The story of a leading conservationist’s efforts to save a dangerously threatened animal,\ and of his role as a mediator in a failed attempt to end armed conflict in Uganda.
Anthony (who died in early 2012) and Spence (The Elephant Whisperer: My Life in the African Wild, 2009, etc.) describe the illegal trade in rhino horns—used for traditional medicine in Asian countries—as so lucrative that it rivals drug trafficking. These magnificent animals, threatened with extinction, were being left to bleed to death, mainly because “on the streets of China or Vietnam, ounce for ounce the horn is more valuable than gold.” As the founder of the international conservation group Earth Organization, Anthony felt called upon to act. When a journalist informed him that fewer than 15 of the rare subspecies of Northern White Rhino were still living, he decided to mount an international effort to save them. To protect the animals from poachers, it would be necessary to remove them from their home in the Garamba National Park, located in a war-ravaged part of Congo. The area was also home to the Ugandan Lord's Resistance Army, a terrorist group that had been fighting a 20-year war. After several reconnaissance visits, and despite securing agreements of support from the various governments and international agencies involved in the area, Anthony came to the realization that unless he could guarantee the safety of park rangers, he would not receive on-the-ground support for a rescue attempt. This led him to make contact with the LRA in an attempt to broker a safe-conduct agreement for the rescue effort. They agreed, and to his surprise, he was asked for help in brokering a peace treaty.
A riveting account by a compassionate, dedicated man.