Tag Archives: conservation

An Elephant in My Kitchen by Francoise Malby-Anthony

Overview
An Elephant in My Kitchen by Francoise Malby Anthony

Title: An Elephant in My Kitchen
Author: Francoise Malby-Anthony
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Africa, Conservation, Nature
Dates read: 11th – 13th November 2020
Pace: Slow
Format: Novel
Publisher: Sidgwick & Jackson
Year: 2018
5th sentence, 74th page: ‘That feisty French temperament will take her places,’ I laughed.

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Synopsis

A chic Parisienne, Francoise never expected to find herself living on a South African game reserve. But then she fell in love with conservationist Lawrence Anthony and everything changed. After Lawrence’s death, Francoise faced the daunting responsibility of running Thula Thula without him. Poachers attacked their rhinos, their security team wouldn’t take orders from a woman and the authorities were threatening to cull their beloved elephant family. On top of that, the herd’s feisty new matriarch Frankie didn’t like her.

In this heart-warming and moving book, Francoise describes how she fought to protect the herd and to make her dream of building a wildlife rescue centre a reality. She found herself caring for a lost baby elephant who turned up at her house, and offering refuge to traumatized orphaned rhinos, and a hippo called Charlie who was scared of water. As she learned to trust herself, she discovered she’d had Frankie wrong all along…

Filled with extraordinary animals and the humans who dedicate their lives to saving them, An Elephant in My Kitchen is a captivating and gripping read.

Thoughts

This book is… amazing. And seriously wonderful. And it made me cry. Repeatedly. And not cute, little tears. But big, fat, I kind of hate the world tears. Which I, honestly think, was the whole point. It most definitely drove home the horrors of poaching and the evils of humanity… which I already knew about. But, still, it was… intense.

An Elephant in My Kitchen is just as brilliant as the three books written by Lawrence Anthony. It is so driven by passion and love for nature. Driven by love and care. Honestly, reading these words was like talking with a friend. Or a kindred spirit. It also seriously makes me want to return to the beauty of South Africa…

The thing that makes this novel so much sadder and more tear jerking than Lawrence Anthony’s three novels is the fact that this focuses a lot closer to home. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still sad what happens in Lawrence’s novels, but there is a lot more action throughout the story. Instead, Francoise is based at home and trying to rescue orphan babies. It’s completely heartbreaking when she’s talking about the plight of babies and orphans. And the horrible lengths that people will go to to kill them…

Francoise does a great job of highlighting and promoting the importance of conservation and the horrors of poaching in this novel. She also shows the resilience and strength that she’s shown after Lawrence’s death. This is a journey of hope and survival. One that I most certainly won’t forget anytime soon.

<- The OutrunPlanet Elephant ->

Image source: Goodreads

Wilding by Isabella Tree

Overview
Wilding by Isabella Tree

Title: Wilding
Author: Isabella Tree
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Biology, Conservation, Nature, Non-fiction
Dates read: 9th – 26th April 2020
Pace: Slow
Format: Novel
Publisher: Picador
Year: 2018
5th sentence, 74th page: Well on the way to recovery in Europe, they have already been spotteed in the Oostvaardersplassen and are likely soon to be bredding in the reserve.

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Synopsis

Forced to accept that intensive farming of the heavy clay soils of their farm at Knepp in West Sussex was driving it close to bankruptcy, in 2000 Isabella Tree and her husband Charlie Burrell tok a spectacular leap of faith and handed their 3,500 acres back to nature. With minimal human intervention, and with herds of free-roaming animals stimulating new habitats, their land is now heaving with life. Rare species such as turtle oves, peregrine falcons and purple emperor butterflies are now breeding at Knepp and biodiversity has rocketed.

The Knepp project has become a leading light for conservation in the UK, demonstrating how letting nature take the driving seat can restore both the land and its wildlife in a dramatically short space of time, reversing the cataclysmic declines that have affected most species elsewhere in Britain over the past five decades. Part gripping memoir, part fascinating account of Britain’s rural ecology, Wilding is, above all, an inspiring story of hope.

Thoughts

I bought this book in a sale because it looked mildly interesting, and I do love anything that discusses issues with the natural environment. What I got was an experience that I NEVER expected. One that just completely blew me away and swept me off my feet. Plus, I was reading it at a time that I was beginning the process of removing myself from the rigours of academia and ecology… something which is mentioned frequently in this book. It helped to seriously crystallise some of my thoughts.

