Eight Years' Wanderings in Ceylon by Samuel White Baker




















































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Few leopards rush boldly to the attack like a dog; they stalk
their game and advance crouchingly, making use of - Page 90
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Few Leopards Rush Boldly To The Attack Like A Dog; They Stalk Their Game And Advance Crouchingly, Making Use Of Every Object That Will Afford Them Cover Until They Are Within A Few Bounds Of Their Prey.

Then the immense power of muscle is displayed in the concentrated energy of the spring; he flies through the

Air and settles on the throat, usually throwing his own body over the animal, while his teeth and claws are fixed on the neck; this is the manner in which the spine of an animal is broken - by a sudden twist, and not by a blow.

The blow from the paw is nevertheless immensely powerful, and at one stroke will rip open a bullock like a knife ; but the after effects of the wound are still more to be dreaded than the force of the blow. There is a peculiar poison in the claw which is highly dangerous. This is caused by the putrid flesh which they are constantly tearing, and which is apt to cause gangrene by inoculation.

It is a prevalent idea that a leopard will not eat putrid meat, but that he forsakes a rotten carcase and seeks fresh prey. There is no doubt that a natural love of slaughter induces him to a constant search for prey, but it has nothing to do with the daintiness of his appetite. A leopard will eat any stinking offal that offers, and I once had a melancholy proof of this.

I was returning from a morning's hunting; it was a bitter day; the rain was pouring in torrents, the wind was blowing a gale and sweeping the water in sheets along the earth.

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