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THE CHEETAH ......... "5 

J THE LION .......... 9 

THE RED DEER ......... 13 

THE MARKHOR ......... 17 

THE TIGER .......... 21 

THE BROWN HY^NA ........ 25 

THE ZEBRA .......... 29 

ELEPHANTS .......... 33 




THE MEERKAT ....... -49 

THE LEOPARD ......... 53 


THE BROWN BEAR ... . . . 61 


J THE POLAR BEAR ...... .69 



THE JAGUAR .......... 81 


THE Cheetah, or hunting leopard, is the most interesting 
of all the cat tribe. It is found in Arabia, Mesopotamia, 
Syria, and in West and Southern India ; also in Abyssinia, 
Senegal, and South Africa. 

The reason that the Cheetah is called the hunting 
leopard is because 800 years before the Christian Era it was 
used in the hunting field in India, exactly as it is still used 
there in the present day. In the British Museum, in some 
of the Assyrian carvings, you will see a Cheetah catching 
and killing an antelope. There is another carved stone in 
the Louvre, in Paris, which also shows that the Cheetah 
must have been known to the Greeks and Romans. 

In the East, the hunting qualities of this wild animal 
were very soon discovered, and the natives trained it 
carefully to catch antelopes, gazelles, nilgai, deer, and other 
wild animals. It was found, however, that the Cheetahs must 
be caught full grown and wild, in order to train them to 
make good hunters ; all efforts to train Cheetah cubs proved 
useless. This was supposed to be because they had not seen 
their parents capture and kill their prey. 

But in Africa the Cheetah is only valued for its skin. 
The great tribal chiefs, African "Kings," and other grand 
personages, dress themselves up in these skins, and consider 
themselves very fine indeed. 

The Cheetah is a tall, slender, graceful creature, with 
long legs, small loins, a broad chest, and a long tail. It has 
a beautiful head, rather broad in front, like all the cat tribe ; 
small, rounded ears; and its body is covered with rather 



coarse fur, quite unlike the smooth, sleek coats which we 
see on lions, tigers, jaguars, and leopards. On the neck and 
shoulders are also long, stiff hairs which form a little mane. 
The colour of this fur is a tawny, creamy white, covered all 
over, with the exception of the under part of the neck and 
body, with round black spots. 

These spots are quite different from the spots we see on 
leopards or jaguars. The leopards have round, irregular 
spots; the jaguars much larger ones, looking more like 
rosettes. Also, if you notice carefully, the leopards and 
jaguars are much thicker in the bodies, have wider and 
larger heads, and are particularly sly and crafty looking. 
The Cheetah has a mild, gentle expression, much more like 
that of a dog. 

One particular sign by which you can always tell a 
Cheetah is by two black lines which run from the corner of 
each eye to the upper lip. Sometimes you will find another 
little black line running from the hind part of the eye to 
the ear, but not always. The length of its body is much the 
same as that of a leopard ; but its tail is longer, and instead 
of getting thinner towards the end it is much thicker, 
covered with black spots part of the way down, and then 
ends with one or two dark rings. The tip is nearly always 
pure white. 

With the exception of the Cheetah, all the cat tribe have 
retractile claws, which means that they are able to draw 
them in and out of little sheaths of skin whenever they 
like. If ever you have seen a cat clawing a cushion or 
rug, you will have noticed how they draw their claws in and 
out. But the claws of the Cheetah are only partly retractile, 
and so, being always partly exposed, are not so sharp as the 
claws of the other big cats, because they get blunt from 
being constantly walked upon. 

But there is one peculiar characteristic. We all know 
what a dew-claw is in a dog. It is the little useless claw 
which grows just at the back of the foot. But in a Cheetah, 



this dew-claw is quite a different matter. It is a very sharp, 
strong talon, which, when used by the animal in hunting, 
makes terrible gashes, and helps him disable his prey. The 
foot of a Cheetah, too, is very like a dog's, while others of 
the cat tribe have feet exactly like cats, except, of course, 
that they are much larger. 

In olden days the Cheetah used to be carried to the 
field or place of hunting sitting on a pillion on a horse just 
behind the rider. Akbar the Great, who was the Emperor 
of Hindustan from 1556 to 1605, once went on a hunting ex- 
pedition with a thousand Cheetahs ! The chief or cleverest 
Cheetah was always carried to the field in a palanquin, a 
large kettle-drum being beaten in front of him all the way. 

Before setting out on a hunting expedition, the Cheetah 
is hooded, just as falcons used to be. But the Cheetah is 
always chained either to the horse or cart on which he 
rides. When going in a common bullock cart, he is allowed 
to sit by the driver ; and as soon as any game is sighted, the 
hood is taken off and the animal released from the chain. 
With a swift leap he stalks stealthily forward until close to 
the antelopes, and then springs. He chases the antelopes 
with such alarming and wonderful swiftness that no horse 
at full gallop can keep up with him. His speed exceeds 
that of any other four-footed animal on earth. 

If he reaches his prey, he catches it by the throat and kills 
it. If, by any chance, he misses it, he becomes very sulky and 
morose, or else furious with rage, and there is sometimes 
great difficulty in re-hooding him, when he is taken home 

In India, Cheetahs are often to be seen walking about the 
streets and bazaars, simply led by a collar and chain, per- 
fectly quiet, tame, and docile, and to all appearances quite 

In captivity it has been found that Cheetahs are amiable 
and gentle, purring when pleased, and peculiarly affectionate. 
One in the London Zoo was recently taken out of its cage, 



put out on the lawn, and photographed with a little boy. 
But, although these animals have very different characteris- 
tics 'from the other members of the cat tribe, such as fidelity 
and good temper, it should never be forgotten that they are 
wild animals, and that at any moment their wild, fierce nature 
may come to the front, and then no one can control them. 
There have been several instances of these animals growing 
wild and savage quite suddenly. But that is only their 
nature, not their fault. 




THE Lion is an animal whose appearance is so well 
known that it scarcely needs description. But although we 
may know exactly what an animal looks like, what he eats, 
and what sort of a noise he makes, there are many things 
about him which we shall not find out by just looking at him 
in a cage, or in his out-door enclosure. 

There is only one species of Lion, although the colouring, 
size, and the well-known mane of hair differ a little accord- 
ing to the country the Lion inhabits. Africa is the great 
country for Lions ; they are found in all parts of that con- 
tinent, from Cape Colony to Abyssinia and Algeria. But 
there are not nearly so many now as there were some years 
ago. Lions are also found occasionally in Asia Mesopotamia, 
India and South Persia ; but owing to the presence of hunters 
they have been nearly exterminated there. 

The South and East African Lion is the best known. It 
is a majestic animal, and very handsome. A full-grown Lion 
stands about three feet high at the shoulders, measures about 
eight feet in length with his tail, which is generally from two 
to three feet long and has a tuft at the extreme end. He is 
the only member of the cat tribe that has this tuft at the 
end of the tail ; but there is another distinction. In this 
tuft of hair is a little horny projection, or nail. This nail 
used to be called the "thorn," and some very old stories told 
us that the Lion used it to lash himself into a furious temper 
when seeking his prey. 

But this is very much doubted now. Nearly all animals 
use their tails in various ways to express their feelings. 



Dogs wag them to show pleasure ; but all members of the cat 
tribe wave them to and fro when either angry or excited. 
This is probably the true reason why the Lion puts his tail 
straight out and lashes it. 

The weight of a full-grown Lion is from three to five 
hundred pounds, but this varies a good deal. His coat is a 
light, tawny yellow, smooth and close ; but the long, thick hair 
on his head and shoulders which forms his mane is a very 
dark brown, sometimes almost black. His ears are blackish, 
and almost hidden by the mane. This mane does not begin 
to grow until the Lion is about three years old, but then it 
goes on steadily growing until he is five or six. The Lioness 
has no mane, and is a little smaller. 

Being a nocturnal animal, the Lion sleeps all day ; but at 
night, when the other wild animals come out to feed and 
drink, he creeps softly and stealthily out of his lair, and lies 
in wait for them. Like all the Garnivora, which is a term 
applied to all the animals who eat meat or animal food, the 
Lion likes to catch and kill his own food. As a rule, he is 
an extremely lazy animal, like all the cat tribe, and will 
never exert himself in the least unless he is obliged to do so. 
He will even occasionally, when unable to find other food, 
eat the remains of dead animals ; but this is not very often. 

When out hunting, the Lion is very cunning and crafty. 
All animals belonging to the cat tribe have a peculiar, rather 
strong smell. Whether the Lion actually knows this it is 
impossible to say; but it is a curious fact that he always 
takes great care to go against the wind. By doing this his 
peculiar smell is blown behind him, and so the animals he is 
watching and hunting do not notice it, and very often, quite 
innocently, run straight into him. 

But sometimes, when the wind is boisterous and shifty, 
the smell gets wafted in all directions, and when this is the 
case the Lion has another little trick. He puts his huge 
head close to the ground, and moving it a little in a circular 
direction, roars at the top of his voice. A Lion's roar is 



terrifying at all times, but when he does this it appears to 
come from all directions, and the poor animals, not being 
able to tell from which part the Lion is coming, very often 
rush here and there in their terror, and some run towards 
him, and are caught easily. 

All Lions are very clean animals, and wash themselves 
all over with their tongues with the greatest care. The 
tongue of a Lion is furnished with little rough projections 
which turn slightly backwards, and it is so terribly rough 
and strong that it can easily lick the flesh off the leg of a 
young animal. In the picture of the Lion snarling you will 
notice how very rough his tongue looks, and what terrible 
teeth he has. 

In using his tongue for washing, he first of all licks his 
paw, just like an ordinary house cat ; then he passes it over 
his face, eyes and nose. But it is a curious fact that the 
body is always washed first ; this he does by simply licking 
himself. After that comes his face, as I have just described, 
and then his whiskers. These whiskers are done very care- 
fully, for in each whisker is a little nerve with which the 
Lion in his native state feels his way carefully through 
bushes and thickets, and is a great safeguard in case of 

The Lion is the greatest enemy to buffaloes, antelopes 
and giraffes. He is extremely fond of these animals as food, 
but buffaloes and giraffes are not only very difficult to get: 
they are extremely troublesome to kill. A buffalo can give 
terrible blows with his head, the top part of which is 
covered with flat horns ; and the giraffe can kick viciously 
and vigorously with its front legs, doing terrible damage to a 
Lion's face and head ; also both these animals can get over 
the ground very quickly, which means a great deal of 
exertion for the Lion, which he objects to very much. So he 
often contents himself with smaller animals which are easier 
to catch. 

In 1646, Sir John Gayer, who was then Lord Mayor of 


London, made known a wonderful escape he had had. He 
was travelling at one time in the Arabian deserts and 
suddenly came face to face with a Lion. To his surprise, the 
Lion let him go by. As a thank-offering, Sir John asked in 
his will that every year on October 16th a sermon should 
be preached in St. Catherine Cree Church, in Leadenhall 
Street. The minister was to have one pound for preaching 
the sermon ; three shillings each were to be given to the 
clerk and sexton, and about eight pounds distributed amongst 
the poor. 





THE Red Deer, or Stag, is a well-known European 
animal, and one of the most beautiful and graceful of 
all the deer species. In ancient times it used to be very 
plentiful in the British Isles, and fossil remains are 
found in nearly all the old caverns and in many other 
places throughout Europe. 

But at the present time, in this country the Red Deer 
is only found in Devon, Exmoor Forest, the Highlands of 
Scotland, and in Gonnemara and Kerry. The Red Deer of 
Perthshire are remarkably fine, strong animals ; very quick 
and alert, and they sometimes weigh as much as twenty-five 
stone. Some years ago, the late Prince Consort sent a few 
fine specimens out to New Zealand, where they not only 
thrive wonderfully, but grow very strong and big. The Red 
Deer of the Continent are also rather finer animals than 
those that live in Britain to-day, but no country can produce 
such fine animals as those we used to have. 

A full-grown Red Deer will stand about four feet high 
at the shoulders, and has a beautifully formed body. Its 
coat is a warm, reddish brown in winter, but in the summer 
it changes to a brownish grey, and the fur is longer and 
thicker. The hair which grows on the throat is like a little 
fringe. The males of all deer have antlers some quite 
small, others very large with many points, or branches, like 
the Red Deer. These antlers are changed once a year, and 
the most trying time of a deer's life is while the new ones 
are growing. 

Just before shedding the antlers, the Red Deer becomes 



very quiet, tired and languid ; eats very little, and is gener- 
ally rather miserable. The antlers are of a bony substance, 
which at first is very soft, and then gradually becomes quite 
hard and solid. After shedding the antlers, the deer be- 
comes more tired and feeble until the spring, when he has 
even a more trying time to go through. 

For, on the places where his beautiful antlers used to 
be, appear little tiny velvety knobs. These little knobs 
are the baby antlers just beginning to grow, and they are so 
tender and sensitive that the least touch causes the animal 
pain. At this time they do not look a bit like antlers, and 
they feel very hot, soft, and seem to throb with nerves. As 
they grow, which they do wonderfully quickly, the poor 
deer gets thinner and thinner, for nearly all the food he 
eats goes to nourish those little knobs and give them fresh 
healthy blood. 

