Their Length, From End Of Snout To Tail, Is Between Three And
Four Feet, While They Frequently Weigh Up To One Hundred Pounds.
girth of their body will often exceed the length by a foot.
they eat the many aquatic plants of the river banks, and the puma, in
turn, finds them as delicious a morsel as we did. The head of this
amphibious hog presents quite a ludicrous aspect, owing to the great
depth of the jaw, and to see them sitting on their haunches, like
huge rabbits, is an amusing sight. The young cling on to the mother's
back when she swims.
Farther on we stopped to take in wood at a large Brazilian cattle
establishment, and a man there assured us that "there were no
venomous insects except tigers," but these killed at least fifteen
per cent. of his animals. Not long previously a tiger had, in one
night, killed five men and a dog. The heat every day grew more
oppressive. On the eighth day we passed the Brazilian fort and
arsenal of Cuimbre, with its brass cannon shining in a sun of brass,
and its sleepy inhabitants lolling in the shade.
Five weeks after leaving Rio Janeiro we finally anchored in Corumba,
an intensely sultry spot. Corumba is a town of 5,000 inhabitants, and
often said to be one of the hottest in the world. It is an unhealthy
place, as are most towns without drainage and water supply. In the
hotter season of the year the ratio on a six months' average may be
two deaths to one birth.
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