Skip to Main Content (Press Enter) Toggle side nav
The Last Elephants by
Add to bookshelf
Add to Bookshelf

The Last Elephants

Best Seller
The Last Elephants by
Paperback $39.95
Apr 09, 2019 | ISBN 9781588346636

Buy from Other Retailers:

  • Apr 09, 2019 | ISBN 9781588346636

    Buy from Other Retailers:

*This title is not eligible for purchase to earn points nor for redemption with your code in the Reader Rewards program

Product Details


Booklist, starred review
When a 2016 census of Africa’s elephants revealed that the numbers had plummeted to fewer than 450,000 for the entire continent, bush-guide Bell and journalist Pinnock conceived of a book that would bring the elephants’ plight to a general audience through narratives and photographs. Requesting commentary from people on the ground who deal with elephant issues daily, the authors have produced a stunning look at the perilous state of our largest land mammal. Opening chapters focus on continent-wide issues, the romance of the big tuskers, and the illegal wildlife trade. Sections then cover specific countries, from Botswana to Zimbabwe, and run the gamut from failure (bad government policies, rampant poaching) to success (private reserves and national parks, flourishing local programs). The passion of the various contributors rings through even the plainest prose, which, supported by an extensive bibliography and illustrated with magnificent photographs, awakens a similar sense of caring and urgency in the reader. As Prince William says in the foreword, at the current pace of poaching, the wild African elephant could be gone by 2040. Bell, Pinnock, and their fellow authors hope to prevent that, and this powerful book certainly makes the case. —Booklist, starred review

Publishers Weekly
In this comprehensive volume of essays and extraordinary photos, environmental activist Bell and journalist Pinnock (Wild as It Gets) call attention to the threat posed to elephants by poachers. The authors give voice to the people working daily to preserve savanna populations and provide a platform for wildlife photographers to showcase eye-opening images from Africa. The text deals with elephants’ value both to the environment and to poachers, emphasizing that pachyderms are “constant gardeners” whose “feeding habits create microhabitats for smaller creatures.” In addition, they are “major tree pruners… composting machines and fertilising agents.” Other sections focus on attempts in recent decades to halt the reckless slaughter of elephants and to significantly curb the trade in ivory, for centuries used variously in “piano keys, artistic carvings, cutlery, daggers and jewellery.” Bell and Pinnock conclude with ways to mitigate the problem, offering a list of NGOs to support and discussing what the reader should and should not do to help. Bolstered with striking, sometimes magnificent images of elephants in their native environs, this collection proves to be marvelously informative and widely appealing. With more than 250 color photos. (Apr.)

Library Journal
Galvanized by the 2016 Elephants Without Borders census, environmental journalist and photographer Bell and environmental advocate Pinnock leveraged their vast social networks to solicit essays, pictures, poems, and other tributes to the majestic African savanna elephants. Census results showed approximately 352,000 elephants remained in 18 African countries; a century ago, populations were estimated to be between three and five million. Illegal ivory trade plus an increase in human populations leading to human-elephant conflicts are the two major drivers influencing this drastic decline in elephant populations. The amazing pictures throughout this book effectively portray strong familial ties among elephant groups and the devastating toll ivory poachers have had on these magnificent creatures. Each chapter is introduced by a map highlighting the country featured in the chapter. Including writings from a vast array of elephant experts, from game guards to scientists and lodge owners, this impressive volume effectively depicts the plight of the African elephant and will prompt readers to take action. VERDICT Recommended for those interested in the anthropogenic factors that can push a species to the brink of extinction. While the overall tone is bleak, the commitment of the individuals featured will inspire hope.—­Diana Hartle, Univ. of ­Georgia Science Lib., Athens

Looking for More Great Reads?
21 Books You’ve Been Meaning to Read
Be the first to know!
And go from well-read to best read with book recs, deals and more in your inbox every week.
And go from well-read to best read with book recs, deals and more in your inbox every week.
By clicking SIGN UP, I acknowledge that I have read and agree to Penguin Random House’s Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.
Something awesome is on its way.
Back to Top