“It’s not to be expected, I suppose,” observed Mrs.

time:2023-12-02 03:10:49 source:Yun Wen Yun Wu Network author:food

It is a difficult thing to judge of a deer's weight with any great accuracy; but I do not think I am far out in my estimation of the average, as I once tried the experiment by weighing a dead elk. I had always considered that a mountain elk, which is smaller than those of the low country, weighed about four hundred pounds when cleaned, or five hundred and fifty pounds live weight. I happened one day to kill an average-sized buck, though with very small horns, close to the road; so, having cleaned him, I sent a cart for his carcase on my return home. This elk I weighed whole, minus his inside, and he was four hundred and eleven pounds. Many hours had elapsed since his death, so that the carcase must have lost much weight by drying; this, with the loss of blood and offal, must have been at least one hundred and fifty pounds, which would have made his live weight five hundred and sixty-one pounds.

“It’s not to be expected, I suppose,” observed Mrs.

Of the five different species of deer in Ceylon, the spotted deer is alone seen upon the plains. No climate can be too hot for his exotic constitution, and he is never found at a higher elevation than three thousand feet. In the low country, when the midday sun has driven every other beast to the shelter of the densest jungles, the sultan of the herd and his lovely mates are sometimes contented with the shade of an isolated tree or the simple border of the jungle, where they drowsily pass the day, flipping their long ears in listless idleness until the hotter hours have passed away. At about four in the afternoon they stroll upon the open plains ,bucks, does and fawns, in beautiful herds; when undisturbed, as many as a hundred together. This is the only species of deer in Ceylon that is gregarious.

“It’s not to be expected, I suppose,” observed Mrs.

Neither the spotted deer, nor the bear or buffalo, is to be found at Newera Ellia. The axis and the buffalo being the usual denizens of the hottest countries, are not to be expected to exist in their natural state in so low a temperature; but it is extraordinary that the bear, who in most countries inhibits the mountains, should in Ceylon adhere exclusively to the low country.

“It’s not to be expected, I suppose,” observed Mrs.

The Ceylon bear is of that species which is to be seen in the Zoological Gardens as the "sloth bear;" an ill-bred-looking fellow with a long-haired black coat and a gray face.

A Ceylon bear's skin is not worth preserving; there is no fur upon it, but it simply consists of rather a stingy allowance of black hairs. This is the natural effect of his perpetual residence in a hot country, where his coat adapts itself to the climate. He is desperately savage, and is more feared by the natives than any other animal, as he is in the constant habit of attacking people without the slightest provocation. His mode of attack increases the danger, as there is a great want of fair play in his method of fighting. Lying in wait, either behind a rock or in a thick bush, he makes a sudden spring upon the unwary wanderer, and in a moment he attacks his face with teeth and claws. The latter are about two inches long, and the former are much larger than a leopard's; hence it may easily be imagined how even a few seconds of biting and clawing might alter the most handsome expression of countenance.

Bears have frequently been known to tear off a man's face like a mask, leaving nothing but the face of a skull.

Thus the quadrupeds of Newera Ellia and the adjacent highlands are confined to the following classes: the elephant, the hog, the leopard, the chetah, the elk, the red deer, the mouse deer, the hare, the otter, the jackal, the civet cat, the mongoose and two others (varieties of the species), the black squirrel, the gray squirrel, the wanderoo monkey (the largest species in Ceylon), the porcupine, and a great variety of the rat.

Imagine the difficulty of breaking in a young hound for elk-hunting when the jungles are swarming with such a list of vermin! The better the pup the more he will persevere in hunting everything that he can possibly find; and with such a variety of animals, some of which have the most enticing scent, it is a source of endless trouble in teaching a young hound what to limit and what to avoid.


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