Schlagwort-Archiv: Nepal

Bhanderia to Sohela, 26 March 1893

Today it was time to say good-bye to beautiful Nepal; saying good-bye to the Nepalese natives, namely the hunting masters and shikaris, those splendid fellows who gained our highest esteem during our all too short stay; saying good-bye to our brave Hathis that had carried us faithfully and diligently for three weeks on many difficult marches and hunts.

Filled with the most beautiful memories of this successful and extremely interesting hunting journey, of strange events and of a fancy-free life in tents in the natural jungle we left Nepal. As if heaven wanted to make our departure very painful, the day was gorgeous and cloudless. The blue mountains and the glacier peaks gave a parting salute to us. The green jungle with its mighty shala trees lay very invitingly in front of us, so that we started to another tiger hunt.

Almost everyone of the brave Nepalese came to express his regrets of our departure. The uncle and nephew of the maharaja had turned out in full dress for their final attendance call. The former wore a colonel’s uniform, the latter one of a captain in the Nepalese guard. The uniform consisted of a darkblue, enlaced coat and similarly decorated pants made out of a thick barracan cloth. The headdress was formed solely out of a gold circlet with a golden cockade which was ornamented more or less richly with gemstones to distinguish the different ranks. I presented the two gentlemen with my photograph and also a large gilded hunting knife, truly monstrous weapons, which caused quite a bit of pleasure for the brave gentlemen. They placed the weapons immediately on their uniforms and had their picture taken in this outfit.

Then it was the turn of the lower civil servants, the mahauts, the soldiers of the escort, with one word, everyone of this small people, in whose land we had spent three weeks in the most agreeable manner, came to pay their respect and to perform their selam, after which the people were paid. It was a pretty picture to see them march past, the mahauts on their elephants in front.  receiving pay and tips and expressing their thanks. A comical appearance made our native post master who, having just received his pay, asked for a certificate that confirmed the honest means of getting into possession of this sum.

The others all asked for written references confirming „good behavior“, a request whose granting kept us at work all morning as the writing, signing and sealing of the letters went on without end.  The people expressed real joy about the red-white of the stamp of my chamber administration as these were also the national colors of Nepal.

Finally the camp was dismantled and everything packaged. On our elephant, we waved to all our friends a final salute of good-bye; then the caravan started moving to cross the border and advance south towards Sohela, the next camp location. We had intended to hunt during the march on Indian territory up to Sohela as there were, just as in Nepal, favorable jungles but the Nepalese, uncle and nephew of the maharaja, would not move into Anglo-Indian territory for any reason.

Even though this interfered with my hunting plans, I could not feel bad about the Nepalese strict refusal to break their complete isolation of their country from the Anglo-Indian territory. The constant concern of an annexation of their country by England seemed to be all too real, given the experience of the neighboring formerly independent princes, and the systematic limitation of traffic between Nepal and India seemed to be the only policy to preserve, at least for the present, Nepal’s independence.

The friendly relations, however, which we had with the Nepalese, perhaps intensified by the personal presents of the hunting knives made the representatives of the maharaja willing to offer special concessions. They were as follows: The Nepalese agreed to supply one hundred elephants under the command of a native captain especially for the purpose of our planned hunt on Anglo-Indian territory. But this was linked to the condition that these people were to return on the same evening with their elephants back to Nepalese territory.

On Indian ground we were received by an English official and  a chief forester who is in charge of around 115.000 hectares of the most beautiful teak and shala woods, a most precious stock. These forests were operated by some sort of selection cutting, i.e. the demand for wood for the government is met by cutting the most beautiful trunks in a forest area without there being a cultivation in our manner. The rejuvenation  takes place by spreading seeds. The new growth is left to nature.

In view of this mode of forestry, the task of the chief forester is mostly  limited to the construction of roads to transport the wood out of the forest, to the cutting of wooden ties for the local railway currently under construction in the district and protection of the forest. Given these elements of his duties, the chief forester does everything he can to prevent forest fires. He even asked us vividly during the hunt to refrain from smoking — a policy limitation that was in sharp contrast to the surrounding free nature.

