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distance for exciting the animal to exert this faculty. The muzzle is elongated, and, as well as the ends of the feet, is whitish or yellowish. The
THE SLOTH BEAR.
forehead rises almost abruptly from the muzzle. Upon the under side of the neck and breast is a white mark, resembling the letter V or Y. With these exceptions, the fur is deep black, with here and there some brown
spots, and is rather long, particularly round the breast, in old specimens. In bulk it is about the size of the brown bear.
The food of this species, in its natural state, consists of fruits, honey, and the white ants, which are so numerous and destructive. It inhabits the mountainous parts of India, where some cavern is its retreat. In captivity it is mild but melancholy. A pair lived for some time in the Gardens of the London Zoological Society, very sociably, and often lay huddled together, uttering a kind of rattling, but low, whine, or purring, which was continuous and monotonous, but not entirely unmusical; indeed, it was termed by more than one who heard it their song. The paw was generally at the mouth when they made this singular noise.
In India, bears will often continue on the road, in front of a palanquin for a mile or two, tumbling and playing all sorts of antics, as if they were taught to do so. I believe, says Johnson, in his "Sketches" of that country, it is their natural disposition; for they are certainly the most amusing creatures imaginable, in a wild state. It is no wonder that they are led about with monkeys to amuse mankind. It is astonishing, as well as ludicrous to see them climb rocks, and tumble, or rather roll down precipiIf they are attacked by a person on horseback, they stand erect on their hind legs, showing a fine set of white teeth, and make a crackling kind of noise. If the horse comes near them, they try to catch him by the legs; and, if they miss him, they tumble over and over several times. They are easily speared by a person mounted on horseback.
Capers of the World-Renowned “Martin.”
The drollest and most accomplished of all bears was the celebrated Martin, of Paris, whose dancing, climbing, curtseying, tumbling, begging, and many other antics, were the delight of every child in the metropolis, and of many grown-up children also. It is true, that the nursemaids endangered the lives of their charges, by holding them over the side of the pit in which he was kept; but as none did fall, they continued to amuse themselves and their nurslings at the same risk. One morning early, he very cleverly withdrew the bolts of his pit door, and sallied forth on his hind-legs to take a walk. The keepers of the garden had not risen; but the dogs were on the alert, and surrounded Martin, jumping and barking, half in play and half in earnest. This roused the men, who, rushing out to see what was the matter, beheld the beast in the midst of the canine troop, his tongue lolling out of his mouth, and an expression of fun and enjoyment in his countenance, which was indescribable.
Never was the malignant scowl, so often noticed in bears, from pulling the third eyelid half over the eye, seen in poor Martin's face; yet he be
came unpopular from the cupidity of one of the sentinels. This man fancied he saw a five-franc piece lying in the bear's pit, and determined to go during the night, when he would be on duty, and secure it. He accordingly provided himself with a ladder, and when the guard was changed, was found lying lifeless at the bottom, the coveted piece in his hand, which proved to be nothing but a large button. No marks of violence were to be seen upon his body, but the contusions on his head seemed to tell that he had fallen from the ladder when near the top, and so met his death. Whether he had been frightened or seized with giddiness, or whether Martin had shaken the ladder, no one could say; the animal was sitting quietly by his side when his fate was first made known.
The story fled like wildfire from one end of Paris to the other, and in a short time the populace were fully convinced that Martin had killed him; and this, combined with other exaggerations, induced them to flock in multitudes to see the murderous bear. Afterwards, two balls of arsenic, wrapped up in some sweet substance, were found in the pit, fortunately before Martin had touched them; and the authorities of the garden thought it prudent to remove him to a den in the managerie. The front of these dens was closed at night with a sliding shutter, pulled down by inserting a hook at the end of a long pole into a ring, which ring when down, served to admit a bolt. This did not please Martin, and the keeper never could accomplish the fastening, till some one else went to the other side to take off the bear's attention; for the moment the shutter was down, Martin inserted his claws and pushed it up again, and this practice continued as long as he existed.
The Unwieldy Hippopotamus.
Hippopotamus, the Roman name, of Greek origin, for the river-horse, is still retained by modern zoologists as the generic appellation of these animals. They are natives exclusively of Africa, where—though much more limited than formerly in the range of their habitat--they inhabit the banks and beds of the larger rivers, and of the inland lakes from the Gariep to the upper Nile and its tributary branches. The hippopotamus. is, however, not restricted to these, for it is also a marine animal. It is difficult to decide whether it prefers the river or the sea for its abode during the day. When there is an opportunity of choice, some select the sea, and others the river.
Scarcely, if at all, inferior to the elephant in bulk, this massive animal is much lower in stature, from the shortness of its limbs. Its body, like an enormous barrel supported on four thick pillars, almost touches the ground; the head is ponderous; the muzzle is swollen; and the great,
thick lips, studded with wire-like bristles, entirely conceal the projecting incisors of the lower jaw, and the huge curved tusks, or canines; the mouth is wide; the nostrils open on the top of the swollen muzzle; and the eyes, which are very small, are situated high on the head; hence, when in the water, the animal, by raising merely a small upper section of the head above the surface, can both breathe and look around-the body remaining submerged. The ears are small and pointed; the tail is short, and furnished with a few wiry bristles. The toes-four on each foot—are tipped with small hoofs. The hide is coarse, naked, and of great thick
This part is made into various articles, as shields, whips, and walking. sticks. Whips in Egypt are made of its skin, and form an important. article of trade with the Sennaar and Dalfour caravans. To render the narrow strip pliable, they must be rubbed with butter or grease. In Egypt, where they are in general use, and the dread of every servant and peasant, they cost from half-a-dollar to a dollar each. In colder climates, even in Syria, they become brittle, crack and lose their elasticity.
Appearance and Habits of the River-Horse.
Between the skin and the flesh is a layer of fat, which is salted and eaten as a delicacy by the Dutch colonists of South Africa. Indeed, the epicures of Cape Town do not disdain to use their influence with the country farmers to obtain a preference in the matter of "sca-cow's speck," as this fat is termed, when salted and dried. The flesh, also, is excellent. The large canines are much valued by dentists, as they make from them better artificial teeth than can be obtained from the ivory of the elephant.
The general color of the hippopotamus is dusky, brownish-red, passing on the sides and limbs into a light purple, red, or brown; the under parts, the lips, and the eyelids, are light wood-brown, with a tinge of flesh-color; the hinder quarters and the under surface are freckled with spots of dusky brown; the hairs of the tail and ears are black, those on the muzzle yellowish-brown. The male far exceeds the female in size. The hippopotamus is gregarious, wary, and cautious.
These animals feed chiefly on grass, resorting to situations near the banks of rivers which supply that food. In districts fully inhabited by man they generally pass the day in the water, and seek their nourishment during the night; but in localities differently circumstanced, they often pass a portion of the day as well as the night on dry land. In countries in which the night-time constitutes the only safe period for leaving the water, they are exceedingly wary.