The present volume takes the reader through a vast and varied field of human interest : the world of the wild animals. It reveals to him at every step facts different and previously unknown about the most interesting thing about a wild animal, its mind its the reasoning. Of all kinds of interest attaching to the study of the worlds wild animals, there are none that surpass the study of their minds and morals and the acts that they perform as the result of their mental processes. Relying chiefly on his own close up observations of the many phases of animal intelligence and its manipulation, the author brings into this magnificent volume a great many stories of occurrences for the purpose of giving the reader all the facts in order that he may form his own opinions of the animal mentality displayed. It is the authors fervent plea that at a time when the bravest and the best of the wild creatures of the earth go down and out under the merciless and inexorable steam roller that we call civilization, the feet of thinking men and women should turn more to seeing and studying the wild creatures and less to the killing of them, so that some of the worlds valuable species might escape being swept away tomorrow, or the day after. This book which unfolds an almost endless succession of surprises and delights helps us to know these wonderful specimens of creation truly as they are and thereby enables us to enjoy them to the utmost, to utilize them sensibly and fairly and to give them a square deal.
Dr. William Temple Hornaday (1854-1937) was born on Dec. 1, 1954.When he was eleven years old, his mother died. He had decided to take his life seriously after the deathof his father when he was 15 years old. Dr. Hornaday studied at Oskaloosa College where he learned to speak and write in a professional manner and prepared himself to write books, pamphlets, articles and lectures later in life. In 1871 he enrolled at lowa State University and studied Botany, Zoology, Palaeontology, Scientific Stock Breeding and Forestry. He left university in Nov. 1873. He married Josephine Chamberlain on Sept. 11, 1879. They had a daughter named Helen Ross who was married to George T. Fielding and got a son named Temple Hornaday Fielding. By 1882 Dr. Hornaday was an expert taxidermist and field naturalist. He was appointed as a chief taidermist at the United States, National Museum. He worked for 30 years and was named the creator of the Bronx Zoo, the finest of its kind in the world. Dr. Hornaday was a pioneer in wild-life conservation. He helped found the national Zoo in Washington D.C. Furthermore, he was the founder and then director of the New York Zoological Society for more than twenty years. Dr. Hornaday also served as the Chief Taxidermist for the Smithsonian Institute. He is generally credited with saving the American bison and other wildlife species from extinction.
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