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ners found something to praise in my
From The Cornbill Magazine. brute strength, and in the speed with
HOW TO SEE THE ZOO. which I worked. There were never From the early days when George IV. politer people than the peasantry of the presented his wild animals at Windsor Italian Alps.
Castle and the Tower to the new ZoologValvognian farming strikes the ical Gardens, the menagerie in Regent's stranger as being like gardening-the Park has aimed at being something careful tending of small beds and single more than a collection of live specimens plants. The contadine find time also kept for the benefit of the learned for a little flower culture. Poppies, society whose headquarters are in Hanlupins, larkspurs, flox, stocks, gera- over Square. The original founders of niums, sunflowers, all kinds of chrysan- the Zoo-men like Sir Stamford Rafies themums, marigolds, carnations, and and Sir Humphry Davy-believed that many other blossoms, are here brighter by importing wild species and showing in color, handsomer, sweeter scented, them to the public they could encourage than ever they grow north of the Alps. serious efforts at acclimatization.
The contadine make great friends To-day natural history is valued for its with their cows, and the little beasts are
own sake; and the society endeavors to responsive. Each has her name. I exhibit its collections in the most atknow a “Spain,” “Italia,” “Sardinia,” tractive form, and with a degree of and “France"
the cattle. public spirit which justifies its claim “Bianca," "Bella,” “Bellina,” are com- to be a national institution. On the mon names. As they are driven out to other hand, the growth of the menagpasture, and constantly guarded, they erie, which now usually contains some become real pets. When addressed by twenty-five hundred creatures, and name, and adjured to "come here” (off covers thirty-one acres of ground, the neighbor's land), to "go there” (up makes the question of how to see the steps to a scrap of grazing-ground on a
Zoo less easy to answer than when the little rocky table, or, harder still, down grounds were confined to one corner of steps into their stable), “not to steal the Regent's Park. The Middle Garden, beans,” “not to tread down the winter cut off from this by the road, and the oats,” they understand and obey. In North Garden, divided from the Middle the cold weather, part of the story Garden by the canal crossed only by devoted to the cows is separated from
a single bridge at one end, are isolated the rest by a wooden settle, a railing, by artificial barriers, and can only be or a row of chairs; and this partitioned explored separately, and without referportion becomes the living-room of the
ence to the contents of the large family. The cooking-stove is there, Southern Garden. "for,” said a contadina, “a fire, in any Those who have a definite object in case, there must be for the cow in the visiting the Zoo can usually obtain the bard weather;" and it is evidently felt necessary information at the entrance. that the cattle are wholesome, warm, The "location” of any new specimens agreeable neighbors-company of which is always known to the gate-keepers, to be fond and proud.
and a reference to the plan in the guideAn eight-year-old boy, taking his book shows the way. But the pleasantpleasure in the Valle Vogna, had caught est form of a visit to the Zoo is to the local feeling regarding the kine, for wander at large, equipped with adewhen leaving Casa Janzo he went up to quate knowledge of its geography, and each of the cows belonging to the hotel- to use it like a big library on a wet day, keeper, and said, kissing good-bye to for sipping and tasting, glancing at all them, one by one: “To-day I am going that is attractive and leaving out the away, Valsesia! To-day I am going dull volumes. away, Rosa!”—and so on through the There is a small side gate leading whole 'file of dairy cattle.
from the Broad Walk straight into the CLARE SOREL STRONG. gardens near the south corner. This is
