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domestic Goat: by means of this they are called together. When alarmed they adopt a different noise, and advertise each other by a kind of whistle. This the animal on watch continues as long as he can blow without taking breath: it is at first sharp, but flattens towards the conclusion. He then stops for a moment, looks round on all sides, and begins wbistling afresh, which he continues from time to time. This is done with such force, that the rocks and forests re-echo the sound. His agitation is extreme. He strikes the earth with his feet. The leaps upon the highest stones he can find, again look around, leaps from one place to another, and when he discovers any thing seriously alarming, flies ott: This whistling is performed through the nostrils, and consists of a strong blowing, similar to the sound which a man may make by fixing his tongue to the palate, with his teeth nearly shut, his lips open and somewhat extended, and blowing long, and with great force.
The Chamois scramble with astonishing agility among the inacces
sible rocks of the country which they inhabit. They neither ascend nor
descend perpendicularly, but always in an oblique direction. When descending, in particular, they will throw themselves down across a rock, which is nearly perpendicular, and twenty or thirty feet in height without having a single prop to support their feet. In descending they strike their feet three or four times against the rock, till they arrive at a proper resting place below. The spring of their tendons is so great that, when leaping about among the precipices, one would almost imagine that they possessed wings instead of limbs.
They are hunted during the winter for their skins, which are very useful in mannfactures; and for their flesh which is good eating. The chase of these animals is a laborious employment, as much cure is necessary in order to get near them. They are shot with rifle-barrelled guns. They generally produce two young.ones at a birth; and are said to be long-lived.
The height of the Nyl-ghau is somewhat more than four feet at the shoulder. The male is of a dark gray color and furnished with short,
blunt horns, that bend a little for. ward. There are white spots on the neck, between the fore-legs, on each side behind the shoulder joints, and on each fort foot. The female. which is destituto of horns, is of a pale brown color, with two white and three black bars on the fore part of each foot, immediately above the hoofs. On the neck and part of the back of each is a short mane; and the fore part of the
throat has a long tuft of black hairs. The tail is long and tufted at the end.
Although the Nyl-ghau is reported to be an exceedingly vicious creature, yet one of these animals which was in the possession of Dr. William Hunter, was quite tame and docile. It was pleased with every kind of familiarity, alwavs licked the hand which either stroked it or
TBL NYL GBAU.
gave it bread, and never once attempted to use its horns offensively. It seemed to have much dependence on the organs of smell, and snuffed keenly, and with considerable noise, whenever any person came within sight. It did the same when food or drink was brought to it; and was so easily offended with an uncommon smell, or was so cautious, that it would not taste bread that was offered with a hand that had touched oil of turpentine or spirits.
In February, 1820, there was a Nylghau in the exhibition-rooms at Exeter 'Change. It had been there six years, and was tolerably docile, but capricious and not to be depended upon.
The manner in which these animals fight is very peculiar. This was observed at Lord Clive's, where two males were put into a little enclosure. While they were at a considerable distance from each other they prepared for the attack by falling down upon their fore knees, and when they came within a few yards they made a spring, and darted against each other
At the time that two Nyl-ghaus were in his stable, Dr. Hunter observed, that whenever any one approached them with a hostile appearance, they immediately fell upon their fore knees; and sometimes they would do so when he came before them; but as they never darted forward, he so little supposed this to be a hostile posture, that he rather supposed it to be expressive of a timid or obsequious humility.
The force with which the Nyl-ghau can dart against any object, may be conceived from the following anecdote that has been related of one of the finest of these animals that has ever been seen in England. A laboring man, without knowing that the animal was near him, and therefore neither meaning to offend, nor suspecting that he was exposed to any danger, came to the outside of the pales of the enclosure where it was kept: the Nyl-ghau, with the swiftness of lightning, darted against the wood work, and with such violence, that he shattered it to pieces, and broke off one of his horns close to the root. This violence, it is supposed, occasioned his death, for he died not long afterwards. From this it appears, that at certain seasons the animal is vicious and fierce, however gentle it may be at other times.
