Nobody knows how to get to The Wolf Island. Few know of its existence and even these few people think of it more as a mythical island rather than a real one.
But she knows. She goes there every full moon. It is her favorite place on Earth: the place where the spirits of all the wolves that once lived on Earth gather and speak to her, telling their stories from the beginning till present. She learned about their ways, about their families, their pack hunting, their love stories, their friendships, their fears, their losses, their desires, their joys, their turbulent relation with humans along the history. She learned how her kind had hunted wolves to the brink of extinction many times throughout history without realizing that wolves are of utmost importance in keeping the balance of the ecosystem and that by exterminating them there will be devastating consequences to nature. Realizing that, humans stopped the hunting for a while, allowing the wolf population to regrow. But then… they forgot and… the history had repeated itself over and over again. People have short term memory and it seems that they are not capable of learning from their past mistakes once and for all. Maybe this is their curse.
But let’s leave these for now and, since it’s a full moon, let’s hear Lobo’s story: He lived a happy but hard life in Currumpaw, New Mexico, together with his life-mate, Blanca, and his fearless pack. In a time when the wolves had been deprived of their natural prey such as bison, elk and pronghorn by settlers, they had to convert their ways to the new reality in order to survive and so they started to prey on the settlers’ livestock. Lobo became the “King of Currumpaw”, the leader of a cattle-killing wolves. He had to learn all the humans’s ways of killing wolves in order to elude them. He and his pack escaped traps, poison, riffles, dogs for years, becoming a terror for the ranchers of that area. A bounty was put on his head and many bounty hunters tried to catch him without any luck. He always outsmart them.
At their wits end, the farmers hired Ernest Thompson Seton a naturalist as well as a professional animal trapper to kill him. Seton tried unsuccessfully to catch him for more than 4 months. The mating season began and, therefore, he and Blanca were inseparable. And this was his doom. Seton, a wise and determined man, changed his tactics and lured Blanca, the love of his life, whom he finally caught and killed. Life became pointless for Lobo. He howl-mourned her for two days, trying every minute to catch a last glimpse-sniff of her love through the ranch’s windows. All he wanted was to see her one last time, to lay beside her and die. Finally, seeing no other way to be together with Blanca for one more time, he let himself caught in 4 traps around the house where Blanca was taken in and … that was it. Hurt, he was carried by Seton inside, he took a last glimpse of his Blanca who was lying dead on the floor and then… he let himself die. Their spirits united in the Great Beyond and since then they wander happily, always together, inseparable, through the stars, through multiverses, through space and time. Now and then, they come to the Wolf Island, the meeting place of the spirits of all the wolves that once lived on Earth and tell their story to whoever listens.
As for his Nemesis, Seton, his encounter with Lobo changed him forever: an immense respect for the wolves and for the entire nature grew inside him. He returned east and found new purpose in speaking out against the destruction of America’s wilderness. He lobbied for the creation of new national parks, and fought for protections for wildlife.
For Seton, it wasn’t just a question of saving the wilderness. He believed that people had to experience nature in order to care about it — that it should be a part of everyone’s upbringing.
He wrote a book Wild Animals I Have Known, where he called himself the villain and Lobo a hero. The book became a worldwide success and turned Seton into a major celebrity.
This image and the story attached to it was inspired by the true story of Lobo – The Wolf That Changed America (as they called him).
More on the Lobo and Blanca story: https://www.pbs.org/wnet/nature/the-wolf-that-changed-america-introduction/4260/