By Lawrence Anthony with Graham Spence
Thomas Dunne Books, $16.99, 368 pages

In 1999, South African conservationist Lawrence Anthony received a very unusual request: would he adopt a herd of troubled elephants? The disturbed pachyderms had exhausted the patience of their owners and would be shot unless someone was willing to take them in. Lawrence was stunned. His new reserve Thula Thula was beset by poachers and ill equipped to deal with well-adjusted elephants, let alone a herd damaged by years of negative human interaction. How could he possibly say yes? Yet, to save them from death, Lawrence put aside his misgivings and accepted the herd. He knew that bringing the magnificent animals to Thula Thula would change their lives. What he did not expect was how greatly they would change his.

Exciting, poignant, funny and often heart wrenching The Elephant Whisperer offers an incredible look into the world of wild African elephants. Lawrence Anthony’s incredible experiences with these wildly intelligent creatures are presented with refreshing candor and allow the natural drama of the African bush to run readers through a full spectrum of emotions. A brutal and beautiful story.

Reviewed by Elizabeth Goss