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.

Links

  • 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“.

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