EnglishShow more Transferred sense of general English.
Any of several mammals bearing some resemblance to the wolf of the northern hemisphere, particularly the southern African hyaenas (but in some contexts, probably the aardwolf or the wild dog).See also aardwolf, strandwolf, tiger-wolf.
[1596T. JohnsonCornucopiae B4A certaine Wolfe called Hyena.]
1655E. TerryVoy. to E.-India (1777) 15This remotest part of Africa is very mountainous, over-run with wild beasts, as lions, tigers, wolves, and many other beasts of prey.
1731G. Medleytr. ofP. Kolben’s Present State of Cape of G.H.II. 107There are two Sorts of Wolves in the Cape-Countries; one agreeing in every particular with the Wolves in Europe; the other are very different, and are call’d Tiger-Wolves.
1786G. Forstertr. ofA. Sparrman’s Voy. to Cape of G.H.I. 163These wolves are to be found almost every dark night about the shambles at the Cape where they devour the offals of bones, skin, &c.
1804R. PercivalAcct of Cape of G.H. 76Tigers hyenas wolves and jackals infest the neighbouring hills, and frequently come down at night to devour the cattle.
1824W.J. BurchellTrav.II. 277During the night the hyenas, or wolves as they are usually called by the Boors and Hottentots, had devoured the flesh.
1836N. IsaacsTrav. (1937) II.We were greatly concerned about our horses..and..feared that they might become a repast for the wolves, hyenas, panthers, leopards and other beasts which are extremely numerous through the whole of this part of the country.
1852C. BarterDorp & Veld 117 (Pettman)As I have used the term wolf so frequently, it is right I should inform the reader that the animal properly so called does not exist in South Africa.
1881P. GillmoreLand of Boer 195The wolves (hyenas) were destroying their cattle wholesale.
1926P.W. LaidlerTavern of Ocean 97Trap guns were commonly used for the destruction of..wolves, leopards and lions, of which only the former two were now found around the Cape.
1969F.G. ButlerWhen Boys Were Men 24Wolves: probably spotted or laughing hyenas (Crocuta crocuta). Usually scavengers, they are seldom known to have attacked healthy wild animals, but sometimes domestic animals. Alternatively the ‘wolves’ might be Cape hunting dogs (Lycaon pictus), which frequently attacked animals much larger than themselves, tearing strips out of them on the run.
1975W. SteenkampLand of Thirst King 164The first Dutch settlers tacked the name ‘wolf’ to the various hyaenas they encountered.
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