The collection of animals at Central Park has re” cently been enriched by the addition of the water buck (Kobus ellipsiprymnus). This specimen, the first that has been brought to this country, is associated in a group of water-loving antelopes with the leche (K. leche), the pookoo (K. vardoni), and the nsunnu (K. lucotis). The horns of these closely allied African species are of good size, only present in the males, I transversely wrinkled, curved forward and a little inward at the tips. The water buck and the sing sing antelopes are much alike, the latter wanting a white elliptical patch which is found near the base of the tail in the former. At the shoulders they stand four feet six inches, and the pale horns are two and a half feet long. The body color is a brownish gray, with lighter marking about the eyes and neck. ' These animals frequent the lakes and marshes of eastern Africa. They are excellent swimmers, and probably have just the same habit as the moose, of walking upon ' the bottom of a pool or stream with little else than their nostrils protruded above the surface. The water antelope, says Mr. Drummond, is an extremely fine animal, and so plentiful that there are probably more of them shot than of any other of the' large antelopes. The large ringed horns which in the males crown the brow bear a strong resemblance to those of the reed buck (reitbok), while the habits and general appearance of both species are almost identical. Both frequent thickets and reedy places near the water, and are principally found in pairs or in small groups. The hair of the species of water buck inhabiting eastern Africa is very long and coarse, while that of the one found in central Africa, the sing sing, is remarkably soft, and highly prized by the natives as being so. In fact, the hair on the neck of the specimen now at Central Park is long enough to produce quite a mane. The name kring-gaat, given to this species by the Dutch, has reference to the white ring about the rump. Its range is extensive, from eastern, through central, Africa up to Abyssinia, where it is called the mehe-dihet. It is said to climb well in spite of its rather heavy build, and at times herds of from a dozen or less up to twenty may be seen speeding, like goats, up the steep sides of the rocky hills of the country. They are, however, never found far from the water, offering in this respect a curious contrast to many species of African antelopes who inhabit the treeless wilderness of the arid plateaus, and never see water. Baker says the flesh is scarcely fit to eat, but that the natives greedily swallow the hot blood of the male buck when its throat is cut. One curious habit is attributed to these allied species which is worth mention. It is said by De Kirk that the antelopes are generally -found feeding in small herds. In the heat of the day it rests in the long grass, and may be approached within fifty yards before starting. Should the female have young unable to run far, abo plaooa hey foot A HAIRY ELEPHANT. (for description see next page.) Brown X prismatic “ produced a powder that has passed the government examination, - and fulfilled thetests - enumerated to the fullest extent, and that British guns can in future be fired - with British power.—Engineering. REFERRING- to baseball, which seems to rage like an epidemic this season, has induced the suggestion that the average man in a large city must have an easy time, plenty of means, and limited hours of employment, when 8,000 can devote three .afternoons each week to watching eighteen full-grown'men toss a ball around a field. upon - - its shoulder, and presses it to the ground, after which it never moves until almost trodden upon, and is expectedto remain in the same spot until the return of the mother. The specimen at Central Park has not yet developed its horns to the greatest size, aiis still young. It “ bears confinement well, and suggests easy domestication. The comparatively poor quality of its flesh and' the coarseness of its hairy coat would, however, render it useless for any economic purpose. It seems somewhat strange that Africa should have developed such an extraordinary variety and number of species of antelopes, when the great western continent can produce but a single species (the pronghorn), but no more singular, perhaps, than that no species of-bear is found in the former country.
This article was originally published with the title "The Water Buck" in Scientific American 54, 26, 407 (June 1886)