A heartfelt memoir about the author's decades-long efforts to save baby elephants.
At 17, the author traveled to Kenya's Tsavo National Park, one of the world's largest game reserves, and briefly met David Sheldrick, the park's first warden. The two met again on her following visit a few years later, when she was newly married with an infant daughter. Sheldrick felt an instant attraction to David, 15 years her senior, and a major arc of the book follows their love story and marriage. As co-wardens of the park from 1955 to 1976, they devoted an enormous amount of energy campaigning against the ivory industry and to raising and reintegrating orphaned animals back into the wild. An internationally recognized and awarded expert in animal husbandry, Sheldrick is the first person to have perfected the milk formula for baby elephants and rhinos and the first person to have hand-reared newborn elephants. In 1976, David was given a supervisory role over all of Kenya's parks, and the couple relocated to National Nairobi Park—sadly, David died of a heart attack a year later. Unexpectedly widowed, Sheldrick founded the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust to continue her husband's legacy of fighting to protect elephants, rhinos and other animals from poachers. While mourning her husband, the author found solace in her conservation efforts. "The wild animals were my solace, my companions and my sanity, and because of them I was never entirely alone," she writes. Her stories about specific elephants are deeply touching.
Fascinating, especially to readers interested in wildlife conservation and the rehabilitation of elephants.