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Extended Audio Sample Love, Life, and Elephants: An African Love Story Audiobook, by Dame Sheldrick, Daphne Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (564 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Dame Sheldrick, Daphne, Daphne Sheldrick Narrator: Virginia McKenna Publisher: Macmillan Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: May 2012 ISBN: 9781427226778
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Daphne Sheldrick's best-selling memoir, "Love, Life, and Elephants: An African Love Story" transports the listener to the fascinating and mysterious world of Kenya. Her family began their life in Africa when they left Scotland in the 1820's and that is where the story begins. The determination of her ancestors gave Sheldrick the opportunity to experience an adventurous childhood that inspired her life of activism. In this beautifully crafted memoir, Sheldrick tells the story of her life as a conservationist. At the heart of her story are her two great loves; her husband, David and her elephant friend, Eleanor. Sheldrick has enjoyed over 40 years of friendship with Eleanor. Even though the elephant was long ago released into the wild, they still cross paths. The story of how their bond was formed is moving and unforgettable.

David, the Tsavo park warden, is the love of Daphne's life. Their relationship is the center of her story. With the kind of empathy that could only come from a lifetime of experience, Sheldrick saves baby elephants from death by studying the habits of their communities and mimicking those habits until the elephants can be released into the wild to live as they were meant to. She is the first person who has achieved consistent success with hand raising orphaned baby elephants, and her passion shines through in this amazing story of her life.

Sheldrick founded the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust and the Orphans' Nursery in Nairobi National Park in her late husband's honor. She and her husband worked side by side from 1955 until 1976. During that time, she rehabilitated many wild animals. Through years of research she has perfected the milk formula that makes rescuing elephants under the age of three possible.

Sheldrick was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine and Surgery by Glasgow University in June 2000. In 1992 she became one of the first 500 people to be included in U.N.E.P.'s elite Global 500 Roll of Honour. Among her many achievements is recognition by the Smithsonian Magazine as one of 35 people who have positively impacted wildlife conservation worldwide. In 2006, Queen Elizabeth II granted Dr. Daphne Sheldrick the first Knighthood to be awarded in Kenya since 1963.

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 deep empathy and understanding, her years of observing Kenya’s rich variety of wildlife, and her pioneering work in perfecting the right husbandry and milk formula have saved countless elephants, rhinos, and other baby animals from certain death.

In this heartwarming and poignant memoir, Daphne shares her amazing relationships with a host of orphans, including her first love, Bushy, a liquid-eyed antelope; Rickey-Tickey-Tavey, the little dwarf mongoose; Gregory Peck, the busy buffalo weaver bird; Huppety, the mischievous zebra; and the majestic elephant Eleanor, with whom Daphne has shared more than forty years of great friendship.

But this is also a magical and heartbreaking human love story between Daphne and David Sheldrick, the famous Tsavo Park warden. It was their deep and passionate love, David’s extraordinary insight into all aspects of nature, and the tragedy of his early death that inspired Daphne’s vast array of achievements, most notably the founding of the world-renowned David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust and the Orphans’ Nursery in Nairobi National Park, where Daphne continues to live and work to this day.

Encompassing not only David and Daphne’s tireless campaign for an end to poaching and for conserving Kenya’s wildlife, but also their ability to engage with the human side of animals and their rearing of the orphans expressly so they can return to the wild, Love, Life, and Elephants is alive with compassion and humor, providing a rare insight into the life of one of the world’s most remarkable women.

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Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Janice Baker | 2/18/2014

    " Great book--very vivid description of life in Kenya. It got a little deprssing with so many animals and people dying, and also the deteriorating situation in Kenya over the years, but very well written and hard to put down! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Caitlin | 2/7/2014

    " Wish there was more on individual raisings of elephants....somewhat disappointed "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Diana M. Hawkins | 1/23/2014

