Sunday, September 23, 2012

A Mammoth Discovery

Earlier this month on a bike ride downtown, I turned a corner and saw …

elephants in a parking lot.

Yes, really. Elephants, who were bordered on one side by tents of white horses and on the other, cages of white tigers. How many endangered animals can you get in one parking lot?

Only Barnum & Bailey knows for sure. Yup, turns out the circus was in town.

It was heartbreaking to see these creatures on a barren lot of pavement. After watching one elephant do nothing but repeatedly rock back and forth in place, I couldn’t look anymore. I fantasized about breaking them out of there, but even my imagination was a little lean on ideas for disguising and hiding them.

Yesterday was Elephant Appreciation Day. (Remember how I said this month was full of wacky holidays?) I meant to post this yesterday, but … well … whatever. Here’s my contribution to the special day: a list of books about elephants. The least we can do for them is understand their lives so that we may better share the planet with them.

If you have a friend or relative who’s crazy for big-eared pachyderms, snag one of these books as a gift. If you’re just trying to figure out why your friend or relative is crazy for elephants, read one yourself!

Coming of Age with Elephants: A Memoir
by Joyce Poole

by Steve Bloom
Elephant Memories: Thirteen Years in the Life of an Elephant Family
by Cynthia Moss

Elephant Reflections
by Dale Peterson and Karl Ammann

Elephant Song
by Barry B. Longyear

Elephantoms: Tracking the Elephant
by Lyall Watson

Elephants (Living Wild)
by Melissa Gish

Elephants on the Edge: What Animals Teach Us about Humanity
by G. A. Bradshaw

Everything Elephants: A Collector
s Pictorial Encyclopedia
by Michael Knapik

Eyewitness: Elephant
by Ian Redmond

Face to Face with Elephants (Face to Face with Animals)

by Dereck Joubert and Beverly Joubert

From Elephants to Mice: Animals Who Have Touched My Soul
by James Mahoney

s Ghosts: The White Gold of History and the Fate of Elephants
by John Frederick Walker

Jumbo: This Being the True Story of the Greatest Elephant in the World
by Paul Chambers

Just for Elephants
by Carol Buckley

Love, Life, and Elephants: An African Love Story
by Daphne Jenkins Sheldrick

Secrets of the Savanna: Twenty-three Years in the African Wilderness Unraveling the Mysteries of Elephants and People
by Mark James Owens and Cordelia Dykes Owens

Silent Thunder: In the Presence of Elephants

by Katharine Payne

Tarra & Bella: The Elephant and Dog Who Became Best Friends

by Carol Buckley

The Amboseli Elephants: A Long-Term Perspective on a Long-Lived Mammal
by Cynthia J. Moss, Harvey Croze and Phyllis C. Lee

The Cowboy and His Elephant: The Story of a Remarkable Friendship

by Malcolm MacPherson

The Elephant Whisperer: Learning about Life, Loyalty and Freedom from a Remarkable Herd of Elephants
by Lawrence Anthony

The Elephant Whisperer: My Life with the Herd in the African Wild
by Lawrence Anthony and Graham Spence

The Elephant
s Secret Sense: The Hidden Life of the Wild Herds of Africa
by Caitlin O

The Elephants and I: Pursuing a Dream in Troubled Zimbabwe
by Sharon Pincott

The Eye of the Elephant: An Epic Adventure in the African Wilderness
by Mark James Owens and Cordelia Dykes Owens

To the Elephant Graveyard
by Tarquin Hall

Travels on My Elephant
by Mark Shand

Walking Thunder: In the Footsteps of the African Elephant
by Cyril Christo and Marie Wilkinson

When Elephants Paint: The Quest of Two Russian Artists to Save the Elephants of Thailand
by Komar & Melamid and David Eggers

When Elephants Weep: The Emotional Lives of Animals
by Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson and Susan McCarthy


Note: This list of nonfiction and memoir is by no means comprehensive. I deliberately excluded books about hunting elephants, of course (you wouldn’t believe how many there are), and I did not attempt to list children’s books on this subject because, as you may already know, there are LOADS of them.

[Photo by Nick Brandt.]

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