TWENTIETH CENTURY IMPRESSIONS OF BURMA.
Wherever game abounds we find the wild dog (Cyon rutilans), a taw-khwe.a They are most destructive animals who hunt in small packs and run down sambar, barking deer, and pig ; one case is recorded of their having done to death an aged bull bison. Many stories are told of their boldness, though there is no instance recorded of their attacking man. I have kept three young ones, but they seemed quite untamable, and when they grew up I had to destroy one; the other two died. They are essentially jungle
animals and never come near villages nor attack domestic animals. They are hand-some-looking and very active, and once they get well on the track of a beast he rarely escapes with his life. I have not met nor heard of foxes in Burma. There are two or three varieties of otters; they are widely distributed and are found in most of the rivers and larger perennial streams. During
the mornings and evenings, as many as a dozen may be found swimming about hunting for food. When taken young they become very tame, but there are various disadvantages about keeping them as pets.
There are, at least, two species of bears, possibly a third, within the limits of the province. They are fairly common. Ursus torquatus, the Himalayan black beara a wet-wun aais a moderate-sized animal, the head and body measuring some 5 feet or more and weighing up to 300 pounds. They
are found in the forests and, not infrequently, near villages on the confines of the jungle. They have even been known to enter the maize fields and pumpkin gardens of the villages. As a rule they wander about alone, but she-bears often have full-grown cubs with them. I have known several instances of these bears eating carrion, a dead bison, or even the carcase of a domestic ox or
buffalo which has died in heavy grass near the jutigle ; their usual food consists of roots, wild fruits, and honey. Like all bears, they are very keen on honey, and climb trees and gnaw great pieces out of the trunk when the hole is not large enough to permit of it being extracted otherwise. On three separate occasions I have found a bear hard at work to obtain this luxury. These animals are decidedly savage, and one occasionally meets with a villager who at some period has been severely mauled by one of them without having given the least provocation, while sometimes men have been attacked and killed. When wounded and followed, these bears will occasionally turn and charge their pursuers ; if it is possible, however, they more often prefer to go off at an awkward gallop. They live in caves and such like places in heavy cover. They are uniform in coloura black, except the chin, with a horseshoe mark on the chest. The hair is smooth and fairly short. Ursus malayanus, the Malay bear, is a smaller animal, head and body measuring some 4 feet. In Burma they are often called honey-bears. Their food consists of fruit, honey, and I think insects, such as white ants ; they certainly dig up white anthills, exposing the combs in the galleries. They are good climbers. When wounded these little bears can be very nasty ; I know that from experience. Both species when taken young become very tame indeed, and are most amusing in their various antics. Tame bears, however, feel the heat very much and should be given a little mud cave where they can lie during the day. They have a habit of sucking their paws, making, while doing so, a peculiar buzzing noise, and to keep them really busy it is only necessary to smear some honey on their feet.
The orders Insectivora, shrews, moles, and c., Chiroptera, bats, and Rodentia are well represented and widely distributed throughout the province. There are many beautiful squirrels, both of the ordinary and flying varieties.
To the ornithologist Burma affords a vast field of interest. Not only are birds found peculiar to Burma, but the West Indian and Himalayan species, or their local types, occur, while in the north and east, Chinese birds, and, in the south and south-east, Siamese and Malayan species are met with. The birds in most parts have been well studied by several well-known ornithological authorities, but I believe there is still ample scope for fresh discoveries, notably in Arakan, Upper Chindwin and North Chin Hills, the Myitkyina district and surrounding Kachin Hills. To the ordinary European resident there is little doubt that the game birds, both land and water, rank first in importance. The Burmese peacock, a daung a (Pavo muticus), one of the emblems of Burmese royalty, the figure of which is seen on all old Burmese rupees, is met with all over the province, though locally distributed and exhibiting a marked partiality to certain areas. During the mornings and evenings they may be heard or seen on the banks of the Irrawaddy, especially between Katha and Myitkyina. Unlike his Indian cousin, the head only is blue, the neck and mantle being of a lovely greenish bronze. The crest also differs, as the feathers are uniformly narrow, instead of the shafts being naked and tipped only. During the cold season the cocks carry magnificent trains, of which they are justly proud ; it is not surprising that they are vain birds. They are extremely wary. The young chicks make excellent food.
HERD BULL TSAING. HERD BULL GAUR.
ELEPHANTaS TUSKS.ELEPHANTa S TUSKS.