THE WANDERINGS OF AN ELEPHANT HUNTER
BY W. D. M. BELL
THE WANDERINGS OF AN ELEPHANT HUNTER – HUNTING THE BIG BULL ELEPHANT The most interesting and exciting form of elephant-hunting is the pursuit of the solitary bull. These fine old patriarchs stand close on twelve feet high at the shoulder and weigh from twelve thousand to fourteen thousand pounds or more, and carry tusks from eighty to one hundred and eighty pounds each. They are of great age, probably a hundred or a hundred and fifty years old. These enormous animals spend their days in the densest part of the bush and their nights in destroying native plantations.
It is curious that an animal of such a size, and requiring such huge quantities of food, should trouble to eat ground nuts—or peanuts, as they are called in this country. Of course, he does not pick them up singly, but plucks up the plant, shakes off the loose earth and eats the roots with the nuts adhering to them. One can imagine the feelings of a native when he discovers that during the night his plantation has been visited by an elephant.
The dense part of the bush where the elephant passes his day is often within half a mile of his nightly depredations, and it is only through generations of experience that these wicked old animals are enabled to carry on their marauding life.