Katni, 20 March 1893

The natives and namely their leaders had explained to us already the day before that the continuing rains made a dismantling and transfer of the camp impossible as all camels and wagons would get stuck in the mud and furthermore the wet tents would be damaged during the packaging. As they had to agree that the ground where we were offered little special hunting opportunities, especially no tigers,  and hunting results could only be expected at the next camp location, I insisted to break camp and to attempt to reach the next location, Katni, in any condition. After long discussions, I managed to persuade the hunting masters and early in the morning, they started dismantling the camp. The toughest outlook was the upcoming, long march of 23 km in a South-eastern direction; in compensation, the sun made an appearance and dried our soaking wet clothes.

We rode with the riding and hunting elephants in advance as a tiger had killed near the new camp location. The caravan was supposed to follow us. During our long ride we saw with apprehension the damage caused by the continued rain to the forest tracks. Everywhere there were puddles of water and mud so that our elephants sank in deeply. The otherwise dry gorges that crossed the tracks were at places filled with water to a height of a meter.

At the camp in Katni the message soon arrived that the caravan had become completely stuck in the mud and could not advance. As everything had to be packaged differently, it would certainly not arrive earlier than the next morning. The camels especially were slipping in the muddy terrain, so that they could not continue and the weak and badly fed oxen and bulls lacked the strength to draw the impractically built two-wheeled carts.

Sitting on bundles of straw, we were waiting while the shikaris went out with the elephant to confirm the reported tiger. Now and then arrived the first advance parties of the column, the coolies with their load and some soldiers of our escort. Thus we might have waited for about five hours, when the good news arrived that the shikaris had found the tiger and had encircled it. In the quickest pace possible for elephants we went to the location where we arrived completely shaken, but to our great satisfaction the circle was in perfect order. Quickly the positions were assigned and the usual work of the shikaris started.

The hunting ground was a very beautifully situated thick green grass jungle surrounded by tall shala trees and other trees unknown to me which had fragrant, pink butterfly blooms. The tiger soon ran away from the elephants, sneaked around in the jungle for some time and then advanced towards Kinsky who missed, only to retreat back into the thick grass; after some minutes it burst out again with a roar and attacked my elephant. I fired at the tiger now at the feet of my brave „Hathi“ that had not moved. The tiger then which had been hit in the shoulder and lay on the ground turned its head towards me, opened its mouth and showed me its teeth with a roar. A splendid view which made me forget to finish off the tiger with another shot, so that the mighty animal suddenly stood up again and, despite being hit by a second bullet from me, retreated back into the grass jungle.

This started a very exciting chase as the heavily wounded tiger defended itself very energetically and attacked everything that came within range. We were not allowed to leave our position in the circle as this would have opened up gaps through which the tiger might escape. Thus the shikaris rode into the grass to drive the tiger out. It was however already too weak to leave the spot where it lay and was defending its life only in a sitting position. An especially brave elephant attacked directly with a shrill battle cry which these animals trumpet out on such occasions. The elephant charged the tiger and inflicted a deep tearing wound with its tusks on the leg. But the tiger had enough strength left to jump at the elephant and bite its foreleg so that blood was gushing out in streams. After a few attacks of this kind the roar and the fight ended. The tiger had finally perished.

We could only observe the scene as a spectator and could not fire a the elephant with its mahaut and the tiger were so close to each other and we feared hitting either the elephant or the mahaut. The tiger, an old male of over 3 m, was the strongest one we had yet bagged; only after it had perished, could we observe the gaping wound in its flank which the elephant’s tusks had inflicted. But it too was in a bad state and held up its foot in pain and drank its own gushing blood with its trunk.

After the tiger had been photographed, we returned to camp where once more a tiger alarm in the evening provided a talking topic. The supposed appearance of a tiger created great excitement among the coolies until it became clear that the „tiger“ happened to be only an escaped bull that was fighting with another bull in the darkness.


  • Location: Katni, Nepal
  • ANNO – on 20.03.1893 in Austria’s newspapers. The Empress made a stop in Lugano, Switzerland, on her way to Genoa.
  • The k.u.k. Hof-Burgtheater is playing „Bernhard Lenz“, while the k.u.k. Hof-Operntheater is performing Massenet’s „Manon“.

