Publishers Weekly - Publisher's WeeklyAmboseli National Park, near Mt. Kilimanjaro in southern Kenya, is home ground to some 600 elephants; this herd has been relatively free from human interference and was a major focus for field study. Moss, author of Portraits in the Wild, has been involved with the elephants of Amboseli since 1973; she and her colleagues have made a substantial contribution to our knowledge of elephant biology and behavior. Here, she follows one extended family through 13 years of good times and bad times, observing details of their daily lives. The book is organized by year and topic: each chapter begins with a synthesized narrative that introduces a single phase of lifesuch as mating, migration, social behavior, births and calves (this is the first study of elephant newborns and their development)that relates to family history. This is a captivating story of individual animals', rather than the author's, adventures. Moss affirms the old tale about elephants assisting one of their own who is injured or dying; she also reports that they recognize bare and bleached bones of their species. Any reader interested in animals will be captivated. Photos. (March)
Library Journal - Library JournalMoss builds upon earlier elephant studies, such as Iain and Oria Douglas-Hamilton's Among the Elephants (1975), by producing a complete census of the elephants in one area, Amboseli National Park in Kenya, and focusing on population dynamics and such little-understood behavior as childbearing and -raising. Moss focuses on a single family and uses semi-fictionalized episodes written from the elephants' point of view to generate sympathy, but also provides detailed and objective information. Her final chapter addresses the problems of elephant control and conservation, arguing pragmatically that ivory dealers have a stake in preserving the species. Suitable for both general libraries and zoological collections. Beth Clewis, S.I.L.S., Univ. of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
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