The Inspirational Story of Thirteen Years Living with Elephants in the African Wilderness
by Sharon Pincott
Reviewed by Johnny Rodrigues, founder, Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force.
Sharon Pincott’s new book Elephant Dawn, her third book about her 13 years studying the Presidential Elephant herd in Zimbabwe, is out now in South Africa, and is also available online. It has already been on the Exclusive Books’ recommended read list and endorsed highly by Africa Geographic. Now that I have read it myself, I urge you all to get yourselves a copy. It is an incredibly accurate, hard-hitting factual account of actual events in Zimbabwe.
“A book I will keep to read again”
Beginning in 2001, Elephant Dawn takes us all the way through to 2014 and beyond. Memories of many things that happened in Zimbabwe, with elephants, other wildlife, politics and day-to-day life, flooded back to me as I read it. It is a book that I will keep to read again.
While there are a lot of upbeat moments and laughs along the way, Elephant Dawn is also a heart-wrenching story. All that happened to our elephants and to my country and to Sharon over these years is not only sad it is also alarming. I felt Sharon’s pain, after so much dedicated time and hard work, when threats and lies surfaced too many times and she realized she had to leave.
How the land grabs of protected state land, important to the Presidential Elephants, which we of the Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force first reported about in 2003, could be allowed to happen again in 2013 is still incomprehensible to me.
Despite all that happened, Sharon’s love of Zimbabwe shines throughout. Her descriptions of our wild areas are beautiful. For those who don’t already know, her relationship with the Presidential Elephants was simply incredible and reading this book I felt as if I was sitting beside her in Hwange in her old battered truck.
If you are a budding conservationist wanting to spend time in Africa, this is a book you need to read.
CITES delegates in particular should try to read Elephant Dawn before the upcoming CITES triennial, at which attempts to reopen the trade in ivory and elephant trophies will again be made.
HARARE, Zimbabwe––Upset by alleged land grabs and poaching involving people well-connected within the Robert Mugabe government, Australian elephant researcher Sharon Pincott on April 16, 2014 e-mailed to ANIMALS 24-7 that she is reluctantly leaving Zimbabwe and giving up a 13-year effort to protect the habitat of the herd known as the Presidential Elephants, about whom Pincott wrote two books.
The herd has included as many as 400 elephants in 20 family groups. Read more