Page:Mongolia, the Tangut country, and the solitudes of northern Tibet vol 2 (1876).djvu/232

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THE TIBETAN WOLF.

in its yellowish-white colour)[1] and is most probably identical with the species we heard the Mongols in Kan-su call tsobr; but whereas it is rare in the latter country, in Northern Tibet it is very common, of course owing to the unpeopled nature of this country and the abundance of animals upon which it can prey. Here it ranges over the plains in large packs, and attacks the yak, the orongo, and the rest. Tibetan wolves are savage and impudent, but are more cowardly and less powerful than the grey species. Our dogs fought with them, and drove them away every night. They frequently attempted, in their nocturnal visits to our yurta, to carry off things by stealth; we could leave no dead game exposed (except yak) without its being instantly gnawed or devoured by these ravenous brutes. My companion on one occasion shot four orongo about two miles from camp, whither he went for assistance, and on returning with a camel to bring them in, found that they had been devoured in his absence.

At one place in the valley of the Shuga we made a cache among some loose rocks, hiding our butter there; but these horrid brutes scented it, turned up the heavy stones and devoured the store we had prepared for our return journey, actually swallowing the woollen cloth in which it was wrapped! On another occasion I left my fowling-piece in the mountains with some prepared tin cartridge cases; the following day on going to fetch it, I could find neither gun nor cartridges, which had been dragged away by

  1. There are no grey wolves in Tibet, although plentiful in Tsaidam.