On a trip to Africa, I was amazed at the way the elephants encircled the babies to protect them when we came near. If there were no little ones in the group, they paid no attention to us, but they were obviously going to protect the young at all costs. After that, I was hooked on watching elephants, so this book caught my attention. Dr. Mumby has spent most of her life studying these complex animals. She explains how they communicate, how they bond, how their personalities differ. She notes how the intergenerational group of mothers, grandmothers, sisters and children interact with each other. She also has studied many other elephant groups, including both orphaned elephants, male groups and the solitary elephant males. And she comes to the conclusion that elephants and humans are not so very different.
This is a personal account of her field research, full of her adventures, and fun to read (mostly). At times, though, I was overwhelmed by too much detailed information. The published book features a 16-page color insert of original photography.
eGalley review Publication date 5.12.2020