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Love, Life, and Elephants: An African Love Story + The Elephant Whisperer: My Life with the Herd in the African Wild + The Last Rhinos: My Battle to Save One of the World's Greatest Creatures
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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 --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Review

“Sheldrick has bottle-fed baby elephants, donned cricket gear to ward off charging baby rhinos, and shared bathtubs with dikdiks...What shines through is her authentic love for the land and its creatures....[She] herself is a rare bird.”—More

“A remarkable portrait of the Sheldricks' love and life's work.”—People

“A sometimes harrowing memoir of Sheldrick’s years as a conservationist devoted to saving orphan elephants and fighting against poaching...Riveting.”—Whole Living

“If Dame Daphne hadn’t already been honored by the Queen of England, I would personally lobby on her behalf. This extraordinary woman has saved hundreds of orphaned baby elephants....She can write, too.”—Smithsonian

“An enchanting memoir...Sheldrick and her pioneering game warden husband David have often been ahead of science in their understanding of African wildlife. Five stars.”—The Daily Telegraph (London)

“Engaging...Dame Daphne Sheldrick has led a truly extraordinary life.”—Women’s Wear Daily

Love, Life and Elephants has an animal population big and personable enough to fill a zoo.”—Janet Maslin, The New York Times summer reading list

“[Sheldrick] gives a lyrical yet droll voice to her rollicking life in Kenya, where she has spent more than 50 years rehabilitating orphaned wildlife...[A] rich memoir.”—Publishers Weekly

“In this highly personal autobiography, [Sheldrick] 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, Booklist

“Heartfelt...fascinating.”—Kirkus Review

“[Love, Life, and Elephants] is both an incredible memoir of a life and two romances. The first of these blossoms when the young author moves to Tsavo with her first husband and falls head over heels for the park and its famous warden, David Sheldrick. The second love story follows Daphne and David as they devote their lives to rescuing baby elephants from poachers and finding homes for orphan elephants, all the while campaigning against the ever-present threat of the ivory trade.”—GQ (UK)

 

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Picador; Reprint edition (June 25, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1250033373
  • ISBN-13: 978-1250033376
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (258 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #18,439 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Amazing story ,well written.
Claire Villani
It's a good thing there are such special people in the world to try to make up for all the selfish greedy ones oh there.
D. Spano
Love, Life and Elephants is a deeply personal memoir of Dame Daphne's family and her work with orphaned animals.
David A. Wend

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

82 of 84 people found the following review helpful By R. Hardy HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on May 14, 2012
Format: Hardcover
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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41 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Nadya on May 23, 2012
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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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful By BbP on May 21, 2012
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.

Daphne has set up-THE ORPHANS PROJECT,FOSTERING UNIT,DESNARING UNIT,THE VET
UNIT,COMMUNITY OUTREACH and THE ART STORE.

Her fist loves were BUSHY,RICKY TICKY TAVEY,GREGORY PECK,HUPPETY and ELEANOR the
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.

THIS BOOK IS A MUST READ..... R E A L L Y !

bbp okc ok 63 retired
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70 of 90 people found the following review helpful By Martin Rowe on June 9, 2012
Format: Hardcover
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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