Page:Lake Ngami.djvu/512

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these parts, has already earned for itself a sufficiently bad name for ferocity, one must not attribute the whole of the casualties that occur on the Teoge to willful attacks on the part of the animal; for, owing to the narrowness of the stream, it doubtless, at times, happens that, on coming to the surface to breathe, it accidentally encounters a canoe, and in its fright, or, it may be, in playful frolic, upsets it.

The colonists, and others who are possessed of guns, most commonly shoot the animal from the shore; and this is not a matter of any great difficulty, for when it comes to the surface, either to breathe or for amusement, "a single shot through, or under the ear," as Captain Harris truly says, "is fatal to the Behemoth." If there are several "gunners," and they station themselves on the opposite sides of the pool where the hippopotami are congregated (in which case the animals, when rising to the surface, invariably come within range of one or other of the party), great slaughter may be committed.

Should the hippopotamus be killed outright, it usually sinks, but in about half a day reappears at the surface; and, in order eventually to secure the carcass, it is only necessary to keep a sharp look-out in the stream below.

Shooting the hippopotamus from the shore is attended with but little danger. Accidents, however, do at times occur.

"A native," says Mr. Moffat, "with his boy, went to the river to hunt sea-cows. Seeing one at a short distance below an island, the man passed through a narrow stream to get nearer to the object of his pursuit. He fired, but missed, when the animal immediately made for the island. The man, seeing his danger, ran to cross to the opposite bank of the river; but, before reaching it, the sea-cow seized him, and literally severed his body in two with his monstrous jaws.

Various devices are resorted to by the natives of Southern Africa to destroy the hippopotamus. At times he is entrap-