Soul of a Lion: One Woman's Quest to Rescue Africa's Wildlife Refugees

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9781426206542: Soul of a Lion: One Woman's Quest to Rescue Africa's Wildlife Refugees

Book by Bennett Barbara

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"fascinating account...illustrated throughout...flowing text..." -"Book News, Inc."

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Practically every picture of me as a child shows me holding an animal of some kind, writes Barbara Bennett. An English professor at North Carolina State University, she spent a recent sabbatical as a hands-on volunteer, working with lions, leopards, and other wild creatures at Harnas Wildlife Foundation in Namibia. Based on her incredible experiences there, she authored this beautiful book - part nature story, part far-flung adventure, part biography of the amazing proprietor of Harnas, and part call to action on behalf of embattled wildlife. At the sanctuary, founder Marieta van der Merwe and her family care for more than 400 rescued, injured, and orphaned animals including cheetahs, leopards, lions, monkeys, meerkats, and wild dogs, as well as domestic dogs and cats. The animals come from farmers protecting their stock, from road accidents, and from misguided owners who try to domesticate wild pets. Harnas runs a variety of programs to heal, release, protect, and care for them. A typical scene at Harnas might involve workers seated under a tree in the heat of the day, supervising a playdate for scampering baby baboons. Or bottle-feeding a six-month-old giraffe whose legs alone are the height of an adult human. Or taking an evening stroll with half-grown lion cubs who might turn and playfully pounce at any moment. Every scrape was a badge of honour. We all hoped one of these injuries would scar. It would be the cocktail party story that tops all others, recalls the author. But her most magical experience at Harnas - one that will bring awe and envy to every cat-lover in the audience - was sleeping out in the enclosure alongside beautiful Cleo and Pride, lulled by their loud purrs and kept warm by 300 pounds of magnificent cheetah. The story of Harnas isn't just about animals. Readers will become fans of brave, tenacious Marieta, who has accomplished much despite tremendous hardships. Learn of movie star Angelina Jolie's devotion to Harnas. And get to know the Bushmen who work at the sanctuary. People, wildlife, nation, and environment - all play a part in this candid and page-turning adventure, at once daring, dangerous, funny, and forever heartwarming.

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