The first of this species that were brought into England were a male and female, sent from Bombay as a present to Lord Clive, in 1767. They bred every year.
Afterwards two others were sent over, and were presented to the queen by Mr. Sullivan. These were the two above described.
The Nyl.gbau is seldom found wild in any of the parts of India where we have settlements: such animals as are seen there bave been brought from the distant interior parts of the country. Bernier mentions them in his travels from Delhi to the province of Cachemire. lle describes the emperor's amusement of bunting them, and says that sometimes great numbers of them are killed. In several parts of the East they are considered as royal game, and are only hunted by the princes.
THE SCYTHIAN ANTELOPE.
The Scythian Antelope is about the size of the Fallow Deer, and of a greyish yellow color. The horns are annulated, about a foot long,
and bent in the form of a lyre. The head is somewhat large, and the neck slender. The tail is about four inches long; naked below, clothed above with upright hairs, and ending in a tuft. The females are with. out horns.
Several dreary and open deserts about Mount Caucasus and the Caspian Sea, and in Siberia, are frequented by these ani. mals. They chiefly confine themselves to countries where there are salt springs; for
on the plants that grow near these, and on salt, they principally feed. While feeding they frequently walk backward and pluck the grass on each side. They are migratory, collecting towards the end of autumn in flocks, which consist of some thousands, and retiring into the southern deserts. In spring they divide again into little flocks, and return to the north.
It seldom happens that a whole flock lies down to rest all at the same time; some of the animals are generally stationed on watch. When these are tireil, they give a kind of notice to such as have taken their rest, who instantly rise, and relieve the sentinels of the preceding hours. By this means they often preserve themselves from the attacks of wolves, and from the insidious stratagems of hunters. They are so swift, that they are able for a while to outrun the fleetest horse or greyhound; yet such is their extreme timidity and shortness of breath, that they are soon caught. If they be only bitten by a dog, they instantly fall down, and will not again attempt to rise. In running they seem to incline on one side; and their fleetness is for a short time so astonishing, that their feet appear scarcely to touch the ground. In consequence of the heat of the sun, and the reflection of its rays from the sandy plains which they frequent, they become in summer almost blind. In a wild state they seem to have no voice, but when they are bruught np tame the young.ones emit a sort of bleating, like sheep.
THE SCYTHIAN ANTELOPE.
THE GNOO, OR WILDEBEEST.
The Gnoo, or Wildebeest, inbabits southern Africa. At first sight it is difficult to say whether the Horse, Buffalo, or Deer predominates in its form. It however belongs to neither of these animals, but is one of the bovine An. telopes. The horns cover the top of the forehead, and then, sweeping downwards over the face, turn buld. Jy upwards with a sharp curve. The neck is furnished with a mane like that of the Horse, and the legs are formed like those of the Stag. It is a very swift ani. mal, and when provoked, very dangerous. When it attacks an opponent it drops on its knees, and then springs forward with such force that, unless he is extremely wary and active, he cannot avoid its shock. When first alarmed, its movements are very grotesque and are thus described by Cumming:
“When the hunter approaches the old bulls, they commence whisking their long white tails in a most eccentric manner; then springing suddenly into the air, they begin prancing and capering, and pursue each other in circles at their utmost speed. Suddenly they all pull up together, to overhaul the intruder, when two of the bulls will often commence fighting in the most violent manner, dropping on their knees at every shock; then quickly wheeling about, they kick up their heels, whirl their tails with a fantastic flourish, and scour across the plain enveloped in a cloud of dust."
When it is taken young, the Gnoo can be domesticated, and brought up with other cattle, but it will not bear confinement, and is liable to become savage under restraint.
There are several species of this animal, three being satisfactorily ascertained, namely, the common Gnoo, represented in the accompanying engraving, the Cocoon, (Catoblepas Taurina,) and the Brindled Gnoo (Catoblepas Gorgon), all three animals being in the British Museum.
The size of the Gnoo is about that of a well-grown Ass, that is, about four feet in height. Its flesh is in great repute, both among the natives and colonists.