The Urban Bestiary: Encountering the Everyday Wild

The Urban Bestiary: Encountering the Everyday Wild - Lyanda Lynn Haupt The URBAN BESTIARY is a little book that combines tracking advice, facts, philosophy, and enjoyable anecdotes all together in a comprehensive manner. To call it fun would be an understatement.

The most striking element of the book is Haupt's willingness to talk about the gross and unseemly elements of urban animalhood, like investigating an animal's refuse or corpses. Her frankness incorporates ALL aspects of the natural world, not just the pretty observations that can be made from afar. She frequently questions or refutes many ill-informed assumptions about various animals, like the possum, and offers advice with how to deal with unwelcome visitors in a humane manner. It's empowering to learn better solutions than "call animal control," at any rate.

My only complaint--and it's barely one!--is that the book isn't long enough. There were a lot of animals, such as foxes or the entire reptile family tree, which are unfortunately looked over. Additionally, if you don't live in the same areas as the animals she discusses do, it's difficult to apply her knowledge to everyday life.

It's a great read nonetheless, and a great introduction to the urban wild.