This is a very interesting and somewhat inspiring book. As someone who wants to buy land and then “rewild” it, there were a number of practicalities which were presented in this novel. Yet, it was more than that – the terminology of rewilding, the different projects around the world and the many different issues that were faced were seriously delved into. Yet, instead of being dry, as many writers like this can be, Tree is able to recount her adventures and experiences in an engaging and intriguing manner. One that makes it seriously difficult to put this book down.

One of the biggest boundaries that constantly appeared throughout this novel was that of coming up against bureaucracy. Fighting constantly against a bureaucracy that tends to need specific details for any kind of funding. Which, in and of itself then limits the outcome of the project – by placing restrictions on what we are aiming for, what we are aiming for becomes restricted. It’s a definite issue and fallacy within the conservation community that I tend to find frustrating, and it was interesting to read about it from the other point of view.

This is an amazing book for anybody who is interested in conservation to read. It is engaging, intriguing and incredibly insightful. The amount of information that Tree manages to impart is seriously impressive – especially since she does it in such a approachable and enlightening way.

<- Chesapeake RequiemBorn Free ->

Image source: Goodreads

Among the Pigeons by John L. Read

Overview
Image result for book cover among the pigeons

Title: Among the Pigeons
Author: John L. Read
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Australian authorsConservation, Non-fiction
Dates read: 2nd November – 5th December 2019
Pace: Slow
Format: Novel
Publisher: Wakefield Press
Year: 2019
5th sentence, 74th page: The first time I harboured strong feelings towards cats was at our family farm in the South East, in South Australia.

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Synopsis

So why keep cats indoors?

During the last century, global domestic cat numbers rocketed past 200 million. Hundreds of thousands of diseased, injured, malnourished or simply unwanted cats are euthanased every year by despondent animal welfare workers. Misplaced sentimentality, sometimes promoted by cat food companies, has exacerbated this situation through promoting irresponsible feeding of strays.

Ecologist and author John Read has travelled the world consulting cat experts and collating the most recent science. In II Among the Pigeons II he balances the allure of indoor cats with the animal welfare, human health and conservation issues they create when allowed to roam. But he also presents solutions, from breeding ideal indoor pet cats to development of humane tools to control feral cats.

In striking parallel to the repercussions of human-induced climate change, warnings about the damage wrought by free-ranging cats have been largely denied or overlooked. But we ignore these issues at our peril. For our own mental health and the endangered wildlife worldwide, time is running out.

Thoughts

I bought this when I was doing fieldwork out on a reserve a bit over a month ago. I have heard of the author before from fellow ecologists. But mostly, I wanted to buy it because the topic of this is incredibly topical and important to my heart. It’s also, I’m pretty sure a must read for all Australians. After all, it is especially important that we understand and appreciate our cat problem and the damage that it does to us.

This novel is highly factual. Although, for the amount of statistics and information that is squeezed into this, it isn’t dry in the slightest. Actually, it’s next to impossible to put down. The more you read, the more you want to as Read pulls in anecdotes and information from not only my own backyard, but also from around the world.

Of all the non-fiction books I have on my shelves, this is the one that I most definitely relate to the best. It not only talks about a lot of people and places that I know intimately, it’s also an issue that I’m constantly rallying against. But, since I know a lot of cat lovers, I’ve been incredibly hard-pressed to convince them that cat ownership is maybe not the best thing for our environment and the health of Australia.

Even if you are a cat lover, Read is able to provide his readers with a well-thought out argument. He doesn’t offer answers, but he highlights the problem that we are facing. And emphasises that we need a solution of some kind. Whatever works for the individual.

 <- Elephant Memories ReviewAn African Love Story Review ->

Image source: Booktopia

The Last Rhinos by Lawrence Anthony

Overview
Image result for the last rhinos book cover

Title: The Last Rhinos
Author: Lawrence Anthony
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Biographies, Conservation, Non-fiction
Dates read: 16th June – 26th September 2019
Pace: Slow
Format: Novel
Publisher: PAN
Year: 2012
5th sentence, 74th page: In some areas all you could see were the splintered stumps of once-massive jungle trees.