688 LIVING AGE.
within two minutes' walk of the lion- the glass cages are also modern and house, the cattle sheds, the reptile- good, and the snakes can be seen to the house, the seals, wolves, and many of best advantage both in movement and the deer, and the visitor gets among repose. The larger snakes and lizards objects of interest without preface or are among the most long-lived animals waste of time. If he turn to the left in the Zoo; consequently, the process on entering, he finds himself at once in of change of occupants which is concontact with one of the earliest suc- stantly upsetting the calculations of the cesses of the Gardens, the pheasantries, visitor to some of the houses in the and a few yards beyond is the latest and Gardens takes place very slowly, and it best innovation, the new reptile-house. is possible to write with confidence not The left of the path is lined with only of what may be seen to-day in Himalayan and Chinese pheasants, the reptile-house, but of what will beautiful in themselves, and specially probably be its population for some interesting to members of the Zoological time to come. The venomous snakes Society. The ringed pheasants were will always be found at the top of the acclimatized in 1855, and are now the room, to the left as the visitor enters. dominant species in English preserves; Their cages are of special construction, and a far larger and more beautiful the doors in the iron shutter at the back species, Reeve's pheasant, is breeding being placed high up, so that food may in the North, in numbers sufficient for be introduced without danger to the it to be shot like an ordinary game-bird. keepers, while the doors of the other The first specimens of the Indian compartments are on the ground level. species, such as the Amherst pheasant, Four of these cages are of special Monaul, and Impeyan pheasant, were interest, containing what are by combrought from India by the Society in mon consent the most deadly and the 1855, most of them being forwarded by most dreaded creatures in the animal the Resident at Darjeeling. In the next creation—the puff-adder, the king cobra, year a further consignment, including the common Indian cobra, and the Cheer pheasants, Impeyan pheasants, rattlesnake. The puff-adder of South and three varieties of the Kaleege Africa is the most repulsive in appearpheasant, were imported, and the Im- ance of all the snakes. One of those in peyans and purple Kaleeges laid eggs the collection is perhaps the largest ever as soon as they arrived, and hatched seen in Europe. Its body is swollen and their broods in September. Lord Can. flattened, of uniform thickness till ning was preparing to send a much within a few inches of the end of the larger collection over when the Indian tail, which tapers off suddenly to a Mutiny broke out and gave the gov- blunt point. The head is flat, as if it ernor-general something else to think had been crushed, and, though wholly about. But those at the Zoo increased undisturbed in its glass and iron cage, and multiplied, and became the an- it has a habit of covering its body with cestors of the present European stock, dust and shingle, in which it lies
found in most aviaries and absolutely motionless. This state of pheasantries, both in scientific collec- sluggish repose is the normal condition tions and at large country houses. The of this snake. Confident in its powers reptile-house, which adjoins the pheas- of offence, it does not move even when antry, is perhaps the most continuously it sees man approaching, and its invis interesting of all the departments of the ibility constitutes one of its chief danmenagerie. Perpetual summer reigns gers. The rattlesnakes and cobras are there, for the temperature must be far more interesting from the spectamaintained at a constant heat both in tor's point of view. Of the former there summer and winter, and as it is solidly are said to be two species in North built of brick, there is little difficulty in America, and a third in Guiana and doing this, even in the hardest frosts, Brazil. Those in the Zoo are of the The construction and arrangement of larger North American species, and
though not of the greatest size-Catesby"I thought for a moment it was a rattlesays that in Carolina he saw one nearly snake.” eight feet long-they are far thicker and The cobras are almost as beautifulheavier for their length than the cobras. Medusa's head was beautiful in its It is as well to ask the keeper to go be way-as the puff-adders are hideous. hind the cages and disturb these snakes, The Indian cobras vary much in tint. in order to hear the “rattle." This The Hindoos say that the light-colored sound has no exact counterpart in cobras are "high-caste" snakes. Some nature, and when once heard, even at of those at the Zoo must be very "higli the Zoo, is never forgotten. The snakes caste," for when they are irritated, and do not move readily, but if poked up coil, spread their hoods, and prepare to by the keeper's rod they crawl out of strike, the hood is almost white, and reach, and it will be noticed that the the "spectacle” mark a bright mauve. end of the tail is slightly raised. The The writer has seen three of these thick glass front deadens any slight snakes, all erect at the same time and noise, such as the shifting of the shingle striking at the keeper's rod. The blow or the opening of the doors behind, but is delivered downwards, like the peck of insensibly there falls on the ear a sound some long-necked bird. Cobra tralike the rush of water in a hydraulic dition, as we now hear it, is so entirely pipe, or the rattle of a bag of shot derived from Indian sources that it is poured out upon a dish. The vibrations sometimes forgotten that they are also of the sound are extremely rapid, and it common in Africa. There are South is not in the least apparent that it pro- African cobras at the Zoo, as well as ceeds from the snake. Those who hear Cleopatra's asp, which is a miniature it often look back into the room to cobra, and can expend its hood like the localize the sound, and it is not till the Indian species. The “asps," or horned eye is fixed on the end of the snake's cerastes, are kept in small glass boxes tail that the source of the rushing noise
