Mark Owens: Secrets of the Savanna



Book Ebook Secrets of the Savanna Å Mark Owens – ecogenlife.org

Nterest in after reading this book I read this book out of curiosity after reading Delia Owens bestselling work of fiction Where the Crawdad s Sing Despite its flaws Secrets of the Savanna offered important insights into the work of animal conservation and the need to involve indigenous populations in these projects Mark and Delia Owens have spent a ot of time in Zambia Crush (Awkward, living theirife as those people that we are often jealous of who take breathtaking pictures with binoculars and some soft مهارت در بازی زندگی looking animal in the background Or not soft but still intriguingike elephants Secrets of the Savanna is about their experience in Africa trying to save the elephants that are being poached on for their tusks There is a The Dragon in the Clock Box lot to the story then the elephants such as the villagers the politics of the area and the fight to stay in the scientific world of animal behavior But alas I read this for the elephants which are uite amazingIf you have any interest in animal behavior or animal sciences I do recommend this Or if youike elephants LOVED this book Thank you for sharing I read this third book in preparation for a forthcoming trip to Namibia and Botswana following the authors other two books I m not sure how the Owens managed to avoid being trampled or gored in their years of encounters with buffalo My Amazing Dinosaur (Tib Tumtum, lions and angry elephants not to mention being shot by poachers but I m an avid armchair adventurer andoved reading about their interesting The Nazi Revolution lives This book was a bit uneven thematically and also a bit repetitive with odd bits of retrospection but still I read it all with interest and respect I did appreciate their flashbacks as explanation for why they became the people they are today And given that Alexandra Fuller is one of my all time favorite authors the fact that she wrote the foreword is high enough praise for me While the Owens were busy dodging dangers of both the two and fouregged varieties I was teaching environmental education a then fledgling concept as a Peace Corps volunteer in Jamaica This book makes me wonder why I ever Bloods a Rover (American Underworld Trilogy left as I could have easily stayed and continued with that much needed work and perhaps have written my own 23 year retrospective about saving crocodiles and manatees and coral reefs right about now Alas The path not taken So I was happy toearn that the Owens employed Peace Corps volunteers in their community development work and my hat is off to them for sticking with their own passionate paths for as ong as they did Now as I head off to visit my son who is himself serving as a PCV in Namibia I am super excited to fulfill my ifelong dream of being on safari and seeing elephants and the Wylde Bears (Wylde Bears, like And when we visit Botswana I will think of the Owens first book and of the fences And if I get another chance of aifetime I ve added a walking safari in the Luangwa Valley of Zambia to my Cooking Light Lazy Gourmet list of things I dream of doing some day This was a rather bittersweet book It was full of some beautiful and utterly shocking moments but also parts that were uite sad and downright horrific It was all in all a good book I am sort of surprised that the focus was on the people andess on the actual animals It was of a memoir about this couple than the book on nature that I expected Still it had some fascinating moments in it Half read half skimmed 4 stars for the beautiful descriptive storytelling abilities of Delia Owens and perhaps too for the valued conservation work the Owens did in Africa Delia Owens wrote Where the Crawdads Sing a work of fiction that I read Arise last month A good book The true story of Mark and Delia Owens and their work in the Luangwa Valley in Zambia Over the course of 20 years they turned back the tide of poaching in the area returning a viable elephant population along with the rise of uite a number of other African species Using microloans to give theocal tribes a better alternative to thrive outside of poaching Similar to their Cry of the Kalahari which I read years ago. Umans and elephants A young elephant named Gift provided the clue to help them crack the animals’ secret of survival A stirring portrait of ife in Africa Secrets of the Savanna is a remarkable record of the Owenses' uniue passion.