Beli, 19 March 1893

During the whole night it rained incessantly. Towards the morning, the storm calmed down so that we could at least undertake a hunt, as no tiger had been confirmed, in the jungle next to the camp which proved to be almost bereft of game. One could only hear the sound of a shot once every half hour. When we intervened with the hunting master,  the maharaja’s nephew, he explained to us that he had predicted this but nevertheless led us to this hunting ground as he had been informed that a tiger was in this forest.

To offer a goal for all further discussion, he ordered to arrange a breakfast and rest to which I happily agreed, as during our previous expeditions breakfast had proved favorable opportunities in a change of our hunting fortunes and especially as we soon resumed the hunt in a better mixed jungle.

I had just passed a small gorge and the whole line had entered a jungle of very high grass and reed when I found parts of a cow killed by a tiger in the grass. I made the shikaris riding beside me aware of my find. Having examined the killing ground closely, they shook their heads and held a long discussion with vivid gestures among themselves which I interpreted that the tiger could not be very far away. The had the right wing of the line halt which had already entered the jungle, while the left wing which had lagged behind a bit was wheeled inward with me in the middle acting as a pivot.

Now came a moment which will always remain a black mark in my tiger hunts but for which Saint Hubertus will hopefully forgive his eager follower  As I knew that the wheel of the left wing would take some time, I was sitting carelessly with the shotgun in the hand in my hauda.  Suddenly I see a long yellow line in front of me in the grass. Jumping up and shooting happened in one instance, even though I had already realized that a tiger was in front of me. Thus I had not replaced the shotgun with a rifle in the heat of the moment but fired at a noble tiger with size 8 pellets. I quickly grabbed the rifle but it was too late. The tiger fled after the shot and disappeared into the tall grass. Deeply ashamed and also very angry about this incident which could only be excused in case of a very inexperienced huntsman, I stood there and shouted out with all the voice that my body could produce, thus venting some of the anger about myself „Bara Bagh, Bara Bagh!“ to inform the other gentlemen about the presence of the tiger.

The tiger fled away from me in a straight line and I feared that the circle would not be closed quickly enough. But the encircling proceeded at the usual order and speed, so that when the first shikari entered into the middle, the roar of the tiger joyfully assured us of its presence within the circle. Already when I was standing there with the emptied shotgun, I saw that it was an especially large tiger which we were facing and which did not make us wait for a long time but rushed, a beautiful image of force and strength, upon Wurmbrand who shot it in the leg just as it was started to jump. Roaring loudly, the tiger retreated into the grass, jumped at another circling elephant and finally perished from another shot.

It turned out to be the strongest tiger that we had killed up to now, an especially large specimen with a mighty head and long fangs, one of which was carious, a sign of very old age. During the opening of the stomach, a well preserved half of a cow with skin, head, ears etc. was found. Also found while puling off the skin were my shot pellets sitting straight on the shoulder.  I kept them as a sad memento. Overall, I was very glad that it was Wurmbrand who was the lucky hunter who bagged the tiger as he had not yet had the chance. The continuation of the hunt did not result in much game but at least representatives of a new species for us, two large Indian civets (Viverra zibetha) that are marked by intense and numerous dark spot and stripes.

Towards evening when we had already returned to camp a heavy storm erupted which continued to thunder without interruption.  The pouring rain was in no way helping in reducing the humidity in the camp still wet from the day before.

During dinner, there suddenly was sounded a tiger alarm. Frightened coolies rushed in with the message that a tiger had killed a bull and was sitting on it. The people, fearing for their own animals, made fires everywhere. The message, however, turned out to be false, so only a scared feeling lingered on.


  • Location: Beli, Nepal
  • ANNO – on 19.03.1893 in Austria’s newspapers.
  • The k.u.k. Hof-Burgtheater is playing „Das Käthchen von Heillbronn“ in the afternoon and „Kriemhilde“ in the evening, while the k.u.k. Hof-Operntheater is performing „Die Jüdin“.

Beli, 18 March 1893

Breaking up the camp at Guleria proved difficult as it was awkward to fold and roll up the wet tents. No message had arrived about tigers. As it currently was not raining, a hunt to the east;  the line had hardly been assembled when the mountains became covered again with clouds and a hard rain started to pour down which would continue the whole day, apart from small interruptions, and would become even more intense in the evening.

