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A woman with a profound love for animals.

An African Love Story: Love, Life and Elephants - Daphne Sheldrick

In rating this book I have tried to remove the negative effect of the awful narration of my audiobook. 14hrs 45mins of Virginia McKenna's incorrect emphases and overly sickly reading was a test of endurance, but the true characters were the animals and they were impossible not to love.


Daphne Sheldrick has spent her whole life in Kenya, raised to love and respect the wildlife around her. She came from an era where hunting was the norm, but gradually it became apparent that the wildlife was not being replaced at the rate that it was being exterminated, and she subsequently devoted her life to rescuing and rehabilitating orphaned animals.


This is also a love story, not between Daphne and her first husband, but with her second husband, David Sheldrick, warden of the Tsavro Game Park, who she subsequently lost to a heart attack at the age of 57. He was a great supporter of the animals and devoted his life to fighting both poaching and mass culling. In his name the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust was set up to continue the work he started.


However, it was the animals that really stole the limelight. Rhinos and elephants, antelopes and giraffes all raised together as the best of friends, and the amazing telepathy between them. How Daphne managed to struggle on whenever one of her orphans died for whatever reason, I will never know, I had tears running down my face as I listened.


My feeling is that I wished I'd read this book rather than listening to it. I also suspect that there may have been photographs in the book version, and I would love to have seen these.