Page:Mongolia, the Tangut country, and the solitudes of northern Tibet vol 2 (1876).djvu/228

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DUELS BETWEEN ORONGOS.

horns inflict terrible wounds, often causing the death of both antagonists. Should one feel his strength ebbing, he takes to flight pursued by his enemy, then suddenly wheeling round receives the latter on his horns. As a proof of the fury with which they fight, I remember shooting one of the combatants, who to my surprise continued the fight for several minutes after he had received his death-wound, and then suddenly expired. If a doe chance to stray from the herd, the buck immediately gives chase, and, bleating as he goes, tries to drive her back again. While his attention is thus engaged the others give him the slip, and pursuing first one, then another, he often loses his whole harem. At last, deserted by all, he gives vent to his fury and disgust by striking the ground with his hoofs, curving his tail, lowering his horns and bleating defiance at his compeers. From morning until evening these scenes are constantly occurring, and there appears to be no bond of union between the male antelope and his does; to-day they consort with one buck, to-morrow with another.

The rutting season over, the orongos again live peaceably with one another; the males and females often collecting in separate herds. We saw a troop of about 300 does in February in the valley of the Shuga; the young are dropped in July.

The orongo is fearless and will let the hunter openly approach within 300 yards, or even nearer. The report of fire arms or the whistle of a bullet does not alarm it; it only shows surprise by walking