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addabook - The Elephant Whisperer
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The Elephant Whisperer
My Life with the Herd in the African Wild
Lawrence Anthony
read on February 1, 2014

I had the impression that this book was going to be about a man that learns to communicate with elephants. I don't really know why I thought that, I guess that's what you get when you don't go beyond just the cover of the book. The book ended up being a touching description of life with the wild in the African bush. It's fantastically written, and more than once I found myself on Google looking up Anthony's Thula Thula wildlife reserve and pricing out a trip. That's really the strongest endorsement I can give the book, since Africa used to be on my strict no-fly list. Lawrence seems like a fantastic guy, continuously putting his life on the line to protect the African wildlife. More than anything, the book is an expression of his deep respect for both the wildlife and the geographic region. I was surprised and interested at the small amount of tribal politics that Anthony describes in his region as well. This is the kind of guy I wouldn't mind getting stuck in an elevator with. I feel like we could hang.

Author Bio:

Lawrence Anthony (17 September 1950 – 2 March 2012) was an international conservationist, environmentalist, explorer and bestselling author. He was the long-standing head of conservation at the Thula Thula game reserve in Zululand, South Africa, and the Founder of The Earth Organization, a privately registered, independent, international conservation and environmental group with a strong scientific orientation. He was an international member of the esteemed Explorers Club of New York and a member of the National Council of the Southern Africa Association for the Advancement of Science, South Africa’s oldest scientific association. Anthony had a reputation for bold conservation initiatives, including the rescue of the Baghdad Zoo at the height of the US-led Coalition invasion of Iraq in 2003, and negotiations with the infamous Lord's Resistance Army rebel army in Southern Sudan, to raise awareness of the environment and protect endangered species, including the last of the Northern White Rhinoceros. Details of his conservation activities appeared regularly in regional and international media including CNN, CBS, BBC, Al Jazeera and Sky TV and featured in magazines and journals such as Readers Digest, the Smithsonian, the Explorers Journal, Africa Geographic, Men's Journal, Shape magazine, Elle magazine and others. Anthony died of a heart attack at the age of 61 before his planned March 2012 conservation gala dinner in Durban to raise international awareness for the rhino-poaching crisis and to launch his new book, The Last Rhinos: My Battle to Save One of the World's Greatest Creatures. Following his death, there were reports that some of the elephants he worked to save came to his family's home in accordance with the way elephants usually mourn the death of one of their own.