As they grow and begin to sprout out, they are hidden 
with a most beautiful delicate velvety covering. In this 
condition, the deer is spoken of as being "in the velvet." 
But as the antlers grow bigger this velvety covering 
breaks, and the deer will rub his head against the wall or 
doors of his enclosure, or on trees if he is free, until it all 
drops off and the clean, new antlers can be seen. Round 
the bottom of each antler about this time there grow two 
little rims, which get so tight that they press back the blood 
into the body, leaving the antlers hard, and without any 
feeling, just like our own nails. 

As soon as this takes place the Red Deer begins to feel 
better. His body is nourished once more; he eats, sleeps 
and rests better, until there finally comes a time in the later 
spring when he gets quite aggressive, and even impudent. 
The deer shown in the picture is evidently feeling just like 
that : notice how high he holds his head, and how daring he 
looks! He feels so remarkably well and strong that he 
doesn't care for anybody or anything. He will even be so 
bold sometimes as to run at you, and try to butt you. 



But he is such a grand and handsome animal at this 
time that we can forgive him a great deal. His soft, dark 
eyes are more beautiful than ever; his graceful body, legs 
and feet are at their very best ; and his new antlers are in 
their first perfection. He looks clean and glossy from the 
tip of his highest antler to his pretty delicate feet, and as he 
walks proudly about he is a truly magnificent animal. 

The little fawns of the Red Deer are born in May or 
June, and are such pretty, dainty little creatures. They are 
a rather light reddish brown in colour, but mottled with 
pure white on the back and sides. As they grow older, 
these little white marks disappear, and the fawns get to be 
much the same colour as their mother. The mother deer 
has no antlers, and is not nearly so handsome as the father 
deer; but she is an excellent mother, and it would not be 
nearly as easy for her to attend to her little ones if she had 
those tall branching antlers. 

In the wild state the mother deer, or hind, looks for 
some nice quiet spot in the thick heather, and there she 
hides her little one. The little fawn is wonderfully gentle 
and obedient, for even when left for quite a long time it will 
not move or even lift up its head until the mother returns. 
It lies there with its nose to its tail just like a little dog, and 
makes no sound whatever. 

But the mother does not go very far off, and she never 
loses sight of her little one's hiding-place. Red Deer have 
many enemies, especially at this time of the year. The most 
dreaded and dangerous are lynxes, wild cats, and foxes. A 
young tender fawn is a very tempting morsel, and the wild 
cat is particularly fond of it. 

But the mother keeps sniffing the air, so that, should a 
fox, a lynx, or a wild cat be coming from the windward, she 
can smell it at once ; for these animals have a very strong, un- 
pleasant smell. A deer is a very gentle, inoffensive creature 
as a rule, but a father deer when he has new antlers, and a 
mother deer when she has a little fawn, can both be fierce 


and warlike, and will fight and defend themselves most 

Many a wild cat, fox, or other equally strong animal 
has got the worst of a fight with a mother deer ; and so, un- 
less they find a good opportunity to get hold of the little 
fawn without the mother noticing their movements, they 
will not always even try. 

But there is nothing so difficult as to find the hiding- 
place of a fawn without the mother knowing it. She is 
probably watching long before the enemy even knows she 
is near, and she does not allow anyone to approach the 
little one without her being there first. All of which just 
shows what a very good mother she is. 


* , 



THE Markhor is a goat, and such a fine one that he is 
generally considered the king of the goats. A full-grown 
Markhor will stand three feet six to three feet eight inches 
high at the withers, and is stoutly made and strong in 
proportion. It is found in North-Western India, beyond 
Afghanistan, Cashmere, and the adjoining mountain ranges. 

The word Markhor really means " snake-eater." It is 
distinguished from all other goats by its peculiarly twisted 
horns, which are directed upwards. These horns differ in 
the various species ; some are twisted tightly like a cork- 
screw ; others have just one or two twists ; while those 
animals that live among rocky and barren hills have horns 
which are quite straight. 

Like all wild goats, the Markhor goes about in small 
herds or flocks. An old goat generally takes the lead, and 
the rest follow wherever he likes to take them. This leader 
is a fine-looking animal very strong and powerful, and 
wonderfully sure-footed in going over steep and dangerous 
ground. He will climb and leap great distances, and even 
in captivity has been known to jump up over the railings 
of his enclosure. All Markhor like quiet and seclusion, 
and will always keep out of sight if possible. In the deep 
rocky forests they keep out of the glare of the sun, and only 
come out into the open once in a while. 

Another peculiarity about the Markhor is his beard. 
This sometimes covers not only the whole throat, but the 
chest and shoulders, and makes him look a very grand and 
imposing animal. It is this beard and his horns which 

B 17 


often mark him out to sportsmen when he stands on a tall 
crag and is outlined against the sky. But such a crag may 
not only be quite inaccessible to human beings, but so 
situated as to make it impossible for the hunter to get a 
shot at the animal. And when the Markhor is not on the 
crags he seems to be hiding either in the forests or in some 
carefully concealed cave among the rocks. 

It is only in the evening that he comes out sometimes, 
probably to drink, and then the natives catch him by 
shooting at him in the dark and taking their chance of hit- 
ting him. In summer-time this goat is quite happy and 
contented on his high crags, or in his shady hiding-places ; 
but he has very little pashm, or under-fur, like most wild 
animals, and so in the winter he is obliged to come down to 
the lower grounds. Even then he always seems to choose 
dangerous places. At these times he becomes much more 
quiet and is not nearly so pugnacious as in the summer, 
when he always seems ready for a fight. His coat, too, 
changes in colour. A reddish brown in summer, it turns to 
a dark grey in winter, and when the summer comes again 
goes back once more to the reddish brown. 

The common or domestic goat, which you see so often 
tethered in a field, is called the " poor man's cow." To some 
poor cottagers a goat will provide the milk for the house, for 
goat's milk is very rich and nourishing and some people like 
it very much. A goat costs very little to keep, as it will eat 
stubble, and seems able to live on very poor grass. It can 
also draw a small cart, and so do many things to help a man 
who is very poor. 

Nearly all the different kinds of domestic goats, and 
there are a great many, have descended from the wild goats. 
Some people ascribe their origin to the Persian wild goat, 
but there are various opinions about this. Domestic goats 
have a great many different kinds of horns, which some 
think show that they have come down to us from other 
kinds beside the Persian. But goats have been domesticated 



for many centuries. As far back as the time of the Ancient 
Egyptians they were kept for domestic purposes, and the 
pre-historic inhabitants of the Swiss lake cities also had 

The Angora goat is a beautiful animal, with very long, 
white and silky hair, sometimes hanging right down to the 
ground. This hair is shorn once a year, and is made into 
beautiful soft, warm cloth. The greatest care is taken of 
these goats all through the winter, stables being built speci- 
ally for them, in order to protect them from cold and damp. 

Another well-known and beautiful goat is the Kashmir. 
This is a smaller animal than the Angora, and has a thick 
head and neck, with small eyes. The Kashmir also has a 
coat of long hair, but underneath this hair is a thick under- 
coat of very fine wool. During the summer, this wool is 
very carefully combed out and stored up, for the famous 
cashmere shawls are made of it, as well as a very deli- 
cate dove-coloured cloth, both of which cost a great deal of 
money to buy. 

In the year 1563, the Spaniards introduced goats into 
the island of Juan Fernandez. At first the natives were 
extremely pleased, and valued them very highly. But they 
increased so fast that they became a nuisance, and it was 
determined to try to get rid of them ; so a great number of 
dogs were obtained and let loose, and these destroyed many 
of the goats. Some of the dogs, however, did not return to 
their owners and so became wild. 

Some years afterwards it was found that only about two 
hundred of the goats remained, but there were plenty of 
wild dogs. About thirty years later the island was again 
visited, and then the dogs had all disappeared, and the goats 
had increased again in great numbers. All goats, for some 
reason or other, whether wild or domestic, have a great 
dislike of dogs. 

The Markhor appears to be one of the oldest types of 
the wild goat, and even in captivity is full of life and spirit. 



It will run up and down the rocks of its enclosure, half-way 
up the walls and boardings, and spring in the air as though 
it weighed no more than a feather. There is one m the 
London Zoo that, if you look at it too intently, will butt the 
hoarding in front of you and then look up to see if you are 
still there ! You will see by the picture that his beard has 
not attained its full growth yet. 

The little Markhor kids are born in the spring, and 
there are generally two at a time. They are pretty, graceful 
little things, and so quick and wonderfully active. They 
jump about, over one another, over their mother's head 
when she stoops, until they are tired out; then they lie 
down and go to sleep. 


THE ; 



OF all the wild animals that live in hot countries, the 
Indian Tiger is one of the most beautiful. His body, 
which measures about six feet from the tip of the nose 
to the root of the tail, is a light tawny yellow, marked 
with rich, dark velvety stripes, some double, some single, 
but all fairly even. 

The under parts of his body, his throat and chest, and 
the peculiar little tufts of hair which grow on each side of 
his face, are of a soft, creamy white, which fades gradually 
into the light tints of the fur. His legs, down to his paws, 
are striped much in the same way as his body, and his 
long, flexible, furry tail has dark velvety rings all the 
way down. His large, round head has small, rounded, 
upright ears, while the dark stripes on his face very 
often form the letter " W," and he has long whiskers. His 
fierce, cruel, yellowish eyes change colour and expression 
according to his mood, but they are never gentle or kindly, 
always either fierce, angry, cruel or crafty. 

The most handsome Tigers are those that live in 
Bengal, and they are also the most savage. The strength 
of a Bengal Tiger is enormous, and he is able to carry 
a young animal or a full-grown man in his teeth, even 
when running quickly. If you should see a Tiger yawn 
some time (which he often does, for all members of the 
cat tribe are very lazy), notice his teeth. You will see 
that those just in front are fairly small; but the long 
pointed teeth on each side of the mouth, which are called 



the canine teeth, are very big and strong. The back teeth 
are somewhat flat and rugged. 

These teeth are specially adapted for the animal to 
catch, kill, and eat his food. The long teeth take a firm 
hold, so that nothing can get away after the Tiger fixes 
upon it; the small teeth in front help to hold it, and 
are also used to bite pieces of flesh out of the carcase ; 
and the solid back teeth are used to crunch the food, 
bones and all. The Tiger, also, like the lion, has a pecu- 
liarly rough tongue, with which he can scrape the meat 
off any bone if he wishes, so that he is wonderfully 
provided by Nature with means of catching and eating 
his food. 

But strong of limb, and well armed with teeth as he 
is, the Tiger's chief weapons are in his feet. These feet 
are large, heavy, and full of powerfully developed muscles ; 
but, in addition to this, they have very sharp, sickle-like 
claws, which, as the Tiger contracts his feet, curve inwards, 
and make frightful wounds and cuts. This is one reason, 
perhaps, why all other animals horses especially have 
such a dread and horror of Tigers. The very faintest 
scent of a Tiger will drive a horse frantic, and he will 
kick and plunge, rear, and shriek with terror, and very 
often in his agony of fright and confusion run right into 
the animal's way. 

In his native haunts the Tiger sleeps all through the 
hot day, for he loves ease and comfort; but at night he 
saunters forth, and wanders about looking for food, which 
he prefers to kill himself. Bullocks are much sought 
after by these animals, and when a Tiger has killed one, 
he is so greedy and gluttonous that he will eat until he 
can eat no more. He has a curious way of doing this. 
He always begins on the hind quarters of an animal and 
works his way upwards, eating everything just as it comes 
-hide, flesh, and bones. But after such a feast he is stupid 
and almost torpid for days, and sleeps so very heavily 



that very often he is found and killed by hunters when 
in this condition. 

In India, one of the Tiger's favourite hiding-places 
when hunting for food is the korinda bush. This is a 
thick, bushy shrub, with long, thick-leaved branches 
which droop over, and so form a nice dark hiding-place ; 
and in this hiding-place the Tiger will lie in wait for 
hours, especially if it happens to be by the side of water. 
The reasons why a Tiger prefers to be near water are that 
he can have a drink whenever he likes and all Tigers 
are very thirsty animals and that he has a chance of 
catching there his favourite food, a beautiful spotted deer. 
Another choice food is the peacock, but this is not so 
easy to get, and it is far less trouble to wait quietly near 
some water until the deer come to drink, and then simply 
spring on them, than it is to race after a peacock and 
then perhaps see it fly away out of reach. 

But a korinda bush is not the only place of hiding for 
Tigers. In some cases they will select some cunningly 
hidden cleft or cave in a rock, perhaps a bank overgrown 
with bushes, where they can lie in wait luxuriously; or 
some old deserted ruin in an Indian city, where they will 
prowl about at night, slinking in and out of the shadows 
so softly and quietly that it is almost impossible to know 
whether they are there or not. 

The dense forests and immense Indian swamps, too, 
provide excellent hiding-places for the Tiger, which is one 
of the reasons why, in spite of so much slaughter, the Tiger 
is still plentiful there ; another reason is that some of 
the natives are very superstitious, and look upon the Tiger 
as a sacred animal, and are afraid to kill it. It is only 
when a Tiger has, perhaps, killed a large number of people 
that at last the natives will consent to help catch him. 

Tigers are much dreaded because of their terrible 
attacks upon cattle. A Tiger, having once found out 
where there is a fine herd of cattle, will return to the 



spot again and again ; not only does he kill and eat a 
great many, but he destroys others, and many of the cows 
and little calves are so flustered and frightened that they 
die from the shock. Sometimes, however, a Tiger will 
return to his favourite spot once too often, and find either 
that many loaded guns are waiting for him, or else that some 
piece of meat has been poisoned purposely for him. 