    " It was the elephants that drew me to this book, even though Daphne Sheldrick's life story includes so much more. It begins with her great grandparents' journey from South Africa to a remote part of Kenya in 1907, and tells of her family's struggles, their heartbreaks, and celebrations as they forge a new way of life in the Kenyan wilds that are teeming with game. From a young age, she is drawn to caring for young, motherless creatures, a calling which ultimately becomes her life's work. Later, married with an infant daughter, she visits Tsavo National Park and meets the park's warden, David Sheldrick. Although he is 15 years her senior, she feels an immediate attraction to him. Several years later they marry, and for the next 21 years they serve as Tsavo's co wardens, putting up a valiant fight against the ivory industry. After David sadly succumbs to a heart attack in 1976 Daphne founds the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust to continue her husband's legacy of fighting to protect elephants, rhinos and other animals from poachers. Daphne later goes on to pioneer the hand-rearing of newborn elephants after perfecting the milk formula for baby elephants and rhinos. Reviewed by Diana M Hawkins, author of Shadows Along the Zambezi: A Novel "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mysteryfan | 1/15/2014

    " She was the wife of a game warden in Kenya and pioneered techniques for rearing orphan elephants. I'm ambivalent about the book. Some parts of it are bothersome, especially the sections that discuss politics. They have a real flavor of entitlement. But the sections about fighting poachers and the various animals she adopted and reared were interesting. I learned a lot about African flora and fauna. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Catherine Sumner | 12/30/2013

    " I've been a little obsessed with the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust ever since seeing a documentary about their work with baby elephants years ago, so as soon as I heard about this book I knew I had to read it. Overall I loved this look into Daphne Sheldrick's life and the work she does with orphaned animals in Africa. The most compelling parts of the story were the anecdotes about the many orphans that came through her household, and the amazing things she learned about animals through her lifelong involvement with nature. Some of the discussions of poaching and African politics seemed a bit over-long to me, but they did provide important context for what was going on in Africa at the time. A very touching and heartwarming read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Gill | 12/29/2013

    " Loved the book. Beautifully written and interesting read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kathy | 12/9/2013

    " I loved this book, especially since I had been on safari in Kenya and Tanzania a few months prior to discovering this book. I was amazed how much I learned on my 2 week trip to this area. I recommended the book to my husband and he enjoyed it immensely. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Louise | 11/29/2013

    " I love Africa and I love Elephants. I was sorry this was more about the writer than the subjects. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Taylor | 8/28/2013

    " Wonderful! But it made me cry. I love the elephants and thought it was amazing. Super sad to see what happened to baby elephants...... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Beverly | 6/1/2013

    " Loved this book...what an engaging, even heroic life story. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sarah S | 5/9/2013

    " I skimmed quite a bit of this one. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Emily Giesbrecht | 2/1/2013

    " This book really made me want to go to Africa and see it all for myself. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Snail in Danger (Sid) Nicolaides | 12/23/2012

    " Fine to read to kill time while traveling or in a waiting room or whatever, but not world-shaking. I was a little disappointed that the author had nothing to say about hippos in this book. (Lots of material about elephants and some about rhinos, though.) "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Debi | 12/21/2012

    " Eye-opening perspectives of life in Kenya. A little long but mostly enjoyable. For me, it was a book I was glad I borrowed rather than bought, but it was well worth the read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Elizabeth Moffat | 12/9/2012

    " I think I would probably rate this book three and a half stars. I really enjoyed learning about daphne, especially her early childhood in kenya, and am full of admiration for the work her and her late husband have done for elephants, rhinos, antelopes etc etc! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Avary | 11/10/2012

    " Learned things about Tsavo, the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust -- and African Wildlife Foundation. Interesting to me! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Lisa | 9/25/2012

    " Great story, and I admire the authors work and compassion; however, I struggle to read the descriptions of the plight of the elephants. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Cindyg | 8/23/2012

    " Absolutely heartwarming and funny! A must read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sara | 8/2/2012

    " A lovely book for those who love elephants or animals in general. Weaving her love of Africa and its amazing wildlife and her love for David and her family, Daphne tells the moving story of her life dedicated to saving orphaned elephants from poachers. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tina | 6/27/2012

    " I loved this book, which was filled with both the joy and the sorrow of caring for Africa's wildlife. The Sheldrakes led fascinating and heartfelt lives and helped shaped the conservation of Africa's wildlife. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lisa | 6/25/2012

    " Loved this book! If you love animals, and love wildlife and nature, you will really enjoy reading this autobiography of an amazing Kenyan family. "

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About the Narrator

Virginia McKenna is a British actress who has stared in numerous films and television shows. Her performance in the 1956 film A Town Like Alice earned her a BAFTA Award for Best British Actress. She has also spent many years working as a wildlife campaigner, and for her efforts she was made an officer of the Order of the British Empire in 2004.