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Tarra & Bella: The Elephant and Dog Who Became Best Friendsby Carol Buckley
Synopses & Reviews
The people of northern Namibia in the African desert refer to Caitlin O'Connell as "the mother of all elephants." In this book, O'Connell juggles several roles while she studies elephant behavior in Namibias Etosha National Park: field scientist, mediator, ecologist, conservationalist and environmentalist. In decoding the patterns of elephant communication, she has aided tremendously in the fight against killing and poaching elephants--in some cases, those which are endangered, like the Asian elephant. Her scientific observations and procedures have also acted to mediate between the farmers of the region and the elephants who eat their yet-to-be harvested crops.
Donna M. Jackson, author of Extreme Scientists and ER Vets captures the most intriguing pieces of Caitlin O'Connell's scientific observations of elephant communication through seismic signals--vibrations they transmit with their feet. Interestingly enough, Caitlin found herself hypothesizing and discovering how elephants "listen with their limbs" through her early observations of how insects communicate through vibrations they cause in the leaves of plants. The text teems with other intriguing facts about these pachyderms (which means "thick skin"). Elephants are nature's largest mammal weighing in at 14,000 pounds. There are 40,000 muscles in an elephant's trunk, which is a multifaceted tool used for many more purposes than just smelling daisies. A hundred year ago, 10 million African elephants roamed the earth; now only 500,000 remain.
"With a conversational narrative and copious photographs, Buckley, cofounder and executive director of Tennessee's Elephant Sanctuary, spotlights the true-life friendship between an unlikely pair of animals. Following in the footsteps of hippo and tortoise duo Owen and Mzee, Tarra, a retired circus elephant who needed 'elephant friends and lots of room to roam,' and Bella, one of the sanctuary's stray dogs, forge an immediate and strong bond. In one poignant scenario, Tarra stands guard by the ditch where an injured Bella is lying until sanctuary workers locate her, and remains in that spot for two days, waiting for her return. The elephant later stays by the barn where she correctly senses her friend is until a caregiver carries the ailing dog outside. Shots of Tarra petting Bella with her trunk are among the book's most endearing pictures, which range from snapshotlike to skillfully framed images; also notable are photographs that underscore the dramatic difference in the animals' sizes. An endnote gives additional information about the sanctuary and its mission. Though the lime-green background on some pages is distracting, the animals' friendship will inspire young readers. Ages 3 — up. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
A stray Labrador named Bella befriends Tarra, a former circus elephant and resident of the Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee. While the pairing is unusual, the two are inseparable--even when a crisis threatens to separate them. Based on the national media sensation, this is a true story of friendship and loyalty.
With rare, stunning in-the-field photographs, this nonfiction photo essay brings young children to the Africa scrub desert to witness a baby elephant surviving in the wild.
Last summer, the Sibert Honorand#8211;winning duo Caitlin O'Connell and Timothy Rodwell witnessed the birthand#8212;and growthand#8212;of a baby elephant. In this intimate account for preschool through elementary readers, find answers to questions such as: What doand#160;newborn elephants look like? How big are they? What threatens them in the wild? Do they bully each other? Are they stalked by lions? What happens if they don't get enough food or water? Are they at risk of extinction?
With irresistible photographs and a text that places the reader in the wonder of the savannah, this is a book to treasure for all animal lovers.
A friendship unlike any other!
After retiring from the circus, Tarra became the first resident of the Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee. When other elephants moved in and developed close friendships, only Tarra remained alone—until the day she met a stray mixed-breed dog named Bella. From then on, the two were inseparable.
Color photographs of Tarra and Bella at home in the Elephant Sanctuary deftly illustrate this inspiring story of inter-species companionship.
About the Author
Donna M. Jackson spent many rewarding days at Colorado State University's Veterinary Teaching Hospital while researching ER Vets. She says that watching the highly skilled, committed, and compassionate emergency vet team in action inspired her work. An award-winning author of nonfiction books for children, Ms. Jackson holds a master's degree in journalism from the University of Colorado at Boulder and lives in Colorado with her family.
Dr. Timothy Rodwell has a medical degree specializing in International Health and a Ph.D. in disease ecology. The couple lives in San Diego and directs a nonprofit organization called Utopia Scientific which promotes elephant conversation and scientific understanding around the world.
Caitlin O'Connell (Rodwell) has a Ph.D in ecology, a graduate degree in entomology, for which she studied insect communications. This eventually led to her acoustic work with wild elephant herds in Africa. She has more than nineteen years experience working on research projects from elephant conservation to coral reef restoration.
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