Wisdom of the Wild

As humans learn more about animal intelligence, we also are discovering that animals have a lot to teach us. Those lessons are the provocative subject of Wisdom of the Wild.

In a Tanzanian jungle, a scientist and a medicine man follow a chimpanzee in search of a cure for a deadly disease. On the plains of Kenya, a woman learns a powerful lesson about family — from a pair of elephants. And in the Florida Keys, an eight-year old boy with a genetic illness utters his first words, for a chance to swim with dolphins.

From the ancient world to the modern, human lives have been influenced by animals in matters that reach far beyond the food chain. Wisdom of the Wild illustrates some of the surprising ways in which animals help teach, heal, and strengthen people, in body, mind, and spirit.

To order a copy of Wisdom of the Wild, visit the NATURE Shop.

Online content for Wisdom of the Wild was originally posted December 1999.

  • Donald Harris

    It does’nt surprise me that the animal kingdom could teach us a thing or two. They don’t seek to destroy each other on a grand scale, or they don’t seek to self destruct. I would think that communication is the largest barrier between animals and us. Who knows with the proper comm channel maybe we could leard a great deal from each other.

  • john

    love nature show about dolphins by

  • Bob Spencer

    Yes! Yes! YES!!

  • Amanda

    Very touching story… Thanks!!!

  • Wendy G

    I watched this piece last night and was fascinated and intrigued enough to seek more info online today. I highly recommend this program for family viewing.

  • dave K

    Dophins seem to behave differently than other mammals. They seem to understand what is happening in a given situation.

    Question: When the dolphins were working with the little boys, would they simply linger while an event completed – like a human would – wait to see and experience the outcome?

    Or, did they stay on the scene by commands and subsquently depart when given the “release” command?

    If the former, then that would auger for a much higher level of cognitive intelligence.

  • dave K

    Sorry for the shoddy writing . . . Dolphins, etc.

  • Bill Pryor

    That program was truly wonderful and inspirational. Every adult and child in the world should see it for a fuller understanding of various creatures. They certainly understand more than I ever imagined.

  • Robert Edgar

    THANK YOU! Once again “NATURE” release the wisdom of the wild into the hearts and minds of mankind. I wonder how many lives would be changed for the better if every human on the planet took one hour out of their week and spent it with “NATURE”.

  • Elsa Kendall

    This is one of the most wonder-full programs I’ve seen on the relationship between animals and us, and their innate wisdom and willingness to share with us. Bravo to the producer and the director, and all who had a kind hand in bringing this story to the screen. And of course to PBS for airing one of the best programs on the planet, NATURE!

  • Bob Blizzard

    Absolutely one of the best programs I’ve seen on NATURE; a must see.

  • Dale F Johnson

    OH! To be born an elephant.

  • Leanna

    Watched the show yesterday. I teach a high school animal science class and I can’t wait to show this to my class. It was great.

  • qwerty

    There is so damn much more we can learn from these creatures than we give them credit for!

  • Ron Whitt

    9-26-08: I just finished watching “Wisdom of the Wild.” I can’t believe what I just saw. I have never been so touched in my life. Brought tears to my eyes.

  • piyush

    i have to get the storys based on wild wisdom

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  • Jennifer

    Where is it possible to watch this episode, out of the USA? (I live in Czech republic, and I really want to see this because I have seen one of the consultants to his episode, but can’t find it anywhere)

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  • Keith Duncan

    The connection between animals and humans is clearly demonstrated throughout history. Perhaps not as well understood as seen but there are connections we can’t perceive with our limited senses.

    Using animals to “reawaken” challenged humans is a worthwhile pursuit. Here in Kentucky there are great programs using horses with children who are physically and mentally challenged.

  • Joanne

    Well put Keith! I think we’ve lost a lot of things that we have forgotten or still need to learn. The human race may be at the top but we are not the end all.

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