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Love, Life, and Elephants: An African Love Story [Kindle Edition]

Daphne Sheldrick
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (170 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $16.00
Kindle Price: $8.89
You Save: $7.11 (44%)
Sold by: Macmillan

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Book Description

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 Kenya’s 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, David’s extraordinary insight into all aspects of nature, and the tragedy of his early death that inspired Daphne’s 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 Daphne’s tireless campaign for an end to poaching and for conserving Kenya’s 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 world’s most remarkable women.

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

When Sheldrick (not yet a Dame Commander of the British Empire) fostered milk-dependent orphaned elephants in Tsavo National Park in Kenya in the 1960s, she faced almost certain heartbreak. Unlike the impala, mongoose, dik-diks, and other small mammals that she had raised, baby elephants do not tolerate cow’s milk. Undeterred by repeated failure, she tested new formulas until she successfully saved tiny, fuzz-covered Shmetty in 1974. Since then, she and her team of keepers outside Nairobi have raised more than 200 orphaned elephants, many of whom have returned to the wild. In this highly personal autobiography, she recounts a lifetime of fostering orphan mammals, reptiles, and birds while raising a family and helping her valiant husband develop Kenya’s national parks in an era of political turmoil and rampant poaching. Filled with eyewitness accounts of African conservation, astute wildlife observations, and a touching love story, Sheldrick’s book will delight nature-loving readers. --Rick Roche


Africa has never been more vividly described...I read it straight through and it nearly broke my heart...her warnings about the decline of wildlife should be heeded the world over -- Joanna Lumley Wonderfully candid -- Charlotte Kemp Daily Mail Compulsively readable...the more you hear about elephants from her, the more you wonder why they don't rule the world -- Kathryn Hughes Mail on Sunday An enchanting memoir...Baby birds, antelopes, elephants, rhinos and a civet cat all pass through Sheldrick's life -- Helen Brown Telegraph Absorbing, moving...paints a vivid picture of an extraordinary life in the bush that will delight everyone BBC Wildlife Magazine Moving and magical...a fascinating story...touching, funny and written with warmth and compassion Lancashire Evening Post

Product Details

  • File Size: 3820 KB
  • Print Length: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux; Reprint edition (May 8, 2012)
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0071VUQW8
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #37,409 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
70 of 73 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Back to the Wild May 14, 2012
There must be some reason that we love elephants so. The big, strange beasts are among the most popular exhibits at circuses and zoos, for instance. Their participation in such venues may not have done the elephants much good, and neither has the relentless poaching for their ivory. One person who has harnessed a love of elephants in order to benefit the animals themselves is Dame Daphne Sheldrick, a conservationist who has special expertise in raising orphaned elephants and reintegrating them into the wild. The poachers have made lots of orphans, and Sheldrick has had an enormous amount of work to do within Kenya's Tsavo East National Park to try to bring some sort of balance. Elephants naturally loom large within her biography _Love, Life, and Elephants: An African Love Story_ (Farrar, Straus and Giroux), but so do the humans she has worked with, and sometimes against, as well as rhinos, zebras, dikdiks, civet cats, ostriches, mongooses, and more. It is a delightful book, with plenty of funny and sad stories, and a charming reverence for fellow creatures. Sheldrick has had a unique and useful life, and her looking back on it for us is generous and instructive.

Sheldrick was born in Nairobi in 1934, and was brought up with animals, and was fascinated by them. Her family put her in charge of an orphaned baby bushbuck when she was four, and her life changed. She was to go on to care for many other animals, eventually meeting David Sheldrick, Tsavo's principle warden. He had superb knowledge about African wildlife, and he had the looks of a movie star, and she lost her heart to him. The two of them both got divorced from their then-spouses, married, had a daughter of their own, and worked incessantly for Tsavo's wild beauties.
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35 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing book May 23, 2012
By Nadya
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I have never been more emotionally tied to a book. Dame Daphne Sheldrick tells her amazing life story, from her recent ancestors move to Kenya, to her current role running the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, which, amongst other things, aids orphaned elephants and rhinos in order to preserve these dwindling species. I loved the stories about orphans raised throughout Daphne's lifetime, with funny anecdotes about the most memorable animals. The romantic part of her life story is one that shows how happy life can be when you have really found your soul mate. There is so much insight into life and happiness that comes from reading this book, the ups and downs that are encountered as a human lifetime goes on. My only regret is that there is not more of this book to read. I highly recommend this book, keep a box of tissues nearby to help cope with the happiest and saddest moments!
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars love and life May 21, 2012
By BbP
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I love daphne

This book (334 pages and 60 plus photos)is about love and life.

