Books in Review
by Adrienne Petterson © 2006     About Me

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Secrets of the Savanna - Twenty-Three Years in the African Wilderness Unraveling the Mysteries of Elephants and People
by Mark and Delia Owens
Houghton Mifflin
ISBN 0-395-89310-0
Published May 2006 - Hardcover - 230 pages - $26.00

Having grown up and spending my early childhood in Zambia, and having an affinity for elephants (and wild game in general), I was particularly keen to review this book.  Mark and Delia Owen tell their story of how they came about living in the Luangwa Valley in Zambia, about the animals they encountered, the horrendous devastation caused by poachers, the bonds that animals have with each other, and so much more.  Elephants are so human-like (perhaps more docile and certainly much more disciplined) that we can learn much from them.  Mark and Delia also write about their childhoods and life in Ohio and Georgia respectively, so their going to African completes their stories.  Not only did they have a huge impact on restoring the dwindling wildlife population, they also changed poachers' lives by helping them become self-sufficient seeing as they couldn't poach anymore.  Their dreams became reality, not only for themselves, but for thousands of other people as well.  Local people became proficient at supporting themselves and their families by learning to sew clothes on foot-powered treadle sewing machines, cultivating fish farms, producing sunflower oil to sell, keeping bees, and running general store type shops.  Visit their website.
Conclusion - Awe-inspiring and a truly admirable story.

book cover

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