We moved first along a recently constructed road through the forest, then turned south and formed a line for a hunt. Then we crossed a grass jungle that was very rich in furred game and water fowl so that we shot muntjacs, black boars and swamp deer, but the game was relatively timid and many a bullet missed its target in the grass. Then the chief forester proposed to go to an especially fine jungle, namely a wood surrounded by a stream at whose shore tall reeds were growing . But the brave man erred in regard to the quantity of game in this part of his district. The elephants only managed to advance at great difficulty as it was necessary to incessantly cross swampy spots and fallen trees. With the exception of metal storks and cormorants, we found no game here.

Finally we asked the head hunting master to cease further hunts in this terrain. He then lead us into a water jungle in which our elephants were nearly forced to swim and where only frightened water rails took flight.  It looked like the head hunting master did not know his assigned district very well and only special hunter’s luck led us by accident to an especially suitable hunting ground where we not only immediately discovered game but also namely peacocks.

Suddenly I heard a peacock cry loudly to the left of me and saw a whole flock take flight, a certain sign that a larger predator was in the jungle. Truly, the welcome cry of „Bagh! Bagh!“ soon rang out and by instinct all elephants rushed concentrically towards the spot where the cry was uttered. The circle was quickly formed, two shikaris rode for a long time within it. Finally the grass started moving, the elephants trumpeted — but instead of a tiger it was a very strong male boar that moved towards me. I shot it and ask myself if the drivers had shouted „Bagh“ just for fun? Given the great experience of the Nepalese this did not seem plausible but must have been true as there was no more movement within the circle and all mahauts rode up with their elephants to have a look at the boar.

Then a panther jumped between two elephants. The panther had been hiding motionless in the grass, escaped through the line in the confusion caused by the unexpected appearance and fled into the neighboring jungle without any possibility of firing a shot. Now it was the turn of the brave Nepalese again to display their skill. In no time we had encircled the panther again and I fired when I could see its skin through a small opening. The panther was wounded, fled into the grass and was just starting to jump at my elephant when the resident standing next to me killed it with a shot. The panther was small so that the large caliber bullet of the resident smashed in the whole head while my bullet sat between the breast and the neck.

Even though there were still some very inviting jungles close by, the Nepalese asked to return home with the majority of their elephants in order to reach the Nepalese territory before the sunset. We could not deny their request and thus we rode on riding elephants to the camp at  Sohela, at a distance of 16 km from the camp at Bhanderia, while the Nepalese marched north in long lines. How much we would have wanted to follow our hunting companions north!

The camp was close to the railway line under construction that was intended to lead from Mailani, a station of the Rohilkund Kumaon Railway, north over the Sarda river to close to the Nepalese border. The construction of this branch railway line serves mostly to develop the boundless woods close to the border which constitute an important but currently non-productive capital stock.

The last evening in the tent camp we devoted to the compiled listing of the hunting results  of our Nepalese expedition. It refreshed such rich memories of those felicitous and happy days!


  • Location: Sohela, India
  • ANNO – on 26.03.1893 in Austria’s newspapers.
  • The k.u.k. Hof-Burgtheater is closed until 2nd April, while the k.u.k. Hof-Operntheater is performing the ballet „Excelsior“.

Bhanderia, 25 March 1893

Unfortunately this was the last hunting day in Nepal!

The brave natives did their utmost to get me a tiger for the farewell. In multiple locations of the jungle bulls were bound in place and in the morning there was truly a report that in two locations there had been kills. While the camp at Katni was being dismantled in order to transfer it to Bhanderia, 10 km distant, we rushed to the first location of a kill which was just in the place where I had shot the panther the day before. According to the shikaris the confirmed tiger was the one that had killed an animal the day before and dragged it for 400 paces. This seemed to be an experienced tiger that had probably survived a hunt because, when we arrived on the spot, the shikaris reported that they had seen the tiger but failed to encircle it. Probably the tiger had escaped — that they wouldn’t admit — in a very skilful way.

As we had to look for the tiger in the direction that fled, a line was formed and a beautiful forest crossed. It was evident to order not to fire on any other animals. By chance, as always happens in such cases, we discovered a large number of the most interesting game and within close shooting distance: capital chitals, muntjacs, even timid swamp deer dared to approach close to our elephants. After a long search, the shikaris gave up their hope of finding a tiger.

