The Wolf That Changed America
The Photographs and Artwork of Ernest Thompson Seton

All images courtesy of Philmont Museum – Seton Memorial Library
Cimarron, New Mexico
A gift of Mrs. Julia M. Seton


  • calvin ramsey

    Interesting..Is there a book on this man and his story on Lobo? I’d like to have a copy..

    Thanks,Calvin Ramsey

  • Jay Potter

    See _Wild Animals I Have Known_, by Ernest Seton Thompson. It includes his account of the Lobo adventure. Published by Dover Publications. ISBN 0486410846

  • AS

    Check into the Seton Legacy Project at the Academy for the Love of Learning –

  • BlueCornMoon

    I read the story “Lobo,King of Currumpaw” from the book “Wild Animals I Have Known” by Ernest Thompson Seton when I was a small child.I remember crying at the end. I’d always been an animnal lover & had many pets,but this story had a profound effect on me & I developed a deeper respect for wolves & their intelligence.I’ve never looked at a wolf the same way since. I understood why the Native Americans revered them.I believed then as now,that animals have souls. As an adult I have supported many conservation organizations esp ones supporting wolves.
    When I saw the title of this show & the mention of Seton’s name, I knew right away that it was Lobo’s story. May he rest in peace……..

  • Steve Stone

    “Never Cry Wolf” was a book by Canadian biolgist and WWII veteran Farley Mowatt who proved that caribou were not being killed by wolves but by trappers. He also discovered that often wolves’ primary prey were mice, and he proved that mice could sustain wolves as their primary food source by eating them whole as his own primary food source.

  • Svato Schutzner

    In my old country, former Czechoslovakia, E.T. Seton was very popular — almost all his books were translated. I myself was in my youth member of the Czech/Slovak variant of the Woodcraft Indians (a much smaller organisation that nevertheless competed with the Boy Scouts). For some members “woodcraft” was sort of religion, and Seton — the “Grey Wolf” was downright worshipped. — I missed the first part of your program but hope Seton’s admiration of Native Americans was not left unmentioned. Also, some of Seton’s books for younger people, notably “Bannertail,” would deserve attention (at one point. its squirrel hero falls into and eventually overcomes an addiction) — for me, it was one of the most formative things I read as a child.
    Svato Schutzner

  • j747

    Just watched the program on PBS/Nature,(11-23-08,7pmCST), great story, excellent.Ordered DVD for Christmas gifts to kids.

  • 132lyn

    Tonight’s show about Lobo was wonderful, sad, and enlightening. I have for long had an interest in the wolf and have depicted that beautiful animal in several of my art works. I once read a book called “Never Cry Wolf” that was about a man who was sent to a part of north america to rid the area of wolves. He lived among them for a long time and came to respect them, and subsequently proved that the wolf is not a destructive pest, but in fact rids the country of vermin through its diet of mice and other small animals.

  • BlueCornMoon

    I,too read Never Cry Wolf. There’s also another fantastic book which I read back in the 70’s and highly recommend :”In the Shadow of a Rainbow” by Robert Franklin Leslie about the friendship between a young Native American and a magnificent & highly intelligent female pack leader named Nahani. After meeting & befriending her in the wilderness he returns to civilization only to find out she’s been labeled a killer & there’s a bounty on her head. He begins a quest to find & save her & her pack before the hunters can get to them.Scroll down for reviews here at Amazon
    This is a deeply moving & spiritual story about two kindred souls,human & wolf, that you’ll never forget.Unlike the story of Lobo,it ends on a positive note & I’ve always wondered what became of Nahani & her pack after they left the area. I’d love to see this made into a movie.

  • Christopher Seals

    For all that were touched and moved by lobo’s story and spirit,i suggest tha u continue to open your hearts and minds and view Wolf’s Rain.It like lobo,is unforgetable.May brother wolf roam these lands forever.

  • ghostcow

    What a wonderful surprise to find this on TV. My brother is named after Ernest Thompson Seton and I am named after a character in his book, Two Little Savages. I grew up with my mom reading from Seton’s books before bed. Great memories.

  • MJ

    This is one of the the most touching Nature programs I have seen on PBS this season. I couldn’t get the story or the picture of Lobo out of my head all night. This will be the best present I can give to my nieces for the holidays.

