Modoc

True Story of the Greatest Elephant That Ever Lived

Author: Ralph Helfer

Publisher: Harper Collins

ISBN: 9780061748288

Category: Nature

Page: 352

View: 2724

Spanning several decades and three continents, Modoc is one of the most amazing true animal stories ever told. Raised together in a small German circus town, a boy and an elephant formed a bond that would last their entire lives, and would be tested time and again; through a near-fatal shipwreck in the Indian Ocean, an apprenticeship with the legendary Mahout elephant trainers in the Indian teak forests, and their eventual rise to circus stardom in 1940s New York City. Modoc is a captivating true story of loyalty, friendship, and high adventure, to be treasured by animal lovers everywhere.

Modoc

The True Story of the Greatest Elephant That Ever Lived

Author: Ralph Helfer

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 9781442006881

Category: Nature

Page: 336

View: 1420

Chronicles the life and times of an elephant and her devoted companion and trainer, who journeyed from a small German circus town to international stardom in the Greatest Show on Earth to a tragic twenty-year separation

Zamba

The True Story of the Greatest Lion That Ever Lived

Author: Ralph Helfer

Publisher: Harper Collins

ISBN: 0060761326

Category: Nature

Page: 258

View: 1755

From the author of MODOC comes a personal and moving story about the animal that started Ralph Helfer's illustrious career as Hollywood's top animal trainer for more than 30 years. When Helfer began his career training animals, he was shocked by the danger and cruelty that dominated the field. He believed that if he could raise even the most dangerous animal from a young age and raise him in a loving, caring, yet disciplined environment - a process he termed Affection Training - love could be the basis of the animal's training instead of fear. He brought Zamba, then a four-month-old cub, into his home, and his theories proved resoundingly correct. Zamba would go on to star in major motion pictures and on television, but more importantly, a bond developed between Helfer and Zamba that became the most important in Helfer's life. With stories that range from the hilarious to the incredibly sad and poignant, Zamba will give any Lion King fan a new hero and touch every animal lover's heart.

The Beauty of the Beasts

Tales of Hollywood's Wild Animal Stars

Author: Ralph Helfer

Publisher: Open Road Media

ISBN: 1497612403

Category: Nature

Page: 200

View: 9198

A trainer shares true stories of famous lion, orangutan, and other animal actors that “will hold readers enthralled” (School Library Journal). They are major stars who do not speak a word onscreen, yet are world famous for their compelling performances. Who are they? The animal stars of the big screen, of course! In The Beauty of the Beasts, Ralph Helfer shares with the reader his love of animals and his work with some of Hollywood’s biggest stars: Clarence the Cross‐Eyed Lion, Gentle Ben, the Schlitz Malt Liquor Bull, Clint Eastwood’s orangutan sidekick Clyde, and many more. Helfer shares his philosophy on training these beautiful beasts to do amazing feats and maximize their acting potential without coercion. Join Ralph Helfer in his exploration of animal acting and read of his masterful use of TLC to work with these phenomenal, non‐human actors.

The World's Greatest Elephant

Author: Ralph Helfer

Publisher: Putnam Juvenile

ISBN: 9780399241901

Category: Juvenile Nonfiction

Page: 48

View: 5238

Born on the same day in the same German town, Bram and his elephant, Modoc, grew up side by side. Their circus act brought them wide fame, but their incredible bond would also lead to a series of adventures with danger at every turn.

Rosy Is My Relative

A Novel

Author: Gerald Durrell

Publisher: Open Road Media

ISBN: 150404262X

Category: Fiction

Page: 222

View: 5245

A man inherits an elephant with a fondness for alcohol—from the author of the Corfu Trilogy, which inspired the PBS Masterpiece hit, The Durrells in Corfu. When his uncle passes away unexpectedly, young Adrian Rookwhistle’s inheritance turns his humdrum life upside down. Instead of a manor house, Adrian has been bequeathed Rosy, an elephant whose predilection for fine spirits leads to high jinks far beyond the means of a shy English gentleman. Convinced that a circus will take the troublesome tusker off his hands, Adrian leads Rosy on a trek to the coast, setting in motion an uproarious adventure of mammoth proportions. Author Gerald Durrell promises that despite being embellished here and there, “nearly all the adventures in this book really happened.” Ultimately, this tale of a pachyderm with a penchant for pandemonium guarantees pure entertainment. This ebook features an illustrated biography of Gerald Durrell including rare photos from the author’s estate.

