Cynocephalus Porcarius. Desm.
Nothing in fact can exceed the terror which this formidable animal inspires in those countries which are liable to his devastations. More restricted, however, in this respect than the Lion, he is entirely unknown in Africa, and is rarely, if ever, to be met with in Asia on this side the Indus. In the south of China, and in the larger Asiatic Islands, such as Sumatra and Java, he is unhappily but too common; but it is said, we know not with what degree of truth, that in the last mentioned locality he is less ferocious than in the Peninsula of Hindostan. This is truly the cradle of his existence and the seat of his empire, in which he disputes dominion even with the Lion himself, who is comparatively rare in the Indian jungles, and with whom the Tiger has been sometimes known to join in deadly and successful struggle for the mastery. Endowed with a degree of force, which the Lion and the Elephant alone can equal, he carries off a buffalo in his tremendous jaws, almost without relaxing from his usual speed. With a single stroke of his claws he rips open the body of the largest animals; and is said to suck their blood with insatiable avidity. Of the correctness of this latter statement, at least in its full extent, there is however strong reason to doubt. The Tiger does not, according to the most credible accounts, exhibit this propensity to drinking the blood of his victims in any greater degree than the rest of his carnivorous and blood-thirsty companions. In this, as in other instances, fear has drawn largely on credulity, and the simple and sufficiently disgusting fact has been amplified and exaggerated with all the refinements upon horror which the terrified imagination could suggest.