Breakfast was intended to sweeten the necessary consultation. I was already on the verge of enjoying myself. But no breakfast was prepared as the people in charge of it got lost with their elephants in the jungle; after barely half an hour, the carriers of supplies arrived attracted to the correct location by the hungry and thirsty cries of our English companions, so that we could breakfast for an hour.

In the mean time the shikaris advanced with the hunting elephants to track another tiger. We followed on riding elephants, passed by the empty camping location of Katni and finally found the shikaris at the shore of a river in a high reed jungle where they had encircled not a tiger but instead a panther. We had just climbed into our haudas, when the reed moved and the panther escaped out of the ring in full flight through a spot loosely guarded by elephants, without a possibility of firing a shot in the reed.

But this didn’t perturbate the shikaris used to such events — a few commands shouted out, the circle opened, the wings spread out anew and after about 200 paces closed again, so that only a few minutes later the panther was encircled again. It tried to escape again but was stopped by a dense phalanx of elephants and fled in the opposite direction only to be shot by me.  This panther was even stronger than the one from the day before.

On the way back from hunting the panther through a thick forest, consul general Stockinger suffered a slight mishap, as he was struck so hard on the head by a falling branch that one could see the  hit’s bloodshot marks on the forehead.

In the bright moonlight we occupied the new camp at Bhanderia south of Katni.


  • Location: Bhanderia, Nepal
  • ANNO – on 25.03.1893 in Austria’s newspapers.
  • The k.u.k. Hof-Burgtheater is playing „Rosenkranz und Güldenstern“, while the k.u.k. Hof-Operntheater is performing once again „Die Rantzau“.

Katni, 24 March 1893

The natives were expecting a tiger with full certainty as they had bound many bulls at a very suitable spot. When it was reported at 9 o’clock that a tiger had killed, the hauda an hunting elephants soon departed. We followed an hour later. Despite the head start, we soon caught up with the mahauts who did not seemed pressed for time as we found them and their elephants bathing in the river. Now it was time to wait until a number of elephants were sent out into the jungle in which they hoped to confirm the tiger.

Strangely, the people dislike being observed in the activity of confirming and encircling. We were thus waiting for some time in the shadow of tall shala trees until finally the head shikari signalled us to move. After only a few hundred steps we met a number of mahauts who stood around helplessly and told us that they were looking for the tiger but could not find it near the killed animal. Still during this explanation, we heard someone shout „bagh, bagh“ in the vicinity and suddenly the whole forest was alive. Out of all directions elephants approached with their guides who had been on the lookout. We too rushed as fast as our elephants were able to the spot where the shout of „bagh“ had rung out, while the drivers tried eagerly to form the seeming disorder into a circle.

My elephant advanced in giant steps across the thick tree jungle. I was fully occupied with protecting myself against the many branches hitting the hauda when I heard great cries on the left and just thereafter I could see in the distance a chital and almost in its footsteps, a strong panther cross in full flight. Its size made me first assume the panther to be a tiger and fired, despite the great distance, after having found the time to shout „Rok!“ to my mahaut. I believed to have missed as the panther continued to flee without being touched. Fortunately it ran in time against the just forming circle where the shouts of the elephant drivers made it reverse direction.

The panther soon emerged from under a tree where it had hidden in a cat like manner and advanced towards me. When I fired at the most suitable moment to fire two shots, my rifle didn’t go off as my hunter had in the heat of the moment forgotten to reload after I had earlier fired twice on the panther. I quickly forgot my anger about this incident as the panther turned again and passed me for the second time in flight where I shot it. The natives justly wait for some time after the kill of a big predator before they approach it. The wounded panther too rose again even though he had seemed dead, roared again when we came close so that I had to kill it with another shot.

The death of this panther made the people very happy as they claimed that this remarkably big male had caused much damage to the neighboring herds and had been known as a terrible enemy. The panther had an especially beautiful golden yellow spotted skin and seemed really to have been an old, very quarrelsome fellow as its whole body was covered in bite marks and the right fang had been shot away probably by a native with a shotgun as only the root of the teeth remained. Under the skin were numerous broken porcupine pricks.  Porcupines are said to be the panther’s favorite food, but it is obtained not without a fight as the proofs from this bagged animal showed.