Mosey

The Remarkable Friendship of a Boy and His Elephant

Author: Ralph Helfer

Publisher: Orchard Books

ISBN: 9780439293136

Category: Circus animals

Page: 134

View: 1287

Tells the true story of a boy's devotion to a beloved circus elephant and the ordeals they endured to stay together.

The World's Greatest Lion

Author: Ralph Helfer

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 1101644087

Category: Juvenile Nonfiction

Page: 40

View: 3515

From the creators of The World's Greatest Elephant comes the real-life story of the MGM Studios Lion. Perhaps the most recognizable Hollywood animal--outside of Lassie--is "Leo the Lion," MGM Studios' famous mascot. For decades his image introduced hundreds of motion pictures, and Zamba the lion acted in dozens more. But he wasn't always a Hollywood star, and he certainly proved to be much more. This real-life story of Zamba, told by world-renowned animal behaviorist Ralph Helfer and Caldecott Honor recipient Ted Lewin, follows the famous lion from an orphaned cub in Africa to iconic Hollywood actor. But Zamba's greatest role wasn't scripted and it certainly wasn't captured on film. In 1969, the canyon that housed Ralph Helfer's animal ranch was ravaged by floods. As death claimed many of the animals, dozens were led to safety by one heroic lion. Zamba's story, beautifully told and illustrated, is one that will entertain and inspire--both cubs and lions.

Ballet of the Elephants

Author: Leda Schubert

Publisher: Macmillan

ISBN: 9781596430754

Category: Juvenile Nonfiction

Page: 34

View: 9835

The story of how "Circus polka" a dance of 50 elephants and 50 ballerinas, choreographed by George Balanchine, was created.

The Cowboy and His Elephant

The Story of a Remarkable Friendship

Author: Malcolm Macpherson

Publisher: Macmillan

ISBN: 142997723X

Category: Nature

Page: 256

View: 5768

In the late 1980s, a female baby elephant was born into a herd that lived on the plains of southern Africa. Her mother has carried her for two years, and normally she would have nursed her for five more. But the close-knit family of wild elephants was to face a predator for which it was no match--humans. In a "cull," her family was slaughtered in a few moments. Only the newborn female's life was spared. Terrified and bewildered the young elephant was transported to America to be sold. There she met the person who was to change her life forever. Bob Norris is a cowboy with an enormous empathy for animals that overwhelms his other emotions. He was raised with a pet bear and as a boy decided to become a real cowboy. He saw his dream come true in Colorado on one of the larger horse-and-cattle ranches in America. Handsome as a movie star, he became the Marlboro Man and appeared on TV and on billboards around the world. But with the passing of years, and with his own family grown up, he felt the need for something that he could not name. When she came into his life by happenstance, the hurt, vulnerable little elephant tapped the fullness of Bob's empathy, and an incredible bond between the most unlikely of friends was forged. Bob adopted the baby orphan elephant--named Amy--and patiently set about helping her recover from the trauma of her ordeal. He had never seen a real African elephant up close, except in zoos. He was a horseman and breeder of champion quarter horses. But through close observation, gentle training, humor, and endless perseverance, Bob gradually coaxed Amy into overcoming her mistrust of humans, and indeed, her fear of the world. The little elephant became a "hand" on Bob's ranch, tending to simple chores, riding the fences, and shadowing Bob on his horse. She developed a winning personality, and a strong character, and became a beloved member of the Norris family and partner to the ranch hands. But Bob knew from the start that the ultimate goal was for Amy to regain her confidence and her independence - even, if it were possible, to go back to the savannahs of Africa. This is the true story of how Amy and Bob came together. No one who reads The Cowboy and His Elephant can fail to be moved by such a simple tale of unlikely love.

Elephant's Life

An Intimate Portrait from Africa

Author: Caitlin O'connell

Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield

ISBN: 0762775610

Category: Nature

Page: 208

View: 5577

An Elephant’s Life provides a unique and fascinating immersion into the world of the African elephant, told by a leading field biologist who has been researching and photographing these animals in their natural habitat for nearly two decades. Here, for the first time, readers get a fuller picture of elephant society cast in a broader context, including the life of the male elephant in all its high drama.

