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The Elephant Whisperer: My Life With the Herd in the African Wild by Lawrence Anthony with Graham Spence: Book Review Essay Part 4 : Don’t Miss This


  • ch. 14 Frankie & the Four Wheeler

“I involuntarily sat down on the bike and looked up at the crinkled underside of Frankie’s throat in petrified wonder.”

  • ch. 17 Nana’s & the Herd’s First Visit to the House, at 2am!

 Of Nana: “I doubt whether many people have had a ten-foot five-ton wild elephant trying to squeeze into their room via a narrow door, but take it from me, it is not a soothing experience.”

“It was something I just couldn’t get used to; the daunting vision of this gargantuan form looming ominously closer, apparently fixated on demonstrating her affection by standing right next to me. It was like having an infatuated Tyrannosaurus rex showering attention on you. What was even more mind-blowing was that not that long ago she would have happily killed me.”

Of Frankie:  “It was a sight I don’t think I would ever see again – a five ton elephant charging a five-ounce cat (eight-week-old kitten).”


Image: CC Flickr fyre mael: Member of Thula Thula elephant herd: The Elephant Whisperer, Lawrence Anthony’s elephants


  • ch. 23 The Elephants Visit the Lodge as Unexpected Guests! Although Nana, as Matriarch, was the leader I think Frankie must have instigated this. Well, to Nana, the swimming pool was quite the temptation. It had most likely become the herd’s “new waterhole” from previous, clandestine, nocturnal visits.


  • ch. 27 What became of Nana’s “rescue mission” when she let the nyala (spiral-horned antelope) out of the boma? How & why did she do that?


  • ch. 37 For a light-hearted moment read Man vs. the Cape Buffalo story. It will have you roaring, leave you in stitches & the play-by-lay is legendary. 🙂


  • ch. 38 The African Bush Wedding: “…it unfolded before me as abstractly as an elephant charge, taking place in surreal slow motion despite its thundering reality.” …It “was all just so right.”                                            Mnumzane the elephant, who “loves weddings” even attended.


  • ch. 22 “None of us, however, forgot that we had almost lost Thula Thula. Or that we had an elephant to thank for our lives.” Experience the poachers’ apocalypse, if you dare.


  • p. 364 Lessons Learned From the Elephants: Poignant Reflections from The Elephant Whisperer in deference to each and every one of his elephants as he had come to know how much more he had gained for just having them in his life. “They say you get out of life what you put in, but that is only true if you can understand what it is that you are getting. As Nana’s and Frankie’s trunks snaked out to me over the fence, it dawned on me that they had given me so much more than I had given them. In saving their lives, the repayment I have received from them was immeasurable.”


Image: CC Flickr: fyre mael: Majestic Thula Thula elephant: The Elephant Whisperer, Lawrence Anthony’s elephants



“The key indication of this (a mock charge) was if her ears flapped out. But no-  with mounting horror I watched her fold her ears back and roll up her trunk to take full impact of when she hit. A rolled trunk meant she was going all the way.” (ch. 14)

“…he begin swinging his front foot, a sure sign that he was going to charge.” (ch. 16 )

ET the elephant charges at The Lawrence Anthony (p. 249) “Before I knew it I heard that awful sound as the bush came alive with snapping branches and she galloped into the clearing, dipping her head in the awesome way that elephants do when they start a charge…”

“The moment I know when a situation gets hairy with elephants is when pandemonium switches into slow motion and the shrieking, mind-numbing fear leaches out of my body and is replaced by a blissful calmness. And so it was this time. I watched abstractly as I screamed at her until she was virtually on top of me…” p. 250


To be continued: The Elephant Whisperer:  My Life With the Herd in the African Wild by Lawrence Anthony with Graham Spence: Book Review Essay Part 5: Memorable Moments

Purchase The Elephant Whisperer: My Life With the Herd in the African Wild by Lawrence Anthony with Graham Spence through The Lawrence Anthony Earth Organization  “Purchasing the book from us, LAEO, helps forward the work we are doing to achieve the goals that Lawrence envisioned.” See Lawrence Anthony’s Elephants


Image: Wikipedia. book: The Elephant Whisperer My Life With the Herd in the African Wild by Lawrence Anthony with Graham Spence



The Elephant Whisperer by Lawrence Anthony & Graham Spence  wiki

The Elephant Whisperer book cover (baby elephant)  CC Flickr

CC Flickr Fyre Mael Elephants Thula Thula



YouTube Video “Lawrence Anthony’s Rehabilitation of Elephants” interview



Image: CC Flickr : book  The Elephant Whisperer by Lawrence Anthony with Graham Spence


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