David Sheldrick--11/22/1919 to 6/13/1977 a Kenyan farmer who became the Warden
of TSAVO NATIONAL PARK and his lovely wife Daphne 6/4/1934 who founded THE DAVID
SHELDRICK WILD LFE TRUST in David's name when he died of a heart attack in 1977.

It is a love story-David & Daphne- and a story about the many orphans that have
passed thru their hands over the years. The joy and the tears. It was the elephants
themselves who taught Daphne how to cope with adversity-to morn and grieve,but then
focus on giving to the living. Kenyan wild life has suffered so much at the hands of
humans. The animals forgive but never forget.


majestic elephant. She and David lived with compassion and humor.

DAVID and DAPHNE lead a campaign to end poaching and for conservation.

Daphne made the only milk formual that keeps baby elephants alive. She is famous
for that alone. Many good rescue people have given babies regular milk and made
them sick/killed them.

+++Daphne dedicates this book to the wilderness and all that it embraces. Daphne says
what we are is GODS gift and what we become is our gift to GOD.+++ (Remember this daily
in your life !)

One of Daphnes daughters will take her spot upon her death.

You can adopt a baby..$50 a year and get updates of your elephants life. I urge you
to do this. I adopted a baby elephant named MAKENA born in 2005. She is still alive
and well.


bbp okc ok 63 retired
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53 of 71 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Fine but Flawed Work June 9, 2012
Disclaimer: I have visited and given money to the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, and so should you. Daphne Sheldrick has made a major contribution to wildlife conservation and her work is to be applauded. Her memoir is a somewhat conventional "Out of Africa" story: hardy pioneers, gauzy sunsets, magnificent vistas, and lots of lots of stories about the animals who have come her way. She was obviously deeply in love with David, and yet he strangely remains a somewhat remote character. He is defined by his deeds, as he and other rangers carve out Kenya's wildlife parks and reserves and heroically try to stop the decimation of the wildlife caused by our insatiable demand for trinkets made from ivory and potions made from rhino horn.

It's hard to criticize a book for what it does NOT say, but, having worked for over ten years with another Kenyan conservationist, Wangari Maathai, I have a very different perspective on the history of Kenya that Dame Daphne covers. (If you haven't read Maathai's memoir, Unbowed, I would recommend it.) What struck me most noticeably in Dame Daphne's story was the almost complete absence of black Kenyans. Nearly all of the main characters are white and of British stock. The Mau Mau rebellion is treated as an affront against white settlers. Daphne's daughter studies in South Africa, and some of her relatives retire there to live, but there is only one reference to Apartheid. We get no sense of the conservation movement in the context of Kenya as an independent country. We do not hear from black Kenyan political figures or the press or, indeed, from the poachers. We never learn the biographies of the black attendants who look after and even live with the animals.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Warm and Touching
Loved it - the author's style was totally warm and engaging - I did not want it to end. Having just been to Africa and the Elephant orphanage, her story was enthralling,... Read more
Published 5 days ago by Rosemary Picton
5.0 out of 5 stars Great
I'm really enjoying this book. Such wonderful insight into the life of these amazing animals. Well written and unique point of view.
Published 9 days ago by Judy
4.0 out of 5 stars A compelling read, best understood as a journal
Like another reviewer, I have visited the Wildlife Preserve and have supported it financially. The work and devotion Dame Sheldrick has given to the wildlife of Kenya is most... Read more
Published 20 days ago by C. Kane
3.0 out of 5 stars Not Finished Yet
I bought this book because I'd recently read a book entitled, "Babylon's Ark," about saving the Baghdad Zoo during the Iraqi war, which was so compelling that I couldn't... Read more
Published 21 days ago by Laney B
5.0 out of 5 stars and elephants
Wonderful book. I grew up in Kenya and know many of the characters. My cousins husband,the late Monty Brown was a colleague of David Sheldrick in the Game Department.
Published 27 days ago by Alan R Westcob
5.0 out of 5 stars Captivating, Emotional and Informative!
It is true that I love wild life and I would rather spend my time in the dirt with an animal than be in any luxurious environment. Read more
Published 27 days ago by Elena raluca cerbu
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting book of the area of the world
A good read, but extremely long. Difficult to follow all the animals because of the multi names used especially the orphan pets.
Published 1 month ago by M. Phillips
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Bio on this Amazing Woman
I first heard of Dame Sheldrick in an article about this book in TIME Magazine. Her profile captured my imagination and caused me to want to learn more about her, her remarkable... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Bookworm
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating.
A beautiful book from beginning to end. I laughed and I cried more in this book than any other I have read to date.
Published 1 month ago by jjc
5.0 out of 5 stars Falling in Love with Elephants
This book is amazing. I learned alot about elephants and the path to protect the wild animals in Kenya. Must read. Read more
Published 1 month ago by staceface
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