The hunter who became a naturalist

A century ago, US president Theodore Roosevelt's year-long African hunting safari was coming to an end. Accompanying Roosevelt on that trip was big game hunter Frederick Selous, who as Denis Judd explains, helped to put animal protection on the agenda

British soldier, explorer and big game hunter Frederick Selous, pictured in 1914. (Photo by Topical Press Agency/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

This article was first published in the March 2010 issue of BBC History Magazine

America’s 26th president, Theodore Roosevelt, was a politician and statesman who seemed larger than life. His swashbuckling style, his love of sport and outdoor activities, his earlier ‘Rough Rider’ military exploits, and his capacity to grab the headlines made him immensely popular with the mass electorate and the newly emerging mass newspaper readership – especially within the English-speaking world. Yet toward the end of his second term as president, in 1908, he declined to run for the White House again, and more or less handed the next election to his close friend William Howard Taft.

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