Thirteen Years Among the Wild Beasts of India: Their Haunts and Habits from Personal Observations; with an Account of the Modes of Capturing and Taming Elephants

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John Grant, 1907 - 387 pages
 

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Page 1 - Thirteen Years among the Wild Beasts of India : their Haunts and Habits, from Personal Observation; with an account of the Modes of Capturing and Taming Wild Elephants.
Page 2 - India," writes the following : — " The few crocodiles that are found in the Mysore rivers very rarely attack people ; and fishermen — who pay no heed to them — have told me that, if they come upon a crocodile whilst following their employment, it will skulk at the bottom, and not move though handled, apparently believing it escapes observation. Crocodiles are, like all wild creatures, very timid where not encouraged, as is sometimes done by superstitious natives.
Page 243 - ... otherwise. It is a pity to see the tiger proscribed and hunted to death by every unsportsmanlike method that can be devised, in response to popular outcries — chiefly in England — without foundation in fact, about his destructiveness. Trace out and slay every man-eater by all means possible, and at any expense ; but ordinary tigers are exceedingly inoffensive, and have their uses. May the day be far distant when the tiger shall become practically extinct 1 THE GAME-KILLER.
Page 48 - ... she gives suck, which she cannot readily do when tied to her picket. Tame elephants are never suffered to remain loose in India, as instances occur of the mother leaving even her young and escaping into the woods. Another circumstance deserves notice : if a wild elephant happens to be separated from her young for only two days, though giving suck, she never afterwards recognises it. This separation happened, sometimes, unavoidably, when they were enticed, separately, into the kiddah.
Page 42 - The Singhalese have a further superstition in relation to the closing life of the elephant : they believe that, on feeling the approach of dissolution, he repairs to a solitary valley, and there resigns himself to death. A native who accompanied Mr. Cripps, when hunting in the forests of Anarajapoora, intimated that he was then in the immediate vicinity of the spot " to which the elephants came to die...
Page 35 - Herds of elephants usually consist of from thirty to fifty individuals, but much larger numbers, even one hundred, are by no means uncommon. When large herds are in localities where fodder is not very plentiful, they divide into parties of from ten to twenty ; these remain separate, though within two or three miles of each other. But they all take part in any common movement, such as a march into another tract of forest. The different parties keep themselves informed at all times of each other's...
Page 63 - I have seen the cream of trained elephants at work in the catching-establishments in Mysore and Bengal ; I have managed them myself, under all circumstances ; and I can say that I have never seen one show any aptitude in dealing, undirected, with an unforeseen emergency.
Page 53 - It is difficult to imagine what can cause the vital difference of tusks and no tusks between the male elephant of Continental India and Ceylon. The climate may be said to be the same, as also their food ; and I have not seen any theory advanced that seems at all well founded to account for their absence in the Ceylon elephant.
Page 167 - The king of beasts is generally acknowledged to be the ' lion ; ' but no one who has seen a wild elephant can doubt for a moment that the title belongs to him in his own right. Lord of all created animals in might and sagacity, the elephant roams through his native forests. He browses upon the lofty branches, upturns young trees from sheer malice, and from plain to forest he stalks majestically at break of day,
Page 35 - ... tusker undertaking to cover the retreat of a herd. A herd is invariably led by a female — never a male — and the females with young ones are at all times dangerous if intruded upon. The necessity for the convenience of the mothers of the herd regulating its movement is evident, as they must accommodate the length and time of their marches, and the localities in which they rest or feed at different hours, to the requirements of their young ones ; consequently the guidance of a tusker would...

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