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I cannot conclude the present article without a remark on the bar. barous mode of slaughtering Oxen adopted in England. Drawn with his horns to a ring, this wretched animal has his head sometimes shattered to pieces by the butcher's axe before he falls. Three or four blows are often insufficient to deprive him of sensation, and it not un frequently happens, that after the first or second blow he breaks loose from his murderers, and has to be seized and tied up afresh. Those who have heard his groaps and bellowings on these occasions, will easily be convinced of the agony he undergoes. The Portuguese şlay their Oxen by passing a sharp knife through the vertebræ of the neck into the spine, which causes instant death. Lord Somerville took with him to Lisbon a person to be instructed in this method of " laying down cattle," as it is termed there: this he did in the hope that the slaughtermen might be induced to adopt the same mode; but, with unbeard-of stupidity and prejudice, they have hitherto refused to adopt it; nor will they probably ever do it, unless compelled by an act of the legislature. The Spaniards at home, and in their colonies, still keep up their barbarous custom of bull-fights.
The horns of the Arnee are long, erect, and semilunar, flattened and annularly wrinkled, with smooth, round approaching points. A British officer, who found one of these animals in the woods in the country above Bengal, says, that its form seemed to partake of those of a Horse, Bull, and Deer; and that it was a very bold and daring animal.
This is by far the largest animal of the cattle tribe that has hitherto been discovered, its usual height being from twelve to fifteen feet. It is an inhabitant of various parts of India north of Bengal, and is very seldom seen within the European settlements.
A herd of Arnees was, not many years ago, observed by a body of British troops, in one of the inland provinces of Hindostan, and they excited no small alarm in the whole corps. The herd no sooner perceived the men, advancing than they lifted up their heads, ran off to a small distance, then wheeled about, seemingly to reconnoitre; and advancing in a body as if to attack, had such a formidable and warlike
appearance and withal of a kind so entirely new, that no person present could form an idea what it might mean. Their horns, each at least two feet long, rose to a great height in the air, and did not permit the troops to see distinctly whether men were mounted on the animals or not; but in a short time they galloped off and disappeared.
In the year 1790 or 1791, the crew of the Hawkesbury East Indiaman, whilst she was going up the river Ganges, and at the distance of about fifty miles below Calcutta, observed one of these animals floating in the river, still alive. A boat was immediately hoisted out, in order to
chase it. A noose was soon thrown across its horns; and the Arnee was dragged to the ship's side, hoisted on deck, killed, cut up, and afterwards cooked for the use of the ship's company, who found its flesh to be a most delicate food. The animal was as big as an immensely large ox, though it was believed, from its appearance, to have been not more than two years old. When cut up, it was found to weigh three hun. dred and sixty pounds per quar.
ter, making one thousand four hundred and forty pounds of beef in the whole carcass.
On an inquiry made by Dr. Anderson, of gentlemen who had been in India, respecting cattle of large size in that part of the world, some of them mentioned animals of this kind, which they said were kept by the native princes chiefly for parade, under the name of fighting bullocks. A convincing proof that these animals are kept by the princes, and probably for parade is obtained from an Indian painting, in which
THE AMERICAN BISON.
three of them are very distinctly delineated. This painting represents one of those entertainments that are given by the Indian princes for the amusement of their subjects, similar to the fights that were exbibited for the same purpose on the Arena at Rome. An Elephant is figured in the act of contending with two tigers; and, among the number of objects assembled, there are three Arnees; these appear to be waiting apart, each under the guidance of a leader, who is seated upon his back, and has hold of a bridle in the animal's mouth. This painting is the property of Gilbert Innes, Esq., of Stow, near Edinburgh.
THE AMERICAN BISOX.
THE AMERICAN BISOX.
The American Bison has short rounded horns, pointing outwards. It is covered, in many parts, with long shaggy hair, and has a high protuberance on the shoulders. The fore parts of the body are ex. cessively thick and strong; and the hinder parts are compartively very slender.
In the interior regions of North America immense herds of Bisons are frequently seen. They herd in the open savannahs morning and evening; and, retire during the sultry parts of the day, to rest near shady rivulets and streams of water. In the moist land they frequently leave so deep an im. pression of their feet, as to be traced and shot by the artful Indians. In this undertaking, however, it is necessary that the men should be particularly careful, for, when they are only wounded the animals become excessively furious. The hunters go against the wind, as the faculty of smell in the Bisons is so exquisite, that the moment they get scent of their enemy they retire with the utmost precipitation. In taking aim the hunter directs his piece to the hollow of the shoulder, by which means he generally brings down the animal at one shot; but if not killed, the Bison frequently runs upon him, and with its horns and hoofs, tears him in pieces, or tramples him to death.
These animals are so amazingly strong, that when they flee through the woods from a pursuer, they frequently brush down trees as thick as a man's arm; and, be the snow ever so deep, such are their strength and agility, that they are able to plunge through it much faster than the swiftest Indian can run in snow-shoes. “To this (says Mr. Hearne) I have many times been an eye-witness. I once had the vanity to think that I could have kept pace with them; but though I was at that time celebrated for running fleetly in snow-shoes, I soon found that I was no match for the Bisons, notwithstanding they were then plunging through such deep snow, that their bellies made a trench as large as if many heavy sacks bad been hauled through it."
In the western part of the United States the hunting of the Bison
is a common em. ployment of the natives. They draw up in a large square, and commence their operations by setting fre to the grass, which, at certain seasous, is very long and dry. As the fire burns onward they advance, closing their ranks as they proceed. The animals, alarmed by the light, gallop con fusedly about till they are hemmed'in so close, that frequently not a sin. gle beast is able to
escape. One of the most exciting sports in the world, is to hunt them
and, as soon as the animals smell them, they instantly seek to escape; and the sight of the horses ir.creases their fear, but the majority of the Bisons are, at a certain time of the year, so fat and unwieldy, as easily to be enticed to slacken their pace. As soon as the men overtake them, they endeavor to strike the crescent just above the bam, in such a manner as to cut through the tendons, and render them afterwards an easy prey.
The hunting of these animals is also common in several parts of South America. It commences with a sort of festivity, and ends in an entertainment, at which one of their carcasses supplies the only ingredient. As soon as a herd of Bisons is seen on the plain, the most fleet and active of the horsemen prepare to attack them, and, descending in the form of a widely-extended crescent, they hunt them in all directions. After a while the animals become so weary, that they seem ready to sink under their fatigue; but the hunters, still urging them to Aight by their loud cries, drive them at last from the field. Such as are unable to exert the necessary speed for escape are slaughtered.
The sagacity which the Bisons exhibit in defending themselves against the attacks of Wolves is admirable. When they scent the approach of a drove of those ravenous creatures, the herd throws itself into the form of a circle, having the weakest in the middle, and the strongest ranged on the outside, thus presenting an impenetrable front of horns.
"There is (says Mr. Turner, who resided long in America) a singular and affecting truit in the character of this animal when a Calf.