In captivity the Puma readily becomes tame, and may even be rendered docile and obedient. His manners closely resemble those of the domestic cat; like it he is extremely fond of being noticed, raises his back and stretches his limbs beneath the hand that caresses him, and expresses his pleasure by the same quiet and complacent purring. They soon become attached to those with whom they are familiar; and numerous instances might be mentioned in which they have been suffered to roam almost at large about the house without any injurious results. One of these is no doubt familiar to many of our readers, occurring as it did under the roof of Mr. Kean, the tragedian, who possessed an animal of this species so tame as to follow him about almost like a dog, and to be frequently introduced into his drawing-room, when filled with company, at perfect liberty.
The Cape Lion is seldom taken alive; his utter destruction and extermination forming the primary object of his pursuers. Occasionally, however, when a Lioness has been shot, and the hunters have been fortunate enough to trace out her den, the cubs are brought away, and in some measure domesticated, at least for a season, and until they acquire sufficient force to become dangerous. Up to this period some of the colonists will even suffer them to remain almost at large in their dwellings; but they have frequently occasion to rue the mercy they have shown, and are at length compelled, by the unequivocal manifestations of that ferocity which never fails to make its appearance when the animals have attained a certain age, to destroy the creatures whom they have nourished and caressed.
Unquestionably the Tiger has not the majesty of the Lion; for he is destitute of the mane, in which that majesty chiefly resides. Neither has he the same calm and dignified air of imperturbable gravity which is at once so striking and so prepossessing in the aspect of the Lion. But, on the other hand, it will readily be granted, that in the superior lightness of his frame, which allows his natural agility its free and unrestricted scope, and in the graceful ease and spirited activity of his motions, to say nothing of the beauty, the regularity, and the vividness of his colouring, he far excels his competitor, whose giant bulk and comparative heaviness of person, added to the dull uniformity of his colour, detract in no small degree from the impression produced by his noble and majestic bearing.
The colour of the common Baboon is reddish brown; his face and hands are black, and his upper eyelids white. The hair of his cheeks forms a considerable tuft on each side; and the under surface of his body is but sparingly covered. In bulk he is equal to a middle sized dog; his proportions are thickset and inelegant; but he is by no means dull or inactive. When young, he is gay, playful, and docile; but as he grows older he becomes untractable, malicious, and ferocious. He is sometimes even dangerous, his muscular strength and agility, together with the great power of his teeth and jaws, rendering him a formidable opponent. On this account it is absolutely necessary to keep him strictly confined. He is a native of Africa, and more especially of the tropical parts of its western coast.
Macrocercus Ararauna. Vieill.