The terrain of today’s hunt was especially difficult as we had to cross a winding river with steep banks at least twenty times, hard work for our elephants. Furthermore, we had, for most of the time, to walk through a jungle of trees, so that the heads of the elephants and the knives of the natives had much to do.

Just at the beginning a tiger was discovered, the hunt for other game halted and only the tiger was sought out;  but as its tracks were soon lost, the order came soon to resume hunting all game.  I then bagged my first swamp deer which was only one year old but in its meat already as strong as a well huntable deer in our forests.  By the way, the thick jungle in which the natives had placed great hope turned out to be a poor hunting ground in game.

When we entered into a larger cattle track road, I saw a bird of the size of a dwarf bustard  fly away which I could not target. As the bird was very timid and did not tolerate elephants, I sneaked up to it on foot and bagged it to my great joy. It turned out to be a very rare ibis (Geronticus papillosus) with steel blue wings, brown body and red head.

At that moment a large eagle flew closely over me. I just had time enough to load with a fresh bullet to shoot it out of the air. During the hunt I had the misfortune, while a difficult crossing had sent my hauda into notable up and down shifts, to miss an especially beautiful hornbill.

The rain became heavier and heavier, the elephants grew tired due to the large number of obstacles and due to the wet, slippery ground. We were completely soaked to the skin. The belts and straps of the haudas moved more and more — so we finally arrived in a very miserable state at the camp at Beli. Here, the sight was very dismal indeed. Between the tents one got nearly stuck in mud. No fire could be ignited; everything was wet and the doctor ran around continually with quinine pills, attacking anyone with them who he met to ban the specter of malaria  which was very common here.


  • Location: Beli, Nepal
  • ANNO – on 18.03.1893 in Austria’s newspapers. On 17 March, the French politician Jules Ferry died from heart disease.
  • The k.u.k. Hof-Burgtheater is playing „Julius Caesar“, while the k.u.k. Hof-Operntheater is performing „Cavallaria Rusticana“ and „Rouge et noir“.

Guleria, 17 March 1893

The camp in Dechta Boli was dismantled early in the morning and then the whole caravan moved 13 km to the new camp at Guleria.

Immediately after our arrival, the shikaris set out looking out for tigers with a group of elephants, only to return three hours later with the message that they had looked in all suitable places without finding any tigers. By the way, the natives had predicted that Guleria would be more of a rest stop than a hunting terrain and added that the likelihood was small despite the inviting jungles.

In view of the advanced hour and the great tiredness of the elephants we made a day of rest in Guleria, which greatly aided the pachyderms much strained by the previous days‘ exertions. The involuntary pause of our hunting life — not without reflections about the respective advantages of the writing pen and the gun — was used to complete the mail.

With the approaching darkness came heavy clouds and a downpour started. Even if the tents proved to be impermeable to rain, we still had to suffer from this  disagreeable meteorological phenomenon, as all objects inside the tents, especially the clothes and underwear became completely wet.


  • Location: Guleria, Nepal
  • ANNO – on 17.03.1893 in Austria’s newspapers.
  • The k.u.k. Hof-Burgtheater is playing „Hamlet“, while the k.u.k. Hof-Operntheater is performing „Hernani“.

Dechta Boli, 16 March 1893

We were still hopeful to catch tigers. For this reason, the camp had not been dismantled. As at 10 o’clock in the morning still no message had arrived, the resident ordered a hunt into a favorable part of the forest, that is a place where tigers used to roam. We did not see here a single tiger during the day-long hunt but much other game; thus I alone bagged 10  chitals, 9 Indian hog deer, one muntjac, one boar, one short-toed snake eagle, one hawk-like eagle of species unknown to me (Spizaetus nipalensis), — part of the Accipitridae — and much other fowl among them a gorgeous vermilion red minivet. Prónay killed a swamp deer with six antler points.

This hunt went across an open forest with a grass floor. Then after a great turn and after crossing of a river it became a contoured terrain  with mixed undergrowth. A large part of the numerous game here escaped — what happened only seldom — through the line of elephants. Still I managed to my joy a coup double of a chital and a boar, which crossed in front of me in their flight.

