My Life with Leopards: Graham Cooke's Story

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9780143530299: My Life with Leopards: Graham Cooke's Story

On May 31, 1993, two 6-week-old leopard cubs were brought to the Londolozi Game Reserve, a private reserve bordering the Kruger National Park. In charge of the cubs was Graham Cooke, a 22-year-old old game ranger who had been working at the reserve since 1988. The intention was to rehabilitate the cubs back into the wild once they were old enough to fend for themselves. And thus begins a poignant love story. A story that revolves around a unique relationship that transgressed the natural boundaries between a human and a cat that is considered to be one of Africa’s most accomplished killers. Armed with a .22 rifle, Graham’s responsibility was more than daunting. With infinite patience, Graham eventually managed to gain their trust and slowly the cubs’ individual different characters emerged. The little male was relaxed and laid back, whereas his smaller sister revealed a far more stubborn and reserved streak. My Life with Leopards is the incredible and unique story of a heart-rending bond between a person and two super predators. Moving, dramatic, powerful and at times infinitely funny, the story allows the reader a unique insight into an adventure of a lifetime and the breathtaking relationship Graham Cooke shared with the incredible big cats.

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About the Author:

Fransje van Riel was born in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, but moved to the British countryside, where she attended school during her teenage years. After returning to Holland she worked as a flight attendant for KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, travelling widely and making numerous trips to Kenya, which rekindled her childhood passion for wildlife. She moved to South Africa in 1997 where she began contributing travel and wildlife features and articles to a wide variety of local magazines and newspapers. Fransje is active in supporting several animal related projects and resides in Cape Town. My Life with Leopards is her third book.

Review:

'Graham Cooke's strong bond with two leopards greatly touched me and following their journey to the end, I felt as though I knew these brave little leopards myself which evoked powerful emotions. Beautifully told, with a message of importance: that we must never take anything we love for granted.' - Mike Dooley, bestselling author of Infinite Possibilities: The Art of Living Your Dreams

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van Riel, Fransje
Published by Penguin Global (2013)
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van Riel, Fransje
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