, taking their proper stations, and passing the remainder of the day and night as before. In this manner, day after day, it is conducted towards a sort of concealed pound or inclosure called a keddah, made of strong timbers, and divided into two or three great pens, communicating with each other by means of gates, which are shut as the herd is forced from pen to pen. The last pen has a narrow outlet passage, with a doorway sufficient for the entrance of only one elephant at a time; and the passage itself will not allow a large elephant to turn round. When by dint of noise and fires the animals have entered the first gate of the keddah, and they find themselves ensnared, their rage
is extreme, but escape is now impossible; one outlet only offers, but it leads to the next inclosure: the leader enters, the rest follow; the gate is instantly shut by people who are stationed on a small scaffold immediately above it, and strongly barricaded; fires are lighted, and the same discordant din made and continued, till the herd has passed through another gateway into the last inclosure, the gate of which is secured in the same manner as the former was. The elephants, being now completely surrounded on all sides, and perceiving no outlet through which they can escape, appear desperate, and in their fury advance frequently to the ditch, in order to break down the palisades, inflating their trunks, screaming louder and shriller than any trumpet, sometimes grumbling like the hollow murmur of distant thunder; but wherever they make an attack, they are opposed by lighted fires, and by the noise and triumphant shouts of the hunters. As they must remain some time in this inclosure, care is always taken to have part of the ditch filled with water, which is supplied by a small stream, either natural, or conducted through an artificial channel from some neighbouring reservoir. The elephants have recourse to this water to quench their thirst after their fatigue, by sucking the water into their trunks, and then squirting it over every part of their bodies. While they remain in this inclosure they continue sulky, and seem to meditate their escape; but the hunters build huts around them close to the palisades, watchmen are placed, and every precaution used to prevent their breaking through.
“When the herd has continued a few days in this partition, the door of the outlet passage is opened, and one is at last enticed in with food. Having entered, the door is closed and securely barred: retreat is impossible, and the captive is hemmed completely in. His struggles in that narrow cage are useless. He is then enveloped in a labyrinth of cords, and, exhausted with fatigue and fury, he is led out between two powerful trained beasts, to whom he is bound and tied, and brought by them to a spot where he is fastened to strong trees. He then becomes again excited, and sometimes falls a victim to his paroxysm of fury; but commonly the cravings of hunger induce him to eat, and he gradually yields to the power of gentle discipline."
By Europeans in India, the elephant is used for travelling, and in hunting the tiger. The horse cannot be brought to follow the track, or stand firm at the sight of a tiger, but the elephant will do both; and besides his delicate scent, his bodily powers, which enable him to make his way through the thickest covers, and his great stature, which places the hunters seated in a howdah on his back in comparative safety, are peculiar recommendations. After all, however, the sport is not unattended with danger, for the elephant fears the tiger, and the latter, when wounded or hard pressed, bounds upon the nearest elephant, and mostly tries to seize the creature's trunk; this it throws up as high as possible, and endeavours to receive the foe on its tusks: well-trained elephants have been known to succeed, and, instantly kneeling, transfix the tiger and pin him to the ground.
THERE are several kinds of bears. The Brown Bear is found in all the mountainous districts of Europe from the Arctic Circle to the Alps and Pyrenees, and even through Siberia, Kamtschatka, and eastward to Japan. Formerly it was found in the forests and hills of England.
The general habits of bears are well known. Unsocial and solitary, they frequent the gloomiest recesses among the mountains, glens, and caverns, and the depths of the forests; there they dig or enlarge a cave in which to dwell, or usurp the hollow of some huge decayed tree, or form a sort of rude den under a maze of intertwined branches, where they line their habitation with moss.
Here they pass the winter, in a state bordering on torpidity; and it is during this retirement, in January, that the female brings forth her young. The cubs are from one to three in number-mostly, however, two; at first their eyes are closed, and they remain blind for thirty days. When the bear retires to its winter quarters on the approach of the cold season it is very fat, but on coming forth in the spring it is generally observed to be lean, the fat having been absorbed for the nutriment of the system during the animals torpidity: but a query here exists, -is the female, who produces her young, and has to attend to them, torpid ? and can she suckle them without receiving any aliment herself? This is very improbable, and tends to prove that the seclusion of the animal is neither so absolute, nor its torpidity so complete, as is generally asserted.