Elephant Memories

Thirteen Years in the Life of an Elephant Family

Author: Cynthia J. Moss

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 022614853X

Category: Nature

Page: 364

View: 4910

Cynthia Moss has studied the elephants in Kenya's Amboseli National Park for over twenty-seven years. Her long-term research has revealed much of what we now know about these complex and intelligent animals. Here she chronicles the lives of the members of the T families led by matriarchs Teresia, Slit Ear, Torn Ear, Tania, and Tuskless. With a new afterword catching up on the families and covering current conservation issues, Moss's story will continue to fascinate animal lovers. "One is soon swept away by this 'Babar' for adults. By the end, one even begins to feel an aversion for people. One wants to curse human civilization and cry out, 'Now God stand up for the elephants!'"—Christopher Lehmann-Haupt, New York Times "Moss speaks to the general reader, with charm as well as scientific authority. . . . [An] elegantly written and ingeniously structured account." —Raymond Sokolov, Wall Street Journal "Moss tells the story in a style so conversational . . . that I felt like a privileged visitor riding beside her in her rickety Land-Rover as she showed me around the park." —Sarah Blaffer Hrdy, New York Times Book Review "A prose-poem celebrating a species from which we could learn some moral as well as zoological lessons." —Chicago Tribune

Last Chain On Billie

How One Extraordinary Elephant Escaped the Big Top

Author: Carol Bradley

Publisher: St. Martin's Press

ISBN: 1250025702

Category: Nature

Page: 336

View: 4494

Against the backdrop of a glittering but brutal circus world, Carol Bradley's Last Chain on Billie charts the history of elephants in America, the inspiring story of the Elephant Sanctuary and the spellbinding tale of a resilient elephant who defied the system even as she struggled to conquer her past, who never lost sight of the life she was meant to have. Left in the wild, Billie the elephant would have spent her days surrounded by family, free to wander the jungles of Asia. Instead, traders captured her as a baby and shipped her to America, where she learned to carry humans, stand on a tub and balance on one leg – the full repertoire of elephant tricks. For decades, Billie crisscrossed the country, dazzling audiences as she performed breathtaking stunts. But behind the scenes she lived a life of misery: traveling in trucks, chained for hours on end, barely able to move, giving eight-minute performances under harsh lights and to the sounds of blaring music. And worse.Finally, she got a lucky break. As part of the largest elephant rescue in American history, Billie wound up at a sanctuary for performing elephants in Tennessee, able once more to roam through open meadows and share her days with a herd. She would never be beaten again. But, overcome with anxiety, she withdrew from the rest of the elephants and refused to let anyone remove a chain still clamped around her leg. Her caregivers began to wonder if Billie could ever escape her emotional wounds. The compelling story of Billie's battle to reclaim her old self is a testament to the intelligence, emotional complexity and remarkable strength of all elephants, captive or free.

Elephant Company

The Inspiring Story of an Unlikely Hero and the Animals Who Helped Him Save Lives in World War II

Author: Vicki Croke

Publisher: Random House

ISBN: 0679603999

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 368

View: 4325

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK The remarkable story of James Howard “Billy” Williams, whose uncanny rapport with the world’s largest land animals transformed him from a carefree young man into the charismatic war hero known as Elephant Bill Billy Williams came to colonial Burma in 1920, fresh from service in World War I, to a job as a “forest man” for a British teak company. Mesmerized by the intelligence, character, and even humor of the great animals who hauled logs through the remote jungles, he became a gifted “elephant wallah.” Increasingly skilled at treating their illnesses and injuries, he also championed more humane treatment for them, even establishing an elephant “school” and “hospital.” In return, he said, the elephants made him a better man. The friendship of one magnificent tusker in particular, Bandoola, would be revelatory. In Elephant Company, Vicki Constantine Croke chronicles Williams’s growing love for elephants as the animals provide him lessons in courage, trust, and gratitude. But Elephant Company is also a tale of war and daring. When Imperial Japanese forces invaded Burma in 1942, Williams joined the elite Force 136, the British dirty tricks department, operating behind enemy lines. His war elephants would carry supplies, build bridges, and transport the sick and elderly over treacherous mountain terrain. Now well versed in the ways of the jungle, an older, wiser Williams even added to his stable by smuggling more elephants out of Japanese-held territory. As the occupying authorities put a price on his head, Williams and his elephants faced his most perilous test. In a Hollywood-worthy climax, Elephant Company, cornered by the enemy, attempted a desperate escape: a risky trek over the mountainous border to India, with a bedraggled group of refugees in tow. Elephant Bill’s exploits would earn him top military honors and the praise of famed Field Marshal Sir William Slim. Part biography, part war epic, and part wildlife adventure, Elephant Company is an inspirational narrative that illuminates a little-known chapter in the annals of wartime heroism. Praise for Elephant Company “This book is about far more than just the war, or even elephants. This is the story of friendship, loyalty and breathtaking bravery that transcends species. . . . Elephant Company is nothing less than a sweeping tale, masterfully written.”—Sara Gruen, The New York Times Book Review “Splendid . . . Blending biography, history, and wildlife biology, [Vicki Constantine] Croke’s story is an often moving account of [Billy] Williams, who earned the sobriquet ‘Elephant Bill,’ and his unusual bond with the largest land mammals on earth.”—The Boston Globe “Some of the biggest heroes of World War II were even bigger than you thought. . . . You may never call the lion the king of the jungle again.”—New York Post “Elephant Company is as powerful and big-hearted as the animals of its title. Billy Williams is an extraordinary character, a real-life reverse Tarzan raised in civilization who finds wisdom and his true self living among jungle beasts. Vicki Constantine Croke delivers an exciting tale of this elephant whisperer–cum–war hero, while beautifully reminding us of the enduring bonds between animals and humans.”—Mitchell Zuckoff, author of Lost in Shangri-La and Frozen in Time From the Trade Paperback edition.