Tiger-hunting in India has always been considered a 
great thing; but unless it is done in a special manner 
the danger is far too great even to be attempted. Tiger- 
hunting on foot is almost certain death for the huntsman, 
for the Tiger's stripes blend so wonderfully with the foliage 
of his native land that it is almost impossible to see him 
until too close to get away. Also, his skin, which is remark- 
ably loose, can be drawn in, and his fur flattened so that 
he can creep through and hide himself in all sorts of places. 



THERE are three kinds of Hyaenas : the striped Hyaena, 
who lives in Asia Minor and India, and most parts of 
Northern Africa; the spotted Hyaena, who also lives in 
Africa, and roams in many regions from Senegal right across 
the continent to Abyssinia, sometimes as far south as Natal ; 
and the brown Hyaena, who lives in South Africa, all along 
the regions of the coast. 

Our picture is of the brown Hyaena, and although 
it is not quite so well known as the striped and spotted 
Hysenas, it has just the same habits ; just the same slinking, 
sly look and manner of walking, and all the mean, treacherous 
nature of the others. The Hyaena is not a beautiful animal 
in any way ; he is not even attractive, but to many people 
most repulsive. 

The body of a Hyaena is something like that of a wolf 
as to size and shape. It has a large head, wide across the 
forehead ; sly, curious-looking protruding eyes ; rather large 
ears, and a short, thick muzzle. Its body is much taller in 
front than behind, which gives it its peculiar shuffling walk. 
On each foot it has only four toes ; but on each of these toes 
are very strong, thick and pointed claws, which cannot be 
drawn back as a cat's can. The fur is very coarse and 
shaggy in both the striped and spotted Hyaenas ; but in the 
brown Hyaena it is very much longer and thicker, falling 
from the head and neck, and reaching below the under 
part of the animal's body. It has long, pointed ears, with 
a short, bushy tail. The long hair is a blackish brown, 
being a whitish grey at the roots; the head is a peculiar 



greyish brown, while its legs are striped like those of the 
striped Hyaena. 

One of the most wonderful things about Hyaenas, how- 
ever, is their enormously strong jaws and teeth. Their teeth 
are so formed and grown that they can cut a piece of paper 
in two as though it had been cut with a pair of sharp scissors, 
and crack the thigh-bone of an ox as easily as a little English 
terrier can crack the bone of his mutton chop. Their strength 
is marvellous, and they are quite capable of pulling a bullock 
over, only that they are all such terrible cowards. 

No Hyaena, no matter how famished and hungry he may 
be, will openly attack an ox. But he has some very sly and 
mean tricks, and the meanest of them is to slink quietly and 
stealthily over to where an ox is feeding, and then suddenly 
spring up right under the poor animal's nose, who, frightened 
and suddenly surprised, will generally start off running, 
which is just what the Hyaena wants. Anything running 
away is always attacked fiercely ; but should the animal 
turn, whether it be an antelope, gazelle, or a full-grown 
bullock, the Hyaena's mean, cowardly nature shows itself at 
once, and he immediately slinks away again. It is said that 
if a horse or donkey defied a Hyaena, even when fastened 
up, the Hyaena would run away! 

The natives detest and dread the Hyaena. Although he 
generally lives on carrion, and seems to prefer it, he will 
also kill and injure numbers of sheep and goats in a herd. 
But it is a curious fact that although these repulsive animals 
appear fond of eating the dead bodies of animals, they will 
seldom, if ever, kill a sick or wounded animal which they 
may find among the flocks. It is always the fattest, biggest, 
and strongest which they seem to choose, and many a farmer 
and stock-raiser has been nearly ruined through the loss and 
mischief caused by these animals. 

But although Hyaenas are so filthy in their habits, so 
repulsive and disagreeable in their ways and appearance 
like everything else on the face of the earth, they hav< 



their uses, and one very valuable one. In the parts of 
Africa or India in which they live, the dead bodies of 
animals are not put away and buried in the earth, as we 
should do in our country with animals that have died a 
natural death, but are left out in the hot sun, and very soon 
become horribly unpleasant. Also, in the native villages, 
instead of putting away all the rubbish as we do in civilised 
countries, the natives just throw it out into the village streets 
and there let it lie and rot. 

And this is the way in which the Hyaenas do their good 
deeds. They act as scavengers, and go round eating up all 
the dead bodies of the animals, all the rubbish and disagree- 
able messes which have been thrown out into the village 
streets, and in this way keep the air and places clean from 
the filth and pollution which would be there but for them. 
If all this horrible rubbish were allowed to remain, there 
would be terrible plagues and fevers, so that perhaps hun- 
dreds, if not thousands, of the people would die. In their 
repellent manner of feeding and living the Hyaenas really 
help to keep the air pure and wholesome. 

It is a curious fact that all animals or birds which act 
as scavengers always have a most unwholesome, repulsive 
look. In animals the coats are generally ragged, mangy and 
dirty; they have slinking, shuffling gaits; mean, cowardly 
natures ; and their mouths are wet and red, while their eyes 
are generally blood-shot, bleary, and shifty-looking. In the 
birds, such as vultures, eagles, and all birds of prey, the 
feathers are dirty, dull, ragged and draggled ; and the eyes 
are clouded and bleary, just like the animal scavengers. 
And yet in many hot countries a great part of the population 
owe their lives to these animals and birds. 

All Hyaenas are nocturnal animals, and are very seldom 
seen by day in their native countries. The home of a 
Hyaena is something like himself dirty and very unplea- 
sant. He generally lives in a cave, some rocky cavern, or, 
what he seems particularly fond of, the remains of old ruins. 



In the ruined temples and palaces of India Hyaenas are 
always slinking about by night ; and in the old cities of the 
northern coast of Africa which were once occupied by very 
rich people, the ruins of some of the splendid houses are 
now occupied only by the Hyaenas, who slink in and out of 
the shadows, occasionally howling or laughing, and making 
the whole place weird and terrible. 

The spotted Hyaena is the only Hyaena that laughs, and 
his laugh is even worse than the howlings of his relations. 
But his laughing is not from pleasure or happiness : it is 
from sheer rage and passion. Give a spotted Hyaena a piece 
of meat, and then take it away, and he will laugh in a most 
horrible manner. The brown Hyaena only howls; but he 
does it well! 




rather rough coats with cloudy-looking stripes ; long delicate 
legs and feet ; beautiful little heads and necks ; and funny 
little bushy, woolly-looking tails just like those on wooden 
toy horses. When first born, they look very slim and frail, 
and stagger feebly about ; but soon they become very light 
and graceful in their movements, always keeping quite close 
to their mother. 

Mother Zebras are very devoted to their little ones, but 
they are also exceptionally fierce and savage at this time; 
their sharp quick eyes will glance round in all directions 
in an uneasy manner, and their strong white teeth snap 
together at the first sign of an intruder or stranger. For, 
although the Zebra is such a beautiful, soft, velvety-looking 
creature, even to its nose, it has a fierce, obstinate and most 
savage nature. It will not only kick out viciously, but bite 
with terrible results with its strong teeth. Some are peculi- 
arly spiteful and vindictive, even to those who feed and take 
care of them day by day. 

In its wild state the Zebra is exceedingly shy and timid. 
At the slightest sound it will tear madly off, never stopping 
until it is almost exhausted. The sight, hearing and smell 
are so acutely developed in all these animals that it is most 
difficult to get anywhere near them. The true Zebra and 
Grevy's Zebra live in the mountains, where they lead a wild 
free life, and are as sure-footed as goats. But Burchell's 
Zebra lives generally on the plains. They herd together in 
numbers of from fifteen to twenty; in some cases even 
seventy to one hundred. 

One curious habit of Zebras is that they so often 
have as companions ostriches, blue wildebeests, and harte- 
beests. Generally, one large full-grown Zebra will take 
charge and watch over the herd ; but very often an antelope 
will also keep watch and give the alarm at the slightest sign 
of danger. Sometimes, when greatly surprised, the whole 
herd will suddenly stop feeding, look up motionless for a 
moment, and then, sometimes in single file, sometimes in a 



huge, confused mass, will start madly off, and so wonderfully 
fleet are they that very few horses can keep up with them. 

One curious fact is that when a Zebra is wounded it 
will stop, break away from the herd, and unless it is found 
and overtaken, will go silently off to some quiet spot and 
there very often die. In some cases it will be found by its 
most dreaded enemy, the lion, who is particularly fond of 
Zebra flesh, and often hunts it for himself. But unless sur- 
prised, the Zebra, owing to its wonderful swiftness of foot, 
which the lion does not possess, will get away. Also, even 
when surprised, unless the lion happens to spring on it, the 
Zebra will kick and bite so viciously that in some cases the 
lion will give it up and walk off. 

Owing to its savage nature, the Zebra is not much use as 
a domestic animal, although many attempts have been made 
to tame and train it. At one time the Dutch Colonists, 
realising what a strong robust animal it was, did their best 
to teach it to draw carts. But even when, after much hard 
work and wasted time, a Zebra would allow itself to be 
put into harness, and even perhaps draw a cart part of the 
day, just as soon as it was unharnessed it would tear wildly 
back to its stable with such speed and fierceness that it 
often knocked down, and sometimes killed, those who had 
been working it. Sometimes, on these farms, the Zebras 
would be friendly enough to go into the same places to graze 
as the farm horses and asses. But they would always keep 
carefully to themselves, and never mingle with the other 

And yet it is a well-known fact that the Queen of 
Portugal at the end of the last century used to drive about 
Lisbon in a beautiful carriage drawn by eight Zebras. It 
must have been a wonderful sight, and the Zebras must have 
been tamed to a certain extent, but we are not told how they 
behaved when they were taken out of harness, or why the 
Queen so suddenly stopped using them. All that is left of 
that episode at the present time is one of the Royal stables 


in Lisbon, which is still called the "Zebra stable"; but there 
are no Zebras in it, and it is doubtful if there ever will be 

Some years ago, a beautiful young Zebra lived in the 
Jardin des Plantes in Paris, which was so exceedingly tame 
and gentle that it would even allow itself to be ridden. So, 
occasionally, there is such a thing as a good-tempered Zebra 
to be found. But it is so rare that it is always wise to be 
very careful in going too near them, or in patting them. 

Tilt fit,\7 YORK 



THERE are two species of Elephants ; one lives in India, 
and the other in Africa. Both are enormous animals, and 
very much alike in shape and form ; but it is quite easy to 
tell an African from an Indian Elephant on account of its 
enormous ears, which spread half-way over its shoulders, 
sometimes nearly meeting across the back of the head, and 
their rather pointed tips hang down on either side of its 
neck. Also, the African Elephant has a much shorter head. 

The Indian Elephant also has large ears, but only in 
proportion to its immense size. Only the Indian male 
Elephant has tusks, though sometimes he is without them ; 
but both the male and female African Elephants have them, 
those in the males being much the larger. It is also possible 
to tell the difference by their teeth, but only those who know 
them would care to do that. 

Elephants have very peculiar teeth. At first sight it 
looks as if a line of flat teeth had been all joined together. 
Only a little bit of each tooth is shown ; but as one wears 
out it drops off, and a new one comes in its place. In this 
way Elephants change their teeth several times in their 
lifetime ; but as some of them live to be eighty or ninety 
years old in captivity, while a wild Elephant lives even 
longer, it will be readily understood that their teeth must 
need renewing occasionally. 

The Elephant is the biggest land animal now living in 
the whole world. A full-grown Elephant will stand from 
seven to eight, or eight to ten feet at the shoulders; will 
weigh from three to five tons ; and will measure sixteen to 

c 33 


eighteen feet, or even twenty feet, in length. It has an 
enormous head, a very thick short neck, large ears, tiny 
eyes, and a small tail with a little tuft of hair just at the end. 

To support this enormous head and body, its legs are 
very thick and strong, looking something like pillars. Its 
hind legs do not bend outwards from the body, as the legs of 
nearly all other animals do, but inwards towards the body, 
in the same direction as its forelegs. This helps it to go up 
and down hills very easily ; and for its size it is able to move 
wonderfully quickly. 

The feet are quite flat, and almost as wide as the lower 
parts of its legs; and on each foot are five large toes, or 
rounded hoofs, which are covered with a very thick skin 
and a nail on each toe. The skin on an Elephant's body is 
enormously thick; it is a dirty-looking slatish-brown in 
colour, and is covered with a few straggling hairs. It is 
very rough and coarse-looking, and as the Elephant walks 
along, the skin crinkles and uncrinkles in big creases and 
little squares, which gives it a very odd appearance. 

But the Elephant's trunk is the most wonderful part of 
him. This trunk is simply a development of the upper lip 
and nose, the nostrils going right through it, and it is some- 
times six or seven feet long. At the end of the trunk is a 
little arrangement something like two fingers, with which it 
can pick up the tiniest object from the ground, or pull leaves 
and branches from a tree. To lift a heavy object the 
Elephant puts his trunk round it, and thus holds it firmly. 

In addition to this, the trunk is composed of numbers of 
nerves and muscles, and is so sensitive to touch that the 
Elephant is able to find its way about in the forests even when 
blind, as some old Elephants become occasionally. It can 
contract or extend it at will, feel with it, smell with it, ai , 
even drink with it. If you look at the two Elephants in tl;c 
picture, you will notice that they are both drinking : one hi 
his trunk extended into the water to fill it, while the othe 
has just turned his into his mouth and is enjoying a goo 



drink. The Elephant on the right is an Indian Elephant, 
and the one on the left an African. 

