Wild Animals I Have Known

Wild Animals I Have Known

By Ernest Thompson Seton


What's Wild Animals I Have Known about?


Ernest Thompson Seton was an influential naturalist, and a sometime professional hunter and trapper. Much of this book speaks to the contradictions between these roles.

In November 2008, both the PBS series, "Nature," and the BBC series, "Natural World," presented episodes called "The Wolf That Changed America," about Seton, focused in particular on the first story in this book: "Lobo, King of the Currumpaw." Their contention was that his experiences in the capture of Lobo made him the outspoken and controversial activist for wildlife preservation he became.

From the Forward:

"THESE STORIES are true. Although I have left the strict line of historical truth in many places, the animals in this book were all real characters. They lived the lives I have depicted, and showed the stamp of heroism and personality more strongly by far than it has been in the power of my pen to tell...

"Such a collection of histories naturally suggests a common thought a moral it would have been called in the last century. No doubt each different mind will find a moral to its taste, but I hope some will herein find emphasized a moral as old as Scripture: we and the beasts are kin. Man has nothing that the animals have not at least a vestige of, the animals have nothing that man does not in some degree share.

"Since, then, the animals are creatures with wants and feelings differing in degree only from our own, they surely have their rights. This fact, now beginning to be recognized by the Caucasian world, was first proclaimed by Moses and was emphasized by the Buddhist over 2,000 years ago."

-- E.T. Seton

"Lobo" is worth hearing. But you'll be intrigued, too, I think, by the rest of the stories. I was.

-- "Grizzly" Smith

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