Planetwalker

22 Years of Walking. 17 Years of Silence.

Author: John Francis, Ph.D.

Publisher: National Geographic Books

ISBN: 1426203403

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 288

View: 3772

When the struggle to save oil-soaked birds and restore blackened beaches left him feeling frustrated and helpless, John Francis decided to take a more fundamental and personal stand—he stopped using all forms of motorized transportation. Soon after embarking on this quest that would span two decades and two continents, the young man took a vow of silence that endured for 17 years. It began as a silent environmental protest, but as a young African-American man, walking across the country in the early 1970s, his idea of "the environment" expanded beyond concern about pollution and loss of habitat to include how we humans treat each other and how we can better communicate and work together to benefit the earth. Through his silence and walking, he learned to listen, and along the way, earned college and graduate degrees in science and environmental studies. The United Nations appointed him goodwill ambassador to the world’s grassroots communities and the U.S. government recruited him to help address the Exxon Valdez disaster. Was he crazy? How did he live and earn all those degrees without talking? An amazing human-interest story, with a vital message, Planetwalker is also a deeply personal and engaging coming-of-age odyssey—the positive experiences, the challenging times, the characters encountered, and the learning gained along the way.

The White Bone

A Novel

Author: Barbara Gowdy

Publisher: Metropolitan Books

ISBN: 1466829591

Category: Fiction

Page: 330

View: 9346

A thrilling journey into the minds of African elephants as they struggle to survive. If, as many recent nonfiction bestsellers have revealed, animals possess emotions and awareness, they must also have stories. In The White Bone, a novel imagined entirely from the perspective of African elephants, Barbara Gowdy creates a world whole and separate that yet illuminates our own. For years, young Mud and her family have roamed the high grasses, swamps, and deserts of the sub-Sahara. Now the earth is scorched by drought, and the mutilated bodies of family and friends lie scattered on the ground, shot down by ivory hunters. Nothing-not the once familiar terrain, or the age-old rhythms of life, or even memory itself-seems reliable anymore. Yet a slim prophecy of hope is passed on from water hole to water hole: the sacred white bone of legend will point the elephants toward the Safe Place. And so begins a quest through Africa's vast and perilous plains-until at last the survivors face a decisive trial of loyalty and courage. In The White Bone, Barbara Gowdy performs a feat of imagination virtually unparalleled in modern fiction. Plunged into an alien landscape, we orient ourselves in elephant time, elephant space, elephant consciousness and begin to feel, as Gowdy puts it, "what it would be like to be that big and gentle, to be that imperiled, and to have that prodigious memory."

Creaturepedia

Welcome to the Greatest Show on Earth

Author: Adrienne Barman

Publisher: Wide Eyed Editions

ISBN: 1847806961

Category: Juvenile Nonfiction

Page: 216

View: 9431

Welcome to this collection of best-loved animals from all over the world, chosen for their special talents and characteristics, with fun illustrations by Adrienne Barman. Meet 'the architects', the 'noisy neighbours', the 'homebodies', the 'forever faithfuls', the 'champions of forgetfulness' and more in this alphabetically ordered encyclopedia. Filled with fascinating facts, curious creatures and characterful cartoons, this book will keep young explorers busy for hours.

