Saving the Last Rhinos: The Life of a Frontline Conservationist

Pegasus. May 2020. 352p. ISBN 9781643135069. $27.95. NAT HIST
South African conservationist Fowlds collaborates with journalist and editor Spence to detail the difficulties in wildlife conservation. While the title may suggest a focus on rhinoceros, the story is more like a memoir, documenting Fowld’s journey from goat farmer to banana farmer to game reserve owner. Fowlds describes the complexities of operating the private Amakhala Game Reserve in South Africa and the challenge of working with various levels of government. He also covers the reserve’s most popular animal, the rhino, and explains why the creature’s horns are in such high demand by poachers. Also explained are the fables and misconceptions associated with the horns, including the myth that it can treat the common cold, and how markets in Asia are fueling the maiming and killing of these animals. Readers also get a firsthand account of the first emergency surgery to save a rhino victimized by poachers.
VERDICT An eye-opening account of the life of a famed conservationist that not only shows the pitfalls he faces on the job but also the hope he finds in others who are determinedly fighting to preserve wildlife.
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