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  • Reviews for Richard Conniff’s Books

    Every Creeping Thing: True Tales of Faintly Repulsive Wildlife: “Conniff is a splendid writer–fresh, clear, uncondescending, and with never a false step; one can’t resist quoting him.” (NY Times Book Review)

    The Species Seekers:  Heroes, Fools, and the Mad Pursuit of Life on Earth by Richard Conniff is “a swashbuckling romp” that “brilliantly evokes that just-before Darwin era” (BBC Focus) and “an enduring story bursting at the seams with intriguing, fantastical and disturbing anecdotes” (New Scientist). “This beautifully written book has the verve of an adventure story” (Wall St. Journal)

    Swimming with Piranhas at Feeding Time by Richard Conniff  is “Hilariously informative…This book will remind you why you always wanted to be a naturalist.” (Outside magazine) “Field naturalist Conniff’s animal adventures … are so amusing and full color that they burst right off the page …  a quick and intensely pleasurable read.” (Seed magazine) “Conniff’s poetic accounts of giraffes drifting past like sail boats, and his feeble attempts to educate Vervet monkeys on the wonders of tissue paper will leave your heart and sides aching.  An excellent read.” (BBC Focus magazine)

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Saving Butchered Rhinos

Posted by Richard Conniff on July 3, 2013

Black rhino in South Africa (Photo: Richard Conniff)

Black rhino in South Africa (Photo: Richard Conniff)

In the middle of a war on rhinos, it’s easy to get desensitized by endless photographs of horribly butchered corpses. South Africa alone has already lost 428 animals so far this year, their horns hacked off with chainsaws and machetes to supply the traditional Chinese medicine trade. But what happens when an animal survives the butchery?

Will Fowlds, a 42-year-old veterinarian, was living at Amakhala Game Reserve outside Port Elizabeth, in South Africa’s Eastern Cape, when he got the call in February 2011. Poachers had attacked a rhino on a neighboring reserve. After a moment, the owner of the reserve added, “William, he’s still alive.”

When Fowlds arrived at the scene, the owner simply pointed him into the bush. He’d already seen too much. Fowlds found the rhino propped up on three legs, with his mouth pushed into the ground as a kind of crutch. His left front leg was crippled, from having been caught under his own massive weight after the poachers’ tranquilizer knocked him out. His face was hacked open, with loose flesh hanging off either side. Blood bubbled in the exposed nasal passages.

The rhino saw Fowlds and stumbled toward him …  to read the rest of this story click here.

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