‘Bonanza’ Star Lorne Greene Passionately Explained the Death of ‘The Old Wilderness’

by Joe Rutland

The great outdoors happened to be a passion of “Bonanza” star Lorne Greene. He loved presenting different views of it through TV.

Greene was the host of a show called “New Wilderness.” It was based in Canada, Greene’s home country. Yet the show did get syndicated throughout a large part of the United States and other foreign countries.

It premiered in 1982 and the “Bonanza” lead actor happened to talk about his passion for the environment during an interview with Australian TV in the 1980s.

‘Bonanza’ Star Said Animals Took Care Of Themselves In Old Days

“Well you see, the wilderness has changed,” Greene said. “The old wilderness is practically gone. The new wilderness is practically in place. And when I say old and new wilderness, the old wilderness, the animals took care of themselves. In the new wilderness, man has had to step in and take care of the animals.

“Now the animals can do very well without us,” he said. “And they did that for hundreds and hundreds of centuries since the beginning of time. Today, man has to step in and help out.”

This series, which Greene hosted, ran for five seasons. It helped raise awareness of what animals go through in the wilderness. It is also known as “Lorne Greene’s New Wilderness” in some countries.

In “Bonanza,” Greene had his sons help him deal with animals on the Ponderosa. That show is set in the 1860s with the Cartwrights’ mythical ranch land near Nevada.

Greene, who played patriarch Ben Cartwright on the NBC western, died on Sept. 11, 1987, at 72 years old.

Ben Cartwright Actor Buys His Horse After Show Ends Its Run

One thing which Lorne Greene did after “Bonanza” finished its 14-season run is buying the horse that he used for the series.

Before the show started filming, Greene, Michael Landon, Dan Blocker, and Pernell Roberts went to Fat Jones Stables. They picked out the horses for the show, according to History Daily. That day, Greene met Buck.

Greene wasn’t a natural horseman. Buck, though, was gentle and easy to control. Greene considered the horse almost a costar on the show.

When “Bonanza” ended its run, Greene was concerned about Buck’s future. He ensured his steed would live longer as Greene bought the horse.

Greene donated Buck to a therapeutic horseback riding facility. The horse helped children with physical and mental disabilities.

A good move by a man with a big heart for animal and nature conservation.