Page:Lake Ngami.djvu/139

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131
DEATH OF TWO FAVORITES—HYÆNAS.

With the steinbok I had very little trouble, a she-goat, whom I deprived of its kid, having taken to it kindly, and become to it a second mother. The koodoo did not give me much more trouble; for, after a few days, during which milk was given to it with a spoon, it would of itself suck from what mothers call a "feeding-bottle,"[1] and butt and pull away at it as if it was drawing nourishment from the teats of its dam.

Both the steinbok and the koodoo were very pretty creatures, and in a short time became very tame and affectionate. Their lively and graceful caperings, and playful frolics, were to us all a source of much amusement. Their end, however, was somewhat tragical: the steinbok died from exhaustion after a severe day's march, and the koodoo, which would have been a valuable addition to the beautiful menagerie in Regent's Park, I was obliged to kill, because we could not obtain a sufficiency of proper food for its maintenance, and had no room in the wagon for its conveyance. It grieved me much to destroy the poor creature, but there was no alternative.

Hyænas, called wolves by the colonists, were very numerous at Schmelen's Hope, and exceedingly audacious and troublesome. More than once, during dark and drizzling nights, they made their way into the sheep-kraal, where they committed sad havoc. We had several chases after them, but they managed invariably to elude us.

To get rid of these troublesome guests, we placed some spring-guns in their path, and by means of this contrivance compassed the death of several.

The manner in which the spring-gun is set for the hyæna is as follows:

Two young trees are selected and divested of their lower branches, or, in lieu of such, a couple of stout posts, firmly

  1. A bottle of any kind, filled with milk, and with a quill (enveloped in linen) inserted in the cork.