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remained for several years without inhabitants; for its native possessors, the CafFres, had been expelled from it in 1819 by the colonist forces, and no other permanent inhabitants had yet been allowed to occupy it. The colonists were, indeed, forbidden to hunt in it, under severe penalties, and in consequence the wild animals had resorted there in vast numbers.
"The upper part of this extensive tract into which we now penetrated is an exceedingly wild and bewildering region, broken into innumerable ravines, encumbered with rocks, precipices, and impenetrable woods and jungles, and surrounded almost on all sides by barren mountains. During our first day's journey, although we saw many herds of large game, such as quaghas, gnoos, hartebeests, koodoos, with a variety of the smaller antelopes, there was no appearance of elephants; but on the second day, as we pursued our route down the valley of the Koonap river, we became aware that a numerous troop of these gigantic animals had recently preceded us; footmarks of all dimensions, from eight to fifteen inches in diameter, were everywhere visible; and in the swampy spots on the banks of the river it was evident that some of them had been luxuriously enjoying themselves, by rolling their unwieldy bulks in the ooze and mud. But it was in the groves or jungles that they had left the most striking proofs of their recent presence and peculiar habits. In many places paths had been trodden through the midst of dense thorny forests, otherwise impenetrable; they appeared to have opened up these paths with great judgment, always taking the best and shortest cut to the next open savannah or ford of the river; and in this way they were of the greatest use to us by pioneering our route, through a most difficult and intricate country, never yet traversed by a wheel carriage, and great part of it, indeed, inaccessible even on horseback, except by the aid of these powerful and sagacious animals.. In such places (as the Hottentots assured me) the great bull elephants always take the lead, bursting through the jungle as a bullock would through a field of hops, treading down the thorny brushwood, and breaking off with their proboscis the larger branches that obstruct their passage; the females and younger part of the herd follow in his wake in single file; and in this manner a path is cleared through the densest woods and forests, such as it would take the pioneers of an army no small labour to accomplish. Among the groves of mimosa-trees, which were thinly sprinkled over the grassy meadows along the river's margin, the traces of the elephants were no less apparent. Immense numbers of these trees had been torn out of the ground, and placed in an inverted position, in order to enable the animals to browse at their ease on the soft and juicy roots, which form a part of their food. I observed that, in numerous instances, when the trees were of considerable size, the elephant had employed one of his tusks, exactly as we should use a crow-bar— thrusting it under the roots to loosen their hold of the earth, before he could tear them up with his proboscis. Many of the larger mimosas had resisted all these efforts; and, indeed, it is only after heavy rains, where the soil is loose and soft, that they can succeed in their attempts. While we were admiring these, and other instances of the elephant's strength and sagacity, we suddenly found ourselves, on rising from a woody defile through one of the wild paths I have mentioned, in the midst of a numerous herd of these animals. None of them, however, were very close upon us; but they were seen scattered in little clumps over the bottom and sides of a valley, two or three miles in length; some browsing on the succulent spekboom (Postulacaria afra) which clothed the skirts of the hills on either sides, others at work among the young mimosas, sprinkled over the low and grassy savannah. As we proceeded cautiously onward, and some of the parties came more distinctly into view, consisting, apparently, in many instances, of separate families, the male, the female, and the young of different sizes, the gigantic magnitude of the leaders became more and more striking. The calm and stately tranquillity of their deportment, too, was remarkable. Though we were a band of about a dozen horsemen (including our Hottentot attendants), they seemed either not to observe, or altogether to disregard, our march down the valley." "A herd of elephants browsing in majestic tran
quillity amidst the wild magnificence of an African landscape," must indeed have been a noble sight, and cannot but feel pleased that the account closes without the information that the presence of the great destroyer, man, had disturbed so interesting a scene of tranquillity and enjoyment.
The young elephant at . its bir,th is, Mr. Corse states, about thirty-five inches high; the animal attains its full size between eighteen and twentyfour years of age. It begins to suck the mother soon after birth, and follows her with great perseverance. The calf, as the young elephant is called, frisks about in his rude way, and takes as much delight in gambolling as if he were a young antelope.
The mother, who seldom produces more than one at a birth, is very affectionate and fond of her offspring.
The old writer Knox states, that" the Chingalay s (Cingalese)report that the elephants bear the greatest love to their young of all irrational creatures; for the shes are alike tender of any one's young ones as of their own. When there are many she elephants