Daphne Sheldrick, whose family arrived in Africa from Scotland in the 1820s, is the first person ever to have successfully hand-reared newborn elephants. Her deep empathy and understanding, her years of observing Kenya's rich variety of wildlife, and her pioneering work in perfecting the right husbandry and milk formula have saved countless elephants, rhinos, and other baby animals from certain death.
In this heartwarming and poignant memoir, Daphne shares her amazing relationships with a host of orphans, including her first love, Bushy, a liquid-eyed antelope; Rickey-Tickey-Tavey, the little dwarf mongoose; Gregory Peck, the busy buffalo weaver bird; Huppety, the mischievous zebra; and the majestic elephant Eleanor, with whom Daphne has shared more than forty years of great friendship.
But this is also a magical and heartbreaking human love story between Daphne and David Sheldrick, the famous Tsavo Park warden. It was their deep and passionate love, David's extraordinary insight into all aspects of nature, and the tragedy of his early death that inspired Daphne's vast array of achievements, most notably the founding of the world-renowned David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust and the Orphans' Nursery in Nairobi National Park, where Daphne continues to live and work to this day.
Encompassing not only David and Daphne's tireless campaign for an end to poaching and for conserving Kenya's wildlife, but also their ability to engage with the human side of animals and their rearing of the orphans expressly so they can return to the wild, Love, Life, and Elephants is alive with compassion and humor, providing a rare insight into the life of one of the world's most remarkable women.
Conservationist Sheldrick (Animal Kingdom) gives a lyrical yet droll voice to her rollicking life in Kenya, where she has spent more than 50 years rehabilitating orphaned wildlife. After a peaceable divorce from her first husband, the author marries David Sheldrick, warden of Tsavo National Park, a relationship rooted in their shared passion for assisting feral creatures and preserving the natural world. Against the backdrop of the Mau Mau rebellion and the dawn of the Republic of Kenya, Sheldrick rears two daughters and acclimates to a range of extraordinary new living arrangements that enable David to develop Tsavo into a haven for both animals and eco-tourists. In addition to peppering the book with tender anecdotes about her quirky animal crew (especially Eleanor, her elephant companion of more than 40 years), Sheldrick forcefully captures the conflicts David faces at Tsavo: fighting ivory poachers, agonizing over a mandated elephant slaughter, and challenging a research team planning a needless elephant cull. After her husband's death, Sheldrick becomes chair of the internationally known David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust and keeps busy caring for orphaned animals whom she calls "my solace, my companions, and my sanity." This rich memoir offers practical insights about learning when to intervene and when to let go.
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Love, life and Elephants
A joy to read. What an exceptional life you have had! Bless you for your love of wildlife, and thanks so much for sharing!
I loved everything about this book, especially the vivid descriptions that depict the exquisite beauty of Kenya. This is a classic.
What an incredible life she has lead! A beautiful story that everyone should read! Maybe this will inspire more people to help save our endangered wildlife- these elephants moved me to tears! I want one!