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Synopsis

Lawrence Anthony has been described as ‘the Indiana Jones of conservation’. His South African game reserve is home to many animals he has saved, from a remarkable herd of elephants to a badly behaved bushbaby called George. When he learned that there was only a handful of northern white rhinos left in the wild, living in an area of the Congo controlled by the infamous Lord’s Resistance Army, he was determined to save them from extinction.

What followed was an extraordinary adventure, as Lawrence headed into the jungle to ask the rebels to help protect the rhino. He was also battling to keep his own animals alive during a terrible drought and to save the eyesight of his elephant matriarch Nana. The Last Rhinos is peopled with unforgettable characters, both human and animal, and is a sometimes funny, sometimes moving, always exciting read.

Thoughts

I haven’t read this book for a while. But lately, I’ve needed the inspiration and the motivation to remind me what it is about conservation that I’m passionate about. There is just something about Lawrence Anthony’s adventures and dedication that are completely awe inspiring. Unforgettable and smakes you realise that you are just a small dot in the fabric of the world. Which sounds horrible, but I kind of love… it’s nice to know that your decisions and life isn’t going to change the fate of the world, and that you are something small in a greater reality.

I would do a lot to save animals and take care of the environment… but I really don’t know that I would take on one of the most dangerous and infamous armies in the modern world – the LRA. The intensity of Lawrence’s relationships with these men and his part in their attempts at brokering peace are overwhelming, awe-inspiring and a great read late at night. After all, very few people would have the confidence and gumption to actually do such a thing to take care of another species…

The Last Rhinos is a bit slow to begin with. It discusses a lot of politics, difficulties and barriers to the conservation agenda. Money, politics and bureaucracy are always getting in the way, it doesn’t matter which aspect of life we’re dealing with. But when these barriers occur against an innocent rhino, it’s incredibly frustrating. Which comes through amazingly in this novel. We should all start finding a way to unite and stop arguing against the minutiae… otherwise we will lose all of our beautiful wildlife… the Last Rhinos just being a warning for future Armageddon.

Not only do Anthony’s words carry a potency that many other conservation tales don’t. primarily because his raw honesty and inability to hear the word no… but his little anecdotes about life on Zula Zula fill the gaps. They bring to life a reality in South Africa would otherwise be completely removed from our reality. This is a must have novel for anybody who loves nature, the environment and a damn good story.

 <- The Elephant Whisperer ReviewLife on Air Review ->
Image source: Amazon

James and Other Apes by James Mollison

Overview
Image result for james and other apes book cover

Title: James and Other Apes
Author: James Mollison
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Conservation, Photography
Dates read: 26th August 2019
Pace: Slow
Format: Coffee Table Book
Publisher: Boot
Year: 2004
5th sentence, 74th page: Kudel

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Synopsis

Fifty great apes – chimpanzees, gorillas, orangutans and bonobos, our closest biological relatives – are featured in these portraits by James Mollison. Photographed over four years in ape sanctuaries in four continents, each ape is revealed as a unique character. With case note biographies, and introduced with a powerful and moving essay by Jane Goodall, this book celebrates the great apes – at a moment in time their survival is threatened.

Thoughts

This was such a beautiful book. Graphically speaking. The photographs were stunning. The intensity of the gazes as they starred out of the pages, unforgettable. It is one of those books that I won’t forget, and I’m so glad that I’ve now added this to my shelf. It was irreplaceably beautiful and spine tinglingly aware.

I knew from the blurb and Jane Goodall’s introduction that this was a book that was supposed to highlight our differences to apes and make us realise that our similarities are undeniable. To almost humanise the plight of the big apes so that people will be less callous about their treatment of the environment and their homes. What I didn’t expect was the spine-tingling feeling I got as I flipped through the pages. I found that I was just sitting, there, starring entranced into the eyes of each of the individuals. Learning their names as I picked up their different nuances and personalities…

This is the sort of coffee table book that I’m going to annoy my friends with. The simplicity and beauty of the pictures and the brief biographies about each ape in the back make it accessible to everyone. And it is a great way to highlight how important it is to conserve and nurture our environment. Instead of using it for our own means.

 <- Planet Elephant ReviewElephant Memories Review ->
Image source: Bookdepository

In the Shadow of Man by Jane Goodall

Overview
Image result for in the shadow of man book cover

Title: In the Shadow of Man
Author: Jane Goodall
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Biographies, Conservation, Non-fiction
Dates read: 13th May – 6th June 2019
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Publisher: Mariner
Year: 1971
5th sentence, 74th page: Christmas that year at the Gombe Stream was a day to remember.

