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NATURE: The Wolf That Changed America

Airs Sunday, October 10, 2010 at 8 p.m. on KPBS TV

Above: This remarkable photograph was taken by Ernest Thompson Seton himself at the very moment when he first discovered Lobo caught in his traps in the Currampaw Valley of New Mexico in the winter of 1894. It took four traps - one on each leg - to stop the clever and deadly wolf in his tracks.

This is the true story of Ernest Thompson Seton (pictured) and the wolf named Lobo and the start of America's environmental movement. After his "Lobo" adventure, Seton went on to become a world-famous writer and naturalist. He was influential in the early days of nature conservation in America and a founder of the Boy Scout movement in Britain and America.
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Above: This is the true story of Ernest Thompson Seton (pictured) and the wolf named Lobo and the start of America's environmental movement. After his "Lobo" adventure, Seton went on to become a world-famous writer and naturalist. He was influential in the early days of nature conservation in America and a founder of the Boy Scout movement in Britain and America.

Lobo: King of the Currumpaw

View and download the new NATURE Comic Book: “Lobo: King of the Currumpaw.”

"The Wolf That Changed America" is the true story of Ernest Thompson Seton, the wolf named Lobo and the start of America's environmental movement.

In 1893, a bounty hunter named Ernest Thompson Seton journeyed to the untamed canyons of New Mexico on a mission to kill a dangerous outlaw. Feared by ranchers throughout the region, the outlaw wasn’t a pistol-packing cowboy or train-robbing bandit. The outlaw was a wolf.

Lobo, as locals simply called him, was the legendary leader of a band of cattle-killing wolves that had been terrorizing cattle ranchers and their livestock. Known as the “King of the Currumpaw,” Lobo seemingly had a mythical ability to cheat death, eluding the traps that ranchers had set for him throughout the countryside.

It was up to Seton, a naturalist as well as a professional animal trapper, to exterminate this “super-wolf.” The ensuing battle of wits between wolf and man would spark a real-life wilderness drama, the outcome of which would leave a lasting effect on a new and growing movement in America: wilderness preservation.

View photographs and artwork of Ernest Thompson Seton.

Video

Video Excerpt: Nature: The Wolf That Changed America

Above: In 1893, a bounty hunter named Ernest Thompson Seton journeyed to the untamed canyons of New Mexico on a mission to kill a dangerous outlaw wolf. Week after week, Seton tries new tactics to capture and kill Lobo, but Lobo foils his efforts again and again — even recognizing and disarming Seton's powerful metal traps. "The Wolf That Changed America" airs on PBS Sunday, October 10, 2010 at 8 p.m. (check local listings).

Video

Wolf Expert Doug Smith discusses the Yellowstone Wolf Project

Above: In this Web-exclusive video, wolf expert Doug Smith discusses the Yellowstone Wolf Project. Started in 1994, the Wolf Project has taken advantage of the visibility of Yellowstone's wolves to explore wolf population dynamics. Of particular interest is how wolves interact with prey and scavenger populations in the park. Smith hopes that Wolf Project research can help replace common misconceptions about wolves with factual information. "The Wolf That Changed America" airs on PBS Sunday, October 10, 2010 at 8pm (check local listings).

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