...from a BookLover

Sunday, 22 July 2012

The Elephant Whisperer

I picked up this book by Lawrence Anthony and Graham Spence in South Africa during our stay at Cheetah Experience last year. It is a wonderful book about a herd of elephants and the effort and love it took to save their lives and give them a new beginning. 

"The Elephant Whisperer" by Lawrence Anthony
and Graham Spence
The herd members were masters of escape and destruction, considered highly dangerous and on their way to be put down when Anthony agreed to take them into his reserve as a last attempt to rescue them. He did everything in his power to make them feel at home - including moving out into the bush with them. His persistance and success changed a lot of lives - both animal and people. Especially his own family - imagine all of a sudden living amongst unpredictable elephants!

Sadly, Lawrence Anthony died this spring, only 61 years old. He was a true conservationist who did amazing things, all against the odds. I also recommend reading about the time he saved the animals in a zoo in a war zone or his quest to save the white rhinos. He did so much and inspired so many. I wish I could have met him.

The book made me want to visit "Thula Thula". The animals, the people, the landscape - everything is described with such detail and care, you cannot help but share their ups and downs. Some moments are incredibly funny and leaves you laughing out loud, whilst others are unbelievably and devastatingly sad. This book is beautifully written, and leaves you with a sense of bereavement - a longing to dive back into the culture and those vast views. There is something special about the athmosphere of South Africa - it creeps under your skin somehow. This book will persuade you to travel there - and to perhaps seek out an elephant or two.

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