It is difficult to imagine what an Elephant would do 
without his trunk, for his neck is so short and thick that it 
is impossible for him to get down to graze, or drink, as other 
animals do ; and even if he could do this, his tusks would 
prevent his getting close enough. His mouth, too, is not 
adapted for drawing in water, so he would not only starve, 
but die of thirst if it were not for this wonderful trunk. 

Elephants in their native state go about in herds 
numbering from thirty to fifty, and in some cases they all 
seem to belong to the same family. Sometimes a few 
members will join another herd, or when fodder is scarce 
the herd will separate, and then come together again when 
the vegetation is plentiful once more. A herd of Elephants 
moving from one forest to another is a grand and wonderful 
sight. As a rule, they move in single file, one after the other, 
and go slowly and ponderously along with their heavy 
swinging gait, pushing and pulling down obstacles in their 
way. Their big heads will be nodding, their large ears 
flapping, and their ridiculous little tails swishing to and fro ; 
and all the while their tiny eyes are keeping a sharp look-out 
in all directions but one, and that is overhead. 

For no Elephant, whether an Indian or an African 
animal, ever looks upwards, and it is often owing to this that 
the hunters are able to capture or shoot them. There may 
be several hunters just over the head of an Elephant whom 
he could reach easily with his trunk and dash to the ground, 
but he does not notice them, and goes placidly on his way. 

In their wild state, Elephants eat all kinds of grass, 
leaves of trees and shrubs, young tender shoots of the 
bamboo tree and the fruit of the wild plantain. Grain, corn 
and rice are some of their favourite foods ; but in captivity 
too much grain is found to be very bad for them. One 
Elephant alone when in captivity will eat about six stone of 
hay or clover, five or six stone of straw, a large quantity of 



vegetables and roots, any amount of cakes and biscuits, and 
looks upon some freshly-cut branches of trees as a great 
treat. But he will also take any amount of extra food which 
the visitors like to give him. An Elephant never seems 
satisfied ; but then he has such a very large body to feed. 
There are many other little variations between the 
Indian and African Elephants. The former are supposed 
to be more amiable and obedient than the latter. But in 
spite of these little differences, they all have much the same 
habits and characteristics. As a race, Elephants are very 
clever and intelligent, and some scientists consider them to 
be the most intelligent of all the wild animals. 



HERE we see the Lion and Lioness together. You 
will notice how much smaller, quieter and less important 
looking the Lioness is than the Lion. The Lion is always, 
under any circumstances, extremely grave and dignified. 

The Lioness on the other hand is at times playful, rather 
frivolous, restless and irritable ; but she is always fierce and 
vindictive, more so even than the Lion. But the Lion is the 
' King of Beasts," and never gets either flippant, playful or 
excited unless there is some cause for it. Notice the entirely 
different expressions on their two faces. The Lioness is 
half closing her eyes, and yet has a particularly sharp and 
expressive look. The Lion is lying down, taking absolutely 
no notice of her whatever, and his handsome face is as 
expressionless as the face of a Chinaman. 

But in his native state the Lion is much more lively and 
gallant. When he is looking for a wife, he has a real good 
fight with any other Lions who may want that particular 
Lioness ; and if he gets the best of the fight, he obtains the 
Lioness for a wife, and takes her home. 

Having once obtained her, as a rule the Lion keeps her 
all his life. When a Lion is full grown he generally looks 
round for a lair where he can have plenty of shade, plenty 
of water, and where he will be so cunningly hidden that it is 
a wonder any hunters ever find it. He likes a shady place 
because he sleeps all day, and the African sun is very hot. 
He chooses it close to water for several reasons. He can 
then get a drink whenever he wants it; the damp keeps 



away myriads of tiresome insects from his cave; and 
also, at any drinking-place the wild animals such as deer 
and antelopes come down in the cool of the evening to 
quench their thirst. 

By this arrangement the Lion has a cool, comfortable, 
sheltered home ; plenty of fresh cool water ; and has only to 
go just outside his cave in the evenings and wait patiently 
until some unsuspecting wild animal comes to slake its thirst, 
when he can easily catch and kill it, and so provide a good 
supper of nice fresh meat for himself and family. 

When he has procured a wife and taken her to his cave, 
he proves a good and faithful husband. He takes care that 
the Lioness gets plenty of food, protects her in every pos- 
sible way, and is always ready to give his very life for her if 
necessary. To attempt to attack either a Lion or Lioness 
when they are together is most dangerous, for each one 
will defend the other most vigorously, and two savage Lions 
are generally fatal to those pursuing them, unless the party 
consists of unusually large numbers. 

The Lioness generally has from two to four little Lion 
cubs at a time. When these little creatures are first born 
they look just like our house kittens, and mew like them ; 
but the eyes of little Lion cubs are wide open as soon as they 
are born, while the eyes of our kittens do not open until nine 
days later. The little cubs are marked at first with faint 
stripes and spots, but these disappear as they grow up, and 
they gradually become the same tawny colour as their 
parents. When they are a few weeks old they leave off 
mewing and make curious little aggressive barks. 

For the first few days after their birth the Lioness will 
not leave her little ones even to get a drink for herself; but 
when she does venture out the Lion keeps a most careful 
and vigilant guard. At this time the Lion is at his fiercest, 
and is so savage that he seems at times half mad with rage. 
In returning from drinking, the Lioness seems so afraid that 
an enemy will track out her hiding-place that she turns 



round and carefully rubs out each footstep as she goes. She 
takes no trouble whatever about getting food for herself, for 
the Lion continually brings in an abundance. 

Night after night, as soon as it gets dusk, the Lion 
wanders quietly forth, waits most patiently by the water, 
and when a good opportunity offers, springs out, catches 
hold of his animal, brings it to the ground, and when he has 
killed it drags it home to the cave. We are told that when a 
Lioness has cubs the Lion will wait until she has eaten all 
she wants before he presumes to touch a bit. But, as it 
would not be possible for any human being to be present in 
a Lions' cave at such a time, it is impossible to say whether 
this is true or not. 

In captivity, I am sorry to say, the Lion does not, to 
all appearances, seem to think of the Lioness. When 
feeding-time comes he always does his very best to get his 
portion of meat first, and does not seem to care one little bit 
how the Lioness fares as long as he gets his share. But, 
of course, it may be quite different in the wild state. 

When the little cubs are about four or five months old 
they are taken by their parents out hunting for food, and 
whether the parents teach them or not and about this there 
are various opinions they very soon learn to get it for 
themselves. Just as soon as they are able to do this the 
parents leave them, and very often move off to some other 
part of the country. 

A Lion is not full grown until he is five years old, and 
he often lives to be thirty, or even forty years old. No 
forest-bred Lion can ever be tamed. He may be trained 
and made to do several foolish things in the way of tricks, 
but his savage nature is liable to flare up at any moment, 
and generally just when least expected. When captured quite 
young the little cubs seem sometimes to become quite tame ; 
but no wild animal is ever really tamed. As the cubs grow 
older they show various signs of their savage nature, and 
many a trainer has had reason to regret believing that, 




because they had been kindly treated and petted, their wild 
natures had been changed. 

From being hunted so incessantly Lions have gradually 
left the open plains of Africa and gone to the thick, dense, 
dark forests. These forests contain so many big thorn 
bushes that, in going through them, the Lions lose nearly 
all their manes, which are dragged and torn out. This is 
the reason why it was thought at one time that there was a 
"maneless Lion." 




WHEN we think of the tiger, we generally have in 
mind the one that lives in the hot jungles and swamps of 
Bengal ; but there is also another animal that is just as 
important, and even stronger and bigger. This is the 
Siberian Tiger, which, as its name implies, conies from 

Although in very many ways just like other tigers, the 
tigers which come from Central Asia, Siberia, and Amur- 
land are not only larger, but the fur is longer, more woolly 
and rough, and in some specimens quite shaggy. Instead 
of being sleek and glossy like the tigers from the hot 
countries, the Siberian Tiger's stripes are not quite so 
distinctly marked. Tigers generally stand lower on the limbs 
than lions, but in many cases the Siberian Tiger has been 
found to stand quite as high as the lion, and in a few 
instances even a little higher. 

But, apart from these little differences, the Siberian 
Tiger has just the same formation, the same kind and 
shape of head and body, same kind of tail and feet as 
those of any other tiger. In his nature, too, he is just as 
fierce, cruel and cunning as his relative of the hot countries, 
and his habits are exactly similar. It is rather curious 
that whereas one tiger lives in a very hot country, another 
lives in an equally cold country. Some men of science 
now think that all tigers were originally inhabitants of the 
cold countries. 

Whether this is really so or not is still a matter of 



some doubt; but it is a curious fact that all tigers, even 
those that are born and reared in the hot, humid forests, 
are always impatient of great heat, and invariably hide 
themselves from the burning rays of the sun. It is a most 
rare thing to see a tiger in broad daylight, unless he is 
disturbed. He prefers to go to some nice, cool, shady place 
where he can go to sleep through the fierce heat of the 
day. He likes to wait until the evening before he comes 
out of his cool sheltering place. 

Another curious thing is that the Siberian Tigers, who 
live in parts of Siberia where the winters are extremely 
severe, thrive and grow strong and not only strong, but, 
as I have explained, stouter and bigger than their relatives 
in the hot countries. People who live in cold countries are 
more lively and energetic than those who live in very hot 
countries. But this does not apply to the Siberian Tiger. 
He is neither lively nor energetic, but every bit as lazy 
and indolent as his relative of the hot countries. He will 
sleep all day, if well fed, and only rouse himself to eat his 
food. Like all other tigers, he has no affection whatever, 
even for the keeper who feeds and attends to him daily. 
He would just as soon kill his keeper as any other human 
being if he only had the opportunity. 

There is a Siberian Tiger in the Central Park Zoo in 
New York who has been there for nearly sixteen years, 
and has been fed daily by the same keeper, a remarkably 
kind man, and extremely fond of animals. This keeper 
has tried in every possible way to get that Siberian Tiger 
to become friendly with him. He has given him special 
dainties out of his own hands, sat up with him, and attended 
to him many a long night when he has been ill, and talked 
to him continually in the hope that the animal would 
get to know his voice and become friendly. But up to the 
present time, the tiger is just the same sullen, savage animal 
that he was when he first arrived there all those years 
ago. A few kind words meet with snarls, an attempted 



pat with a furious growling cough and a spring forward, 
as though to bite. He is still a wild animal, and will never 
become anything else. 

Blocks of ice have been put in his cage in the summer- 
time, to make him more comfortable ; but in most cases 
he goes outside to his summer enclosure, leaving the block 
of ice in the inner cage. Whether he really suffers from 
the heat it is impossible to tell ; he is always grumbling 
in the summer-time, but then he is always grumbling at 
any other time, so it is a doubtful question. 

There are two fine specimens of the Siberian Tiger 
in the London Zoo, but they are not grumblers. They 
seem quite contented and happy; sleep most of the day, 
but wander up and down their cage occasionally and seem 
to know their keeper quite well. With Siberian Tigers, as 
with all other wild animals, each animal has its own little 
ways ; its own good or bad disposition, and its own way 
of living its life, just like human beings. 

A tigress, whether she is a Bengal or Siberian, is 
always even more fierce and savage than a tiger. But 
when she has little tiger cubs she is fiercer than ever. 
The little cubs are generally born either in March, April 
or May, or sometimes October. There are usually from 
two to three or four; in captivity there is scarcely ever 
more than two. They are pretty, graceful little creatures, 
and look very like half-grown kittens. They play and 
frisk about, pawing their mother in a playful manner, and 
lying down, they turn over their little furry bodies until 
they look like little soft balls of fur. But their soft-looking 
paws can give terrible scratches even when very young, 
and they show signs of their fierce natures when only a 
few weeks old. 

The tigress takes great care of them for about three 
years in their native state ; she feeds them, looks after 
them, and protects them in every possible way. But at 
the end of that time she seems to get tired of them, and 



then the little tigers generally go off and do the best they 
can for themselves. 

If you look carefully at the picture of the Siberian 
Tiger you will notice how lazy, sleepy and extremely 
comfortable he looks. What thick, long, shaggy fur he 
has, and what big powerful feet ! Also, you will notice, 
in spite of his lazy, comfortable air, that his eyes are only 
half shut, so that he can see all that is going on, and 
that his fore paws, although so soft and furry, show just 
the little slits in which he keeps his terrible claws, all 
ready to come out at any moment if he sees any sign of 

But with all his fierceness and savagery he is a most 
beautiful animal, and all his savage traits are only given 
him to protect himself in his native country. 





THERE is nothing pretty, attractive, or alluring about 
baboons. They are all ugly, ungainly and repellent; some 
of them absolutely repulsive in their appearance. In 
disposition, too, they are far from agreeable. Nearly all 
of them are vindictive, savage and very passionate, and 
are so abnormally strong that they are considered, not 
only by men, but by some of the fiercest of the wild 
animals, as extremely dangerous enemies. 

The Sacred or Arabian Baboon, as its name implies, 
lives in Arabia, but it is found in even larger numbers in 
Abyssinia and the Sudan. All baboons, in fact, live in 
Africa and the countries lying north of the Red Sea, 
but different species inhabit different parts. The Arabian 
Baboon is the well-known dog-faced baboon, which has 
been so often portrayed on the ancient Egyptian monuments, 
and was consecrated to the god Thoth. 

