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    In a wild state, however, they subsist themselves principally by preying upon the inferior animals, feeding with nearly equal relish upon the warm and palpitating fibres of a fresh and almost living victim, and upon the mangled carcass which taints the air with its unsavoury exhalations. Their habitation is in the depths[85] of the forest, where the larger species form themselves dens in the close and thick underwood, while the smaller burrow in the earth for shelter. Their lengthened muzzle and the great extent to which all the cavities connected with the nose are dilated, are admirably fitted for giving to the organ of smell the fullest developement of which it is capable. It is the perfection of this organ, combined with the general lightness and muscularity of their frame and the firm agility of their elongated limbs, which renders many of the species such excellent hunters, by enabling them to scent their prey at an immense and sometimes almost incredible distance, and to run it down in the chase with indefatigable swiftness and unrelaxing pertinacity.
    If the Eagles are considered as bearing a close analogy to the more noble and perfect among the Carnivorous Quadrupeds, such as the Lion and the Tiger, which live in solitary grandeur and attack none but living victims, the Vultures may, with equal propriety, be regarded as the representatives of the Jackal, the Wolf, the Hy?na, and other inferior animals of that Order, which hunt in packs and prey upon carrion. Endowed like these animals with an extreme fineness of scent, they are attracted by the smell of dead, and more especially of putrid, carcases, at an immense and almost incredible distance; and usually assemble in vast numbers to glut[206] themselves upon the disgusting banquet on the field of recent battle, or wherever the work of carnage has been carried to any great extent. Under such circumstances, however horrible that propensity may appear which leads them to prey upon the unburied corpses, they unquestionably fulfil a wise provision of nature by removing from the surface of the earth a mass of corruption and putridity which in the warmer climates where they abound would otherwise taint the very atmosphere, and might possibly give rise to diseases still more fatal in their effects than the malignant passions of man himself, from which the destruction sprung. But although such a scene affords the greatest scope for the indulgence of their depraved appetites, and consequently congregates them together in the largest numbers, it is happily of rare occurrence, and their usual subsistence is derived from the bodies of dead animals. To these they are attracted by the smell, and frequently in flocks so numerous as actually to cover and conceal the object of their attack, from which they tear away large gobbets, and swallow them entire and with insatiable avidity, never ceasing while yet a morsel remains. It is only when hard pressed by hunger that they venture to attack a living creature; and their ravages of this kind are always confined to the peaceful and timid denizens of the poultry-yard. They never carry off their victims in their talons, but uniformly devour them upon the spot; and even that portion of their prey which they transport to their young is first swallowed, and afterwards disgorged in the nest.
    Two of these noble animals, the one male and the other female, are among the most striking and attractive ornaments of the Menagerie. The beautiful male, of which our figure offers a characteristic likeness, is a very recent importation, having arrived in England in the month of April of the present year, in the East India Company’s ship Buckinghamshire, to the commander of which, Captain Glasspool, we are indebted for the following particulars relative to his birthplace, capture, early life, and education. He was taken prisoner in company with two other cubs, supposed to be not more than three weeks old, on that part of the coast of the peninsula of Malacca which is opposite to the island of Penang, and is commonly known by the name of the Queda Coast. In our present imperfect acquaintance with this part of the farther peninsula of Hindoostan, it affords perhaps but little ground for surprise that none of these terrible animals should have previously reached this quarter of the globe from a locality so seldom visited by European vessels. Their existence in its extensive jungles and marshy plains has long, however, been notorious; and to judge from the specimen now before us, which, although barely two years old, already exceeds in size the full-grown Asiatic Lion which occupies the neighbouring den, they must in that situation be at least as formidable as their fellows of the hither peninsula. The[33] dam of this individual had, it appears, made a nocturnal incursion into one of the towns of the district, from which she had carried off a large quantity of provisions. She was pursued and killed, and her three cubs were taken possession of by the conquerors in token of their victory and brought home in triumph. One of them, a female, died shortly after; the second, a male, is still living in the possession of a resident at Penang; and the third, the subject of the present article, also fell into the hands of a gentleman of that settlement, in whose paddock he was confined, in company with a pony and a dog, for upwards of twelve months, without evincing the least inclination to injure his companions or any one who approached him. By this gentleman he was presented to Captain Glasspool, who brought him to England: on the voyage he was remarkably tame, allowing the sailors to play with him, and appearing to take much pleasure in their caresses. On being placed in his present den he was rather sulky for a few days; but seems now to have recovered his good temper, and to be perfectly reconciled to his situation. The mildness of his temper may probably be in a great measure due to his having from a very early age been accustomed to boiled food; raw flesh never having been offered to him until after his arrival in the Menagerie. This change of food he seems particularly to enjoy, although he has by no means lost his appetite for soup, which he devours with much eagerness. Notwithstanding his immature age, Mr. Cops considers him the largest Tiger that he ever saw.


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