Elephants are a keystone species and have been a part of the magic of the thickly forested land of South Africa for millennia. This book focuses on the history and work of Knysna Elephant Park, a leading South African elephant research facility that has been home to more than 40 elephants in 25 years. Unfortunately, all the mystique of the Knysna elephant has been reduced to a single elephant left alive.
Exploring a wide range of topics, this book covers the impact of elephants' interactions with tourists, how they recover from trauma and even their relevance in human healthcare. Renowned elephant researchers explain the majesty of the elephant brain, which has the largest temporal lobe devoted to communication, language, spatial memory and cognition. To this effect, Elephants: Up Close and Personal emphasizes the threat of poaching to these gentle giants, which has almost forced them to extinction. Perhaps if humans pay attention to how elephants symbolize our relationship with nature, we can learn important lessons about humanity itself.
Ellen Greene Stewart is the author of three previous non-fiction books and numerous articles in peer-reviewed journals. She has volunteered at the Knysna Elephant Park several times and is completely passionate about elephants and their welfare. She lives and works as an art therapist in rural upstate New York.