Of all the endangered species, elephants are the most intriguing. Like whales, they are huge and intelligent. Much is known about them - their close family ties, their care for their own dying, their interest in their dead, their complex communication. This book is a journey in the shadow of the great beast, a portrait of its character, nature, culture and life, but also taking the broader view, looking at the elephant in the political, natural and human context. It is a book about the researchers, conservationists, the ivory carvers and elephant artists, the white hunters and African poachers, and the elephant's hired protectors. It shows too, how the fate of the elephant is entwined with some of the key African themes: overpopulation, land shortages, political instability, corruption and the lopsided meeting between African tradition and the modern world.
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On the trail of the African elephant, Jeremy Gavron has woven an extraordinary tale that is at once an adventurous journey, a philosophical investigation and a magically evocative portrait of Africa.
“This wonderful book is for anyone interested in Africa, in elephants, in ecology – and in the brave eccentrics, oddballs who, like Fossey and the Adamsons, devote their lives to animals, and who befriended the author, passing him on from one to another, along a network not accessible to the casual traveller. I wholeheartedly recommend this rich and flavourful book”
“As I reluctantly finished this evocative, perceptive and sensitive book, I knew I had been stimulated to a new awareness about the peoples and animals of this still mysterious land”
VIRGINIA MCKENNA, 'Daily Telegraph'
“Gavron is a lively writer and his subject matter is deeply fascinating – the African elephant, the huge old beast, ancient inhabitant of vast tracts of beautiful and sometimes brutal land, endangered species, metaphor for traditional Africa itself. Energetically and with a quirky sense of both humour and drama, Gavron tracks down the last elephant in Burundi, goes shooting (as an observer) in Tanzania, visits an elephant farm in Zimbabwe, and more”
LOS ANGELES TIMES
“Jeremy Gavron writes with skill and charm about the elephant as a metaphor for the ‘great question’ facing the continent: Can old Africa survive in the modern world?”
Jeremy Gavron was first enchanted by an African elephant at the age of six, in London Zoo. It took him twenty more years to get to Africa, where he spent two years travelling around the continent as a journalist before being assigned to India. But, as the Swahili proverb goes, ‘he who has tasted the honey always goes back to the honey pot’, and he has since returned to Africa several times.
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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers Ltd, 1993. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0002159333