Wild Animals I Have Known, Lobo I

Seton, at the beginning of the book, states that all these stories are true. All wild animals meet tragic ends, although some of the deaths are disputed. People may look for a moral to the stories. His aim in writing is to show that all animals have some human traits and qualities, and all humans have some animal characteristics – we are kin, as Moses and the Buddha both wrote thousands of years ago.

The area of Currumpaw, New Mexico, was terrorised by Lobo, a great grey wolf, and his pack for 5 years in the late 1890s. He was the king of the region. He had a white wolf, Blanca, who might have been his mate, and a yellow wolf who was able to bring down an antelope.

Their favourite meal was year old heifers, and they caused great destruction to the herds of the area, killing over 2000 of them. They would also eat mutton, horses and calves, but this was not their preferred meat. They were able to evade all traps and poisons, for Lobo did not permit his pack to eat anything they had not killed. Once, when the wolves had been chased off a cow that they had just killed, a man poisoned it in three places. When the man returned later, he found that the wolves had cut out the poisoned parts and eaten the rest.

A bounty was set on the head of Lobo for $1000, a great amount at the time – more than for some human criminals. A Texan named Tannery came to try his luck, with a great outfit of horses, guns and wolfhounds. However, the terrain was in the wolves favour – because of the canyons they were able to separate the wolfhounds and kill them, and Tannery also lost his best horse in a fall. He gave up and went back to Texas in disgust. Other wolf hunters tried and were also unsuccessful.

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*People are unsure where the actual area of Currumpaw is. There is some discussion of the location on this website.

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