The Last Great Wild Places: Rewilding Through Photographs

A new book by world renowned photographer Thomas Mangelsen must be seen

Posted Nov 16, 2014

A new book by world renowned photographer Thomas Mangelsen called The Last Great Wild Places (see also) is a most welcomed volume of awe-inspiring photographs. It also is a vivid reminder of just how influential we have been in destroying wild landscapes globally. Sure, one might argue that there really are no wild places left and that Earth is just a sliding scale of "unwildness," but surely some areas are "more wild" than others. And we should cherish them with all our hearts. 

The online description of this lovely book explains what it's all about. Specifically, The Last Great Wild Places "chronicles legendary nature photographer Thomas D. Mangelsen's past 40 years of photographic adventures in the field, capturing the splendor of wild places and intimate moments with animals. This book contains more than 150 of Mangelsen's most important images. Spanning all seven continents and crossing the northernmost to the southernmost extremes of the Earth, these spectacular images take both an intimate and far-reaching look into the natural world that has inspired artists, conservationists, and adventurers for centuries."

Rewilding our hearts by rewilding media

I'm very interested in the notion of personal "rewilding," and I see Mr. Mangelsen's book as an excellent way for us to reconnect and become re-enchanted with nature by looking at the process of rewilding as a meme for rehabilitating our hearts, facilitated by his stunning photographs. I also see The Last Great Wild Places as a valuable lesson in anthrozoology, the study of human-animal relationships. This book will make readers reflect on who we are, what we've done to our magnificent planet, and what needs to be done to prevent further decimation of landscapes that serve as homes for all different sorts of animals, humans included.

When I look at the images it makes me feel good, and it's difficult to imagine that others will not share the same experience of awe and magnificence. While we won't be able to get back what we've lost, there still are plenty of awe-inspiring landscapes and animals who can fill our hearts and heads with joy. And, let's hope we can use these positive feelings to do all that we can to stop the war on landscapes and animals immediately.

I hope The Last Great Wild Places enjoys a broad and global readership. It is perfect for people of all ages including youngsters. And, what's great about this book is that all one needs to do is look at and marvel at the photographs and imagine what it would be like to be there, as was Mr. Mangelsen. It also would be a valuable lesson to imagine what a tragedy it would be if, in the future, assembling a book like this would be impossible to do because the use of the word "wild" would be utterly and singularly misleading.

The teaser image and image above can be seen here, and are included with permission of Images of Nature photographer Thomas D. Mangelsen.

Marc Bekoff's latest books are Jasper's story: Saving moon bears (with Jill Robinson; see also)Ignoring nature no more: The case for compassionate conservation (see also)Why dogs hump and bees get depressed (see also), and Rewilding our hearts: Building pathways of compassion and coexistenceThe Jane effect: Celebrating Jane Goodall (edited with Dale Peterson) will be published in 2015. (; @MarcBekoff)