It is of an ashy grey colour, its fur being rather rough 
and shaggy, with a mane on the neck and shoulders. Its 
face is flesh-coloured, with whiskers of a slaty grey ; the ears 
are also flesh-coloured. It has black hands, and a long tail 
which ends in a piece of long hair. It has a long snout, 
and the nostrils project slightly over the upper lip, very 
like a dog's, and are divided by a little furrow. It generally 
has a light ring round the eyes, which are baleful, savage, 
and extremely cunning. 

Among the early Egyptians the baboon was greatly 



reverenced, and it held a very prominent place among 
the ancient sacred animals. One city, Hermopolis, was 
specially set apart for the cult of these animals, and a 
special necropolis was built, where their bodies could be 
preserved and mummified. In some of the old Egyptian 
mummy cases can be seen pictures of what is supposed 
to be this baboon, so sacred in those days, and so much 

In their natural state baboons go about in large herds, 
numbering from one hundred and fifty to two and three 
hundred. It is supposed that they go about in this way 
for protection. When a troop moves from one place to 
another, the old males take the lead; other old males take 
up positions on high rocks in order to keep a look-out, 
and still some others follow behind. These troops love 
stopping on some rocky crag, where for a time they make 
their homes. 

Here whole families live together old and young 
males, fathers, mothers, and young ones; and except for 
an occasional quarrel between some rivals, they appear to 
live fairly happily and comfortably. But all baboons are 
very quarrelsome, and ever ready for a fight. They are 
also extremely greedy, and will always be on the look-out 
to steal one another's food. A favourite trick is to watch 
another baboon get a nice dainty, wait until he has settled 
himself comfortably to enjoy it, and then go behind him, 
and give his long tail a vicious pull. The pain is so great 
that he generally drops his dainty in his surprise, and 
while he is looking round to see who pulled his tail, the 
other snatches his prize and is off so wonderfully quickly 
that it is seldom he is caught. 

If, however, he should be caught, he will then fight, and, 
as it is generally a particularly aggressive and daring baboon 
who does this, he can usually get the best of it. For a 
baboon uses his strong, sharp teeth to cruel advantage in 
these encounters, and is so muscular and strong in other 

4 6 


ways that if a weaker animal attempts to fight him he has 
a bad time of it. Generally speaking, the baboon who has 
had his dainty stolen grumbles and growls a little, but does 
not attempt to follow the other. 

The mother baboons with their little ones are most 
interesting. All the mothers seem rather quiet and subdued ; 
all the little ones look most desperately worried and un- 
happy ; and all the fathers either perfectly indifferent, or 
else extremely jealous and angry. Sometimes a mother will 
be unable, through the greediness and quickness of the 
others, to get a bit of food for herself, and will be nearly 

Then, occasionally, some old baboon will come forward 
and protect her, and no other dares either to come near her 
or her little one until she has had all she wants to eat. 
The old baboon will fight with the first one who attempts to 
interfere with her or her little one, and so in time the others 
leave her alone, and she gets on all right. But, devoted as 
these baboon mothers are to their little ones, they do not 
fail to chastise them occasionally, when they are tiresome. 
Sometimes the little ones will run off, and play about with 
other young ones, which is very natural. But if the old 
mother baboon does not approve of that sort of thing she 
very soon lets her little one know it. She will run after it, 
catch it up, and then slap it hard, until very often the little 
one cries pitifully, and then the mother will relent, and put 
her arms round it, and hold it close to her. 

The Arabian Baboon generally avoids forests and thickly 
wooded places. He likes open spaces and rocky projections. 
For one thing he is not at all a good climber. He can climb, 
but it is in a very awkward and heavy manner, which seems 
to be quite difficult and tiring. On the ground he ambles 
along on all fours in a sort of slow, steady gallop, although 
when necessary he can get over the ground remarkably 
quickly. His food is the young shoots and buds of trees and 
shrubs ; he also likes fruit of all kinds ; berries, seeds, and a 



few roots. In captivity, it has been found that baboons are 
very fond of monkey nuts, some kinds of green vegetables, 
and small onions. All nuts, in fact, they will crack and eat 
with relish. 

One of the wild animals of which all baboons have a 
great dread is the leopard. The leopard is particularly fond 
of monkeys, and when unable to obtain a small monkey, 
which he is generally able to do without much trouble, he 
will try to get a young baboon, which is the next best thing, 
and in a great many cases he succeeds. For, partly from 
sheer fright, baboons will always rather run away than face 
a leopard. A leopard can spring, while their movements 
cannot compare with his for quickness. And when once a 
leopard and baboon start to fight the baboon nearly always 
gets the worst of it. 

But cases have been known, where a leopard has carried 
off one of their number, of the whole herd falling upon him. 
And when a whole herd of these terrible creatures falls upon 
one animal, he has no chance at all. 

4 8 





THE Meerkat is a little four-toed mongoose which lives 
in the Gape Colony, and is found sometimes as far north as 
Algoa Bay. It is a pretty little animal with a slender body, 
covered with long, soft fur of a peculiar grizzled grey colour, 
having black stripes across the lower part of the back. The 
under part of the body is reddish, the head nearly white, 
with black ears, and it has a yellowish tail ending in a black 
tip. The Meerkat is the only mongoose having ears quite a 
different colour from its head. 

All species of the mongoose have much the same habits, 
but some are much more fierce and aggressive than others. 
They all have long, slim bodies, very sharp eyes, and a long 
pointed muzzle with a short nose. The tail is nearly always 
almost as long as the head and body put together, and they 
are all weasel-like in appearance. 

The Indian mongoose is noted for its fierceness, and is a 
deadly enemy to all snakes; the Egyptian mongoose is a 
deadly enemy to crocodiles, for it steals and eats their eggs 
by the dozen ; but in all the countries in which it lives the 
mongoose is considered most valuable by the inhabitants, 
for it destroys not only snakes and crocodiles, but rats, 
young reptiles, mice, and other creatures which they are 
glad to be rid of. Some years ago, in Jamaica, there was a 
terrible plague of rats. A great deal of sugar is grown in 
Jamaica, and this the rats destroyed in such large quantities 
that it was feared at one time that the sugar plantations 
would be completely ruined. Not only this, but the rats got 

D 49 


into the houses and barns, destroyed the poultry, and ate 
the eggs in the farmyards, and were getting so bold that they 
would even bite children when they were disturbed. 

So a dozen mongooses were procured and turned loose 
in the island. All these little animals had little families of 
their own, so that in another year they increased to forty, 
fifty, and then to a hundred. And then the rats began to 
have a very bad time. For, wherever they went, the mon- 
gooses followed them and destroyed them, so that in time 
there were scarcely any left. But all mongooses are terrible 
thieves themselves, and are unfortunately extremely fond of 
poultry, so that, although they destroyed the rats, they took 
a great many of the chickens and ducks for themselves. 
But as they did not take nearly as many as the rats, and did 
not eat the sugar-cane, the farmers were very grateful to 
these little animals, and never hurt or injured them. 

But the Meerkat, although a true mongoose and just 
as much a thief as his relatives, is a gentle, pretty little 
creature, and is often tamed and makes a most delightful 
pet. In his native home the Meerkat makes deep holes or 
burrows in the sandy soil, and there lives in colonies con- 
taining large numbers of his relations. He loves sunlight, 
and before it is light in the morning he comes out of his 
burrow and sits down to wait for the sun. Here he will be 
joined presently by other Meerkats, who have come out for 
the same thing, and sometimes they can be seen sitting 
patiently in rows, blinking their eyes, and sniffing in the 
morning air. 

They wait in this manner until the sun rises ; then they 
all bask and roll over, evidently thoroughly enjoying 
themselves. When the sun gets hot as the day wears on, 
they close their eyes sleepily, or else sit up on their little 
hind legs, with their fore paws hanging down, and their 
heads and sharp noses lifted up to get all the sunshine they 
can. They will stay like this very often until strangers get 
quite close, looking back at them quietly, but sometimes 



rather impudently, as though defying them to come any 
nearer. But just as soon as the strangers draw near enough 
to touch them, there is a quick movement, a whisk of 
heads and tails, and they are all down in their little sandy 
burrows so quickly that it is impossible ever to catch one 
of them. 

All the mongooses are quite fearless, but the Meerkat 
is remarkably so. He will dare and do things in his quiet, 
impudent way that a much stronger and bigger animal 
would hesitate to do. His one great peculiarity is that he is 
extremely fond of dogs. He does not mind what sort of 
dog it is, big or little, savage or good tempered, prize bred or 
mongrel. As long as it is a dog he will run after it, inspect 
it, and smell it, and if the dog treats him with disdain, as a 
great many dogs do, he will add to his impudence by 
barking at him in little sharp defiant barks, as though to say 
he doesn't care a bit for his grand airs ! 

At one time a lady made a great pet of a little Meer- 
kat, and even let it sleep in her bedroom. But she had had 
a large dog for years, who used to sleep out in the stable in 
order to guard the house. The Meerkat did all it could to 
make friends with the dog, but the dog would have 
nothing at all to do with it. He treated the Meerkat as he 
would a tiny terrier, with insolent disdain. When the 
Meerkat presumed to bark at him, he took no notice 
whatever, and when it even presumed further and bit one 
of his legs, the dog only growled and looked down at it. 

But it takes a great deal to crush any mongoose, 
especially a Meerkat. So one night the lady missed the 
Meerkat and was in a dreadful way, thinking she had lost 
her pet. A search was made, and finally the little Meerkat 
was found, sound asleep in the dog's kennel ! Whether he 
had insisted on remaining there, in spite of the dog's 
protests who always resented any intrusion in his kennel- 
or whether the dog had finally consented to become friends, 
will never be known, but from that time the Meerkat 



refused to sleep anywhere else, in spite of all sorts of 
coaxings and dainties being offered him. 

The lady was sorry to lose him at night, but would not 
have minded so much, only that, like all his species, the 
little Meerkat could not resist the temptation of the 
chickens and nice young ducks in the poultry-house. He 
was so close to this house that it was an easy matter to go 
in and take a nice young chicken or duck and eat it for his 
breakfast ! But after a time, he found for some reason or 
other that he could not get in, and, not worrying about 
it, went into the larder and helped himself to some 
peculiarly nice little dainties which happened to be there. 

For it is a sad fact that you may tame a Meerkat and 
make him very fond of you, but you can never teach him 
that it is wrong to steal, or ever impress upon him that he 
must let things alone. All mongooses are terrible thieves, 
even when they have been thoroughly tamed. 




THE Leopard, or Panther, is an inhabitant of Africa and 
Asia, and is one of the most beautiful, as well as one of the 
most crafty and treacherous, of the cat tribe. The lion is 
called the king of beasts, and noted for his strength and 
power, but he is not nearly as much to be feared as the 
Leopard in many ways. The lion roars and goes to work in 
a noisy, straightforward manner, letting the whole world 
know that he is out and cares for no one. 

But the Leopard is very different. He lets no one know 
when he goes out, or when he comes in. He prowls about, 
softly and silently, creeping through the bushes in a sly, 
stealthy manner, and waiting patiently until the animal he is 
watching is off its guard. Then he will creep closer and 
closer until, at the first opportunity, he gives a light spring 
on to the back of his victim, and has his teeth in it before it 
has had time to move. 

In addition to this craftiness, the Leopard also has 
wonderfully keen powers of hearing, scent, and vision ; and 
all these advantages, added to its muscular strength, wonder- 
ful quickness and agility, and a peculiar flexibility of the 
limbs and spine, make it a terrible foe. A Leopard's spring 
is one of the most marvellous things in creation. It will 
leap at anything which moves, like all the cat tribe, and is so 
lightning-like in some of its movements that it will climb 
trees and be out of sight before its presence can be realised. 

The ground colour of the fur of the Leopard is a yellowish 
fawn, lighter on the flanks, and merging into pure white on 



the under parts. All over this fur are dark velvety spots, 
some round, some irregular. On the head, flanks, and lower 
parts of the limbs the spots are smaller and darker. The 
tail is also spotted, but at the tip has little rings. As a rule, 
a Leopard's tail measures about three-quarters the length of 
its own head and body, and is soft and fluffy, like the tails of 
all cats, whether wild or domestic. 

Leopards vary in size so much that it is difficult to state 
any definite length or height, but an average full-grown 
Leopard will measure about four or five feet in length, with 
a tail of three feet, and will stand about two and a half feet 
high at the shoulders. It will weigh from one hundred to 
one hundred and fifty pounds. 

The Leopard's cry is very peculiar. It is a quick, sharp, 
coughing grunt, or roar, something like the cry of the tiger. 
The Leopard repeats this cry several times in succession; 
but only occasionally, for he is much too crafty to make 
any noise at all when he is hunting. He will wait patiently 
for hours at a time, if he thinks he is going to get a good 
meal. He has been known to frequent the same place a 
whole week at a time, until he obtains what he wants. 

He is not at all particular what he eats. Cattle, sheep, 
ponies, goats, dogs, all come alike to him. He is extremely 
fond of young puppies, and has been known to make his 
way slyly and stealthily into a bungalow, and take a puppy 
from under its mother's body; and even to steal a pet dog 
in front of its owner, snarling at him as he runs away 
with it. 