Elephant Bill

Author: J. H. Williams

Publisher: Long Riders Guild Press

ISBN: 9781590480779

Category: Travel

Page: 356

View: 3065

A book comes along like this once in a lifetime. You read it as a small child, or even an adult, and never forget the images it conjures up of a wonderful Englishman who lives in the mysterious forests of faraway Burma and of the kind native people who teach him about their lovely country. But most of all, you never forget the elephants! For this is a story about those magnificent creatures. Though he was officially known as Lt. Colonel J. H. Williams, the author was known to the world at large as Elephant Bill. That is because he spent 25 years living with the elephants in the mountains and forests of Burma. There he trained them to haul teak logs out of the isolated jungles. Yet this is also a story of great courage, because when the Second World War struck it also came to Burma. The Japanese Imperial Army planned to confiscate the Burmese elephants, drafting them to make the bridges and railways they needed to invade India. When he learned of these plans to put his beloved animals to a war-like purpose, Elephant Bill knew what had to be done. The mighty kings of the jungle had to be evacuated to safety. This is thus the story not only of the peaceful days in the jungle, starting in 1921, but also the story of the largest elephant rescue in history. It tells the amazing account of how Elephant Bill, along with his friends and family, rode 45 of the great beasts across the mountains of Burma, before reaching safety in faraway India. A classic then. A classic now. Elephant Bill is a blessing to any library and a literary treasure.

The Elephant Whisperer

My Life with the Herd in the African Wild

Author: Lawrence Anthony,Graham Spence

Publisher: Macmillan

ISBN: 9781429986458

Category: Nature

Page: 384

View: 2868

When South African conservationist Lawrence Anthony was asked to accept a herd of "rogue" wild elephants on his Thula Thula game reserve in Zululand, his common sense told him to refuse. But he was the herd's last chance of survival: they would be killed if he wouldn't take them. In order to save their lives, Anthony took them in. In the years that followed he became a part of their family. And as he battled to create a bond with the elephants, he came to realize that they had a great deal to teach him about life, loyalty, and freedom. The Elephant Whisperer is a heartwarming, exciting, funny, and sometimes sad account of Anthony's experiences with these huge yet sympathetic creatures. Set against the background of life on an African game reserve, with unforgettable characters and exotic wildlife, it is a delightful book that will appeal to animal lovers and adventurous souls everywhere.

The Lady and the Panda

The True Adventures of the First American Explorer to Bring Back China's Most Exotic Animal

Author: Vicki Croke

Publisher: Random House

ISBN: 9780307535870

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 400

View: 6325

Here is the astonishing true story of Ruth Harkness, the Manhattan bohemian socialite who, against all but impossible odds, trekked to Tibet in 1936 to capture the most mysterious animal of the day: a bear that had for countless centuries lived in secret in the labyrinth of lonely cold mountains. In The Lady and the Panda, Vicki Constantine Croke gives us the remarkable account of Ruth Harkness and her extraordinary journey, and restores Harkness to her rightful place along with Sacajawea, Nellie Bly, and Amelia Earhart as one of the great woman adventurers of all time. Ruth was the toast of 1930s New York, a dress designer newly married to a wealthy adventurer, Bill Harkness. Just weeks after their wedding, however, Bill decamped for China in hopes of becoming the first Westerner to capture a giant panda–an expedition on which many had embarked and failed miserably. Bill was also to fail in his quest, dying horribly alone in China and leaving his widow heartbroken and adrift. And so Ruth made the fateful decision to adopt her husband’s dream as her own and set off on the adventure of a lifetime. It was not easy. Indeed, everything was against Ruth Harkness. In decadent Shanghai, the exclusive fraternity of white male explorers patronized her, scorned her, and joked about her softness, her lack of experience and money. But Ruth ignored them, organizing, outfitting, and leading a bare-bones campaign into the majestic but treacherous hinterlands where China borders Tibet. As her partner she chose Quentin Young, a twenty-two-year-old Chinese explorer as unconventional as she was, who would join her in a romance as torrid as it was taboo. Traveling across some of the toughest terrain in the world–nearly impenetrable bamboo forests, slick and perilous mountain slopes, and boulder-strewn passages–the team raced against a traitorous rival, and was constantly threatened by hordes of bandits and hostile natives. The voyage took months to complete and cost Ruth everything she had. But when, almost miraculously, she returned from her journey with a baby panda named Su Lin in her arms, the story became an international sensation and made the front pages of newspapers around the world. No animal in history had gotten such attention. And Ruth Harkness became a hero. Drawing extensively on American and Chinese sources, including diaries, scores of interviews, and previously unseen intimate letters from Ruth Harkness, Vicki Constantine Croke has fashioned a captivating and richly textured narrative about a woman ahead of her time. Part Myrna Loy, part Jane Goodall, by turns wisecracking and poetic, practical and spiritual, Ruth Harkness is a trailblazing figure. And her story makes for an unforgettable, deeply moving adventure. From the Hardcover edition.