Suddenly there was a false alarm of a sighting of a panther, but the agitation which took hold of us in expectation soon turned into tragicomic disappointment; the promised panther turned out to be — a boar!

The hunt took us to a peninsula enclosed between two rivers which brought the line of shooters very close together so that each wanted to preempt the other with shots but these were quick and bad shots. Here the rifle was fired at the largest distance, there in commotion a piece of game was hit b< multiple gentlemen.

A small adventure was reserved for good Hodek. He had asked my permission to participate in the hunt: alone towards noon he became concerned about the hides and skins which had to be hanged up for drying and packaged. His sense of duty made him separate himself to return to camp, after his hauda driver, the native who sat with him inn the hauda, was closely instructed about the one hour trip to the camp.  When we returned to the camp in the evening from the hunt, Hodek was still not there. The clock struck 9 o’clock, when he reappeared before our eyes, justly not in agreement with the mahaut time and again missing the way for so many hours on his trip across half Nepal.


  • Location: Dechta Boli, Nepal
  • ANNO – on 16.03.1893 in Austria’s newspapers.
  • The k.u.k. Hof-Burgtheater is playing „Kriemhilde“, while the k.u.k. Hof-Operntheater is performing  the ballet „Excelsior“.

Dechta Boli, 15 March 1893

As no tiger had killed, a general shooting was undertaken. We passed by a local village after crossing the river.

We could observe closely the poor reed huts as well as the primitive house and field equipment of the Nepalese. Around the huts, they have cleared some of the land of the jungle  which the natives cultivate.Despite their poverty and the feverish climate, the natives don’t look as worn down as their Indian neighbors, the Hindus. Many of the locals work with cattle and even take cattle from India on their pastures. But the sight of the herds is truly awful as the individual animals seem to consist only out of skin and bones. Sickness and predators namely tigers cause countless victims, as in the Tarai area cows and bulls are running around in a half-wild state, so that one often meets a herd in the midst of the forest far away from a settlement. Timidly, they run away from the elephants.

The hunting master led us into very difficult terrain in which we had climb regularly over ravines, inclines and gorges. It was said to contain bears; even if we had come face-to-face with  Ursus labiatus, we could not have shot it as we had all hands full holding on to the hauda to prevent being thrown out. As the order of the line had completely vanished as the smaller elephants could not keep up with the larger ones in this „crooked world“ (bucklige Welt), I asked the nephew of the maharaja to guide us out of this  wilderness into less difficult terrain.

Our wish was granted but this went against the original plans of the hunting masters. That is way we ventured rather aimlessly around in search of game without finding a good jungle. But the area offered something to hunt namely hares which we killed in sizeable numbers for India.

Finally it was decided to breakfast — always a good call — after which we did a nice hunt alongside a stream as the hunting masters recovered their bearings. At the shore we found numerous small game and once even — apparently — a panther was confirmed as suddenly the cry „cheetah, cheetah“ rang out. Many people said to have positively seen the panther, as it had occurred in similar circumstances, but despite the quickly formed circle with the usual skill, there was no result.


  • Location: Dechta Boli, Nepal
  • ANNO – on 15.03.1893 in Austria’s newspapers. The Emperor and the Empress will leave from Switzerland the next day, he returning to Vienna, she on her way to Genoa, with a potential stop in Lucerne.
  • The k.u.k. Hof-Burgtheater is playing „Faust“, while the k.u.k. Hof-Operntheater is performing  „Die Rantzau“.

Dechta Boli, 14 March 1893

Even though the camp in Barbatta valley had been well chosen and the surroundings were very promising for hunting as the events of the day before had shown, the camp was dismantled early in the morning and transferred 11 km east to Dechta Boli.

While the train column was going by the shortest way, we rode with around 100 elephants through thick jungle towards the new camping ground. Even though the hunting ground looked promising at first, we encountered not much game, so that I only bagged a crested serpent eagle (Spilornis cheela) and a muntjac. Only close to the river on whose bank our already nearly completely pitched camp was rising,  peacocks and jungle hens took to the air of which we caught a few.