  • Philip

    After thinking about the sequence of events as described by Seton, I don’t believe Seton’s account that Lobo died a few hours after being taken back to Seton’s cabin of a “broken heart”. Firstly, how would Seton have been able to remove three leg traps from Lobo’s legs without being bitten. Then what happened ? Did Lobo volunteer to allow Seton, who had had just shot Blanca, to put a leash on Lobo and walk the 160-pound wolf calmly back to the cabin ? Highly doubtful. More than likely, Seton either left the wolf to die of cold and exposure where the wolf fell on the ground, or — Seton shot Lobo dead on the spot, as he had every single other wolf prior to that, and then made up the “romantic ending” of the wolf who died of a broken heart – thereby cynically collecting both the bounty he had worked for years to receive, and create a new career for himself as “Conservationist and Naturalist” — add to that mass exterminator for accuracy. What a cynical killer.

  • AX

    Great moving story. Respect all living creature on this little lonely planet. Human greed will destroy us all in the end.

  • Grundy

    We will never know the real death of Lobo. Perhaps he knew his end was near and willed it to come, whether it was loneliness, fatigue or pain. If Lobo influenced Seton to become a different person and have a positive effect on wildlife conservation, he certainly accomplished as much in death as in life. The story of Seton and Lobo was captivating and will forever be ingrained in my mind. As an environmental educator, I will teach the story of Lobo to youth and adults as the beginning of a powerful movement.

  • Betsy

    To Philip: if you read Seton’s story about Lobo, he describes how he got Lobo out of the traps and back to the ranch. Read “Lobo, King of the Currumpaw” in Wild Animals I Have Known. And I can certainly believe Seton would have a change of heart toward wolf as described–I did with lizards at age 7 when I tried to drown one in our little pool, then as I was holding its head below water felt very sorry for it, I took it out and kept it in a box for awhile, always loved lizards and wild animals after that.

  • Corbina

    Like many others, I was so moved by this story and thrilled that PBS viewed it. I LOVE NATURE! You people who produce these films are remarkable people. I could not get the story out of mind and actually would love to see a book or film made of when and how people initially get moved to become activists and advocates for animals. I’ve heard a few and they always are moving stories.

  • Anton

    To Philip: your criticism is very similar to that of Seton’s peers 100 years ago. He defended himself by showing them his animal specimens and his sketches. I have been to the Seton museum in NM to see his collection of animals and his art. I can see why he so easily convinced them that he was genuine. His collection is crazy enormous, although its getting a little old after 100 years. If you are ever in the area, it is worth the side trip to see the little museum and his remarkable art.

  • Sherry

    To Philip:Seton made up for what he did in the long run.

  • Cass Tucker

    I had never heard of Seton or his story before I watched the PBS program last night. In addition to being extremely moved by the program, I was struck from the start that his story absolutely has to be the inspiration for one of the greatest American novels ever written: The Crossing, by Cormac McCarthy.

  • Cecilia Soprano

    Thank you for this beautiful documentary. I am celebrating even as my heart breaks to know wolves are still maligned and hunted in America. I hope teachers are alerted to this film and are able to show it in schools. With educational features like this, the rebirthing of our humanity can happen. Education does begin in our own backyards.
    It’s so very important that children understand the extent of suffering that occurs from human carelessness — that what we do to other living creatures out of ignorance and fear, is what we do to ourselves in the end. Cecilia S.

  • devora

    Good show. I’d never heard of Seton so found this enlightening. I do think it was a bit romanticized and although I might not go as far as Phillip, I do think the show needs a second part: critical update. That notwithstanding, the episode is a great introduction to a nascent acknowledgment of the worth of animals. Go wolf!

  • d taylor

    what a touching story. i have always had dogs and other animals,and love them more than i do most people.I can only hope that lobo and blanca are together forever in spirit.

  • Delfi Messinger

    Wild Animals I Have Known was an influencial work for more than one generation of environmentalists. I would also recommend the 1967 Wild Season by Allan Eckert. See my review of these two books at

  • alfred senior

    To Philp and others who do not understand the pre 1950’s naturists go into the field walk slowly and quietly. Most important look listen feel and smell and if you dare taste.

  • Calvin Ramsey

    Thanks Jay and also you all,I’ll check out the book called “Wild Animals I have Known”…Great info from you all..


  • Grizzly Smith

    You might also want to check out the website of the ET Seton Institute ( They have a good selection of Seton’s books available for download.

    They were nice enough, in fact, to share two of Seton’s books I’d read for my podcast via a player on their website. Does that count as “full disclosure?” ;-)


  • David Lagesse

    On this website is the story of Lobo & Blanca from:
    “Wild Animals I Have Known” by Ernest Thompson-Seton

    Also the photo of Lobo’s pelt, with the photos that Seton himself took. Picture taken at the Seton Memorial Library and Museum, Philmont Scout Ranch, Cimarron, New Mexico.

    NOTE: Corrumpa is the current spelling of the name, it’s in Union County, NM.

