A blonde, chic Parisienne, Françoise never expected to find herself living on a South African game reserve. But when she fell in love with renowned conservationist Lawrence Anthony her life took an unexpected turn. Lawrence died in 2012 and Françoise was left to face the tough reality of running Thula Thula without him, even though she knew very little about conservation. She was short on money, poachers were threatening their rhinos, and one of their elephants was charging Land Rovers on game drives and terrifying guests. There was no time to mourn when Thula Thula’s human and animal family were depending on her.
How Françoise survived and Thula Thula thrived is beautifully described in this charming, funny and poignant book. Their elephant herd, rescued by Lawrence, shared Françoise's grief at his passing but over time forged a new relationship with her. One day a baby, Tom, became separated from the herd and found his way into Françoise's kitchen. Another day there was a desperate race against time to save a baby who had a snare wrapped round his face and couldn't open his mouth to suckle.
Meanwhile Françoise worked to create a rescue centre for orphaned rhinos. She also took on abandoned hippo baby Charlie who hated water and a German Shepherd called Duma who became an unlikely nursemaid, coach and best friend to all the traumatized rhino, hippo and elephant babies. If you loved Lawrence's The Elephant Whisperer, or just want to spend time with some remarkable animals, then you won’t want to miss this sparkling book.