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The Elephant Whisperer: My Life with the Herd in the African Wild Paperback – May 22, 2012


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The Elephant Whisperer: My Life with the Herd in the African Wild + Love, Life, and Elephants: An African Love Story + The Last Rhinos: My Battle to Save One of the World's Greatest Creatures
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; Reprint edition (May 22, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 125000781X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1250007810
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,102 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,970 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In 1998, prize-winning conservationist Anthony (Babylon's Ark: The Incredible Wartime Rescue of the Baghdad Zoo) purchased Thula Thula, "5,000 acres of pristine bush in the heart of Zululand, South Africa," transforming a rundown hunters' camp (dating to the 19th century) into a wild animal preserve and a center for eco-tourism. In 1999, Anthony agreed to take in a herd of "troubled" wild elephants, the first seen in the area in more than a century. Winning their trust, becoming deeply attached, and even learning how they communicate (deep, rumbling "whispers," sensed rather than heard), Anthony took enormous risks in the form of enraged elephants, distrustful neighbors, and poachers. Over time Anthony succeeds in his larger goal, winning support from the six Zulu tribes whose land borders the reserve ("most Zulus ... had never set eyes on an elephant"); they eventually join Anthony's venture as partners in a larger conservation trust. An inspiring, multifaceted account, Anthony's book offers fascinating insights into the lives of wild elephants in the broader context of Zulu culture in post-Apartheid South Africa. 8 page color photo insert.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Booklist

Anthony, conservationist and author (Babylon’s Ark, 2007), owns a wildlife reserve in the KwaZulu-Natal province of South Africa. A former hunting preserve, rumored to be part of the legendary Shaka’s exclusive hunting territory, it has become a game reserve with a lodge for ecotourists. Home to Zululand’s full suite of wildlife, Thula Thula had everything—except elephants. When he was offered a herd from another game reserve Anthony accepted wholeheartedly, despite the fact that these elephants were known escape artists. During their first night at the park the traumatized elephants broke out, and after days on the run had been given a death sentence by the local wildlife authorities, only averted when the author pleaded for one more chance. The story of how Anthony saved his elephants by making friends with them, reversing their negative perceptions of humans and earning their trust, is both heartwarming and heartening. Life on a game reserve is never easy, particularly when elephants are added to the mix, but Anthony’s enthusiasm and obvious love for the bush shine through in hair-raising, sad, and funny tales. This life with elephants is a real winner. --Nancy Bent --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

Very well written.
Donna Cox
The Elephant Whisperer is an amazing account of Lawrence Anthony's life as a conservationist in Africa.
cheryl
It is wonderfully written and a touching story.
DS in CA

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

117 of 120 people found the following review helpful By Enjolras TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 16, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I love Elephants, and was looking for a book that would recall the absolute joy I felt when I first saw them in the wild. I could not have done better than Lawrence Anthony's The Elephant Whisperer: My Life with the Herd in the African Wild.

Anthony, a former businesman-turned-conservationist, manages the Thula Thula private game reserve in Zululand, South Africa. At the beginning of the story, he accepted a "rogue" herd of Elephants onto his reserve. As soon as they arrive they start trying to escape. Anthony realizes that that, in order to calm the herd down, he has to communicate with them. Throughout the book, nthony often finds himself alone in the African bush with the Elephants. He uses the same verbal and physical language strategies that humans employ everyday to communicate with each other, such as changing the intonation of his voice. The amount of communication between Anthony and the Elephants is truly incredible. Eventually, he forms a strong bond with the two leading females. When one large female, Frankie, does charge him, Anthony is able to persuade her to stop by shouting, "Don't, it's me!" Throughout the book, Anthony shows just how deep and sincere the bond really is. In one memorable encounter, Anthony is standing near the giant matriarch Nana when he realizes she just wants her presence acknowledged. That simple act of recognition satisfied Nana and cemented their connection.

Part memoir, part collection of anecdotes, each chapter of
...Read more ›
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51 of 52 people found the following review helpful By D. J. Ridge on November 25, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I have been fascinated by elephants ever since seeing a documentary on them so it's no wonder this book caught my attention. From page one it grabbed me and kept enthralled throughout. The relationship between Lawrence Anthony and his wild herd of elephants is something to be admired. I felt transported to another world as I read about life on "Thula Thula". This book is not just about elephants but about all the adventures of life in the African Wild. I am so captivated with this man and his work that I now want to visit Thula Thula one day so I can meet this amazing herd of jumbos. If you are an animal lover, especially exotic animals, I highly recommend this book. It will not disappoint.
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35 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Gary Selikow on March 28, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I heard sadly that at the beginning of this month, Lawrence Anthony is no longer with us. He left an amazing legacy at the Thula Thula reserve in KwaZulu, Natal, South Africa, , and his work with conservation, and wild animals. This is party recounted in this book. The author's love of the animals here is felt palpably in the pages of the book. It is a memoir that will keep you captivated. We learn of how the elephants would come out in a herd to greet Lawrence, and would actually start their procession when he was on the way back to the reserve. How when his flight was canceled at one point, the elephants actually reversed their procession to greet him. The mourning of the animals for young ones in their herd, the way that elephants herd guided a angry and half-demented bull away from the author and his colleagues, when it was about to charge. also how the author actually used inflections and changes of tone etc to communicate with the elephants, stopping the poised charge of a young female in the herd by saying 'Dont charge-its me"
Most amazing is the elephant's communication system through telepathy that stretches from herd to her across the continent

Also insights in to Zulu culture and spirituality, through the connections the author built up with the Zulu people on Thula Thula, who helped him run the reserve, and fight off poachers.
Interesting people such as Lawrence's French wife, Fracoise and the intrepid game ranger, David.

The accounts you can read of the mourning by the elephants after the passing of Lawrence Anthony, show us how animals have feelings often as deep as that of humans, and their attachments to both other animals and their human friends. And how they grieve the loss of their loved ones.
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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Enjolras TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 16, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I love Elephants, and was looking for a book that would recall the absolute joy I felt when I first saw them in the wild. I could not have done better than Lawrence Anthony's The Elephant Whisperer: My Life with the Herd in the African Wild.

Anthony, a former businesman-turned-conservationist, manages the Thula Thula private game reserve in Zululand, South Africa. At the beginning of the story, he accepted a "rogue" herd of Elephants onto his reserve. As soon as they arrive they start trying to escape. Anthony realizes that that, in order to calm the herd down, he has to communicate with them. Throughout the book, nthony often finds himself alone in the African bush with the Elephants. He uses the same verbal and physical language strategies that humans employ everyday to communicate with each other, such as changing the intonation of his voice. The amount of communication between Anthony and the Elephants is truly incredible. Eventually, he forms a strong bond with the two leading females. When one large female, Frankie, does charge him, Anthony is able to persuade her to stop by shouting, "Don't, it's me!" Throughout the book, Anthony shows just how deep and sincere the bond really is. In one memorable encounter, Anthony is standing near the giant matriarch Nana when he realizes she just wants her presence acknowledged. That simple act of recognition satisfied Nana and cemented their connection.

Part memoir, part collection of anecdotes, each chapter of
...Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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