REVIEW Secrets of the Savanna

S ike Gift have been deprived of the emotional bonding of a herd Delia compares their status to families torn apart by war and asks When you The Book Thief lose the knack of hugging each other or twisting trunks together how do you get it back together again Can society ever find peace oncce the family has fallen apart p28 At first there isittle hope that the herds will be replenished The female s first ovulation is usually not until 14 years of age Typically the first calf is born when she is 16 Delia and Mark perform an on going census but see Talk to Me little evidence of an increase in numbers The survivors areike silent shadows disappearing into the forest The turning point is the surprising news that Gift estimated age around 8 has a calf The adolescents are beginning to breed The scientific term is density dependent phenomenon Gift is not a skilled mother However somehow her calf survives There is hope that she Silver Mortal (The Gracen Chronicles, like other young females will be the basis for new herds new elephant communities Mark and Delia understand the importance of human communities as well With the message that the animals are worth alive than dead they move from village to village with a proposal forocal sustainability without poaching Apiaries sunflower fields and grinding mills begin to sprout up funded by microloans and newly energized villagers now proud of their economic independence These communities are the basis of a highly successful anti poaching campaign The work is carried on by Hammer Simwinga and Moses Nyirendu after 1997 when Mark and Delia are prevented by the government from returning to the country by corrupt government officials who would prefer to revive the Educating for the New World Order lucrative ivory smuggling business For either one of these communities the elephant and the human to disappear would have turned this story into an unbearable tragedy Each chapter is authored by either Mark or Delia Owens Previously they had worked on wildlife projects in the Kalahari Here despite the ubtitle they document their work from 1986 to 1997 in Zambia s North Luangwa National Park The format gives the book the feel of a series of recollections on a variety of topics some of greater interest than others Mark describes his rural Ohio boyhood when he first discovered an interest in nature Delia describes the betrayal of a former poacher who takes on the operation of a village mill and whom she recruits as a tracker as she conducts an elephant census Their greatest struggle is against corrupt and powerful government officials eager to resume theirucrative ivory smuggling operations There are strong indications that had the couple remained in Zambia they would have been assassinatedThe writing is uneven Of course there are gorgeous passages that reflect the beauty of the area Their camp is in the Luangwa Vallley partially encircled on the northwest by the Muchinga Escarpment and bisected by the Lubongo River The Lubonga meandders gently through wooded foothills and small grassy glades of the valley It wanders by our campat this point where we begin to follow it and continues to twist and turn through the riverine forests finally osing its identity altogether as it flows into the wide sweeping waters of the Mwaleshi p20 The river is the ideal vantage point for viewing a troop of elephants Long Tail Cheers Stumpie and Turbo some baboons and hippos It is also home to huge crocodiles difficult to detect during the seasonal run off when the waters are muddy They are somewhat ess successful in bringing to ife the many individuals that work in their camp Throughout the book a compelling case is made for the continuation of the United Nations ban on the ivory trade Unfortunately the ban must be renewed every two years and poachers continue to stockpile illegal ivory hoping for a collapse in political will It is obvious that any relaxation of the ban will open the floodgates to a decimation of the elephant population a population that we feel an intense personal Sts describe their work in the remote and ruggedly beautiful Luangwa Valley in northeastern Zambia There they studied the mysteries of the elephant population’s recovery after poaching discovering remarkable similarities between

This is the third book by Mark and Delia Owens The first two were phenomenal The first Cry of the Kalahari features the couple going into the Botswana desert and setting up camp for years to study the animals mostly ions The place is so desolate not even the native bushmen Mr. Malcolms List live there It s a crazy idea they have and youove them for it and what they endure The second book The Eye of the Elephant is not nearly as well known but is their most compelling book Every single incident page and chapter makes you want Mark and Delia to give up The odds become painfully overwhelming People try to kill them Animals try to kill them Game rangers poach The anti poaching administrators arrange for poaching And the couple even separate for a while as the stress starts screwing with their relationship And in the end what the couple does for saving Zambia s wildlife is unbelievableThis third book feels GURPS Conspiracy X like an add on The writing itself is good But there is no real purpose to the book It seemsike thoughts we had but didn t include in the second book I wanted to Just One Golden Kiss like this Aot But I just didn t see much of a goal Poaching The Tyranny of Guilt leads to fewer elephants aarger number of orphans and a dissolution of typical elephant society The authors document how the absence of adult females and matriarchs results in earlier pregnancies for orphaned females They tell us the story of the orphaned Gift who becomes a mother too early and whose daughter suffers from her inexperienceThe Owenses also tell stories of their youth as they correspond to elements of the animal kingdom For example Mark relates his father s death and his own wanderings outside the US to solitary males in other species Phantom Encounters likeions and elephants Delia tells a story of fun and safety in numbers as a teenage female and relates that to Eat Your Way Through the USA life in the elephant herd Their share sweet passages about their respective upbringings in Ohio and GeorgiaButike all social mammals the couple realizes that it s time to migrate home As they plan to My Dirty Janitor Book 4 leave Zambia corrupt officials make plans to swoop in and take over their research station The research project has created jobs and givenocals alternatives to poaching for ivory The corrupt officials want to end the research program so the ocals will have no alternative but to poach again on their behalf It s a frightening prospect but the book ends on an optimistic note as one of the ocal program supporters is able to restore aspects of the project Secrets of the Savanna is a well written book with charming scenes and prose While the subject matter of the threatened elephants is gut wrenching the Owenses plant enough seeds of hope for a rebound in the population This book was really great I Spanish-American Short Stories / Cuentos hispanoamericanos learned aot about elephants about Zambia and about the struggles of animal conservation in Africa The passion of the two authors is incredible Their writing style was really interesting and many times made me feel as if I were in Zambia with themI highly recommend reading this book even if you aren t into Africa or animal conservation It s about a Broken Bear lot than that There are many anecdotes and similarities described between a broken and decimated elephant society and our own human society Plus the extras where they speak about their days doingion conservation detailed in the book Cry of the Kalahari are fascinatingReally great overall Without community there is no Enna Burning legacy and having read about theife s work of two people I finished the book sorely wishing for a Hatter lastingegacyThe story of Gift which threads its way through these journal Paint the Wind like essays by Mark and Delia Owens offers hope of such aegacy Gift was a young orphan elephant She is not with a herd and Delia doesn t expect Gift to survive Few orphan elephants do However she keeps catching glimpses of the elephant and hopes Ninety three percent of elephants in the area have been killed an appalling uantification of the carnage Most of the orphans die of starvation Eually important orphan. In this riveting real Wayne life adventure Mark and Delia Owens tell the dramatic story of theirast years in Africa fighting to save elephants villagers and in the end themselves The award winning zoologists and pioneering conservationi.

Mark James Owens