The shikaris wanted to attempt another sweep to find the tiger as they claimed that the panther could not have killed the animal in the morning. A tiger must have done it as the bull had been dragged for 400 paces which a panther is not able to do. The line was formed and a forest jungle crossed. Some streams as well as various rather bad crossings were forded, no sight of a tiger, however.

Thus a general shooting was commanded. Directed by the resident we turned straight south, crossed a river and even the border, hunted for a while in British India and returned with a turn back into Nepalese territory. We did not meet new species but bagged numerous wild boars and peacocks as well as all kinds of huntable animals. We also killed multiple specimens of the beautiful small Indian civet.

At a distance of 8 km from the camp after sunset the line was dissolved and a very funny race of all 150 elephants to the camp was arranged by the natives. The animals moved at an astonishing speed, driven most fervently by their mahauts. We amused ourselves splendidly in this strange race despite our being mercilessly flung around in our haudas. I was quite proud that my big elephant was one of the first to reach the goal. He had, though, two native jockeys who, one on the right, the other on the left, continuously beat the thick skin of the elephant with a wooden cudgel to incite the elephant to run at top speed.

Returning to the camp we learned that during our absence a funeral had taken place in which the body of a coolie who had died the day before was burned.


  • Location: Katni, Nepal
  • ANNO – on 24.03.1893 in Austria’s newspapers. Archduke Karl Ludwig was presented the concept of „Old Vienna“ for the world exhibition in Chicago by the exhibition committee. He in turn has promised that Franz Ferdinand would pay a visit during his stay in Chicago.
  • The k.u.k. Hof-Burgtheater is playing „Faust“, while the k.u.k. Hof-Operntheater is performing the ballet „Ein Tanzmärchen“.

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.


  • 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“.

Katni, 22 March 1893

Today’s hunt was pretty much a failure, but the true hunter is well advised to remember the saying. „Every day there may be a hunt, but there will not be a catch on every day.“ The weather was just as splendid as it in in our country during especially fine September days.

The morning report said that a strong tiger had killed 11 km to the north of the camp. We therefore should leave quickly and go to the spot of the kill. The hunting and hauda elephants had already left, we followed them in a very pleasant ride through green shala woods to the hunting ground situated almost at the foot of a mountain. There we were received by the shikaris whose faces showed disappointment. The reported that they had already formed a circle but couldn’t find the announced tiger. The native hunting masters as well as the resident who had ridden with us were also very disappointed and after a long war council, had sent out trackers to check the most suitable places in the surrounding areas. Unfortunately in vain.

A breakfast had to save the situation. Afterwards, in want of tigers, there was a  general shooting with meagre results despite spending four hours on it. The good-natured natives were very unhappy about the day’s failure and sent out many people out on the same afternoon to search for tigers in order to promise with certainty a tiger the day after.


  • Location: Katni, Nepal
  • ANNO – on 22.03.1893 in Austria’s newspapers. Based on one of Franz Ferdinand’s own letters home, the Neue Freie Presse summarizes his days in Jodhpur and mentions the killing of a Tiger at the end of February.
Franz Ferdinand in Jodhpur and hunting tigers in February (Neue Freie Presse, 22 März 1893, S.6).

Franz Ferdinand in Jodhpur and hunting tigers in February (Neue Freie Presse, 22 März 1893, S.6).

  • The k.u.k. Hof-Burgtheater is playing „Kriemhilde“, while the k.u.k. Hof-Operntheater is performing Verdi’s „Der Troubadour“.

Katni, 21 March 1893

In the morning it was said that a strong tiger had killed during the night and had been confirmed almost certainly in a valley not very far away. Against the resident’s advice to send the hunter with the hauda elephants in advance and only follow-up an hour later, we preferred to ride along and were received at the location by the maharaja’s uncle with the message that the tiger was still young and  was staying at the spot of the kill. When the wings  advanced to form the circle, the tiger transformed itself into a panther,  and out of the panther into  — nothing. Rather disappointed we left the jungle but as the natives still counted on the presence of a tiger and assured us that one was in the vicinity, a line was formed and a hunt was started in a very open adjacent jungle where no other game than a tiger was to be shot at.