After the arrival in the camp, I saw the head shikari ride towards the forest jungle north of the river followed by a number of elephants,  which made me conclude that there was hope for a tiger hunt during this day. I did not misjudge the situation as only two hours later a messenger asked us to follow the head shikari to a certain spot where they had encircled a tiger in the jungle, in the middle of a gorgeous forest. I stood in a thickly overgrown basin out of which after a short time the tiger came rushing out with a roar, only to turn towards Clam, after it had been hit by two bullets of mine. Clam killed it with another shot and it crashed down into the grass. All this happened in only a few moments. Jubilating the Nepalese stood around the strong tiger which they had confirmed so well. It was carried back to the camp on the back of an elephant — an imposing view — where it was placed into the hands of Hodek.

Every time he strips a tiger of its skin, the natives surround him waiting for the moment in which the taxidermist has completed his work. Then they rush in like vultures on the tiger to get a piece as tiger meat is said to have especially  great healing power. As arcana, the liver and the fat are treasured the most.

When darkness came, we could see a jungle fire far away — a spectacle one can appreciate here often as the natives burn down the dry grass to promote the growth of new sprouts.


  • Location: Dechta Boli, Nepal
  • ANNO – on 14.03.1893 in Austria’s newspapers.
  • The k.u.k. Hof-Burgtheater is playing the comedy „Die Welt, in der man sich langweilt“, while the k.u.k. Hof-Operntheater is performing Richard Wagner’s  „Rheingold“.

Barbatta Valley, 13 March 1893

Early in the morning, there was a vivid commotion going on in the camp at Dakna Bagh, which was to be dismantled and moved 10 km South-east to the Barbatta valley. The dismantling of such a large camp like ours takes quite some time and thus started already at dawn. Two hours before the departure, our tents were jiggled so the idea of rest and sleep became impossible. Firstly, they dismantled the cooking and dining tent, then the other dwellings and finally ours. In a long row stood the pack camels to be burdened with the tents. Each camel carries on one side the canvas rolled around the tent poles and on the other side the stakes in a large bag. The elephants are saddled, the draft animals put in front of the carts on which is the baggage and the tent equipment. What doesn’t find a spot in the carts is carried on the strong shoulders of numerous coolies.

Finally the caravan was ready to depart — a long colorful vivid column which we could observe from the height of our riding elephant. In the front, in goose steps, all elephants with haudas, then the camels with their burdens, then the coolies with objects of all kind on their poles, not excluding object for the most intimate purpose. Guarded by an armed escort follow the carts drawn by the most miraculous teams. Here one sees four ox and bull teams. There a two animal team formed by a bull and a cow shares the path and the burden. There a meager young head of cattle  is exerting itself  to draw a cart; on each vehicle a Nepalese official, called Babu, is throning over; there sits proudly the cook, well nourished as  it behooves,  Here bed blankets are fluttering out of a cart upon which guinea fowl is gaily cackling; Death bringing rifles are stored in intimate togetherness with cooking tools in this vehicle. That one carries the box with the literary utensils, the transportable wine cellar and all of Hodek’s poisons. Now and then one of the wagons will get stuck in the loose earth of the path and has to be laboriously freed by an extra team. After many dangers the column arrived in good order at the new camping location where the soldiers of the escort are quickly setting out the space and the tent city is quickly built in a charming spot of earth in the shadow of mighty shala trees.

On the camping site we were met with the good news that tigers were in the jungle where we hunted two days before. The shikaris asked to go out as an advance to confirm the tigers and if so, close the circle. We were expected to await good news and then follow on riding elephants; in the meantime we did what we could not abstain from, that is, we enjoyed eating breakfast. After the end of this, one after another of our entourage disappeared into his newly built home to enjoy a sweet rest. Soon the whole camp was in a gently sleep.

Suddenly we were shaken up — the news floated from tent to tent: six tigers are confirmed. All ideas about rest and sleep were at an end. Everybody rushed out of the tents, jumped into the saddle and off we went in the swamp region where a closed circle was already waiting for us. Here the six tigers were soon reduced to a single one, although an extremely strong specimen that received the elephants venturing into the jungle with a roar, immediately stood up and ran around in the high grass without becoming visible. Finally I fired into the thicket where I had falsely expected the tiger. Wurmbrand followed my example, missed until Clam, whose elephant was attacking the tiger wounded the tiger and finished it off with a shot.

Under a gorgeous sunset — the Himalaya, with a strong tempest coming up above it, was shining in livid colors — we returned to our forest camp.


