LOVE, LIFE, AND ELEPHANTS
Elephants are amazing creatures. Like so many other animals they're probably a lot smarter the we think. For some time, I have been fascinated with their intelligence, so when I saw a book entitled Love, Life, and Elephants I grabbed it. The author, Daphne Sheldrick, whose family arrived in Africa from Scotland in the 1820s, is the first person ever to have successfully hand-reared newborn elephants. Her pioneering work in perfecting the right husbandry and milk formula has saved countless elephants. Sheldrick claims that elephants have an extraordinary ability to communicate sophisticated messages to each other.
The first chapter of the book tells the story of how her Scottish ancestors came to reside in Kenya. At first they journeyed from South Africa by ship to Mombasa, and then on to Nairobi by train. The final leg of their journey took them through the African wilderness by wagon to settle miles and miles from doctors, grocery stores, and everything else civilization has to offer. As I read the description of this journey, I found it almost scary just to think about being so many miles from help and from any sustenance other than what I could contrive myself. Not only were they surrounded 24/7 by herds of elephants, but also by all the animals you wouldn't want to come face to face with: snakes, rhinos, tigers.
I look forward to reading the remainder of this book and learning more about her relations with the elephants of Kenya.