on the stands to the left of the entrance is seen. The whitey-grey rattle is in to the snake-house, and mimic exactly intensely rapid motion, not waving to the color of the sand on which they lie. and fro, but quivering as if galvanized. The danger from venomous snakes, The rattle seems an involuntary ac- mainly the different species of cobra in companiment of anger or agitation on North Africa-seems to have presented the part of the snake-like the flush of the same difficulty to the Romans, when anger on some human faces—and goes they occupied these once populous provon for some time after the disturbing inces, as it does now to the government cause has been removed. The way in of India. Lucan, in the “Pharsalia,” which this sound gets on the nerves of says that when the army of Cato was American explorers was curiously illus- encamped in Africa, in the final strugtrated some years ago at the Zoo. Mr. gle with Cæsar after the murder of Anderson, the celebrated traveller and Pompey, the deaths from poisonous hunter, was sitting with Mr. Bartlett snakes caused much discouragement discussing
recent adventures among the troops. The aid of a native among big game, when a parrot, which race, called the Psylli, who were prowas sitting unnoticed in a cage at the fessional snake-charmers, was called in back of the room, suddenly woke up, to protect the legionaries. They and shook its feathers, as a sleepy marched round the camp chanting parrot does on awakening. No sooner mystic songs, and then ordered fires to did the sharp rustling sound, coming be lighted at night round the lines. from bebind, fall on the explorer's ear When the men were bitten they used than, with the instinct bred of camp charms, but also sucked the wounds life on the prairies, he sprang up, and and anointed them with saliva. They away from the noise. "What is the themselves were proof against snakematter?" asked his host. “Oh, it is only bite, a fact which is now believed to be your bird, I see,” replied the traveller: true of several of these "snake-healing'
tribes, who swallow the poison, and ob- feels hungry it opens its mouth. From tain protection by internal inoculation, the muddy-colored tongue little projecIt would be interesting to know whether tions like leeches or mud-worms project the descendants of the Psylli are still and wave about, as an inducement to living near Tunis, for the snakes them- small fish to swim into its jaws in the selves have survived in numbers. The hopes of a meal. This natural fish-trap tribe had clearly existed from the days is the most complete equipment for of Moses and the Pharaoh of - the getting an easy living possessed by any Exodus till those of Cæsar, and was animal, and is lazier than even the well known to Pliny, Celsus, and methods of the Mussulman paradise, Lucan.
where the trees grow with the tops The great “king cobra,” in the cage downwards that “true believers” may next to the puff-adder, lives entirely on not have the trouble of climbing them spakes caught for it in England. The to pick the fruit. greater number come from Hampshire, The reptile-house is as well worth a where they are captured by the last of separate visit at our Zoo as is the the English snake-charmers, “Brusher" aquarium at that of Amsterdam. The Mills, the adder-catcher of the New above notes by no means cover its atForest, for whom the advent of the king tractions; the smaller snakes, the cobra at the Zoo has opened up a profit- iguanas, the heloderm or poisonous able market for the disposal of the com- lizard, the Surinam toads with eggmon snakes, which he catches when hatching apparatus on their backs, and adder-hunting.
the collection of tropical frogs of astonThe boas, pythons, and harmless ishing forms and colors, from the toad snakes occupy the whole length of the of La Plata, which looks like a lump wall opposite the entrance. Apart from of mud covered with duckweed, eats their size, and the interesting fact that live birds, and is said to poison horses one of the boas ate his companion a year by its bite, to the tiny green tree-frogs, ago, there are two points of exceptional are in many respects as interesting as interest to be noted in a visit to these the poisonous snakes or the giant consnakes — the extreme beauty of the strictors. coloring of the boas and pythons when Close to the reptile-house are the lionthey have newly shed their skin, and house, the cattle sheds, the wolves and the method of movement of the great foxes' cages, and further along the snakes when climbing. Neither admits southern boundary the sea-lion and of adequate description in words; but seals, the sea-gulls' pond, and the inquiry should always be made of the "piggery," the home of the wild boars, keepers whether any specimen has whom the writer never willingly misses newly shed its skin; and if a boa has a seeing and presenting with some food. fit of tree-climbing—the pythons are less In visiting the cattle sheds, it is as well addicted to this exercise—it is perhaps to ask Waterman, the keeper of the better worth observing than any sight cattle, what young animals are in the in the Zoo except the submarine flight stables, behind the main line of stalls of the diving birds.
