Reports upon a breed of wild cattle found in southern India. The herd is reputedly descended from a wild, red bull that mated with tame cows.
[This memorandum was forwarded to CD enclosed with 1817.]
Facts regarding Lions in Central India and Wild Cattle in Southern India | Chas Crump. | Artillery
Wild Cattle in the South.
There is as I have always heard a breed of wild cattle of a dull brick red colour in
the Tinneyvelly District, who it is the tradition of the country sprang originally from
the tame village cows who were driven off to the jungles by the people of the country
when Tippo Sahib invaded the Raja of Travancore about the year 1788— So much I know only by hearsay— the following is of my
own knowledge— On my way down from the Hills (Neilgheeries) in 47—I
stayed with our 49
I halted a day at Rajas Choultry and went out after this herd but could not find them, however they were perfectly well known to all the people thereabouts and the account I received was as follows—
About 4 years before that time a wild bull of a red colour had appeared on the great plains which stretch from Rajas Choultry to Arcot, (and the people all said he came from the jungles below Trichinopoly)— this bull fed by himself but at times consorted with the tame herds fought and drove away the tame bulls and then walked into the cows; from this intercourse in process of time sprung calves—two at first, red like their father—who when they had done sucking forsook the tame beasts and lived apart with their sire, and so the herd went on he bulling the Village cows, and the calves forsaking the tame herds for the wild one till the wild cattle were 7 in number. viz—the original old bull the young bull Butler shot, and 5 cows.— this young bull was driven out of the herd by his Father for taking improper liberties with the cows took up his position close to a village where he molested cows, men, and everybody the Potail of the place came to the travellers Bungalow informed B of the fact and requested him to bring his gun and rid the village of the nuisance, young bull was under a tree, wouldnt budge but when B drew near, charged and was so shot.—
I heard afterwards that the whole race was exterminated by Kennedy of our
I have heard from Jerden of another breed of wild cattle living in the salt water lagoons and islands above Nellore, he has been at the killing of some, and describes them as being of a dirty grey white with dark points.
- f1 1819.f1Dated by the relationship to the letter from Edward Blyth, 8 January . Blyth forwarded this letter to CD with his own letter of 8 January 1856 (see letter from Edward Blyth, 8 January ).
- f2 1819.f2Blyth here added: ‘These I have retained, EB.’ before he sent Crump's letter on to CD. Crump had presumably supplied Blyth with information on Asiatic lions for his article in the Calcutta Sporting Review (see letter from Edward Blyth, 8 January 1856).
- f3 1819.f3Blyth added ‘Madras’ before ‘Artillery’. Crump wrote this note on the cover of his letter.
- f4 1819.f4Tippoo Sahib, sultan of Mysore, ravaged the territories of the raja of Travancore in 1789 (EB).
- f5 1819.f5John Olive Buttler was a lieutenant in the Madras forty-ninth regiment native infantry stationed at Vellore from March 1847 (East-India register and army list, for 1848).
- f6 1819.f6An alternative spelling of patel, a village head-man in south and central India (OED).
- f7 1819.f7Lord David Kennedy was a lieutenant in the Madras first regiment light cavalry stationed at Arcot from May 1847 (East-India register and army list, for 1848).
- f8 1819.f8Later described by Thomas Claverhill Jerdon of the Madras service in Jerdon 1867, p. 301: ‘Near Nellore, in the Carnatic, on the sea-coast, there is a herd of cattle that have been wild for many years… . Their horns were very long and upright, and they were of large size. I shot one there in 1843, but had great difficulty in stalking it, and had to follow it across one or two creeks.’