Love, Life, and Elephants: An African Love Story by Dame Daphne Sheldrick

elephantsIf reading about a woman who has devoted her life to caring for orphaned baby elephants, rhinos, and antelopes appeals to you, you’ll love this book!

Sheldrick grew up on a farm in Kenya, enjoying such pets as a mongoose and an antelope.  As an adult, married to the warden of a Kenyan national park, she took over the care of animal orphans.  Her tales about these young creatures are filled with delight and humor, as well as moments of sorrow.  She was the first person to succeed in rearing newborn orphan elephants.  Her stories illustrate elephants’ intelligence, their deep grieving when their loved ones die, the truth of the saying “elephants never forget” (one elephant instantly recognized one of her former keepers after not seeing him for over thirty years), and their nurturing of younger elephants and elephants in distress.

Sheldrick loves her native land and its wildlife.  She also deeply loved her husband, a remarkable man who made great contributions to preserving Kenyan wildlife, and she tells the story of their courtship and of their life together

Sheldrick discusses the Mau Mau rebellion and Kenya’s transition from British colony to independent nation, emphasizing the impact of these historical events on her, her family, and the parks system.

For her work with wildlife, Sheldrick won two special honors from the British government, one of which made her “Dame Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire.”

(Helen Snow, retired from Information Services)

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