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Synopsis

World-renowned primatologist, conservationist, and humanitarian Dr. Jane Goodall’s account of her life among the wild chimpanzees of Gombe is one of the most enthralling stories of animal behavior ever written. Her adventure began when the famous anthropologist Dr. Louis Leakey suggested that a long-term study of chimpanzees in the wild might shed light on the behavior of our closest living relatives in the animal kingdom. Accompanied by only her mother and her African assistants, she set up camp in teh remote Gombe Stream Chimpanzee Reserve in Tanzania.

For months the project seemed hopeless; out in the forest from dawn until dark, she had but fleeting glimpses of frightened animals. But gradually she won their trust and was able to record previously unknown behavior, such as the use – and even the amking – of tools, until then believed to be a skill exclusive to humans. As she came to know the chimps as individuals, she began to understand their complicated social hierarchy and observed many extraordinary behaviors, forever changing our understanding of the profound connection between humans and chimpanzees.

Thoughts

I’ve always wanted to read a book by Jane Goodall but I just never seem to quite get around to it…. until now. And now I’m mostly just annoyed that it took me this long and I have to wait until next pay day to buy any of her other books. Not only was it impossible not to fall in love with Flo and Fifi and all of the other characters in Jane’s chimpanzee family, but it was so inspiring. Conservation studies and the sciences may have changed a lot since the founding of Gombe Research Station, but our passions and slightly unorthodox approaches to what fascinates us kind of remain the same… it gives you hope.

One of my favourite aspects to this novel is that each chapter deals with a different aspect of chimp (and human) behaviour and interaction. In each mini story, a span of years of observations is covered. It ties everything in beautifully so that you can really gain an insight and understanding into this unique group of animals and individuals. That is of course, aside from the first few chapters which provide a storyline for the start of Jane’s career and how she found herself in such an amazing opportunity.

Normally I like to read biographies and non-fiction books before bed. They’re an easy read that is interesting, but also simple to put down. Not so much with this book. There was something about the extra relatability of chimpanzees and Jane’s journey with them that made it stupidly difficult to put this novel down. Like ridiculously difficult… I stayed up WAY too late reading this. And had quite a few sleepless nights… but it was totally worth it!

 <- Hope for Animals and Their World ReviewJames and Other Apes Review ->
Image source: Jane Goodall’s Good For All News

Beluga Days by Nancy Lord

Overview
Image result for book cover beluga days nancy lord

Title: Beluga Days
Author: Nancy Lord
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: The Coast, Conservation, Non-fiction, Oceans
Dates read: 25th February – 20th April 2019
Pace: Slow
Format: Novel
Publisher: The Mountaineers Books
Year: 2003
5th sentence, 74th page: We headed for the bay, about ten miles from Anchorage, and found the whales, white backs rising, then disappearing.

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Synopsis

Living in the waters adjacent to the city of anchorage, the beluga whales of Cook Inlet, Alaska, once seemed countless. But after sharp declines, this isolated and genetically distinct population is now endangered.

Beluga Days brings to life coastal Alaska and the complex relationships that coalesce in a mad theater around the beluga whale crisis. In the company of regulators, environmentalists, researchers, businesspeople, whale lovers, and hunters, Nancy Lord explore the challenges of protecting whales and habitat while respecting Alaska Native traditions.

First published in 2004, Lord’s timeless story is part personal journey and part inquiry into the processes of science and politics. Today, the Cook Inlet beluga population has begun a slow recovery, assisted by the protection of the Endangered Species Act and increased public awareness.

Thoughts

It took me a little while to get through this novel. Not because it wasn’t incredibly interesting and fun, but because it is a great, easy read. You can read a chapter, put it down, and then pick it up a week or two later. There is so much information in this novel that my head is still reeling from it hours after I have turned the last page.

Most of the books I read around conservation are about grass roots efforts to save an animal, species or landscape. This was a little more formal in the outlook. Where many of these journeys are an incredibly personal anecdote that is incredibly difficult to put down, this was filled with information about the bureaucracy, politics and many different peoples who are directly involved in the lives and livelihoods of the Cook Inlet Belugas.