    Some interesting self guided historical and scenic tours around the Cimarron area.
    Glimpse the pioneer experience of nineteenth century America along this national and historic byway.

    Seton’s photos and art work copied from:
    The Photographs and Artwork of Ernest Thompson Seton

    Feel free to use these files anyway you please!

  • Tangential Musings On Lobo, King Of The Currumpaw « cyberaxis
  • Nahani’s Wisdom

    Other great book about wolves include:
    The Custer Wolf by Roger Caras
    In the Shadow of a Rainbow by Robert Franklin Leslie

  • Alexey

    I am from Russia. I did not read so itresting and better stories about animals. Great Author! Many Thanks him!

  • J A M Saylor

    This is a deeply touching and heartfelt account of a glimpse into another creatures life…a life we have tried to exterminate…by taking away the food source, the protectors (the Native Americans), the enviornment…well you know the story. We are a country of teenagers, who have lost our ability to see as clearly as the small child and know not the consequences of what we have done…until we are old enough to truly see.

  • Victoria Winstanley

    This story more than any other moves me. I see similarities in these creatures that are in my own life.I have an affliction that puts me on the outers of normal society, I feel outlawed as these beutiful animals were. I wonder if I will ever be free from the traps I have walked into, but are not so easy to get out of.

  • Serge Freyman

    I read this story in Russia the book called “Stories about Animals” 1st was about a fox named Domino etc and I believe if those stories made into movies they would be very successful and educational. Made me look at animals in a different way.

  • Raymond Finnerty

    I think this event will remain with us forever and if David Attenborough said the same them it must mean something . The story makes u feel good and sad. Good that such an event happened and yet sad by Lobo’s passing away. They say that sad events have to happen sometimes for good to come out of it and this is one such time. Lobo didnt die cause he made an error, he died instead out of the love for hes other half Blanca when he tried to find her and once more to be with her. We sometimes say “Dont act like an animal” well after watching the TV Programme about Lobo it makes you wonder why People say this. If you havent seen this 45mins programme about Lobo, i guarantee you it will be worth buying and is easily bought from or any online stores that u know off.
    Thank you Lobo for been such a brave hero.

  • Gabrielle weber

    i have a book that has most of these pictures in it i like the artwork alot.

  • Martin

    This episode of Nature is one of my favorites, it is such a powerful story of how the environmental movement started and how we as human beings are really the only species that can be the guardians of our world as only we have the power to do so.
    For a free online read of Seton’s Book Wild animals I have known
    go to
    You can also download a free copy at the same site for reading offline.

  • Ron Kennedy

    We cannot rest. There are still those who believe that the wolf must be exterminated. Just check out what is happening now in the upper five mountain states. We establish healthy populations and turn around and kill them. What logic is there to that??

  • Stoddard Hardwick

    I routinely watch Nature every Sunday and this show ” The Wolf That Changed America” is why.
    How the killing of Wolves can be condoned is appalling and is even more so for me. I tuned in to a hunting show by mistake one time and witnessed the killing of a wild dog by these so called hunters hiding behind a blind while animals were lured by bait. The wild dog was a Carolina Dog that was held up by its tail in triumph.
    I have been the caretaker of a Carolina Dog for ten years.

  • R.S. Imper

    Seton is not someone to be admired in my opinion. He killed a great many animals, including Lobo’s mate and let Lobo die in great pain. I don’t like to watch nature programs that depict the killing of animals by man. I’m glad his book had an effect on saving America’s wilderness, but he profited immensely from it. I think this is a romanticized version of his “conversion.” I’m greatly disappointed that PBS chose to run this program. I would hardly call him “one of America’s first ecologists.”

    Surely you could have chosen a more inspiring story to tell.

  • don schie pahrump nv.

    I just watched this story on P B S a man named seton wrote thi journal in new mexico as he was hired to kill wolfs because they were killing cattle in 1993 very interesting story he then wished he not killed lobo the king of the carumpah .

  • Andrew

    It is very unfortunate that man’s greed will always place nature last. We just don’t learn, and time and time again nature suffers. A small island the size of Texas is floating around the pacific ocean. It is 6 feet deep and is plastic garbage that we have carelessly thrown out. The Gulf of Mexico will never recover. Now these same Oil barons want to build a pipe line from norther Alberta to the coast of B.C, and ship oil through a natural reserve, displacing all kinds of marine and animal life. All those that do good are always out done by our own careless greed.

