South African conservationist and Earth Organization founder Anthony spins the uplifting story of his wildlife reserve. "In 1999, I was asked to accept a herd of troubled wild elephants on my game reserve," writes the author at the beginning of this robust portrait of Thula Thula, the game land he owns, in cooperation with a number of Zulu tribes, in Zululand-5,000 acres of raw landscape that is thought to have been part of the exclusive hunting grounds of the Zulu king. No longer, since Anthony now runs it as a conservationist lodge, but it continues to produce colorful tales of wild discovery. Most prominent are the many fascinating stories that surround his adoption of the elephants, an unruly bunch he endeavors to make at home on the reserve. With a combination of intuition and experience, the author intelligently discusses many aspects of elephant behavior. But Thula Thula is far more than an experiment in elephant reintroduction; it's a slice of primal Africa home to Cape buffalo, white rhinoceros, leopards, crocodile, deadly puff adders and massive pythons. This, of course, makes it a target for poachers, and Anthony displays a manly, hardened edge. But he also demonstrates sensitivity and nuance in his dealings with Zulu tribal politics, especially when it comes to the cattle ranchers who want to take control of his land. Though the prose occasionally becomes mawkish-as in his "born-free adolescence," remembered "as vividly as a lovelorn youth recalling his first heart-thudding kiss"-Anthony's bone-deep mission is bracing and his courage is inspiring. Energetic firsthand reportage from the heart of the African wild.
“Anthony has made a difference in the lives of many magnificent animals who otherwise would have been lost to the world. When you're feeling down and out and defeated and ready to give up, read this inspiring book and share it widely with others.” Marc Bekoff, author of The Emotional Lives of Animals
“In my thirty-five years of studying man/animal communication I have met only a few individuals who have the ability to enter into the metaphysical realm of the exotic animal. Lawrence Anthony has been there and back. His wonderfully written book The Elephant Whisperer is a true reflection of his ability to be one of the pachyderms.” Ralph Helfer, author of Modoc
“A lovingly written tale of close encounters, some beautiful and some frightening, with humans and nonhumans alike. Anthony's story of his trials and tribulations in preserving a herd of African elephants is a parable for the continent.” Irene M. Pepperberg, author of Alex & Me
“An engaging and vividly personal account, The Elephant Whisperer invites you in, as confidant and confederate, from the first page and holds you rapt to the very last. A compelling reminder of the power and mysteries of the natural world, Thula Thula's elephants are lucky to have a friend like Lawrence Anthony.” Amelia Thomas, author of The Zoo on the Road to Nablus
“The Elephant Whisperer is every bit as much a page-turner as a novel. … Anyone who remembers Born Free, a personal story of tamed East African lions, will hope this book, too, is destined for the screen.” San Francisco Book Review