Up Close and Personal


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SKU: 9781476687797 Categories: , Tags: , , ,
Imprint or Series:Toplight Books

About the Book

Elephants are a keystone species and have been a part of the magic of the thickly forested land of South Africa for millennia. This book focuses on the history and work of Knysna Elephant Park, a leading South African elephant research facility that has been home to more than 40 elephants in 25 years. Unfortunately, all the mystique of the Knysna elephant has been reduced to a single elephant left alive.
Exploring a wide range of topics, this book covers the impact of elephants’ interactions with tourists, how they recover from trauma and even their relevance in human healthcare. Renowned elephant researchers explain the majesty of the elephant brain, which has the largest temporal lobe devoted to communication, language, spatial memory and cognition. To this effect, the book emphasizes the threat of poaching to these gentle giants, which has almost forced them to extinction. Perhaps if humans pay attention to how elephants symbolize our relationship with nature, we can learn important lessons about humanity itself.

About the Author(s)

Ellen Greene Stewart is the author of three previous nonfiction books and numerous articles in peer-reviewed journals. She has volunteered at the Knysna Elephant Park several times and is completely passionate about elephants and their welfare. She lives and works as an art therapist in rural upstate New York.



Bibliographic Details

Ellen Greene Stewart
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 228
Bibliographic Info: 42 photos, glossary, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2022
pISBN: 978-1-4766-8779-7
eISBN: 978-1-4766-4593-3
Imprint: Toplight

Table of Contents

Preface 1
Part One
1. South Africa’s Garden Route 3
2. Loxodonta Africana 7
3. Knysna Elephant Park (KEP) Is Founded 13
4. The Health and Physiology of Elephants 24
5. The Behavior and Psychology of Elephants 47
Part Two
6. Sally: The Matriarch 55
7. Nandi: Mother of Thandi 67
8. Thandi: The Diva with the Perfect Ears 77
9. Thato: All Kinds of Adorable 86
10. Keisha: Nearly Everyone’s Favorite 95
11. Mashudu: The Handsome One 107
12. Shungu : Poor Boy… Or Is He? 115
13. Madiwa: The Cheeky One 129
14. Amari: The Observant One 140
15. Shanti: The Cautious One 157
Part Three
16. AERU into the Future 167
17. The Future of Elephants in Africa 172
18. The Poaching Crisis 186
Glossary 199
Elephant Resources and ­Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) 201
What Can You Do to Help? 205
Chapter Notes 207
Bibliography 211
Index 217

Book Reviews & Awards

  • “[Stewart’s] mix of memoir, travel journal, and elephant behavioral overview offers a unique perspective on how wildlife tourism can mesh with the conservation of an endangered species….The up-close and personal profiles of each elephant, combined with the author’s reminiscences about her experiences with them, make for an unusual look at forest pachyderms and at a place successfully committed to their protection….[Readers] will be fascinated by Stewart’s close encounters with free-roaming elephants.”—Booklist