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by Janie Chodosh

Pub Date: March 2nd, 2021
ISBN: 978-1-64160-307-2
Publisher: Chicago Review Press

Throughout his career, Dr. Kushal Konwar “KK” Sarma has treated a variety of animals, but his first love has always been elephants.

Growing up in a village in Assam, India, he was particularly close to an elephant named Lakshmi, who died an untimely death at least partly because there were no doctors available to recognize and treat her symptoms. The loss of his favorite childhood companion inspired Sarma to become a veterinarian, determined to prevent any more unnecessary elephant deaths. His passion for elephants led Sarma to become a pioneer in the field of veterinary science, developing a technique for chemically sedating elephants before anyone else in Assam and gaining a reputation as the person to call whenever an elephant is in danger. In Chodosh’s account, Sarma’s adventures take him all over the state of Assam. His experiences healing India’s elephants—and, in the process, protecting human lives—are sometimes dangerous, sometimes heartbreaking, and always thrilling. This engaging and deeply researched book intersperses fascinating information about the lives of Assamese elephants with vivid scenes of Sarma’s veterinary life. Chodosh treats issues like religion, ethnicity, and language with care, providing readers with insight not only into elephant science, but also into northeastern Indian culture and tradition. The book’s afterword is an empowering call to action sure to create a generation of local ecological activists well aware of the global ramifications of their work.

A charming and informative work of nonfiction.

(elephant facts, glossary) (Biography. 9-14)