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The Animal Catchers

5 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product Details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Panther Books; 2023 paperback / softback edition (1966)
  • ASIN: B002C1PL04
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Format: Paperback
I'm surprised the British author, Colin Willock, hasn't had his books reviewed here. He wrote & produced nearly 500 wildlife documentaries shown in over a hundred countries and to audiences sometimes reaching about 10 million. He authored 36 books and many are available on Amazon. His "Town Gun" column was featured in Shooting Times for more than 40 years.

Colin (deceased age 86, 2005) understood nature and wildlife and even in this short book, "The Animal Catchers" , his authority and experience about such shines through nicely. In much of his work wildlife conservation is the central theme.

"The Animal Catchers" at first reminded me of the John Wayne movie, Hatari, where they caught animals for zoos, parks, and circuses with ropes and loops and fast vehicles. There the similarities stop. The Hatari "family", despite some tragedies, was basically a consistent upbeat group. The Animal Catcher individuals are anything but.

This is not a happy read. For the most part it ends sadly, except for possibly the glimmer of hope at the end for the two animals released at an African park. I will not give away the story but relate what I liked about the book despite it being sad and violent:

-Great characterization of each participant in the story...each have some degree of charm (usually very little though), arrogance, bull-headedness, tunnel vision, fearlessness, and wrecklessness. The author chose to skim over human deaths quite abruptly perhaps not wanting the characters to be overly sensitive..."it's just part of business."
-Animal behavior of the main stars; hippos, and rhinos...and other lesser creatures.
-The description of pre-1960 trucks and vehicles used in the animal catching and the inventive repairs made by the mechanic out on the plains.
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