category:Racing racing


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    But even in the East, where the qualities of the Chetah appear to be best appreciated, and his faculties to be turned to most account, it would seem that he is not employed in hunting by all classes of the people indiscriminately; but, on the contrary, that he is reserved for the especial amusement and gratification of the nobles and princes of the land, rather than used for purposes of real and general advantage. In this respect, and indeed in many others, as will be seen by the following brief account of the mode in which the chase with the Hunting Leopard is conducted, it bears a close resemblance to the ancient sport of hawking, so prevalent throughout Europe in the days of feudal tyranny, but scarcely practised at the present day except by the more splendid slaves of Asiatic despotism. The animal or animals, for occasionally several of them are employed at the same time, are carried to the field in low chariots, on which they are kept chained and hooded, in order to deprive them of the power and temptation to anticipate the word of command by leaping forth before the appointed time. When they are thus brought within view[67] of a herd of antelopes, which generally consists of five or six females and a male, they are unchained and their hoods are removed, their keepers directing their attention to the prey, which, as they do not hunt by smell, it is necessary that they should have constantly in sight. When this is done, the wily animal does not at once start forwards towards the object of his pursuit, but, seemingly aware that he would have no chance of overtaking an antelope in the fleetness of the race, in which the latter is beyond measure his superior, winds cautiously along the ground, concealing himself as much as possible from sight, and, when he has in this covert manner nearly reached the unsuspecting herd, breaks forth upon them unawares, and after five or six tremendous bounds, which he executes with almost incredible velocity, darts at once upon his terrified victim, strangles him in an instant, and takes his fill of blood. In the meanwhile the keeper quietly approaches the scene of slaughter, caresses the successful animal, and throws to him pieces of meat to amuse him and keep him quiet while he blinds him with the hood and replaces him upon the chariot, to which he is again attached by his chain. But if, as is not unfrequently the case, the herd should have taken the alarm, and the Chetah should prove unsuccessful in his attack, he never attempts to pursue them, but returns to his master with a mortified and dejected air, to be again let slip at a fresh quarry whenever a fit opportunity occurs.


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