  • Location: Barbatta Valley, Nepal
  • ANNO – on 13.03.1893 in Austria’s newspapers. Die Neue Freie Presse uses the Monday issue to continue Franz Ferdinand’s recap. In Switzerland, meanwhile, Emperor Franz Joseph paid a visit to Geneva.
  • The k.u.k. Hof-Burgtheater is playing the comedy „Die Tochter des Herrn Fabricius“, while the k.u.k. Hof-Operntheater is performing  „Gringoire“.
Franz Ferdinand's trip is continued until 22 February.

Franz Ferdinand’s trip is continued until 22 February.

Dakna Bagh, 12 March 1893

During the night it had been raining very much so that no tiger had been confirmed despite the smiling morning sky. The resident therefore proposed a general shooting that was to start straight outside the camp and proceed in a big half circle  and end back at the camp in the evening. Business kept the resident from participating in the hunt whose directions he transferred to the expedition’s doctor. The latter transfer seemed to disturb the natives. We too would have been under the competent direction of a Nepalese. As soon as the line had been formed, the first shots rang out at the plentiful game. I shot a strong boar, Clam a porcupine. Also shot were multiple deer as well as peacocks and francolins that flew up in front of us.

We might have hunted for about half an hour when to the right of me Kinsky fired a bullet and the cry of „cheetah, cheetah“ (panther) was heard. A huge commotion took hold of the long line. The shikaris shouted their commands, the mahauts incited their elephants with merciless beats to their fastest pace and I started to believe that the worst disorder, total chaos, had been created when to my surprise I saw a regular circle was formed and the shikaris rode in its middle to flush out the encircled panther. The speed and security in which the Nepalese manage to advance and withdraw the wings of a long line of elephants to form a circle around a certain spot is truly to be admired. The panther at which Kinsky’s bullet was intended had sought shelter in the middle of the circle in a small bush in a cat-like manner but soon jumped out and was now killed by Kinsky with two bullets. It was a strong male animal with clear beautifully speckled skin.

After this interesting „intermezzo“  our hunt was continued in which I bagged first some muntjacs that rose very close to the elephant and fled like hares, barely visible in the high grass. A chital with very strong antlers and three animals from a pack fell to me soon thereafter.

I was just occupying myself with the loading of the four pieces onto elephants when again bullet shots rang out in quick succession with the cry of „cheetah, cheetah“. Prónay and Stockinger had fired upon a panther in the high grass and missed. With my fast elephant I arrived just in time to see the panther sneaking away into the jungle. I fired and hit the panther, shouting at the others not to fire as the animal was already dead, when the panther suddenly rose again and with a mighty roar broke through the not completely closed ring.

Never to be seen again, I thought but I didn’t take the sharp eyes and the skills of the natives into account. While it would have been impossible for us to determine the direction the panther had taken, the shikaris took note and soon had encircled the fugitive again. This time too, he managed to break through despite being severely wounded and before we could fire a secure shot. It retreated, followed à vue in a wild chase by us to a porcupine burrow and was soon encircled again. The mahauts saw the panther go down at the edge of the tunnel and showed us the spot which I couldn’t make out due to the yellow grass. Finally, the situations proved too much for the panther and it emerged in full flight and attacked an elephant jumping with both forelegs onto the elephant’s back where it was finally caught by Pronay’s shot. Even though my first bullet sat in the shoulder, the panther had had the strength to escape twice and attack an elephant, — certainly a proof of an astonishing tenacity of life.

We allowed us and the brave elephants a short pause with a breakfast after the hunting successes, which may be justly be called well deserved. The collector’s drive, however, did not leave me completely alone during this pause so that I was always scanning the area for prey. Here I was very lucky as I found close to our location the skin of a 5 m long python in the grass. After the pause the hunt resumed.

The terrain we were hunting in was especially rich in game, namely in species that are very rare. Clam and I each killed a jerboa, I also killed two Indian civets; A rich booty for us offered a jungle overgrown with ferns and lianas, a favorite location of bronze pigeons and jungle hens. When these beautiful hens with their yellow and metallic gleaming feathers and the red crests walked in front of us, we could believe to be in a chicken coop. They fly as fast as our partridges. Usually, though, one sees them only seldom as they are very fast and always run away and only start to fly at the edge of the jungle o at a stream. We were, however, very fortunate to bag 52 jungle hens in total.

