WILD ANIMAL RESCUE! by Bryan O'Donoghue


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Fiction based on the actual Operation Noah and focusing on an English boy and a dog who assisted in the rescue of thousands of stranded animals from shrinking islands in a newly man-made lake in Rhodesia. O'Donoghue is a Rhodesian wild life officer and his familiarity with the terrain is evident. But despite all these guarantees of authenticity, the facts and the fiction never work out a comfortable relationship. The boy's rapport with the camp's four-legged charges and his dangerous encounters with various wild animals are effectively related, but the final, much-prepared for roundup on Starvation Island is just another episode, not a suspenseful climax as the conventions of fiction would dictate. On the other hand, genuinely moving incidents, such as those between the boy and an old African at the camp, are spoiled by the addition of fictional devices. Even the dog loses out in the translation, for it is never clear which of his amazing feats are to be discounted as far-fetched invention and which are to be admired as incredible achievements. Achievements all around are impressive, but none can quite rescue the cross-bred plot.

Pub Date: June 7th, 1971
Publisher: Dodd, Mead