The Elephant Whisperer is about a conservationist in South Africa who takes in a group of unwanted elephants on his Zululand game reserve. While the title is a bit trite, the story itself certainly isn’t.
Lawrence Anthony is approached by the Elephant Managers and Owners Association about a ‘troublesome’ group of elephants in Mpumalanga, and is as asked by EMOA to take the animals in. This is ostensably because Anthony has a way with animals (and his own game reserve). Despite major reservations, he does so; as his acceptance of the elephants is their only chance. They will otherwise be destroyed. Predictably, it changes his life.
The book is the ensuing story of Anthony’s ‘way’ with animals. He works to habituate the elephants to human presence and to correct their ‘troublesome’ behavior, he and his staff protect them from poachers, and eventually they introduce the elephant family to guests to help maintain the upkeep of Thula Thula, Anthony’s game reserve. There are highlights and heart-wrenching moments, and overall it’s a very satisfying read.
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Cover image courtesy Amazon.com