I know next to nothing about Belugas. They’re not a species of whale that happens to be anywhere near Australia. And I honestly don’t read many books about marine animals – my area of obsession tends towards the terrestrial animals. So not only was I finding out amazing amounts of information about this cutely funny looking mammal, but I was also finding out a lot of information about the ecosystem in which they live and the society which surrounds its shores. One of the parts I loved about this book was that it investigates all of the different stakeholders in the health and safety of the Cook Inlet Belugas. This starts with Lord discussing her own insight into these whales and her own experiences in finding out more and more about their endangered status. Then she starts to delve into the scientific practices of research and understanding. Following this, the politics and requirements of the legislation in protection are investigated. And, finally, to round everything off beautifully, the needs and wants of Native Americans are talked about. By discussing every single angle of the debate, Lord is able to provide a uniquely diverse and well thought out discussion of just what the Cook Inlet Belugas are facing, and just how they might be saved.

 <- Why I Live at the Natural History Museum ReviewThe Compass Inside Ourselves Review ->
Image source: Nancy Lord

Journeys to the Other Side of the World by David Attenborough

Overview
Image result for journeys to the other side of the world david attenborough book cover

Title: Journeys to the Other Side of the World: Further Adventures of a Young Naturalist
Author: David Attenborough
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Conservation, Non-fiction
Dates read: 7th December 2018 – 14th January 2019
Pace: Slow
Format: Novel
Publisher: Two Roads
Year: 2018
5th sentence, 74th page: There seemed very few people around Kumburuf from whom we could recruit replacements, but Jim said that there would be plenty about in a day or so.

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Synopsis

Following the success of the original Zoo Quest expeditions, in the late 1950s onwards the young David Attenborough embarked on further travels in a very different part of the world. From Madagascar and New Guinea to the Pacific Islands and the Northern Territory of Australia, he and his cameraman companion were aiming to record not just the wildlife, but the way of life of some of the indigenous people of these regions, whose traditions had never been encountered by most of the British public before.

From the land divers of Pentecost Island and the sing-sings of New Guinea, to a Royal Kava Ceremony on Tonga and the ancient art of the Northern Territory, it is a journey like no other. Alongside these remarkable cultures, he encounters paradise birds, chameleons, sifakas, and many more animals in some of the most unqiue environments on the planet.

Written with David Attenborough’s characteristic charm, humour and warmth, Journeys to the Other Side of the World is an inimitable adventure among people, places and the wildest of wildlife.

Thoughts

I almost screamed when I found out that David Attenborough had released yet another book. After all, the man is honestly my idol and I find it impossible to pass up anything that involves his work. Not only do I love finding out more about a man who has a lot to do with my choice in career path, but I also love the style in which he writes. He is funny and entertaining. And the beautiful way in which he writes transports you to another world and another time.

Where Adventures of a Young Naturalist takes you on the first few zoo quest expeditions and the animals that they encountered, Journeys to the Other Side of the World has more of a focus on the people that were encountered. And I loved this change of pace. Although it is the animal and conservation aspect of Attenborough’s work that I have always been obsessed with, the anthropologist in me is enthralled by the cultures that are encountered. Especially considering that this would have been at least fifty years ago, so the changes that would have occurred have made many of these places and peoples change entirely.

I’m so incredibly disappointed that this book is over. I loved going through the Pacific Islands, Madagascar and Australia. Especially considering it was such a different time, and even if I followed in David’s footsteps, I wouldn’t be able to see half of the things that he had. It’s a different world, a different time, and a different place. And one that I found incredibly fun and intriguing.

 <- Adventures of a Young Naturalist ReviewKangaroo Dundee Review ->
Image source: Hachette Australia

The Elephant Whisperer by Lawrence Anthony

Overview

The Elephant WhispererTitle: The Elephant Whisperer
Author: Lawrence Anthony
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: BiographiesConservationInspirationNon-fiction
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Publisher: Pan Books
Year: 2009
5th sentence, 74th page: If he was shaking, it was with anger – not an overdose of electrons.

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Synopsis

When South African conservationist Lawrence Anthony was asked to accept a herd of ‘rogue’ wild elephants on his Thula Thula game reserve in Zululand, his common sense told him to refuse. But he was the herd’s last chance of survival – dangerous and unpredictable, they would be killed if Anthony wouldn’t take them in.