Monkeys are also great favourites of the Leopard in the 
way of food, and all monkeys look upon Leopards as their 
greatest enemies. A poor little monkey has very little 
chance of escape if a Leopard has once determined to get 
him. For here again the Leopard's slyness and cunning 
come in. 

All monkeys are so quick and active, so keen of hearing 
and swift in movement, and so sly and suspicious, that, as 



long as they are awake, they have often been known to 
baffle a Leopard. But Leopards are far more crafty than 
monkeys. They creep slyly forward, get close to the 
monkeys without being seen, and, hiding behind the boughs 
and branches of the trees, wait patiently until the monkeys, 
overcome by their activities and the heat of the day, 
fall sound asleep. Then the Leopard gives one of them a 
knock on the head which kills it instantly, and carries it 
off, while the other monkeys, waking up, scream and chatter 
with terror, and rush off through the forest like lightning. 

When a Leopard has gathered together a stock of food 
like this he carries it up into a tree, for Leopards are 
wonderful climbers, which is the reason that in India they 
are called by the natives the "tree tiger." He puts this 
food carefully into a forked part of the tree quite high up. 
In this way it is perfectly safe from his greatest enemy the 
lion, who is unable to climb. 

A Leopard will face almost any wild animal, but at the 
sound of a lion's roar he becomes an abject coward. Many 
cases have been known where a Leopard, knowing a lion 
was near by, has stayed in his cave for days, until he has 
been almost starved to death. But when a Leopard has a 
delicious stock of fresh delicate meat, such as we have just 
spoken of, hidden in the high fork of a tree, he can sit in 
the tree and look down on his most deadly enemy without 
fear. For the lion cannot get at him ; the Leopard has 
plenty to eat ; and a lion must be terribly angry with a 
Leopard just out of his reach, and a nice supply of fresh 
meat just over his head, which he is unable to touch ! 

Little Leopard cubs when first born are quite blind, and 
do not open their eyes for twenty or even twenty-five days. 
They are just like little kittens, in fact the exact size of the 
kittens of the domestic cat, and mew just as they do. Their 
rough fur is covered with little irregular spots on a pale, 
brownish yellow ground. They are very meek and gentle 
as long as they are blind and helpless; but almost as soon 



as they open their eyes, they begin to show signs of their 
true character. 

They will play about their mother very good temperedly, 
but will be savage to their keepers, and even snarl and spit 
at them. 





C I 


THE Dwarf Buffalo is an inhabitant of Senegal and 
the surrounding regions in West Africa, and is considered 
in its own country one of the most distinctive and 
formidable of the wild animals. These buffaloes are sup- 
posed by some authorities to be simply a dwarf race of 
the African species, as, although in Africa there are 
several different kinds, all have much the same habits and 

This animal is sometimes called "the bush cow," and 
is nearly always found dwelling in forest districts and 
in many tropical countries where the Gape buffalo is not 
known. It is a heavily built animal with thick, muscular 
limbs, a somewhat long, tufted tail, and a rather short 
head with a broad muzzle. It is not quite so tall or so 
big as the Gape buffalo, but is just as aggressive and 
dangerous as a foe. It has yellowish red hair, always 
thin ; in the old animals the hair drops off entirely, 
leaving them quite bare. 

But the great characteristic of all the African buffaloes 
is the peculiar shape of their horns, which are very thick, 
and quite flat at the base. Most animals have the horns 
growing out on either side of the head, with the forehead 
between. But these buffaloes have the horns growing 
straight across the forehead, forming a sort of shield, with 
just a little line between them ; they are so wide that 
in some cases the upper part of the face is completely 
covered, and this shield of hard horn is a wonderful 
protection to the animal. 



The horns of the Dwarf Buffalo are a little different 
from those of the Cape animal : they are not quite so 
flat, and in most cases the tips are curved upwards and 
inwards, but not always. There is a very fine specimen of 
the Dwarf Buffalo in the London Zoo, whose horns grow 
straight across the forehead, while the tips are quite straight. 
In buffaloes, as in all other wild creatures, there are always 
little differences in each animal, just as one domestic cow 
may have fairly straight horns, and another have curved 
ones, although both may be of exactly the same breed, and 
even related to one another. 

All buffaloes like humid, swampy grounds, where they 
can wallow in the mud. In this way they can keep beauti- 
fully cool during the heat of the day, and also keep off the 
terrible gadflies, whose sharp bites can even penetrate 
the thick skin of a buffalo. Many a traveller has been 
startled when near some deep pond or water-hole by a 
dripping, furious animal suddenly appearing. Unless the 
traveller is able to defend himself promptly, he stands 
very little chance of escape, especially if the buffalo is an 
old one, or the leader of a herd. 

All buffaloes go about together in herds; and a herd 
always has a leader, who is much larger and stronger than 
the others, and who always stands a little apart and keeps 
guard. Nearly all buffalo herds are also accompanied by 
a number of birds, who follow them from place to place. 
These birds feed off the little ticks and insects which 
infest the skin of the buffaloes, and they also give warning 
of danger. 

Very often, in these African swamps, there is a 
thick fog, which hangs over them like a huge cloud. The 
buffaloes stand knee-deep in the mud, and this fact, added 
to the thick fog, makes it almost impossible to see them 
sometimes until the travellers are almost close to them. 
But when a traveller is surprised in this manner, he looks 
round, and generally finds a thorn-bush. This African 



thorn-bush, which grows so plentifully in that country, has 
peculiarly long, thick thorns, so keen and sharp that they 
are just like strong needles. 

No thorn-bush in the world could actually save a man 
from an attack from a buffalo, but it can delay the animal 
a great deal. For, if the man rushes behind the bush, 
the buffalo, mad with rage, will rush straight at the bush, 
and not only get the cruel thorns in his eyes and muzzle, 
but generally fall over with the shock. As soon as he 
recovers himself, he proceeds to rub his head and nose 
on the ground in order to get rid of what is hurting him, 
and this gives the man an opportunity to get away, unless 
the other members of the herd come up, and also attack 
him, when his case is hopeless, for one blow from 
an African buffalo is enough to kill a man. It is very 
seldom, however, that one man goes alone on an expedi- 
tion ; it is generally when out for some other purpose 
that he gets surprised like this. 

When buffaloes realise they are in great danger they 
put the mothers and little ones all together, and then all 
the bulls, young and old, form a circle round them, with 
their heads facing the enemy. It needs brave men to 
attack buffaloes when prepared like this, and some are 
wise enough not to attempt it, but to wait for a better 
opportunity. The mothers will also defend their little 
ones with their own lives, if necessary, and an enraged 
mother buffalo is quite as dangerous as any leader of a 

African buffaloes have their little ones in either 
January, February, or March, and very rarely have more 
than one at a time. But this one the mother takes great 
care of, and watches most carefully. For the first ten 
days of its life, the little calf is carefully hidden in the 
long, thick grass which grows so luxuriantly in Africa, and 
the mother leaves the herd for a time and stays near the 
little one, to whom she pays constant visits, feeding 



and licking it just as we see the cows lick their own 

Like all other wild animals, buffaloes have many 
enemies; but the greatest and most dreaded enemy of 
the buffalo is the lion. The lion is particularly fond of a 
little fresh buffalo meat, and will dare a great deal to 
get it. There has been many a terrible fight between a 
buffalo and a lion. In most cases the lion wins; this is 
generally when he has been able to make the first attack. 
But in some cases even the lion gets the worst of it, for, 
if the buffalo can manage to give him one good blow with 
his head, he is usually able to give him a second before 
the lion can recover himself. And two such blows from a 
buffalo are fatal. 

The Dwarf Buffalo, although the smallest of the 
African buffaloes, is every bit as strong, as pugnacious, 
and as dangerous as all his other relatives, and will fight 
to the death. 




THE Brown Bear lives in Northern Europe, and is found 
in Asia as far as the Himalayas. It was at one time 
found in the British Isles, but the last one was killed in the 
year 1057, in Scotland. It is a big, heavy animal; when 
full grown its length is often from five to seven feet, and it 
will sometimes weigh as much as six or seven hundred 

Although a rather slow-moving animal, this bear is a 
dangerous foe when very hungry or at close quarters with 
an enemy. He is tremendously strong, and has a habit of 
directing all his blows at a man's head. He has a wide 
head, a short thick neck, a snout-like nose, a big mouth 
full of large, strong teeth, thick short sturdy legs, and big 
feet with claws of moderate length, which do not retract, 
and make a curious tapping sound as he walks on hard 

The fur is a dark brown, and very thick and shaggy; 
beneath this is another coat of woolly under-fur, much 
finer. The colour of the fur varies according to the country 
in which the bear lives. All bears, with the exception of 
the Polar bear, have a thick, hard skin on the soles of their 
feet, which they change every winter. In order to help the 
new growth, they have a habit of sucking their feet; this 
softens the old skin, and helps the new. But they also do 
this at other times, seemingly when they are comfortable 
and contented. If you watch bears carefully, you will 
notice that after a good meal, or when the sun is nice and 
warm, they will go over to some corner, and there, sitting on 



their haunches, suck their feet, making a peculiar humming 
sound all the time. 

The Brown Bear, like all the other bears, can climb, dig, 
and swim, in spite of his heavy, cumbersome body and 
thick fur coat. In fact, all bears have much the same 
habits, although there are many different kinds : the Black 
bear, the Polar bear, the Grizzly, the Syrian, the 
Thibetan Sloth bear, and the Malayan bear. Some live in 
great heat, some in extreme cold ; but all are wonderfully 
fitted by Nature for the country in which they live. 

The favourite foods of the Brown Bear are ants' eggs, 
honey, and salmon, but he eats all kinds of things : 
cranberries and blueberries ; roots ; the small leaves of the 
aspen, mountain ash, and other trees ; also soft juicy plants, 
such as the angelica and the mountain thistle. He is also 
extremely fond of nice ripe corn. He will find out a 
cornfield, settle himself down on his haunches, and drawing 
bunches of corn towards him will pick off the ears and eat 
until he can eat no more. But sitting down to a meal in 
this way is not so bad as walking through a cornfield, for 
in that case he destroys far more than he eats. To obtain 
honey, the bear goes to a bee-hive, pats the hive with his 
big paws and waits until the bees all come out to see what 
is the matter. As soon as the bees have left the hive, the 
bear scratches out the honey-combs full of delicious honey, 
and eats them with keen enjoyment. He has not the 
slightest fear of the bees ; their tiny stings could not possibly 
penetrate his thick coat, although occasionally he gets one 
or two stings on his nose from the angry little insects. 

As the autumn comes on, the bears feed themselves up 
for the winter. When a bear has eaten plenty of ants' eggs, 
honey, fish, the remains of pine needles, and so on, which he 
scrapes out of the ants' nests, he finds a nice comfortable 
cave or hollow, cunningly hidden, and having become quite 
fat from feeding so much, he goes to sleep for the rest of the 



The leaves that are eaten form what is called the 
" tappen." During the bear's long winter sleep his stomach 
becomes empty, and shrinks into a very small space. Then 
the " tappen " comes forward, and blocking up one of the 
stomach passages, stays there until the bear wakes up. By 
this wonderful provision of Nature, the bear is able to 
do without food until the winter is over; but many bears 
when they come out of their caves are most miserably thin 
and wretched. Their fat has all disappeared, and they have 
grown weak and feeble. 

Also, food in the spring is very scarce. There are no 
berries or corn, and scarcely any honey left. But there are 
generally acorns, and many kinds of roots which are quite 
easy for a bear to dig up ; besides nuts, snails and the young 
sprouts and leaves of trees. 

The little bear cubs are born in February, sometimes 
before the mother bear leaves her winter den. There are 
generally two, and when first born they are very, very tiny, 
and quite blind and naked. They stay like this for about 
three or four weeks, and then begin to get their little furry 
coats, and open their eyes. The mother bear is very good to 
them, and will defend them at the cost of her own life. It 
is a very amusing sight to see an old mother bear ambling 
clumsily along followed by little woolly cubs, who stumble 
and call after her in bear language, giving funny little 
"whoofs" or grunts when she gets too far ahead. 

They wander through the forests, and the little bears 
imitate all their mother does : when she scratches up the 
earth, they do so ; when she pulls down some little green 
growth, they try to do the same ; and when they grow very 
tired and weary, the mother stops, gives them their dinner 
or supper, and lets them nestle into her warm furry body 
and go to sleep for a time. 

The little cubs stay with her all through the spring and 
summer, but as the winter draws near, the mother bear 
seems to get tired of them, and is often very rough and 



savage with them. Sometimes she is so bad tempered that 
the cubs wander away, and do not come back ; but more 
often the mother goes off to see about her winter home 
once more, leaving the cubs to look after themselves, which 
they always seem well able to do. 

In Kamtchatka the natives value the Brown Bear very 
highly. They use the skin for covering their beds, they 
also make gloves, hats, and leggings out of it. The bones of 
the bear are used to make kitchen and outdoor utensils, and 
the intestines are used instead of glass for windows. The 
flesh of this bear is looked upon by the Kamtchatkans as a 
great delicacy, and they are extremely fond of the fat. 

The Brown Bear in the picture is enjoying himself at the 
top of the pole. Although it looks extremely uncomfort- 
able to us, he seems to love being there, and has often been 
known to stay as long as an hour at a time. 

