Elephants can live to the age of 65; today, even with advances in
wildlife conversation, few do. The war against ivory poaching has
not been worn. More prosaically, on an over-peopled planet, the
elephant is running out of space. Yet, written by one of the
foremost researchers in the field, this painstaking study of an
elephant family in Kenya's Amboseli National Park has much to warm
the heart. Presented partly in a diarial format from the animals'
point of view. Moss has the abliilty to get inside the heads of
these beasts without ever succumbing to the arch sin of
anthropomorphism. And if occasionally, as with so many with a
passion for their subject, Moss's treatment verges on the heavy,
it's redeemed by the memories we like to believe they possess.
Cynthia Moss has studied the elephants in Kenya's Amboseli National
Park for over twenty-seven years. Her long-term research has
revealed much of what we now know about these complex and
intelligent animals. Here she chronicles the lives of the members
of the T families led by matriarchs Teresia, Slit Ear, Torn Ear,
Tania, and Tuskless. With a new afterword catching up on the
families and covering current conservation issues, Moss's story
will continue to fascinate animal lovers.
"One is soon swept away by this 'Babar' for adults. By the end, one
even begins to feel an aversion for people. One wants to curse
human civilization and cry out, 'Now God stand up for the
elephants!'"--Christopher Lehmann-Haupt, "New York Times"
"Moss speaks to the general reader, with charm as well as
scientific authority. . . . [An] elegantly written and ingeniously
structured account." --Raymond Sokolov, "Wall Street Journal"
"Moss tells the story in a style so conversational . . . that I
felt like a privileged visitor riding beside her in her rickety
Land-Rover as she showed me around the park." --Sarah Blaffer Hrdy,
"New York Times Book Review"
"A prose-poem celebrating a species from which we could learn some
moral as well as zoological lessons." --"Chicago Tribune"
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