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The Elephant Whisperer: My Life with the…
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The Elephant Whisperer: My Life with the Herd in the African Wild (2009)

by Lawrence Anthony, Graham Spence

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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» See also 14 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
educational; pretentious; what was the purpose for writing the book? to bring tourists? did he interact with the elephants for too long? ( )
  rosies | Oct 15, 2014 |
excellent story, very interesting. Author has wildlife preserve in Africa and took in herd of rogue elephants, learns their behavior and communication ways ( )
  cynthiasgarden | Jul 26, 2014 |
a good story. anthony is now dead--suddenly of a heart attack. good way to go i guess. ( )
  mahallett | Mar 29, 2014 |
Anthony does a magnificent job of sharing his story of settling a herd of seven wild elephants on his 5,000 acres of bush in Zululand, South Africa. I respect his decision to try to extend the reserve to include the neighboring tribal land so that a greater number of wild animals might live comfortably without interference. The elephants get the credit they deserve for being remarkably intelligent and resilient, despite extremely harsh treatment and bad memories early on. It is a source of great happiness that there are such people working tirelessly to create an environment of inclusion in a world that increasingly seems focused on self-aggrandizement.

Nana becomes the troubled herd’s defacto matriarch after the herd’s real matriarch is shot and killed just prior to the herd’s transfer to Thula Thula, Anthony’s game reserve, in 1999. Nana had learned many tricks about escaping from electrified enclosures from her earlier mentor and the herd often worked in concert to outwit their captors. Happily, Anthony seemed to understand that a calming presence and personal connection with the lead elephant could make a difference to the herd’s peace of mind. Slowly, over a period of weeks, he managed to make Nana understand that their new home could be a place of comfort and peace. They stayed and thrived, becoming important members of the reserve’s wildlife bounty.

Anthony shares his experiences in words and photos, and tells of difficulties with poachers, local tribal courts, unruly bushrangers, and with the wild elephants themselves. When money gets tight, he is forced to open a tourist lodge to host foreign guests, but does it with customary goodwill and bonhomie.

Late in the book, Anthony tells us he and one of his rangers went to Baghdad during the early part of the Iraq War to help save the zoo animals, and wrote a book about the experience called [book:Babylon's Ark: The Incredible Wartime Rescue of the Baghdad Zoo|409377]. His ranger then went on to Kabul, Afghanistan, to do the same thing there. The experience of living in the bush with these resourceful folks and animals over the period of time it takes to read the book is wonderfully energizing and one hates to leave their company at the end. One feels quite as though one is losing a friend. Anthony is not simply an elephant whisperer, but fortunately a man who spoke to us, too.

Lawrence Anthony died March 2, 2012 at the age of sixty-one. His obituary in The Telegraph of Britain is here. Graham Spence is a journalist and native Zimbabwean who co-wrote three books with Lawrence Anthony. He also writes fiction. A short bio is here. ( )
  bowedbookshelf | Mar 3, 2014 |
I'm just fascinated by elephants and was completely drawn in by Anthony's account of the day to day happenings on the game reserve. Amazing details of becoming acquainted with a rogue herd and understanding their interactions. Definitely recommended to animal lovers and travelers. KH ( )
  splinfo | Sep 7, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Lawrence Anthonyprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Spence, Grahammain authorall editionsconfirmed
Vance, SimonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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"When Lawrence Anthony was asked to accept a herd of "rogue" wild elephants on his reserve in Zululand, his common sense told him to refuse. But he was the herd's last chance of survival and in order to save their lives, Anthony took them in." -- Back cover… (more)

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