The Story Of Wild Animals:
Sacred Monkeys Of India.
Story Of The Antelope
Gnu, Or Wildebeest
Pala Or Roy-bock
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Pala Or Roy-bock
( Originally Published Early 1900's )
The pala or roy-bock is an inhabitant of Southern Africa, where it is seen in large herds. It is a remarkably fine animal, measuring three feet in height at the shoulder, and being gifted with elegantly shaped horns and a beautifully tinted coat. The general color of the pala is bay, fading into white on the abdomen, the lower part of the tail, and the peculiar disc of lighter-colored hairs which surround the root of the tail in so many antelopes. Its specific name, Melampus, is of Greek origin, signifying black-footed, in allusion to the jetty hue of the back of its feet.
The horns of this animal are of considerable length, often attaining to twenty inches, and are rather irregular in their growth. They are very distinctly marked with rings.
The food of the pala consists chiefly of tender herbage and the young twigs of the underwood among which it generally takes up its abode. It is hardly so timid as other animals of the same family, and will often allow strange creatures to approach the herd without much difficulty. It has a curious habit of walking away when alarmed, in the quietest and most silent manner imaginable, lifting up its feet high from the ground, lest it should haply strike its foot_ against a dry twig and give an alarm to its hidden foe. Palas have also a custom of walking in single file, each following the steps of its leader with blind confidence; and, when they have settled the direction in which they intend to march, they adhere to their plan, and will not be turned aside even by the presence of human beings. It is generally found in or near the district where low wood prevails.