  • Barbara

    As a pre-teenager, I was a member of the Woodcraft Rangers, a childrens group that was based on Ernest Thompson Seton’s work and philosophy of ecology. His conversion and later work was read, explained and revered as the way of the person who is in harmony with nature. We studied the Native Americans and wildlife and were taught to respect both. ETS may have started hil professional life as a killer of wildlife but he more than redeemed himself with the huge “ecological movement he started.

  • jim anderson


  • Jd in Sd

    I think regardless of how one might feel about E.T. Seton, this was a story well worth watching, let alone producing and airing. Simply for the fact that the story of Lobo and Blanca is one we can relate to. It can help us to understand how much even so called “wild animals” deserve a life if dignity and they deserve to be preserved and left alone.

  • Domka

    Human hunters kill animals for fun or money. Animals don’t. After I watched the story of Lobo and Blanca on PBS last night, I cried. I was disgusted when I saw a picture of Lobo’s pelt that Seton himself took that was on the internet. I thought that both Lobo and Blanca were buried together in peace.

  • Sarah Hammond

    This story broke my heart…I could not sleep after watching it. I loved the point they made about how HUMANS (english-men) killed the buffalo then brought in defenseless cows behind them, leaving the wolves essentially no other choice. The wolves have families to feed too. All animal “problems” are created by people and then they pay the price. When will we learn?

    I Love PBS

  • Bean

    Killer. He could never recompense for his murders of Blanca and Lobo. I hope he burns in hell.

  • CJ

    “Ron Kennedy says:
    October 10, 2010 at 9:40 pm
    We cannot rest. There are still those who believe that the wolf must be exterminated. Just check out what is happening now in the upper five mountain states. We establish healthy populations and turn around and kill them. What logic is there to that??”
    The reintroduction of the wolf has been a major mistake. Did they release the wolves in your neighborhood Ron? I highly doubt it! They reintroduced them into our backyards. Now they are unmanaged due to political and emotion people brainwashing the courts. Look at some of the comments here. Some hope he burns in hell!? So animals are over people? I think not. Yes, be conservitive, but do not become one of the animal rights eco terrorists.

  • Ghost Dog

    When I was a child my family had a hound dog named Lobo. My only true memory of him was after he died. I saw him in our yard on the side of the house and I remember thinking how is this possible. I ran inside to the kitchen where my mother and sister were and told them Lobo is alive and in the yard they, of course, said that’s not possible and did not believe me. I told my self that, yes, it did happen and that even when I grew up I should not let myself believe otherwise. I decided today that I would google Lobo and see what the story was behind the name, I had been told that Lobo is Spanish for wolf, which made me want to know more. I only recently figured out that this dog was the source of my love for the hound breed.

  • riqi

    I see thant story in tv it amazing me

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  • Leonora Alberico

    Greg, I clicked over from Jeanie’s site… wow! you are a true artist, can not wait till I can come and visit! Would love to see your work in person. Matthew, West Caldwell NJ

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    When I originally commented I clicked the -Notify me when new feedback are added- checkbox and now every time a comment is added I get four emails with the identical comment. Is there any way you’ll be able to take away me from that service? Thanks!

  • Linsey Heisner

    That 1st pic…gorgeous! LOVE the contours of her face! The 4th pic is amazing!!! Go Jada! Rock on!!

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  • Chris

    Just inherited some original work from an avid ETS collector. Any way in which I can get this work evaluated, Original signed art, first edition books, etc.?
    Thank you for keeping the mans work alive!

  • Joss Klevins

    OK.. I understand most of what you are saying but it is a lot to digest. I know it will sink in later on. Your writing is concise and to the point. By the way, The Wolf That Changed America – The Photographs and Artwork of Ernest Thompson Seton | Nature | PBS was a great choice for a title.

  • Yianni

    Seaton was a killer not worth living. He made a story and took advantage of this animal. Shame on him and his life. This should have happened to his beloved ones also. Animal killers I spit on your miserable life.

  • Peter

    Great film! I wish PBS would air it occasionally on its affiliates. And to those who deride Seton: You might want to take a more thoughtful look at his legacy. Pete Seeger, Gary Nabhan, Sir David Attenborough and Roger Tory Peterson—each a remarkable artist and activist—have all credited Seton as the primary inspiration for their work.

  • Wolf Sullivan

    I disagree with Philip who wrote, “After thinking about the sequence of events as described by Seton, I don’t believe Seton’s account that Lobo died a few hours after being taken back to Seton’s cabin of a ‘broken heart’.” Seton wrote his account of Lobo’s death. That’s all we have. Seton is a well known historical figure regarding wolves who changed his mind about the wolf. Who the hell is Philip? I believe Seton, who was there and wrote about it. I do not believe Philip, who was not there and only knows what Seton wrote.

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