6 4 




THE difference between an Arabian and a Bactrian 
Camel is that the Arabian has one hump and the Bactrian 
two. There are other differences: the Bactrian Camel, 
which is a native of Central Asia, is taller and heavier than 
its Arabian relative; also its hair is longer and its legs 
shorter. The habits and traits of all camels are much the 

The Bactrian Camel in the picture is in its full winter 
coat, which is very thick, and keeps it beautifully warm. 
Camels are not handsome or graceful, but ugly and ungainly, 
and very clumsy. But in their native lands they are most 
valuable for a great many reasons. A full-grown animal 
stands about six or seven feet high ; has a broad, muscular 
body, with long thin limbs, and wide broad feet. These feet 
end in two broad toes, on each of which there is a soft, wide 
cushion, which enables the animal to have a firm grasp on 
the loose, shifting sand of the deserts over which it is so 
constantly travelling. 

The head is rather short with a sloping muzzle, and is 
set on a long, curved neck. It has small rounded ears, and 
its eyes are large, dark and soft, and have very heavy lids. 
These lids are to protect its eyes from the dust and sand ; 
its nostrils are also wonderfully adapted for the same 
purpose, as the camel is able to close these two slit-like 
nostrils whenever it likes ; and its large, loose, cleft upper- 
lip, which hangs over the under one, keeps the sand from 
entering its mouth. 

E 65 


Part of the stomach of a camel is fitted with little cells, 
something like the honeycomb in which bees store their 
honey. In these little cells the camel can carry from four 
to six quarts of water, and for this reason he is able to go 
without drinking for several days at a time. The humps of 
camels, although not beautiful, are most valuable to these 
animals of the desert. When a camel is in good health, his 
hump (or humps) forms a little pyramid, and the better the 
camel is fed the larger grows the hump. 

When preparing camels for a long journey across the 
desert, the Arabs feed them until the humps are very 
large ; they know by this that they are in good condition 
and fit for the journey. In going across the desert very little 
food is given the camels, and their humps grow smaller and 
smaller, as they practically feed on it. The Arabs watch the 
humps most carefully all through the journey, because they 
are able to tell from their size and appearance exactly how 
long the animals will be able to hold out. Any good, strong 
camel can carry from five to six hundred pounds at a time, 
and as they can go so long without food or water, it is no 
wonder they have always been called the "ships of the 

The loading of a camel is a great business. It is 
generally believed that camels are very patient, amiable 
creatures, but this is quite a mistake. They are very bad- 
tempered and vicious; grumble at everything, and at times 
are extremely savage and bite severely with their strong 
teeth. On the knees of these animals are little thick pads 
of hard skin, and as it is necessary for them to kneel while 
being loaded, these little pads prevent them getting cut or 

All the time the loading is going on, the camel grumbles, 
grunts, and is just as disagreeable as he can be. He drops 
on his knees with a groan, gets up with a groan, and generally 
starts off with a groan. But once in the desert, he swings 
along with his peculiar gait over the smooth, hot sand, and 



never stops unless there is a simoom, or sand-storm, or it is 
time to rest. 

The simoom is a wind-storm, which begins in the desert 
quite suddenly. It commences by a peculiar silence, and the 
next instant a curious huge cloud is seen sweeping across the 
desert. And that is all that is ever seen, for unless man and 
beast lie down at once and stay so until it has passed over, 
they very soon die from suffocation. 

Camels always know when a simoom is coming, and lie 
down in the sand, closing their eyes, mouths, and narrow 
nostrils, and do not move until the storm is over. Then, 
with many grunts and groans, they rise slowly, shake off 
the heavy load of hot, acrid sand with which the simoom 
has covered them, and go steadily on as before. 

In many cases camels supply their masters with food 
and clothing. The Arabs are very fond of a preparation 
made from camel's milk, which is very rich and thick, and 
is peculiar in that it always curdles when mixed with tea or 
coffee. But the Arabs have two ways of using it. One is 
to put the milk into a curious sack made out of goat's skin, 
and shake it about until it finally turns into butter ; another 
way is to mix it into a soft paste with meal, let it go sour, 
and eat it as bread or cake. 

The long, thick, soft light-brown hair which grows on 
camels, and which when spun looks like fine silk, is spun by 
the Arabs into coarse thick threads and then made into a 
sort of cloth which is beautifully warm and comfortable. 
Sometimes a camel will shed its coat. When this happens 
the Arabs collect all the old hairs carefully, for if they do 
not use them themselves they can always sell them for good 

The food of the camel in its natural state consists of 
almost anything it can get. Hard, thorny boughs and 
branches, bits of old wood, grain, and any kind of green 
stuff, all are eaten greedily by the camel. He has no judg- 
ment whatever, and will eat the deadly green plant called 

6 7 


by the Arabs " Camel Poison " with just as much relish as 
any other green thing. But when he eats that, it is his last 
meal, for soon after he will get very sick, stagger about, and 
the poor thing often dies in great agony. 

Camels are used now in some of our regiments abroad, 
and many of the Camel Corps are splendid sights. But 
camel riding is not at all easy. In mounting its rider, the 
camel kneels, waits until he is fairly on, and in rising 
straightens out its back legs so suddenly that unless the rider 
is careful he is promptly thrown off again ! I have never 
yet heard of any one who enjoyed riding on the camel for 
very long at a time. 



THE i 




THE Polar Bear is one of the most important animals 
in the Arctic Regions. In that very cold land at the far 
north, where there is nothing but ice and snow, huge 
glaciers and icebergs, and a dark, bitterly cold winter of 
four months, the Polar Bear reigns supreme. 

As the lion is called the king of beasts among the forest 
wild animals, so the Polar Bear is called the king or the 
tiger of the frozen north. He lives only in one part of the 
earth, and that ,is along the coasts of the Arctic Ocean 
around the North Pole, and he very rarely goes farther 
than one day inland which means a day's journey on 
any shore. 

This bear differs in many ways from all other bears. 
He has a very small head and long neck, long legs and 
flat sides. His feet, which are large and flat, have the 
bottoms covered with fur, which prevents his slipping about 
on the ice. These big feet have strong, rather short black 
claws, which are slightly curved, and like the claws of all 
other bears, cannot be drawn back. Other bears have big 
heads, very short thick necks, fat sides, and, instead of 
fur on the bottoms of their feet, large pads covered with 
thick skin. A full-grown Polar Bear weighs from seven 
to eight hundred pounds, and when he stands on his hind 
feet, he is about seven feet in height. 

With his thick heavy coat of white silvery fur, tinged 
with yellow, and his warm blood, he can stand the most 
intense cold without suffering in the least. Like all other 



wild animals he is wonderfully fitted by Nature for the 
country in which he lives. He is a wonderful swimmer, 
and has been seen swimming in icy-cold water as much 
as eighty miles from land. He has also been seen calmly 
standing upon huge icebergs which have floated into the 
track of Atlantic ships. He is wonderfully quick in the 
water, and will sometimes dive down after a salmon and 
come up to the surface again with the fish in his mouth ! 

His favourite food is walrus, seal, dead whales, and 
any kind of fish. Owing to his whiteness and his soft, 
stealthy step, the Polar Bear is often able to take a walrus 
or seal by surprise while they are asleep on the ice. He 
has one peculiar way of his own of catching the seal. If 
the seal is asleep on the ice, the Polar Bear will walk quietly 
a little distance away, slip into the water, then swim about, 
gradually drawing nearer and nearer to the edge of the 
ice on which the seal is sleeping. Then, quite suddenly, 
he will come up right in front of the seal, who, should he 
still be asleep, is easily caught. Even if awake he is very 
seldom able to get away from a Polar Bear when he is as 
close as that. For although the Polar Bear is such a big 
and somewhat clumsy animal he is able to run very quickly, 
especially when there is a tempting meal just in front 
of him. A seal is a fairly easy animal to catch, and, after 
killing it, the bear settles himself down to have a good 

The walrus, on account of its size and weight a full- 
grown walrus will weigh nearly a ton is not so easy to 
catch. If it is once able to get across the little piece 
of ice which separates it from the water, it can defy the 
Polar Bear; but when unable to do this, it is often killed 
by a terrific blow on the head. 

The mother Polar Bears generally have two little ones 
at a time, which, like all cubs of bears, are very, very tiny. 
The mother scrapes a deep hole in the snow at the begin- 
ning of the winter, and there she stays all through the long, 



dark months, and it is during this time that the little ones 
are generally born. The mothers are most affectionate to 
the young ones, and will defend them with their own lives 
in times of danger. 

Several little baby Polar Bears have been born in 
captivity, but, for some reason or other, they did not live 
long. Barbara, the well-known Polar Bear in the London 
Zoo, has had several little cubs. The first one was neglected 
by its mother, and so was the second ; but in 1913, two little 
cubs were born, and these lived for two days and then died 
from pneumonia. It seems curious that animals who can 
live in the Arctic regions have such delicate cubs, but it 
may possibly be because they are in a strange country and 

There is a very well-known Polar Bear in the New 
York Zoological Park, and it is the first bear ever to have 
been caught by a lasso. It was caught by Mr. Paul Rainey 
in 1910, towed behind a motor boat to the ship, and then 
hoisted over the side of the ship into the hold, and taken 
to the New York Zoological Gardens, where it can be 
seen at the present day. 

As a rule, the Polar Bear will not attack a man 
unless he is molested or famished for food. Then, as 
we see him doing in the picture, the bear charges his 
supposed enemy, and at times like these he is a most 
terrible foe. You will notice how his fur is hunched up, 
his head lowered, and his eyes deadly angry. The method 
of attack employed by most bears is to hug, which 
crushes their victim ; but the Polar Bear does not do that. 
He bites, and bites viciously and fearfully, so that any attack 
from one of these wild animals of the north is most deadly. 

The Polar Bear is not gifted with much intelligence ; he 
is, in fact, a rather stupid animal, but at the same time very 
cunning and crafty, like all bears. The keepers have to 
watch him very carefully; for a Polar Bear may be 
wandering round his den in a careless, casual, and most 



indifferent manner, and yet all the time, perhaps, be just 
watching his opportunity to attack the keeper. In many 
cases, even when a keeper feeds and attends to him daily, 
the bear will be quite as ready to attack him. But, of 
course, with Polar Bears, as with all other wild animals, 
there are always differences of disposition in the various 

A number of Polar Bears have been trained ; but they 
never do very much. Some time ago, a dealer in wild 
animals had a number of Polar Bears trained with a 
view to making them draught animals for the Amundsen 
Expedition to the South Pole. But after a while it was 
concluded that just as soon as they found themselves among 
their natural ice and snow once more, they would go off 
in the night, and all the labour and expense would be 
wasted. So the scheme was abandoned. 

The next time you see a Polar Bear, notice his white 
coat, his wide big feet with black claws, his small head 
with black nose, lips and tongue, and his long neck. Then 
go and look at the brown bear, or the big grizzly. 






SOMETIMES the Leopard is quiet and drowsy in his 
native haunts, and this generally happens when he has had 
a good feast. Then he will steal away, either under some 
thick undergrowth in the forests, or else go up into some 
big tree, and there, settling himself comfortably in a forked 
limb, go sound asleep. At these times even the monkeys 
have been known to go and peep slyly at him, chattering 
fiercely at him all the while, but always ready to fly off at 
the slightest sign of movement. 

But when the Leopard is alert, as in this picture, he is 
a very different animal indeed. His alertness is probably 
owing to his being extremely hungry, and for some reason 
or other not having been able to get any food. But quick 
and agile as the Leopard is at all times, he is doubly so 
when in this state, and no living creature would meet with 
any mercy should it be so unfortunate as to come in his 
way. He has been known at these times even to go near 
the haunts of his great enemy, the lion, of whom he is so 
terrified at all other times. 

There is an old Arab fable which is supposed to 
account for the Leopard's horror of the lion. A party of 
lions, who were once making a pilgrimage of discovery, 
one day came to a forest inhabited by Leopards. The 
Leopards, who considered themselves quite as good, and 
fully as important as any other wild animals on the face 
of the earth, sent a number of their members to wait upon 
the lions, and ask them why they had come, and what they 



wanted. After a while the Leopards returned, saying that 
the lions being great kings, one and all, and finding the 
forest very beautiful and pleasant, had decided to take up 
their residence there, and advised the Leopards either to 
defend it at once, or go away and leave it to them. 

The Leopards, extremely angry and very indignant at 
this proposal, prepared for battle at once, crawling and 
gliding between thickets and rocks in order to defend 
themselves. Just when everything was ready, however, all 
the lions gave one big roar altogether, which struck such 
terror into the hearts of the Leopards that they all fled in 
every direction in the wildest confusion, leaving the forest 
to their enemies. And ever since that time, Leopards will 
climb trees like cats, burrow into the earth like foxes, but 
nothing will induce them to face a lion. Of course, this 
is only a fable, but it is a curious fact that all Leopards are 
terrified of lions. 

The face of a Leopard is one of the cruellest, most 
crafty and wicked of all the cat tribe. He will never look 
any human being straight in the face, but as soon as he 
thinks he is unnoticed he will glance slyly at whoever 
has been looking at him, very often give a little rush 
forward, as though inclined to spring, and sometimes rush 
at the bars of his cage. But the next instant he is walking 
to and fro in the same stealthy manner as before, and 
apparently taking no notice of anything or anybody. 

In his native lands the Leopard is hated and dreaded. 
He will steal the cattle and sheep, kill as many as he can, 
and when very hungry has been known to keep watch for 
many hours just outside a farm, where he is most certainly 
alert in every sense of the word. Near the city of Nagpore, 
some years ago, a Leopard was always watching his chance 
to get either some of the sheep and cattle, the dogs or 
chickens, or, if he were unable to obtain either of these 
delicacies, to kill some of the women and children. 