The excellent hunting instinct of the shikaris was splendidly proved as we might just have advanced for about half an hour when th cry of „bara bagh“ rose on the left flank. I was in the center together with Wurmbrand and Kinsky. We had to wait while the wings of the shikaris were ordered to close the circle.

My mahaut pointed constantly to a rather distant grass bush,  shouting „bagh“, but I could not see anything as I had a very bad position in the line in a small depression surrounded by trees. In order not to confuse the natives, I kept at my position and saw the tiger move between the trees at a considerable distance while the wings were closing the circle. At that moment, a shot was fired by Kinsky and the struck tiger fell down and lay down near a large tree. Shortly afterward, Wurmbrand on the left of me shot at a weak tiger that I could not see and that, also hit, hid in a grass bush. Immediately afterwards I saw a third tiger, very distant from me, move across a small clearing directly towards Clam who shot it whereas the animal still tried to escape near Kinsky’s but was killed by him,

During the wheeling of the left wing, there was a slight perturbation during which a fourth tiger managed to escape and Fairholme tried to encircle it with some elephants. Stockinger and Prónay wanted to close the gap but lost their direction and suddenly appeared  in the heat of the hunt in the middle of the circle and, meeting the tiger wounded by Wurmbrand, opened a sustained rapid fire on it, so that it, pierced by seven bullets, died.

As I saw that the hunt was over, I called Kinsky to come to me and showed him the wounded tiger he had shot in order that he might fire a killing shot. It was his first tiger, a strong female, the mother of the other two one-year-old tigers. The fourth tiger that had escaped must have been the third child of the tigress.

During today’s hunt — another proof of the skill, the quick orientation and the hunting instinct of the Nepalese — we have learned about a new uncommon method of encircling the tiger in a completely open jungle without undergrowth, as the tigers up to now used to be encircled in the thick high grass or reed. Unfortunately, due to my bad position, I had not seen much of today’s hunt but Clam told me that his view across a clearing offered a rare spectacle. When the tigress noted the presence of all the encircling elephants, she sat down, apparently determined to defend herself and her family to the utmost. She placed one of the young on her right, the other on her left, rose on her rear legs and started baring her teeth and roared loudly in all directions.

Unfortunately, during this hunt another elephant was wounded but this time not by a tiger bite but by a stray bullet which might have been deflected from a tree and entered just above the tusk into the elephant’s trunk. Also one of the elephant guides had been wounded by a branch that had been cut by a shot but the wound was minor. A few rupees in compensation served as the best remedy according to the man’s facial expression. Such wounds occur as one has to constantly shoot into the circle and the smooth shala and teak trees easily deflected bullets.

The old uncle of the maharaja was very indignant about the fact that I had not shot a single tiger but I calmed him with the assurance that I was as happy to see the gentlemen of my entourage shooting and had the line form for a general shooting on the way back to the camp. In the surrounding of the camp there was remarkably fewer game than around the first camps as the natives are much quicker to shoot. They still need a special permission to shoot a tiger which is given in case when a tiger inflicts large losses on the cattle herds of the neighboring settlements.

Unfortunately a hornbill was missed again; Fairholme bagged a black buck, the first we had seen in Nepal.

Towards the end of our hunt, close to our camp, two elephants started fighting one another without a known reason. One inflicted with its tusks a heavy tearing and bruising wound on the other elephant’s mahaut’s hollow of the knee and wounded the man so gravely that the poor guy had to spend many weeks in bed to recover.

In the camp we paid a visit to the poor wounded elephant and saw that it was being treated by the doctor. I admired the intelligence and the patience of the animal.  On the order of the guard, the elephant lay down on the right side and looked with smart eyes upon the doctor who examined the wound with a probe without finding the bullet. If the elephant was in pain, it only moved its lips but otherwise kept completely calm, also during the more painful washing and swabbing of the wound, as if it was aware that this procedure would be beneficial. The calm of the animal was even more to be admired as the tears that were flowing from the small eyes proved that the pains that the poor „Hathi“ had to bear were considerable.


  • Location: Katni, Nepal
  • ANNO – on 21.03.1893 in Austria’s newspapers.
  • The k.u.k. Hof-Burgtheater is playing „Bernhard Lenz“, while the k.u.k. Hof-Operntheater is performing Rossini’s „Der Barbier von Sevilla“.

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“.