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
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.