This is an amazing book, part memoir part anecdotes. Lawrence Anthony, a businessman turned conservationist, worked with a herd of “rogue” elephants on a private game reserve in Zululand, South Africa. His book tells the story of saving the herd, categorized as violent and unruly, at the request of an animal welfare organization. He decided that to save their lives he “would stay with them, feed them, talk to them. But, most importantly, be with them day and night”. He communicates with them using the language strategies that humans employ to communicate with each other, and a strong bond is formed with his elephants. Read this book and you will be floored by the incredible communication between Anthony and his elephants, and you may even be in tears as I was.
When Lawrence Anthony died, of a heart attack, the elephants were grazing miles away. They travelled for over 12 hours to reach his house, stayed in the compound for a couple of days and then returned to the reserve. They had not visited the compound for a year. According to Anthony’s wife and his son, “in coming up there on that day of all days, we certainly believe that they had sensed it”, Anthony’s passing.
If you love animals and adore elephants you will truly enjoy reading this book.