The Elephant Whisperer: My Life with the Herd in the African Wild
Booklist Reviews 2009 November #1
Anthony, conservationist and author (Babylon's Ark, 2007), owns a wildlife reserve in the KwaZulu-Natal province of South Africa. A former hunting preserve, rumored to be part of the legendary Shaka's exclusive hunting territory, it has become a game reserve with a lodge for ecotourists. Home to Zululand's full suite of wildlife, Thula Thula had everything—except elephants. When he was offered a herd from another game reserve Anthony accepted wholeheartedly, despite the fact that these elephants were known escape artists. During their first night at the park the traumatized elephants broke out, and after days on the run had been given a death sentence by the local wildlife authorities, only averted when the author pleaded for one more chance. The story of how Anthony saved his elephants by making friends with them, reversing their negative perceptions of humans and earning their trust, is both heartwarming and heartening. Life on a game reserve is never easy, particularly when elephants are added to the mix, but Anthony's enthusiasm and obvious love for the bush shine through in hair-raising, sad, and funny tales. This life with elephants is a real winner. Copyright 2009 Booklist Reviews.
LJ Reviews 2009 November #1
Anthony, writing with editor and journalist Spence, is a conservationist who owns and manages extensive property in South Africa and has taken on the daunting task of serving as a buffer between native peoples and endangered species. The title is somewhat misleading: Anthony admits that his book has nothing to do with understanding elephant habits and behaviors. In 1999, the author somewhat reluctantly agreed to foster a herd of elephants that had a longstanding reputation for breaking out of protected reserves and running amuck in the countryside. To prevent the herd from being shot, Anthony took them in to his 5000-acre game reserve. VERDICT Despite Anthony's awards and recognition for his conservation efforts, this book falls short in terms of holding reader interest. The writing doesn't do justice to Anthony's efforts to save these animals. It is drawn out and lacks the spark and engagement that descriptive writing creates in the reader. A disappointment even for those who like memoirs and African wildlife. A marginal purchase. (Photos not seen.) [Library marketing campaign.]—Edell M. Schaefer, Brookfield P.L., WI[Page 85]. Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.