The day’s total result was 160 pieces among them 16 deer of different species. In the camp in the evening, the resident assured us — and the Nepalese concurred — that such a huge result has never been achieved in one day. No wonder that there was a very good mood among the hunting companions and the results offered almost inexhaustible topics for entertaining talks.

In large hunts one has to overcome numerous terrain obstacles, namely streams and deeply cut and swampy ditches and gorges. The streams cover the plain in meander curves. The banks are steep, fragile and have a sharp inclination. To descend over such a shore bank, the elephants stand at the edge and glide down on the front legs in an avalanche of sand and earth, while the rear legs wait until the front legs are on firm ground. Mounting a steeply inclining bank, the elephant presses its head, trunk and tusk against the ground, advances its fore legs and draws the rest of the boy after it.


  • Location: Dakna Bagh, Nepal
  • ANNO – on 12.03.1893 in Austria’s newspapers. Die Neue Presse offers a recap of Franz Ferdinand’s journey from Bombay to Agra. Empress Elisabeth, it is said, will continue her journey after her ongoing stay in Switzerland to Genoa and then by ship to Corfu.
  • The k.u.k. Hof-Burgtheater is playing the tragedy “Der Erbförster“ and the comedy „Krieg im Frieden“, while the k.u.k. Hof-Operntheater is performing Meyerbeer’s opera „Die Hugenotten“.
Die Neue Presse 12 March 1893 - Franz Ferdinand's journey from Bombay to Agra.

Die Neue Presse 12 March 1893 – Franz Ferdinand’s journey from Bombay to Agra.

Die Neue Freie Presse - Recap of Franz Ferdiand'S trip from Bombay to Agra, conitunued

Die Neue Freie Presse – Recap of Franz Ferdiand’s trip from Bombay to Agra, conitunued.



Dakna Bagh, 11 March 1893

The evening before the sky had been completely clear and a sea of stars were twinkling down on us. During the night the weather changed, though. A torrential rain awakened us from our sleep and also in the morning it was raining cats and dogs. Nevertheless it was time to hunt and even more so as two good messages arrived during breakfast. The first one said that a tiger had caught a head of cattle in a small settlement about 15 km distant from the camp and had been confirmed by the peasants. The second one said that hunters sent out with elephants near the camp had seen two tigers enter the jungle and had encircled them there on the spot. No time to hesitate. Quickly we mounted the fast elephants and hurried to the spot where the circle had been formed.

The resident quickly assigned every one to a position, the remaining gaps were closed by riding elephants and three shikaris advanced like the day before into the interior of the circle. On my right side there was a young forest, on my left a jungle of high reeds. After only a few moments I heard elephant guides shout on my right, their animals being in commotion and through the reeds I see a tiger-like predator flee towards the jungle. In the moment when it wanted to jump into the jungle, I shot two times and thought to have scored. The shikaris were still running around in the grass and the reeds until Kinsky and three of his neighbors fire when I saw the grass in the jungle move as if a large head of cattle was dying. I rode to the spot and found a very strong, already dying panther there killed by Kinsky, while on the spot where I had fired lay an extremely strong, dark colored panther with two shots in the chest. The two bullets entered so close next to each other that they were found one on top of the other on the rear shoulder blade when the panther was prepared. The error of the shikaris to initially take panthers for tigers can be explained by the rare strong size of the panthers. Killing a panther filled me with even more joy as it was my first kill of one.  But it was far from being over yet! Better things were bound to come.

The hunting council consisting of the resident and local leaders of the expedition decided to go after the tiger that had eaten a peasant’s head of cattle for breakfast despite the distance of 15 km. What matters distance to enthusiastic Nimrods if there is hope to catch a tiger!

When we arrived on the spot, the shikaris who were meeting us reported good news of three confirmed tigers but difficulties with the jungle. The first part of the message was electrifying, so we could hardly await the arrival of all elephants. The second message was not discouraging even if crossing the jungle was very difficult. We had to enter a thick forest overgrown with lianas which offered a picturesque view but also forced us to fight for every step. Elephants and knives had to work together to create a path. A consequence of the impenetrable thicket was that a shikari with his assigned shooters, among them Wurmbrand, Clam and Kinsky, lost his bearing and I arrived only with Prónay and the English gentlemen on the spot where the circle was to be closed.

