THE LION AND THE ELEPHANT
By Charles John Andersson
PLACES WHERE THE LION IS FOUND LION HUNTS IN AFRICA AND IN ASIA DISTINCT SPECIES NUMEROUS IN SOUTHERN AFRICA DESCRIPTION OF THE LION AND LIONESS THE FACULTIES OF THESE ANIMALS THE LION’S ROAR SIZK AND WEIGHT IMMENSE STRENGTH COMPARED WITH THAT OF THE BENGAL TIGER DOGS VERSUS THE LION THE LION’S PACES.
ALTHOUGH both in ” Lake Xgami,” and ” ” The Tiver Okovango,” many of my adventures with the Lord of the African wilds are recorded, much remains to be told of his habits, modes of life, etc., some of which, perchance, may not have been noticed by other traveler’s and sportsmen been noticed by other traveler’s and sportsmen.
The number of lions actually killed by myself have not, it is true, been very great. Neither inclination nor circumstances permitted me to devote much time to their destruction.
Neither inclination nor circumstances permitted metted me to devote much time to their destruction. When leisure permitted, the chase of the Elephant probably the most exciting and hazardous of African sports was my favorite pursuit; I may however safely say, I never hesitated to attack the lion when he crossed my path.
Still I have seen him lace to face when he has been infuriated by the anguish of mortal wounds, have felt his breath fanning my cheek in the dead of the night, have assisted in depriving him of his prey when maddened with hunger, have met him in the ready swamp and in the dense jungle, have “stalked ” the antelope in his company, have seen him pull down the stately giraffe, have roused him in the midst of his ” children,” and encountered him under many other circumstances and without taking undue credit to myself, I therefore think 1 am in some degree, at least, qualified to judge of the royal beast and his habits.
The lion is found from within one hundred miles or so of the Cape of Good Hope to the shores of the Mediterranean, in short, through nearly the length and breadth of Africa.
As regards the more southern portion of that continent, however, it is a very generally received opinion with both colonists and natives that there are two distinct species of this animal, viz., the so called ” black-maned ” and the ” yellow-maned” lion; the former being described as the longest in the body, and the latter as the larger in regard to general proportions.
The dark color of the mane of the “black-maned lion ” they furthermore say, is not attributable in any way to age the cause usually assigned by naturalist’s but it is of that hue from the first; and this, their view of the matter, is in some degree corroborated by a circumstance that came to my personal knowledge, and for the correctness of which I can vouch.
Two lions were shot on the same spot, and almost at the same instant of time, both were full grown; but one was young, whilst the other was so old that lie had merely the stumps of his teeth remaining, and yet the manes of both were similar that is blackish.
Besides the so called black and yellow-maned lion, the Anna Zulu Caffirs, whose opinions are by no means to be despised, distinguish between the grey or white, the red and the grey-necked lion (called by the Boers the blue necked), which they say is peculiarly savage; and, in addition, both hunters and natives make mention of a mane less lion.
In Damora-land again, the inhabitants speak of two kinds of lion. One of a whitish hue, mane less and very long in the body, and hence designated by them the Onkyama Omlaskv, that is the lion-giraffe; and the other as of a brownish, or of the usual tawny color, short in the body, and of a fierce disposition. This they call Onhyama Okomba.
But the late Sir Cornwallis Harris (then captain), who, as the reader may be aware, spent some time in Southern Africa on a shooting excursion, altogether gainsays the notion of two species of lions being found there; for, after telling us “that, with the exception of the mane of the African lion being often larger and of a finer texture than that of the Indian, attributable probably to the less jungle nature of the country it infests, and to the more advanced age to which it is allowed to attain, it is in every respect (and often in this respect also),
precisely similar to that found in (-Ju/erat in India.”
He goes on to say, ” But I need hardly inform the well-instructed reader that both the color and the size depend chiefly upon the animal’s age, the development of his physical powers ; and of the mane also, being principally influenced by a like contingency.
That, for instance, which has been designated the ‘ mane less lion of Guzerat,’ is nothing more than a young lion whose mane has not shot forth; and I give this opinion with the less hesitation, having slain the ‘ king of beasts’ in every stage from whelp hood to imbecility.”
In Northern Africa, again, it would seem the general opinion that there is more than one species of lion. M. Gerard, the famous slayer of these beasts, tells us, indeed, ” that no less than three species are found in Algeria, viz., the black lion (el adrea), the fawn-colored lion (el axfar), and the grey lion (el zarzouri). He, moreover, goes into many details relating to each, but his story is too long for insertion in these pages.
The lion also inhabits the hotter portions of Asia, amongst the rest, as said, certain districts in Ilindostan. In parts of Turkey, Persia, Syria, c., it is far from uncommon. What may be the case in the Holy Land at the present day, I know not; but from the frequent allusions made to this animal in the Bible, it would seem formerly to have abounded there. *
In parts, at least, of Asia, as in Africa, the idea is likewise entertained that there is more than one species of lion. Layard, for instance, in his celebrated work, ” Nineveh and Babylon,” after telling us that, on the River Karoom, he had seen lions with a long black mane, goes on to say, “
The inhabitants of the country make a distinction between them and the common maneless lion; the former are * kqfir’ or infidels, the others Mussulmans, by a proper remonstrance, and at the same time pronouncing the profession of faith, a true believer may induce the one to spare his life, but the unbelieving lion is inexorable.”
Though the belief of there being two. or more kinds of lion, not only in Southern and Northern Africa, but in Asia, is, as shewn, pretty general, yet great naturalists, on the contrary, assure us there is only one species in the world, and that the difference observable amongst these^’ animals, in regard to size, color, etc., is solely attributable to the effects of climate, soil, food, age, or other circumstance’s.
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About this Item
London, Hurst and Blackett, 1873. 8vo. Recent full dark green morocco, spine with raised bands and lettered in gilt, inner dentelles gilt, marbled endpapers, all edges gilt; pp. xxii, 386, [16, advertisements], 4 wood-engraved plates, including frontispiece; contemporary ownership inscription to half-title (this with light offsetting from previous endpapers), frontispiece with light trace of humidity in upper margin, otherwise very good. Very rare first edition of a classic of African big game hunting, posthumously published. Andersson’s notes are on lion and elephant hunting. ‘He concludes with an interesting chapter on fatal encounters with elephants and the dangers of the hunt’ (Czech). Andersson was a Swedish explorer, trader and big game hunter. He was the illegitimate child of the British bear hunter Llewellyn Lloyd and Lloyd’s Swedish servant – a hunting accident. In 1867 he travelled towards the Portuguese settlements in modern Angola in order to establish a new trade route. He died of a serious illness and was buried there. Mendelssohn p. 42; Czech p. 6.