Unless provoked by aggression, or incited by hunger, the Brown Bear seldom attacks man; but when roused is most formidable, and displays greater activity and address than might be expected from its heavy clumsy figure. Its strength is prodigious. Mr. Nilsson, a Swede, states that a bear has been seen, bearing a dead horse in its fore paws, and to walk on its hind legs on a tree stretched across a river. The firm support afforded by the well-developed sole and the form of the hinder limbs (the thigh-bone, though shorter, closely resembling in form that of man) enable these animals not only to rear themselves on their hind feet, but even to walk upright with considerable facility.
Though bears, as Mr. Falk informs us, may reside for years in the neighbourhood of cattle without doing them any injury, yet they will sometimes visit herds solely from the desire of prey, and instances have been known of their climbing upon and tearing off the roofs of cow-houses, in order to gain admittance to the cattle confined within, which, after slaughtering, they have managed to drag through the opening in the low roof, and carry away.
The bear climbs trees or rocks with great dexterity, and descends in the attitude in which it ascends, availing itself cautiously of every projection. Those who have seen the bears in the Zoological Gardens climb to the top of their long poles, and fearlessly balance themselves there, soliciting food from the visitors, may conceive some idea of the animal's address. It also swims well and fast, and during the heat of summer frequently takes the water for the sake of the bath. When captured young, the bear is easily domesticated, and evinces no trifling share of intelligence. The age to which it attains is very considerable. Individuals have been kept between forty and fifty years in captivity.
The Grizzly Bear of the Rocky Mountains, North America, is the savagest of all bears. It does not hug its prey, but strikes with its tremendous fore-paw with sufficient force to lay bare a man's skull, and turn the skin and hair right over his face.
The White Polar Bear, specimens of which may be seen at the Zoological Gardens, London, is very savage. The following account of the capture of two arctic bears is interesting :
“The two Arctic huntsmen, after a hard day with the bears and walruses among the icebergs, returned to their vessel, and retired to bed. They had not lain two hours, however, before the watch on deck came with the news that three bears were at that moment taking a nocturnal promenade on a little ice-island a short distance off. Tired and sleepy as were the hunters, the opportunity was too splendid a one to be lost, especially as, according to the hunters' experience, bears were the least plentiful of the large game abounding in the neighbourhood. The watch, who had observed the animals through his glass (there is, of course, no such thing as a dark summer night in the region in question), declared them to be an old bear and two cubs, and that they were making their way to a spot where lay the disrobed' carcase of one of their own species shot some time before.
“We had a row of several miles along the shore before we overtook the bears, and at last discovered them seated on a strip of land ice. Lord Kennedy then agreed to get out, and by running try to cut them off from the hills, while I should continue in the boat, and row as fast as possible up to the edge of this ice, in case they should take to the sea. We got to within about five hundred yards of the bears before they perceived us. The old one stood up on her hind legs, like a dancing bear, to have a good look at the boat, and a moment's inspection seemed to convince her it was time to be off. She set off at the top of her speed, with her two cubs at her heels, along the smooth surface of the ice. My companion, although an excellent runner, could not keep up with them, so he got into the boat again, and we rowed with might and main to keep in sight of the bears; but they got far ahead of us, and we began to think they would beat us, when luckily they got to the end of the strip of smooth 'fast' ice, and before them lay a great expanse of soft mud, intersected with numerous little channels and with much rough ice, left by the tide aground amongst it. This seemed to embarrass them very much, as the cubs could not jump over the channels, and the old bear appeared to be getting very anxious and uneasy; but she showed great patience and forbearance with her cubs, always waiting, after she had jumped over a channel, until they swam across, and affectionately assisting them to clamber up the steep sides of the rocky places; nevertheless, the mixture of sticky mud with rough ice and half-frozen water soon reduced the unhappy cubs to a pitiable state of distress; and we heard them growling plaintively, as if they were upbraiding their mother for dragging them to such a disagreeable place.
“We had got the boat into a long narrow channel among the mud, which contained water enough to float her, and we were now rapidly gaining on the bears; when, all of a sudden, the boat ran hard aground, and not an inch farther would she go. This seemed as if it would turn the fate of the day in favour of the bears, as we did not think it possible to overtake them afoot among the mud; but there still remained the chances of a long