Saving the Last Rhinos: The Life of a Frontline Conservationist

Grant Fowlds and Graham Spence. Pegasus, $27.95 (352p) ISBN 978-1-64313-506-9
Fowlds’s straightforward and winning memoir, cowritten with journalist Spence (The Elephant Whisperer), recounts his career in wildlife conservation, focusing on the battle against rhinoceros poaching. Providing brief but helpful context, Fowlds describes his childhood on his family’s sheep and cattle ranch in South Africa, where he developed his love for animals. Subsequent sections deal with Fowlds’s experiences moving the family business from farming to game ranching and then preservation and tourism. Initially holding “a couple of giraffes, 12 zebras and a herd of impala and blesbok,” Amakhala Game Reserve eventually grew to include lions, leopards, rhinoceroses, elephants, and Cape buffalos. Fowlds forcefully rails against the “killers... with dart guns and chemicals” who would sneak onto the reserve “under cover of darkness” to hack off the rhinos’ horns. He also describes fighting back, with measures that have included extensive rehab for injured rhinos, horse patrols through the bush, and a fact-finding mission to Vietnam, a major destination for the stolen horns, due to their supposed medicinal qualities. With this appealing book, Fowlds issues a stirring call to action and shines a revealing light on the “horrible, howling reality of wildlife crime at the front line.” With color photos. (May)
Reviewed on : 03/12/2020
Release date: 05/01/2020
Genre: Nonfiction
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