Trapping Reform in Wyoming

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Almost a Conversation

Northern river otters rest on the ice at Jackson Lake in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming.

Photography has provided WU the power to shift our understanding of wild Wyoming to build a healthy and thriving ecosystem that benefits everyone. It has contributed to a new awareness of Wyoming’s furbearers, showing the beauty as well as the inhumane management of these big/little creatures.

Poetry has also painted the light, as in these brilliantly crafted words about the river otter,
by Mary Oliver in her new book “Devotions”.

“Almost a Conversation”.

I have not really, not yet, talked with otter
about his life.

He has so many teeth, he has trouble
with vowels.

Wherefore our understanding
is all body expression—

he swims like the sleekest fish,
he dives and exhales and lifts a trail of bubbles.
Little by little he trusts my eyes
and my curious body sitting on the shore.

Sometimes he comes close.
I admire his whiskers
and his dark fur which I would rather die than wear.

He has no words, still what he tells about his life is clear.

He does not own a computer.

He imagines the river will last forever.

He does not envy the dry house I live in.

He does not wonder who or what it is that I worship.

He wonders, morning after morning, that the river
is cold and fresh and alive, and still
I don’t jump in.

Mary Oliver

** Mary Oliver has touched countless readers with her brilliantly crafted verse, expounding on her love for the physical world and the powerful bonds between all living things.

Photo: Wyoming river otters,

** Thank you to our photographers, videographers and individuals for graciously sharing high quality Wyoming wildlife and landscape images for our visual content needs.





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