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Love, Life, and Elephants: An African Love Storyby Daphne Sheldrick
Synopses & Reviews
Meet Greg. Heandrsquo;s a stocky guy with an outsized swagger. Heandrsquo;s been the intimidating yet sociable don of his posse of friendsandmdash;including Abe, Keith, Mike, Kevin, Torn Trunk and Willie. But one arid summer the tide begins to shift and the third-ranking Kevin starts to get ambitious, seeking a higher position within this social club. But this is no ordinary tale of gangland betrayalandmdash;Greg and his entourage are bull elephants in Etosha National Park, Namibia, where, for the last twenty-three years, Caitlin Oandrsquo;Connell has been a keen observer of their complicated friendships.
In Elephant Don, Oandrsquo;Connell, one of the leading experts on elephant communication and social behavior, takes us inside the little-known world of African male elephants, a world that is steeped in ritual, where bonds are maintained by unexpected tenderness punctuated by violence. Elephant Don tracks Greg and his group of bulls as Oandrsquo;Connell tries to understand the vicissitudes of male friendship, power struggles, and play. A frequently heart-wrenching portrayal of commitment, loyalty, and affection between individuals yearning for companionship, it vividly captures an incredible repertoire of elephant behavior and communication. and#160;Greg, Oandrsquo;Connell shows, is sometimes a tyrant and other times a benevolent dictator as he attempts to hold onto his position at the top. Though Elephant Don is Gregandrsquo;s story, it is also the story of Oandrsquo;Connell and the challenges and triumphs of field research in environs more hospitable to lions and snakes than scientists.
Readers will be drawn into dramatic tales of an elephant society at once exotic and surprisingly familiar, as Oandrsquo;Connellandrsquo;s decades of close research reveal extraordinary discoveries about a male society not wholly unlike our own. Surely weandrsquo;ve all known a Greg or two, and through this book we may come to know them in a whole new light.
"Conservationist Sheldrick (Animal Kingdom) gives a lyrical yet droll voice to her rollicking life in Kenya, where she has spent more than 50 years rehabilitating orphaned wildlife. After a peaceable divorce from her first husband, the author marries David Sheldrick, warden of Tsavo National Park, a relationship rooted in their shared passion for assisting feral creatures and preserving the natural world. Against the backdrop of the Mau Mau rebellion and the dawn of the Republic of Kenya, Sheldrick rears two daughters and acclimates to a range of extraordinary new living arrangements that enable David to develop Tsavo into a haven for both animals and eco-tourists. In addition to peppering the book with tender anecdotes about her quirky animal crew (especially Eleanor, her elephant companion of more than 40 years), Sheldrick forcefully captures the conflicts David faces at Tsavo: fighting ivory poachers, agonizing over a mandated elephant slaughter, and challenging a research team planning a needless elephant cull. After her husband's death, Sheldrick becomes chair of the internationally known David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust and keeps busy caring for orphaned animals whom she calls 'my solace, my companions, and my sanity.' This rich memoir offers practical insights about learning when to intervene and when to let go. Agent: Patrick Walsh, Conville Walsh." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
“Astonishing...You may be tempted after the last page to sell all your possessions and join [Sheldricks] cause.”—The Boston Globe
The first person to successfully raise newborn elephants, Dame Daphne Sheldrick has saved countless African animals from certain death. In this indelible and deeply heartfelt memoir, Daphne tells of her remarkable career as a conservationist and introduces us to a whole host of orphans—including Bushy, a liquid-eyed antelope, and the majestic elephant Eleanor. Yet she also shares the incredible human story of her relationship with David Sheldrick, the famous Tsavo National Park warden whose death inspired the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust and the orphans nursery, where Daphne works to this day. From her tireless campaign to preserve Kenyas wildlife to the astonishing creatures she befriended along the way, Love, Life, and Elephants is alive with compassion and humor, providing rare insight into the life of one of the worlds most fascinating women.
Daphne Sheldrick, whose family arrived in Africa from Scotland in the 1820s, is the first person ever to have successfully hand-reared newborn elephants. Her deep empathy and understanding, her years of observing Kenyas rich variety of wildlife, and her pioneering work in perfecting the right husbandry and milk formula have saved countless elephants, rhinos, and other baby animals from certain death.
In this heartwarming and poignant memoir, Daphne shares her amazing relationships with a host of orphans, including her first love, Bushy, a liquid-eyed antelope; Rickey-Tickey-Tavey, the little dwarf mongoose; Gregory Peck, the busy buffalo weaver bird; Huppety, the mischievous zebra; and the majestic elephant Eleanor, with whom Daphne has shared more than forty years of great friendship.
But this is also a magical and heartbreaking human love story between Daphne and David Sheldrick, the famous Tsavo Park warden. It was their deep and passionate love, Davids extraordinary insight into all aspects of nature, and the tragedy of his early death that inspired Daphnes vast array of achievements, most notably the founding of the world-renowned David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust and the Orphans Nursery in Nairobi National Park, where Daphne continues to live and work to this day.
Encompassing not only David and Daphnes tireless campaign for an end to poaching and for conserving Kenyas wildlife, but also their ability to engage with the human side of animals and their rearing of the orphans expressly so they can return to the wild, Love, Life, and Elephants is alive with compassion and humor, providing a rare insight into the life of one of the worlds most remarkable women.
About the Author
Dame Daphne Sheldrick is a Kenyan author, conservationist, and expert in animal husbandry, particularly the raising and reintegrating of orphaned elephants into the wild. From 1955 to 1976, Sheldrick was co-warden of Kenyas Tsavo National Park.
Table of Contents
Kissing of the Ring
Journey to Mushara
The Head That Wears the Crown
Introduction to the Boysand#8217; Club
Coalitions and a Fall from Grace
The Domino Effect
Capo di Tutti Capi
Of Musth and Other Demons
The Emotional Elephant
The Don Back in the Driverand#8217;s Seat
Sniffing Out Your Relatives
Where Are the Boys in Gray?
A Case for Dishonest Signaling
The Don under Fire
Black Mamba in Camp
Baying at a Testosterone-Filled Moon
A Deposed Don
The Don Returns
Scramble for Power
The Royal Family
The Politics of Family
A New Beginning
Captions for Chapter-Opening Photos
What Our Readers Are Saying
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