Most of the native villages are close to water. This 



is necessary on account of drinking and washing water. 
But it is also very convenient for Leopards and other wild 
animals who come to the water to drink, and find a nice 
village plentifully stocked, perhaps, with all kinds of animals 
which they like to eat. As most of these watering-places 
are covered along the sides with long grass and thick 
bushes, the Leopard has a splendid opportunity to hide 
himself and wait for anything that happens to come his 
way. Someone must go to get water once or twice in the 
daytime, but most frequently they go in the evening, when 
it is cool. This is just tfre time when the Leopard starts 
out on his evening explorations, and it suits him exactly. 
The city of Nagpore had a tract of country all round it 
which was at one time infested by Leopards. In one year 
alone these terrible wild animals killed over two hundred 

In this tract of country one Leopard was constantly 
killing and wounding people, cattle, sheep, and anything 
else he could get. Traps of various kinds were set for 
him ; parties armed with guns went out, night after night, 
to try and shoot him, but all without result. The Leopard 
was so sly, quiet and stealthy, so wonderfully quick in 
getting away from any dangerous position, that at last the 
poor villagers were in despair. The fact that one little limb 
of jungle reached almost up to the village made it much 
easier for the Leopard to do his work secretly, and much 
more difficult for the men who were hunting him. 

The natives would go out armed with clubs and spears, 
and do all in their power to drive the animal out of his 
ambush, and so get a chance of killing him. But in this 
case the Leopard was indeed alert, and kept just as good a 
look-out as any of his enemies. As soon as they discovered 
his whereabouts in one place, he quietly moved off to 
another ; and often, when that place was discovered, moved 
back once more to his old spot. 

At last, after nearly two years' worry and anxiety, and 



the loss of many people, not to speak of endless numbers 
of cattle and sheep, a police constable found the Leopard 
and was fortunately able to shoot him. But, although the 
Leopard was undoubtedly wounded badly, the creature crept 
away to some hidden place, and although every search was 
made for him, his body was never found. After that time, 
however, the killing of the people and animals stopped, 
so it was concluded that the Leopard was dead. 

THE : 



THE pretty, graceful little creature called the Grey 
Squirrel is an American animal. Unlike the English 
squirrel, whose body is covered with reddish brown fur, 
the Grey Squirrel has a whitish grey fur, verging to pure 
white underneath its body. It has a beautiful head, with 
very bright, keen eyes ; little upstanding ears ; and a long, 
thick, bushy tail, which it usually carries curved up over 
its back. 

It is one of the most active little creatures in the world, 
and its movements are full of grace. It darts from tree to 
tree with wonderful swiftness, and is able to spring long 
distances at such a great height that many people when 
watching it feel quite dizzy. But all squirrels are very sure- 
footed, and rarely make false steps ; if they should by some 
chance lose their foothold, they spread out their long and 
bushy tails and all four feet wide apart, and drop lightly on 
the earth, hopping away as though nothing had happened. 

The Grey Squirrel is particularly active. Its movements 
are something between a hop and a gallop ; it can cover the 
ground very quickly, but is even more at home in the trees. 
All day long it scampers and runs about the woods and 
coppices, darting from tree to tree, with its bright little eyes 
always on the look-out for danger. At the slightest suspicious 
sign it will hop nimbly behind a tree-trunk, or branch, and 
stay there absolutely motionless until the danger is safely 
over. Sometimes it will chatter in its funny shrill voice, 
probably letting its squirrel friends know, in squirrel lan- 
guage, that enemies are about. Sometimes it will suddenly 



hop down from one tree, dart to another, spring up with 
lightning-like swiftness, and sit on the very highest branch, 
scolding its hardest. 

At one time, in some regions of North America, the 
Grey Squirrels existed in such immense numbers that they 
became not only a great nuisance, but a positive plague. A 
reward of threepence each was once offered in Pennsylvania 
for every Grey Squirrel destroyed ; and we are told that very 
often half a million were paid for in one year alone. But 
that is not so in the present day. The American Grey 
Squirrel is treasured and thought very highly of, not only in 
the United States, but in Canada and in Europe. 

In the New York Zoological Park the Grey Squirrels 
receive the very greatest care, and are so wonderfully tame 
that they will go up to a total stranger and eat pea-nuts or 
any other kind of nuts that they can get out of his hand. 
Some will even climb up on the shoulders of people they 
know, and take nuts out of their mouths. Some time ago, a 
number of Grey Squirrels were set at liberty in the London 
Zoological Gardens, and have now become quite tame. In 
fact, they have become so much at home that they occasion- 
ally steal all sorts of dainties from other inhabitants of the 
Gardens. The first colony of American squirrels was 
presented to the London Zoological Gardens by the Duke 
of Bedford in 1906. 

All squirrels are very domesticated, and in the springtime 
couples can be seen going about together, evidently extremely 
busy. They make a wonderful nest in some big tree; and in 
this nest they live year after year, and bring up their various 
families. To build the nest they collect plenty of dry leaves, 
moss, little twigs, grass, bits of hair and wool, feathers, fibre, 
and anything else which comes in their way; and all this 
they weave together into a nest. So wonderfully is it made 
that no rain can penetrate it ; and so firmly is it wedged into 
the fork of the tree that the strongest wind cannot blow it 



No small animals work harder than squirrels all the 
year round. There are no lazy ones among them, no idlers. 
Each season brings its particular work. Throughout the 
spring they work all day long in preparing a home for their 
little ones. About the middle of the summer three or four 
young squirrels appear in the nest, and then the parents 
work harder than ever, getting them food and guarding them 
from their many enemies; and, in between these duties, 
gathering together their hoards for the coming winter. 

For these little creatures are very provident. They 
seem to know in some instinctive way that they must 
provide for the winter. They carefully collect all kinds of 
nuts ; acorns ; all kinds of grain, such as wheat, barley, and 
oats ; all sorts of vegetable and flower seeds ; fruit, such as 
apples, pears, berries of all sorts ; occasionally a few birds' 
eggs, and sometimes even a hen's egg ! 

All round the family tree, in various directions, there 
are little storehouses, cunningly hidden in odd places, under 
loose stones, in little nooks, holes, and crannies of all kinds. 
All squirrels have good memories, and they never forget 
where their stores are hidden, even when the snow covers 
them up with a soft white mantle. When a squirrel wants 
some food he brushes aside the snow, scratches with his 
sharp little paws, and, poking his nose into the store, gets 
what he wants and hops off again. 

But before stocking these storehouses, each nut, seed, 
berry, or grain is looked carefully over. Not a single 
unsound nut, rotten seed, or unripe grain is kept. Each 
object is taken up in his little front paws and carefully 
examined with his keen eyes. Everything with the least 
defect is discarded; but a good sound nut, ripe grain, or 
good seed is put carefully into one of the hiding-places. 

The Grey Squirrel eats very few nuts and little grain 
during the autumn months. He lives then on insects and 
seeds, and an occasional little bird. All squirrels seem to 
be fond of insects and small birds, but it is a curious fact 




that they never attempt to store either of these dainties, 
neither of which would, of course, keep very long. When 
able to obtain either a bird or an insect, they promptly 
eat it at once. 

The Grey Squirrels are considered rather pugnacious 
little creatures as a rule; the red squirrels seem afraid of 
them, and it is well known that when these American 
squirrels are put in any English wood the red squirrels, in 
nearly all cases, promptly disappear. But when tame, the 
Grey Squirrel is one of the most gentle, amiable, and 
interesting of all the squirrel family. 



THE Jaguar belongs to the New World. It is found in 
Texas and California, and also roams the dense forests of 
Central and Southern America, where it preys upon almost 
anything it can capture, from horses, tapirs, wild pigs, cattle, 
down to lizards, turtles and fish. Its favourite food seems to 
be the capybara or water-hog, which it finds on the banks of 
the Plata, and which is the largest rodent or gnawing animal 
'in the whole world. 

The Jaguar is sometimes called the American tiger, and 
is the largest representative of the cat tribe in the New 
World. A full-grown animal will generally measure from 
four to five feet from the nose to the root of its tail. The 
ground colour of the fur is a rich yellowish fawn ; the throat, 
under part of the body, and the insides of the legs are pure 
white. On this yellowish ground the head, which is wide 
and powerful, the limbs and the under surface are covered 
with black spots of different sizes ; but the rest of the body 
is covered with big, irregular spots like rosettes. 

Although very like a leopard, the Jaguar has many little 
differences. The head is wider, the body is larger and 
thicker, and the limbs are short and sturdy. The leopard 
is light, quick and graceful; while the Jaguar is rather an 
awkward, clumsy creature. Also, the Jaguar has two or 
three black streaks right across its breast; while its tail, 
instead of tapering like the leopard's, is the same size all the 
way down. 

Fierce and savage, strong and wonderfully powerful, the 
Jaguar is one of the most dangerous and treacherous of all 

F Si 


the cat tribe. It is always impossible to tell what a Jaguar 
will do, because it is so cunning and crafty. A very cele- 
brated Jaguar, named Lopez, in the New York Zoological 
Park, was once given a beautiful young Jaguar as a com- 
panion, as he seemed to be lonely. But before the two were 
put together the little Jaguar was placed in its travelling 
cage for a few days close to the cage of Lopez, who seemed 
very pleased indeed. 

As the young Jaguar also seemed pleased, they were at 
last put together ; but the moment the young Jaguar went in, 
the sly, crafty big Jaguar at once killed it. It was impos- 
sible to tell why he did so ; but this is just one of the many 
things in connection with Jaguars which can never be 
understood or explained. 

Although a clumsy animal the Jaguar is a wonderful 
climber of trees. In South America, where occasionally the 
forests are covered with floods, and the trees grow very close 
together, this animal will sometimes stay in the trees, going 
from one to another until the floods are over. It will then 
very often make its way to some river or stream, and, being 
very fond of fish, will keep quite still, and then with a 
wonderfully swift movement catch the fish in its paws and 
eat them. Or perhaps it will go to the seashore, where 
there are plenty of turtles, another favourite food of 
the Jaguar. The poor turtles, only able to move very 
slowly, cannot of course get away from such an enemy, but 
the Jaguar makes sure of this by turning them on their 
backs, and in this position a turtle is unable to move any- 
thing but its feet and head, and is obliged to stay just where 
it is. Then the Jaguar scoops out the flesh of the turtle 
and eats it, and leaves the empty shell. 

Sometimes, however, he turns over a great many more 
turtles than he can possibly eat, and leaves them still wrig- 
gling on their backs. Then the Indians, who are always 
on the look-out for this, wait until the Jaguar is well out of 
the way, and take the turtles themselves. 



Little Jaguar cubs are born either about the end of 
August or early in September, and are just like pretty little 
greyish-brown kittens. They have little round heads like 
puppies, but they mew and whimper like kittens. Like all 
wild animal mothers, the Jaguar at this time is wildly savage, 
and for some reason ravenous with hunger. She will eat 
anything she can get, and will climb some prickly caucho- 
trees, where the beautiful crested pigeons make their nests, 
and catch and eat the birds; will dig up musk rats from 
their burrows and eat them ; and will even turn out bats 
from hollow trees. But to her little ones she is kind and 
gentle, loving, and very devoted. 

In their native homes Jaguars are very noisy; unlike 
most of the cat tribe they are not entirely nocturnal, but 
come out sometimes in the daytime, and their terrible cry, 
something between a growl, snarl, and roar, can be heard a 
long way off. But if a Jaguar is well fed, he will go to some 
dense, hot swamp, miles away from any haunts of men, and 
there he will lie in luxurious idleness, and take some de- 
licious sleep. Myriads of stinging and biting insects infest 
these forests, but he doesn't mind them ; his fur is much 
too thick for them to penetrate, and their buzzing does not 
annoy him in the least. 

But strong and powerful as he is, the Jaguar has two 
terrible enemies in his own country, who hate him as much 
as he hates them. These are the puma, or mountain lion of 
America, often called the cougar, and the crocodile and alli- 
gator. Although the Jaguar and puma are the biggest of the 
cat tribe in America, they have always been deadly enemies. 
A fight between a Jaguar and a puma generally ends in one 
or the other being killed, or so seriously injured that it dies 
soon afterwards. Both are strong; both possess terrible teeth 
and claws, and when once a fight is started neither will give 
in until completely conquered. 

Often when a Jaguar is quietly fishing, an alligator or 
crocodile will wait until he is half in the water and then 


suddenly drag him down. When once this is accomplished, 
the crocodile or alligator quietly holds the Jaguar under 
water until he is drowned. Caught in this manner, the 
Jaguar has very little chance, for crocodiles and alligators 
are wonderfully strong. But sometimes the Jaguar, creep- 
ing stealthily out from the jungle, will catch a crocodile 
sound asleep on the hot, glaring sandbank, and then he 
loses no time, but very often kills his enemy before he has 
time to know what is happening. 

The Jaguar in the picture is yawning, so that you can see 
what a big strong mouth and jaws he has ; what strong and 
crushing teeth ; and can imagine what a terrible animal he is 
when wild in his native jungle. Sometimes in captivity he 
gets angry, and then generally tears with his claws at the' 
trunks of trees which have been put into his cage. This 
answers two purposes : it relieves his feelings and also 
sharpens his claws.