Mamie’s Monday—The Elephant Whisperer and Babylon’s Ark

Mamie’s Monday—The Elephant Whisperer and Babylon’s ArkThe Elephant Whisperer by Lawrence Anthony
Published by St. Martin's Griffin on May 22, 2012
Genres: Nonfiction
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From Amazon:

Lawrence Anthony devoted his life to animal conservation, protecting the world's endangered species. Then he was asked to accept a herd of "rogue" wild elephants on his Thula Thula game reserve in Zululand. His common sense told him to refuse, but he was the herd's last chance of survival: they would be killed if he wouldn't take them.
 
In order to save their lives, Anthony took them in. In the years that followed he became a part of their family. And as he battled to create a bond with the elephants, he came to realize that they had a great deal to teach him about life, loyalty, and freedom.
The Elephant Whisperer is a heartwarming, exciting, funny, and sometimes sad memoir of Anthony's experiences with these huge yet sympathetic creatures. Set against the background of life on an African game reserve, with unforgettable characters and exotic wildlife, Anthony's unrelenting efforts at animal protection and his remarkable connection with nature will inspire animal lovers and adventurous souls everywhere.

 

Mamie's Musings

 

 

Lawrence Anthony is someone I wish I could have met.  He passed away in 2012, at the young age of 62 and left behind a legacy of global proportions.  Born and raised in Johannesburg, South Africa, he was at home with nature from early in his life.  His natural passion for the African Bush motivated his purchase of the Thula Thula game reserve in Zululand South Africa, where he dedicated himself to conservation.  The Elephant Whisperer is the story of his connection to the animals most special to him at his reserve: the African Elephants.  With his reputation widely known for the care and interest he took in all living things, Lawrence Anthony was contacted by a nearby reserve to take in a troublesome herd of nine elephants.  The dangerous elephants had broken through numerous enclosures and were on the brink of being put down; Lawrence Anthony was their last resort.  After scrambling to ready their new home, Anthony welcomed the herd to Thula Thula and immediately understood what was needed of him.  Anthony literally moved in with the elephants in order to gain their trust and convey a feeling of safety in their new home.  Hearing about his connection to the magnificent beasts is inspirational and is a reading experience that will lift up your soul and show you how close to animals we humans really can be.  What is NOT included in the book is a recounting of events at the reserve at the time of Anthony’s death.  The herd of elephants, led by their matriarch Nana who was particularly close to Anthony, traveled 12 hours to the home of their champion and his wife.  It was a trek they had not made in over a year but somehow they were stirred to come.  They stayed a few days and after “paying their respects,” they headed back to their home on the reserve.  

 

The Babylon’s Ark

 

 babylon's ark

 

From Amazon:

When the Iraq war began, conservationist Lawrence Anthony could think of only one thing: the fate of the Baghdad Zoo, caught in the crossfire at the heart of the city. Once Anthony entered Iraq he discovered that hostilities and uncontrolled looting had devastated the zoo and its animals. Working with members of the zoo staff and a few compassionate U.S. soldiers, he defended the zoo, bartered for food on war-torn streets, and scoured bombed palaces for desperately needed supplies. Babylon’s Ark chronicles Anthony’s hair-raising efforts to save a pride of Saddam’s lions, close a deplorable black-market zoo, run ostriches through shoot-to-kill checkpoints, and rescue the dictator’s personal herd of Thoroughbred Arabian horses.  

 

Mamie's Musings 

A tale of the selfless courage and humanity of a few men and women living dangerously for all the right reasons, Babylon’s Ark is an inspiring and uplifting true-life adventure of individuals on both sides working together for the sake of magni?cent wildlife caught in a war zone.

In 2003, Anthony came to the rescue of another group of animals in dire need.  When Iraq was invaded by coalition forces, the Baghdad Zoo was caught smack in the center of the conflict.  Out of 700 original animals at the zoo, only 35 had survived the violence and subsequent looting.  Anthony left his home in South Africa and through courage and determination made his way into Baghdad.  Babylon’s Ark is the unbelievable story of how Anthony and a skeleton Iraqi crew risked their lives to save these animals.  From the initial basics including water, food and medicine, to clean expanded enclosures, Anthony was a catalyst for the zoo’s transformation from chaotic wasteland to an animal safe haven.  Besides the animals left at the zoo, many others from around the city in Saddam Hussein’s palaces were brought to the zoo to be cared for by the dedicated staff.  Lawrence Anthony’s experience in Baghdad led him to found the Earth Organization, renamed the Lawrence Anthony Earth Organization upon his death.  The mission of the Earth Organization is “to reverse the dwindling spiral of life on Earth, and create a healthy habitable Planet on which all life flourishes and prospers, and of which we can be proud.”  A noble cause indeed.  Again, five stars for a book by Anthony Lawrence, a new hero of mine.

 

Lawrence Anthony

 

More on Lawrence Anthony

 

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5 Stars

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