Love, Life, and Elephants: Book summary and reviews of Love, Life, and Elephants by Daphne Sheldrick

Love, Life, and Elephants

An African Love Story

By Daphne Sheldrick

Love, Life, and Elephants
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  • Published in USA  May 2012,
    352 pages.

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Book Summary

Daphne Sheldrick, whose family arrived in Africa from Scotland in the 1820s, is the first person ever to have successfully hand-reared newborn elephants. Her deep empathy and understanding, her years of observing Kenya's rich variety of wildlife, and her pioneering work in perfecting the right husbandry and milk formula have saved countless elephants, rhinos, and other baby animals from certain death.

In this heartwarming and poignant memoir, Daphne shares her amazing relationships with a host of orphans, including her first love, Bushy, a liquid-eyed antelope; Rickey-Tickey-Tavey, the little dwarf mongoose; Gregory Peck, the busy buffalo weaver bird; Huppety, the mischievous zebra; and the majestic elephant Eleanor, with whom Daphne has shared more than forty years of great friendship.

But this is also a magical and heartbreaking human love story between Daphne and David Sheldrick, the famous Tsavo Park warden. It was their deep and passionate love, David's extraordinary insight into all aspects of nature, and the tragedy of his early death that inspired Daphne's vast array of achievements, most notably the founding of the world-renowned David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust and the Orphans' Nursery in Nairobi National Park, where Daphne continues to live and work to this day.

Encompassing not only David and Daphne's tireless campaign for an end to poaching and for conserving Kenya's wildlife, but also their ability to engage with the human side of animals and their rearing of the orphans expressly so they can return to the wild, Love, Life, and Elephants is alive with compassion and humor, providing a rare insight into the life of one of the world's most remarkable women.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"[Sheldrick] gives a lyrical yet droll voice to her rollicking life in Kenya, where she has spent more than 50 years rehabilitating orphaned wildlife ... [A] rich memoir." - Publishers Weekly

"What unfolds between these covers is both an intimate look at a woman and her family and an enlightening tour of the history - human and natural - and cultures of Kenya. Highly recommended." - Library Journal

"Filled with eyewitness accounts of African conservation, astute wildlife observations, and a touching love story, Sheldrick's book will delight nature-loving readers." - Booklist

"Fascinating, especially to readers interested in wildlife conservation and the rehabilitation of elephants." - Kirkus Reviews

"Five Stars ....An enchanting memoir ...This book raises many questions about who belongs where: both people and animals." - The Daily Telegraph (UK)

"[Love, Life, and Elephants] is both an incredible memoir of a life and two romances." - GQ (UK)

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Dame Daphne Sheldrick is a Kenyan author, conservationist, and expert in animal husbandry, particularly the raising and reintegrating of orphaned elephants into the wild. From 1955 to 1976, Sheldrick was co-warden of Kenya's Tsavo National Park.

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