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The Soul of the Rhino: A Nepali Adventure with Kings and Elephant Drivers, Billionaires and Bureaucrats, Shamans and Scientists and the Indian Rhinoceros

3.9  ·  Rating Details ·  71 Ratings  ·  18 Reviews

Selected as one of the best books of 2008 by Publishers Weekly

In early 2006, National Public Radio reported that “A promising conservation effort to save one of Nepal’s signature endangered species is now in serious trouble, due primarily to poachers taking advantage of fighting between government forces and Maoist insurgents.” This was devastating news indeed to author

Hardcover, 256 pages
Published January 1st 2008 by Lyons Press
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 172)
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Oct 09, 2012 Juha rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people interested in human-environment interactions.
This is a delightful and important book. Hemanta Mishra, the acclaimed conservationist who in 1973 established Nepal’s first national park, the Royal Chitwan National Park, tells the more than three decades long story of his—and his native country’s—efforts to protect the Indian rhinoceros. The rhino, a majestic and sacred animal in Nepal, was in the 1960s and 1970s facing extinction due to poaching and habitat destruction. As we know and as Mishra shows, conservation is only for a small part ab ...more
Aug 05, 2016 Sandeep rated it liked it
An easy reading book that transports you into the world of Nepali Monarchy and how a few people came together to save the Asian one-horned Rhino from the brink of extinction in Nepal. An autobiography of sorts which covers Hemanta Mishra's journey over a lifetime of establishing the Chitwan National Park as well as the Bardia National Park in later days. It brings home how precarious the situation was, and how religion can be used in the service of conservation when thought through intelligently ...more
Harry Rutherford
Hemanta Mishra is a Nepali conservationist who, among other things, was part of the campaign to set up Nepals’ first national park, primarily to protect what is usually referred to as the Indian Rhinoceros, but which he refers to, for understandable nationalistic reasons, as the Asian one-horned rhinoceros.

This book is a memoir and is primarily a book about people rather than rhinos; that is, about the practicalities and politics of conservation, rather than the behaviour and habits of Rhinocero
What the book is: An extremely interesting review of conservation efforts in Nepal, complete with political intrigue and culture clash between western-trained scientists and local communities. Also, somewhat surprisingly, the book provides interesting insight into the use of tamed elephants (and elephant drivers) for the rhino conservation effort.

What the book is not: A description of what rhinos are like, how they spend their time, or what makes them interesting animals.

I very much enjoyed read
Sarah Sammis
Jun 28, 2010 Sarah Sammis rated it it was ok
Hemanta Mishra has made his lifetime work the conservation of the Indian Rhino in his native Nepal. The Soul of the Rhino highlights some of the most memorable times in his career.

I have to admit that I didn't know there were rhinoceroses in Nepal. My knowledge of rhinos is limited to what I learned from countless trips to the San Diego Wild Animal Park. They have had success with the Southern White Rhino, so much so that it's the mascot of the park. The Southern White species, though, live in A
Louise Armstrong
Jan 12, 2014 Louise Armstrong rated it did not like it
Even though I like wildlife and was in Nepal at the time, I couldn't read this. I just hated spending time with the author, although it was an interesting portrait of a certain kind of man.

If this sentence does not sound alarm bells in several different ways, then you may be able to concentrate on what he says about wildlife.

'But,' said Upreti, with a mischievous grin on his triangular face, 'like everything in Nepal, there is a short cut. If we can get a blessing from King Birendra, the rest
Sagar Chitrakar
Jun 04, 2016 Sagar Chitrakar rated it really liked it
An interesting read about how a person dreamt about conservation of rhinos in his country, and his ordeal and persistence about making it into a reality.

It's a great read, with interesting linkages between traditionalism and modernism.
Bill Lively
Nov 05, 2015 Bill Lively rated it it was amazing
A really interesting read of the work done by Hemanta Mishra in saving the endangered Nepalese rhino and the establishment of the Chitwan National Park.
Sep 04, 2016 Cameron rated it it was amazing
I like The Soul of the Rhino for a number of reasons. Foremost, I have a personal connection with Hemanta Mishra, the author. Mishra tells the fascinating story of how he personally became connected to the Asian Rhino. I found it fascinating how the writer recounts daily life in Nepal and how he had to balance the needs of the impoverished villagers with that of the needs of the rhino. Villagers and rhinos would compete in local resources, causing tension. Although this book is very focused on t ...more
Mar 09, 2008 Ross rated it liked it
Recommends it for: intersted in wildlife conservation
Not a book with universal appeal, but a good read for those interested in Nepal, wildlife conservation, or both. The author spent decades working to protect the Nepalese Rhino (aka the Indian Rhino) and was responsible for establishing one of the first national parks in Asia.

This is his on-the ground account of those years and the conservation lessons that he learned. He doesn't skip the gross stuff, describing in detail the Tarpan, a dark ritual that required the King to hunt and kill one of th
Sep 29, 2010 Milan/zzz rated it really liked it
Shelves: asia, nonfiction
I enjoyed reading about rhinos as well as traditional and modern Nepal and role of the rhinos in Nepalese culture, religion.
The end of the book is quite disturbing considering new political climate provoked by shocking assassination of the royal family by their own member. That has had a domino effect on all aspects of the society and under such circumstances there's no much space for conservation problems.
Kimin Kim
Apr 07, 2015 Kimin Kim rated it really liked it
I would say that this story was very good, on the contrary there were some moments where I did not like it as much. His personal experience with all the rhinoceros was very interesting and fun to read about, but sometimes he includes moments that aren't very appropriate for the current situation. But overall this was a very good read and I would recommend it to my friends.
Apr 11, 2009 Rita rated it it was amazing
I have never even heard of this book until I found it on the bookshelf at the little store inside of the hotel on my weekend getaway. I know to always check out some of the books that this particular woman orders - it is usually good and they are not usually the popular ones that I see at work at the library. I loved it and now want to go and see the rhino's :)

Jun 14, 2010 itpdx rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
This book is chock-full of wonderful information about rhinos, Nepalese, modern history of Nepal, and wildlife conservation. The information comes wrapped in Hemanta Mishra's stories of his experiences with rhinos in Chitwan National Park told with passion, humor and presence.
Occasionally the book is repetitive and dis-jointed.
This is such an interesting book. It provides such a great history of rhinos, conservation and Nepal. In addition, it is an adventurous story. The only thing I wish is that the success we saw could continue by education and a more peaceful Nepal.
Wisteria Leigh
Jul 23, 2008 Wisteria Leigh rated it it was ok
non-fiction,Nepal,Chitwan National Park,Himalayan,Hindu,Buddhist,wildlife conservation,endangered
I am eager to go to Chitwan National Park in Nepal and see the rhinos.
Steve Burns
Feb 09, 2011 Steve Burns rated it really liked it
A must read for anyone looking to acquire a rhino!
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