The tall grass thicket in which the tiger was said to be had a diameter of barely 50 paces and formed a regular circle enclosed by a dense ring of trees. Before one could get to track the tigers, the elephants had to do hard work. They had to crush all trees at the edge of the jungle on a 10 meter band so that a tiger could not escape under the cover of a tree and there was no obstacle in the way in case a tiger attacked an elephant. In the incredible short time of a quarter of an hour this Herculean task was completed. The elephants pushed their head and tusks against the strongest trees, snapping them like straws. Bushes and smaller trees were rooted out with the help of the trunk. It seemed like this work was effortless for these mighty animals.

After the elephants had also trampled down the grass in front of the line of shooters, the shikaris advanced towards the middle of the jungle. One of the elephants soon trumpeted to mark the presence of a tiger that quickly tried to escape in full flight between me and one of the English gentlemen. Terrified by the sudden appearance of the tiger, some of the younger elephants started to break but where brought back in line by hard beatings. My elephant stood still like a pillar. Forced back by the shouting, the tiger returned into the jungle but not before my neighbor had tried to fire just before me in the heat of the moment. Fortunately, he missed and I sent a bullet after the tiger which was answered with a roar out of the jungle cover.  The shikaris rode incessantly within the thicket so that soon after the first tiger a second one ran out on which I fired twice and Crawford once.

Led by the shots into the right direction the lost shooters finally arrived and took up their positions in the circle whereas Clam and Kinsky  came to stand beside me. Within the circle, the level of activity rose. The elephants trumpeted, the tigers roared. Suddenly, a tiger turned towards a retreating elephant and jumped on its back clawing both paws in it.

Similarly critical was the situation when an elephant fell during a sharp turn and was attacked by a wounded tiger which put the mahaut and the shikari in danger to be thrown down and caught by the tiger. These serious Intermezzi ended without accident as the tigers aborted  their attacks and returned into the grass where I hit the already wounded tiger. Kinsky shot, shortly after he arrived there, the tiger wounded by me — a splendid specimen. A few minutes later two healthy roaring tigers darted out in close sequence in huge leaps towards Clam’s elephant. Crawford killed one, Clam the other beast.

On the other side of the circle in the mean time, a rapid fire was opened which resulted in a shot up minor tiger in tatters which was awarded to the English doctor of the expedition. The participation of the doctor in the hunt did not find the approval of my personal huntsman who was of the opinion that a doctor should stay in camp with the wounded. Fortunately there were none despite some of the gentlemen eagerly shooting at every bush that seemed to move and even the heavy paradox rifle of one of the shooters sent its load directly above our heads. No consideration was taken in terms of who was closest to a tiger and who was therefore suited to shoot. But we always knew who among us had shot first and who scored, so that there was no doubt, as we furthermore knew our own shots, that I had shot two and Clam one tiger. Otherwise it would have been difficult to decide as all tigers were full of holes like a sieve.

Thus today too resulted in five tigers. To catch in two days of not particularly favorable weather ten tigers and two panthers was indeed hunter’s luck that nobody of us had dared to dream about.  This splendid result could only be achieved by excellent organization of the hunts, the skill and enthusiasm of the natives whom I can not credit high enough As the brave hathis (elephants) had especially distinguished themselves, we dispensed them as a reward from a planned general shooting and returned directly linea recta to the camp where we sent a courier to the 41 km distant telegraph office to transmit our hunting successes  home.

Hodek used his artistic hands on the bagged tigers while we duly celebrated the day’s results.


  • Location: Dakna Bagh, Nepal
  • ANNO – on 11.03.1893 in Austria’s newspapers.
  • The k.u.k. Hof-Burgtheater plays “Der Veilchentreffer“, while the k.u.k. Hof-Operntheater is performing Massenet’s „Manon“.
Th Wiener Salonblatt reports which Royals have announced their attentance in the world fair in Chicago besides Franz Ferdinand.

Th Wiener Salonblatt of 12 March 1893, p.3, reports which Royals have announced their attendance in the world fair in Chicago besides Franz Ferdinand.