and yards. Recently the interesting exThe snakes are never fed in public; periments in hybridizing wild cattle, but many of the lizards, large and small, which marked the early days of the Zoo, and the manatee in the tank, should be have been renewed, and a curious cross observed when at meals. The keepers between the bull yak and zebu cow obare usually willing to show a sensible tained. It was a shaggy black creature, visitor the cameleons catching a fly, or in which the yak features and fur prethe big monitor lizard swallowing an dominated. Young yaks, which sell for egg, and neither is a sight to be missed. 301. apiece, trotting oxen, young Another creature, a large water-turtle huffalos, and other' wild cattle may known as Temminck's Snapper. is most generally be seen in the beautifully interesting before its meals. When it clean stalls, piled with clover hay and
strewn with fine sawdust. The pure- titudes of the lions when out in their bred Chartley bull was killed by Lord summer cages. They constantly asFerrers's orders, but his descendants, sume poses grander than any that bred from the wild white cattle of Ban- sculptors have yet attributed to them. gor, are always to be seen at close The writer has seen Mr. Gambier Bolquarters in the inner stable. The bull, ton, F.R.S., the celebrated photographer which would take a first prize at an of wild animals, sitting there by the show, is not so mild as he looks. Last hour, with his camera beside him, to winter he attacked his keeper when he photograph each new and characteristic was in the yard, jumping "all-fours off,” attitude. To watch Mr. Gambier Boland then charging him. Though he ton is to learn how to see the Zoo from nimbly climbed the railings, he was another point of view than that common helped over the last foot or so by the to ordinary or even scientific visitors. bull's broad muzzle. Seen in this way He is concerned, not with the habits, the cattle sheds remind one of some but with the form, appearance, and Norfolk stock farm, with wild creatures attitudes of animals. He has studied in place of shorthorns and Jerseys. them in captivity in every Zoo in Waterman is an ideally good stock- Europe and America, and after visiting keeper, and not only manages all his their haunts when wild in India and the varied cattle-buffalo, bison, gayals, Straits Settlements, has now departed yaks, and hybrids—with great skill and for Central Africa, armed with his sympathy, but also has much interest- camera, for a like purpose. In photoing information as to their tempers, graphing the Zoo lions Mr. Bolton steps habits, and suitability for domestica- lightly on to the iron rail which surtion. The great loss in this part of the rounds the outdoor cages, holds the collection is the death of the giant camera under his right arm, and raises aurochs, the European bison, wbich has the left hand, at the same time making not yet been replaced. He was a slight "chirp,” which seems to interprimeval giant, far larger than the est the ears of any one of the Felidae, American bull bison which survived and to make them look animated. Behim. Those who desire to see the latter fore concluding this brief notice of how with his “buffalo robe” on must go in a crack photographer sees the Zoo, it is the winter. In summer the back and worth mentioning that it is as well to sides are nearly bare of fur, and the measure the reach of a tiger's claws mane thin and shabby:
before putting one's head under the The lion-house is so well arranged for camera-curtain. Mr. Gambier Bolton the exhibition of its inmates that there has one of these, rather a smart plush are almost no difficulties in the way of curtain, lined with silk, with a hole observing them, but on the rare occa- through it. The puncture is neatly inked sions on which any of the Felidæ have round on the inner side, and markea cubs at the Zoo, they are very jealous of “Tiger's claw, San Francisco.” The visitors and nearly always make the tiger reached out between the bars, and cubs stay in the sleeping den until the struck his claw through, about two Gardens are closed. The old puma who inches from Mr. Bolton's forehead. had a family last year used to do this, Not being a photographer, the writer only bringing the cubs out to play and generally amuses himself by expericlimb after closing time. If permission ments on cats, large and small, with can be had to go into the passage be- lavender water spilt on cotton wool. hind the cages, the cubs may then be Some of the lions and leopards are cerseen through the peephole in the shutter tain to show the greatest delight in the bebind, lying at a distance of a few feet scent. On the last occasion on which The cubs do not know they are being the writer tried the experiment, he was watched, and behave like kittens in a accompanied by a venerable prelate of basket. Those who have time should the Church of England, not less accomsit and watch the movements and at plished as a naturalist and in the