PRINTED AND PUBLISHED BY S. BABCOCK.
The Lion is called the "King of Beasts," for all beasts fear him. He inhabits most parts of Africa, and a few are to be found in Asia. His appearance is grand and terrific, and his roar strikes terror into every beast of the forest. The Lion has a long, coarse, shaggy mane, and a long tail with a tuft of coarse hair at the end. The female, or Lioness, has no mane. Their feet are armed with strong and sharp claws, shaped like those of the cat. The color of the Lion is a light brown; when full grown, he will measure eight feet from the nose to the tail. If very hungry, the Lion will attack any animal that comes in his way, but he has often been known to show kindness to those who have been kind to him. The Lion is a long-lived animal. Pompey, who died in the Tower of London eighty years ago, had been confined there seventy years.
This animal is a native of Asia. The largest ones are found in India. Although a handsome animal, yet he is very savage and blood-thirsty. He kills all that come in his way, whether men or beasts, even if he is not in want of food. When hungry he hides in the thick bushes near a river, and when a man or a beast goes to it to drink, he springs upon him as a cat does upon a mouse, and runs off with him with ease, even if it be a beast as large as an ox. His legs are thick and strong, and his large claws very sharp. He has great strength and knows no fear; he even dares attack the Lion, though he has not much chance with one that is full grown.
The color of the Tiger is a bright yellow, with rich dark and black stripes all over his body, which run from his back down to his belly. His skin often sells for a high price.
The Elephant is the largest beast that now lives upon the earth. He is more than twice as high as a tall man, and his body is as large as six or seven oxen. His eyes are small, but bright, and his ears are quite large; he has a kind of nose, called a trunk, which is somewhat like a leather pipe. With this he pulls up grass and roots, and takes down leaves from the trees, which serve him for food. He also takes up water for his drink with it. Two large tusks grow out of the sides of his mouth; these are excellent ivory.
This huge animal lives to a great age; often more than a century. He is a native of India and Africa, and being very gentle and docile, is easily tamed. He is used for carrying heavy loads, and also to carry the hunters when they go out to kill Tigers and Lions, and other wild beasts.
No creature is better adapted to the climate in which it lives, than the Camel, and none is more useful. He is found in Persia, Egypt, Turkey, and Arabia; and as he is a beast of burden, he carries the riches of Asia across deserts that, without his aid, would be impassable. p
The Camel is rather higher than a man, and as long as he is high. His body is large, his legs slender, and his feet round, but very flat at the bottom, and soft and spongy, so as not to crack in the hot sands of the desert. He is able to travel several days without water, and when he approaches a spring he can smell the water more than a mile off. A large Camel will carry more than a thousand pounds on his back.
There is another kind of Camel with but one hump on his back, which is generally called the Dromedary.
This singular shaped animal inhabits the interior of Africa, and until very lately, has never been brought to this country. It is of a shy and timid disposition, and disposed to shun even the weakest enemy. It has a beautiful spotted skin, like the Leopard, and for this reason is often called the Camelopard. In shape he is an extraordinary animal, his fore legs being nearly twice as long as his hind legs. His neck, too, being quite long, when he holds up his head he is sixteen or seventeen feet high; that is, about three times as high as a common sized man. This enables him to reach the branches and leaves of trees, upon which he principally feeds. His short horns are twisted like those of the Antelope; and, indeed, in many respects, he resembles that animal; but he is by no means as fleet as the Antelope.
This beautiful but ferocious animal, is an inhabitant of the interior of Africa, though it is also found in several parts of India, China, and Arabia. It is much the same kind of beast as the Tiger, in its habits and disposition, being cruel and blood-thirsty; but it is not as large as that animal, and its skin is spotted, while the Tigerís is striped. These skins are highly prized, and often sell for large sums of money. They are very beautiful, being of a fine bright yellow, thickly spotted with black.
In India there is a smaller kind of Leopard, which can be easily tamed, and is then used for hunting the Antelope, and other beasts of the chase. It is carried in a small kind of wagon, chained and blindfolded, until it comes near the game, and is then let loose, when it springs upon its prey with great swiftness and fury.
There are several kinds of Bears, of which the White or Polar Bear is the largest and most ferocious. This animal is sometimes called the Greenland Bear, and lives principally on fish and dead whales; they seldom live far from the shore, as they depend upon the sea for their food; sometimes they are seen floating far away from the shore, on large fields of ice. In Russia, Tartary, and some other parts, there is another kind of White Bear, which lives on the land.
There is another kind, called the Brown Bear, which, though fierce and savage, never eats flesh of any kind. He chooses his den among the rocks, in some secret cave, or in the hollow of some large old tree, where he stays some months of the winter without food, and without stirring abroad.
The Black Bear is chiefly found in the forests of the northern regions of Europe and of our own country. He too, like the other varieties of this animal, lives a solitary life; he feeds on fruits, and the roots and shoots of vegetables. He is very fond of honey, and will climb the highest trees to rob the bees of their winterís store. Fish, too, he delights in, and is often seen on the shores of the lakes in search of them. When these fail, he will attack small animals and eat them, and he soon learns to love the taste of flesh.
The Grizzly Bear, like the American Black Bear, inhabits the northern parts of America; but, unlike him, very large and ferocious. He is nearly twice as large as the Black Bear, and quite strong and fierce; his teeth and claws are of monstrous size, and very powerful. These, with his great strength, make him a most formidable animal; but his tenacity of life makes him still more dangerous, for he can endure wounds which would kill any other animal.