My rating: 4 out of 5 stars
After reading The Last Rhinos, I knew I had to read another book by Lawrence Anthony and so I picked up my copy of The Elephant Whisperer and dove in. Unlike The Last Rhinos, this book does not focus on his attempt to save an entire species, but to save a herd of unruly elephants that are slated to be killed.
The book starts off explaining how he acquired the herd, which happened in quite the sudden manner, and went on to detail the frantic preparations that needed to be done before the herd arrived. Obviously, there are a lot of things to consider when introducing a herd of elephants to a new game reserve, but reading about it certainly showed the amount of work it truly takes, both with the physical things like fences and also all of the paperwork required. Of course, that is really only half of the work, because dealing with a herd of unruly elephants is a whole other challenge.
From here the book focuses on all of the effort Lawrence had to put in to essentially taming the elephants enough to where they would stay in the park and no be too dangerous to visitors, yet allowing them to still be a wild herd. This was certainly no easy task and it was more a case of one step forward and three steps back at times, but he was dedicated to saving this herd.
I really enjoyed this book. It gave a nice personal look into what it takes to run a reserve but also focuses on the challenges of dealing with large dangerous animals, poachers, government red tape and tosses in the beauty of Africa as well. I would recommend this book to anyone who has an interest in elephants as well as those who want to know about what it takes to conserve land and animals.