Signed copies of “Elephant Dance”
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A story of love and war in the kingdom of elephants
“This beautifully written book by young Aussie conservationist Tammie Matson tells of her fascinating work – in which chilli peppers end up playing a key role – to reduce human-elephant conflict in Namibia and later India. It includes many encounters, sometimes terrifying and sometimes heart-wrenching, with Africa’s wild animals. Elephant Dance will make you cry, then laugh, then jump, then laugh again.” News Limited newspapers, October 2009
It’s the middle of the night, in the cold, silent Namibian desert. When zoologist Tammie Matson wakes with a start to find two elephants standing right beside her tiny one-man tent, just inches from her head, she makes a promise.‘If you just let me survive tonight I will give up Africa. I’ll give it all up. Just don’t let them stand on me.’ It’s not a promise she will easily keep. At 29, Tammie has spent nearly half her life in Africa working as a conservationist. Africa – with its big skies, extraordinary wildlife, and extreme experiences – is where she feels fully alive. Africa is her first love, and Tammie has just landed her dream gig researching ways to resolve conflict between the exploding population of hungry, thirsty elephants stampeding through villages and terrorising the locals. But as her thirties approach Tammie is ever conscious of not having ticked those boxes: no house, no job, no kids and no husband. Broke and with her visa running out, it seems like Africa may just force her to give it up after all.
On returning to Australia, feeling like a foreigner in her homeland, Tammie unexpectedly lands a job at the Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF) in Sydney. There she meets Andy, an attractive Brit, and Africa suddenly has a rival. But she’s not ready to give up on the elephants yet …
So beings an amazing journey across countries where elephants thrive and those where they’re on the verge of extinction. From the magical land of the Bushmen in Namibia, to the banks of the Chobe River in Botswana, to the civil strife of Assam, India, Elephant Dance takes us to the heart of a conservationist’s fight to find a way for elephants to live peacefully in a world with too many people, too few resources and the increasing threat of climate change. Passionate, funny, and moving, Elephant Dance is also a classic story of self-discovery, love,and the courage it takes to follow your calling, even when the journey takes you where you least expected. Pan Macmillan, 2009