As Anthony risked his life to create a bond with the troubled elephants and persuade them to stay on his reserve, he came to realise what a special family they were, from the wise matriarch nana, who guided the herd, to her warrior sister Frankie, always ready to see off any threat, and their children who fought so hard to survive.

With unforgettable characters and exotic wildlife, this is an enthralling look that will appeal to animal lovers and adventurous souls everywhere.

Thoughts

No matter how many times I read this book, I will still be in awe. Inspired. And wishing that I could return to South Africa. I actually originally bought this (and read it) on the way back to Australia from Johannesburg. And it was glorious. Impossible to put down, and one of the most inspiring conservation stories that I have ever read. Reading it the second time, well, my response really hasn’t changed in the slightest…

Lawrence Anthony is both an engaging storyteller and passionate conservationist. His maverick approach to problem solving and incredible gumption mean that you are on the edge of your seat the entire time you read of his exploits. And the fact that his life and exploits feature an amazing herd of elephants, and some incredibly picturesque scenery. After all, Africa has some of the most iconic animals in the world, and it is impossible not to imagine yourself going on game rides right alongside Anthony and his staff.

I love no-hold way in which this story is told. There is no sugar coating the difficulties of life in the bush and the horrors which it can entail. Nature takes its course, and rather than trying to redirect the ebbs and flows of life, Anthony partakes in all of its mystery. It reminds me why I love being out in the bush and just enjoying what our countryside has to offer, even if my countryside has far smaller animals than his…

 <- Babylon’s Ark Review The Last Rhinos Review ->
Image source: Amazon

Kangaroo Dundee by Chris ‘Brolga’ Barns

Overview
Kangaroo Dundee

Title: Kangaroo Dundee
Author: Chris ‘Brolga’ Barns
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Australian authors, Biographies, Conservation
Pace: Fast
Format: Novel
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Year: 2013
5th sentence, 74th page: Back to working seven days a week, dealing with massive overheads, busting my back, sweating like a pig.

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Synopsis

When Chris Barns, AKA Brolga, stopped at a roadside to tend to a kangaroo lying there, he found that she was already dead – another victim of speeding cars in the remote Australian outback. But as he gently moved her body, he discovered still tucked up within the pouch a tiny pink baby kangaroo, injured but alive. So began an extraordinary and life changing journey.

Brolga’s deep love and respect for animals went back to childhood, but for years he had led a nomadic life drifting from one job to the next never settling. This moment was a turning point. Brolga tenderly nursed the baby joey back to health and realised that if he could save one orphan then he could save another.

Over the years Brolga has watched how kangaroo mums care for their young. He now uses what he’s learned to give these helpless creatures a second chance; feeding them, bathing the, doing everything a mother would.

Living simply in a one-room tin shack in Alice Springs, this tough, 6’7″ Australian has dedicated his life to painstakingly caring for his kangaroo ‘mob’ before releasing them into the sanctuary he has created.

Here, Brolga describes life with the joeys and how through his care and love for them a lifelong bond is created. We meet Roger and Ella and the other kangaroos, and come to understand how this unique relationship between one man and these beloved animals not only saved their lives, but gave purpose to his.

Thoughts

I’ve had this book on my shelf for ages. I went looking for Australiana books while I had a friend over from overseas and just thought that this looked a little interesting. The other night I decided to pick it up. Which was great, but also a mistake. I didn’t put it back down again. Something about the familiarity of our beautiful country, Brolga’s passions and the great Aussie voice completely reeled me in and made it just impossible to put this down. Or sleep. Even though I was absolutely buggered…

My family has always rescued birds (and the occasional possum) found on the side of the road. So many of the things that Brolga goes through are kind of familiar. The heartbreak of losing something because of human stupidity, or just a simple accident. And the joy at nursing something back to health, just to return it to the wild and a life that they can now live. It’s all familiar, and incredibly heart-warming to read about in someone else’s words.

This story takes you all along the western coast of Australia, to the Top End, and back down to central Australia. Mostly throughout the outback and more intense parts of our country, but I loved the vividness and realism of Barns’ descriptions. This is definitely a book that I’m going to be recommended to others, and reading a few more times.

 <- Journeys to the Other Side of the World ReviewMy Brother But One Review ->
Image source: Goodreads