Excellent, Intermediate, Young Adult, Animals, Whales, Elephants, Wildlife Conservation

Document Type

Book Review


Carl Safina, an animal conservationist, investigates the similarities between wild animals and humans by traveling the world and learning from experts. In Kenya, he learns about the playfulness, ingenuity, and sensitivity of elephants, finding that these large animals perform their own mourning rituals. In the Pacific Northwest, he studies killer whales’ creativity, adaptability, and thoughtfulness, learning that whales once led a boat to rescue a missing sailor three miles away. Through his travels, Safina becomes aware of the dangers to animals’ lands and lives. For example, the poaching of one elephant dismantles the leadership of the whole family, and the captivity of one whale creates echoes of terror and confusion for the parent and child.