ARE THERE TWO VARIETIES OF ELEPHANTS? 35
made, it will be acknowledged that Mr. Sanderson made a mistake in saying they were identical. The Goondas, male and female, have a broader expanse across the forehead ; the bump between the eyes and the root of the trunk is more prominent, but the hollow between the eye and ear, commonly called the temple, is less marked. Its countenance is more pleasing, its eyes brighter and kinder-looking; it seldom grows to the height of the Muckna. The males have large tusks, the females rudimentary ones.
The Muckna, called a Hine a in Burma, has the head much longer and narrower, the temple very much depressed; the trunk is longer, more ponderous, possessing immense strength, as if to compensate the beast for the want of the formidable tusks possessed by its rival. Both males and females have rudimentary tushes only, longer and thicker in the male than in the female; the eyes are small and sleepy-looking, and its general appearance morose; and even when quite young it has an old look. In size, they grow taller and are more leggy than the Goondas. The two varieties herd apart, but interbreed at times, the males often fighting for possession of the females, and the result of the cross-breed is that you get large males with very poor tusks^ but still tusks, as distinct from tushes, which adorn the Mucknas.
In Ceylon there is not above one tusker to three hundred Mucknas. I doubt if there would be that number even, had not tuskers been imported from the mainland for work in the timber yards, as only tuskers can carry and stack the heavy squared logs. Some of these in days gone by have probably got loose or have had intercourse with the female elephants of the country, and a throw back is now and then the result. But from long association with both varieties I am convinced, in my own mind, that they are varieties, and not identical.
If Nature has not given intellect to these animals, it has given them an instinct next thing to it. One has only to hunt them in their wilds to learn how wonderfully Providence has taught them to choose the most favourable ground, whether for feeding or encamping, and to resort to jungles, where their ponderous bodies so resemble rocks or the dark foliage by which they are surrounded that it is most difficult