Katni, 23 March 1893

Attentively we were expecting the reports which arrived only towards 9 o’clock in the morning with the good news that a tiger had been confirmed. Close to the spot where I had killed a tiger on 20th March we encountered the circle already completely formed in a grass jungle surrounded by tall trees. Hodek, who had asked for permission to ride  with the advance party of the shikaris, shouted to u from afar that a very strong tiger was inside the circle. He had already closely observed the tiger as it had jumped up just in front of his elephant during the formation of the circle. Having just arrived in my position, I saw the grass move in front of me, my hunter even claiming to have directly seen the tiger itself. Unfortunately the resident called me to abandon my position with the best intention and had me placed exactly on the opposite side which offered a much worse position as the first one.

A few seconds later I saw the tiger covered by the grass sneaking forward and induced me to fire which caused it to flee with a roar towards Wurmbrand who put a bullet in it. It recoiled towards me and I killed it with three bullets. Now it was time to examine it closely as Wurmbrand and I had fired from the same side. To my regret, the tiger had but one bullet on that side, above which were placed my three killing shots. As the tiger fell after Wurmbrand’s shot, I must have apparently and I have to admit that this fact made me quite a bit jealous for Wurmbrand’s shot as the tiger was an especially strong, beautifully colored male. The old guy must have lived through such a procedure as we discovered between the neck and shoulder a fully enclosed round bullet of a large caliber which once must have caused much discomfort.

The natives seemed not to like the hunt’s result as I had not killed a single one of the four tigers bagged during the last three days. They returned to the camp to where we followed them an hour later only for them to go in the afternoon looking out for a panther that had killed to the south of the camp. At our arrival in the camp, it was however reported that the panther had not been found and as a replacement a general shooting would be undertaken.

When we readying us for the shooting, I noticed that some people were setting fire behind the line to smoke out a burrow visible in the high jungle. My question regarding this received the reply that this was only a bit of play of some people. Reassured, we started the hunt in a plain at the shore of a larger river in which I bagged a beautiful Bengal bustard with white wings and a capital hog deer with high strong antlers and two small Indian civets, as well as various other small game.

Unfortunately, a large hyena escaped us in a strange way. I was just passing through a tall grass thicket when some elephant guides close to me shouted something in Nepalese to me and just then started to pursue a piece of game shouting and gesticulating. They had it soon surrounded. I asked the resident who was riding beside me what it was and he answered that it was only a small Indian civet that one could not see in the tall grass and that’s why it would be futile to ride to the animal’s current location. Thus I continued my ride but I was astonished and not particularly pleased, when I looked back, to see a huge hyena emerge and escape out of the easily reachable thicket. I could not send a bullet after it as between the hyena and my position were people and elephants. Clam and Crawford could only fire a few futile shots at great distance.

After the hunt had ended, people brought us two hyenas to the camp which had been smoked out and slain from the burrow we had discovered at the start of the hunt. Thus I had afterwards reason to be angry about not having been told the truth about the game inside the burrow as I would have assisted with great interest in the unearthing of the young hyenas. The hyena killed during the hunt must have been the mother of the young which were already of a size comparable to a grown European fox. In the evening we paid a visit to the camp of our elephants to observe them eating their meal.

Links

  • Location: Katni, Nepal
  • ANNO – on 23.03.1893 in Austria’s newspapers. The Neue Freie Presse reports about Jules Ferry’s funeral in Paris.
  • The k.u.k. Hof-Burgtheater is playing „Bernhard Lenz“, while the k.u.k. Hof-Operntheater is performing „Die Königin von Saba“.

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