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Wildlife Wars: My Fight to Save Africa's Natural Treasures
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Wildlife Wars: My Fight to Save Africa's Natural Treasures

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  203 ratings  ·  15 reviews
In this engrossing memoir, one of the most controversial, influential, and inspirational figures in African politics today gives the full story of his crusade to save Kenya's natural resources, and specifically the African elephant--a crusade that set him against internal corruption, poverty, and dangerous criminals. Sometimes at the risk of his own life, Leakey's love of ...more
Paperback, 336 pages
Published September 14th 2002 by St. Martin's Griffin (first published January 1st 2001)
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Jess the Shelf-Declared Bibliophile
Decent read. It turned out to be much more political than I was expecting, for some reason. I guess I should have assumed it would be highly political. I suppose I was just expecting more action stories directly from the bush. Some of the political explanations and of course, his versions of the stories, almost felt like a campaign. I can definitely see why he's famous for his ego. It came across largely in his writing. He seemed to find a way to tie in every person who had ever talked bad about ...more
May 19, 2009 rated it it was amazing
A good book about a critical period in KWS's history. I enjoyed it especially as many of the principals written about are friends. ...more
Jennie Richards
Apr 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book was a fascinating read about paleoanthropologist and conservationist Richard Leakey’s adult life. It focuses mainly on his years following his directorship of Kenya’s National Museums, when the President of Kenya at the time, Daniel Moi, hired Leakey to head the problematic and rogue Kenyan Wildlife Service (KWS). What was most interesting is how Leakey was handed a department riddled with corruption, rampant poaching, illegal ivory trade, nonperforming personnel, old and outdated equi ...more
Jan 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book is as relevant to todays poaching issues as it was to the time it focuses on. In 1989 Richard Leakey was appointed to be the Director of the Kenyan Wildlife Department. He expresses his passion for Kenyan wildlife and desire to save it as well as his love for his country. However the same problems faced him then as they do now. Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it, Greed, Money, Lies, and Corruption. These issues are a common theme thru out the book. What it does show ...more
Deborah Blair
Richard Leakey and Virginia Morell are always worth of our attention as we strive to educate ourselves in order to be more effective in our attempts to live sustainably with our fellow Co-Species - equal but differently abled on this planet.

I found that this book moves along in a life adventure as it explains the serious problems along the way - Corruption was rampant (rangers were poaching or in cahoots with the poachers) - Much of the equipment did not work - there was a lack of training for t
Jun 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: great
Richard Leakey is a conservation hero who faced difficult decisions and navigated a difficult political environment that resembled a busy intersection of competing interest groups. His tenure as Kenya's wildlife director turned the future of Kenya's elephants and national parks 180 degrees and was marked by vitality, strength of conviction, a grand vision, daring execution, logical decision-making and a flair for the dramatic that served well in international publicity and fundraising. This acco ...more
Jul 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Very interesting, but ends abruptly. I enjoyed learning about how poaching was stopped and Leakey's struggles in the government. But then he is back for one year and doesn't recount what happened, then briefly mentions being secretary to the president, and the book is over. Would have loved to hear more how those years went and if it helped resolve more issues with KWS.
May 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
I was concerned when I bought this that it might be a bit... Heavy. With long political jargon and not so easy to understand. But whilst reading, I found it very accessible, interesting and written at a decent pace. I would be interested now to view the same story from a different perspective, perhaps President Moi, Bashir or David Western and see how they differ. However, as they do not yet exist, I have finished the book content, with a comprehensive and thorough recall of events.
Lisa Hanson
Feb 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
Funny to be annoyed by the amount of "I, I, I, me, me, me" in a memoir. Found it truly jarring at first, but I learned to get past it and found the story illuminating and fascinating. Good option/companion read after finishing Cry of the Kalahari, and a worthwhile departure from my current aim to devote most of my reading to mostly female authors and authors of color. ...more
James M Sisneros
Sep 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Eye opening but a good bit of excess as well

Such a shame that so few see the value of our natural resources and have the passion for animals required to protect them as we over populate and encroach on their space. Thank goodness for those in this book who work to save Africa’s jewels.
Dec 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An interesting book for people interested in the recent historical-political situation and the fight against poaching in Kenya and the personal life story of the son of the world-wide well-known anthropologists Leakeys.
Brian Griffith
Aug 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: animals
Leakey's account reads well, with lots of action and controversy. It gives insight into the complexity and political difficulty of saving the world's wildlife treasures, and in many places it's inspiring. But it's more an autobiography than an analysis of issues, and the perspective is almost always first-person. Leakey presents his views and deeds in a simple, clear way. He boldly defends his record against his detractors. After all, his fight has led him to become a politician, and the book be ...more
Lettore da Corriera
Mar 25, 2020 rated it it was ok
Never be able to end it. Don't know why. ...more
Natasha Soderberg
Feb 14, 2008 rated it did not like it
I eventually gave up on this book. He is just too self involved and self important for me to be able to see through the writing to the real story. Maybe I'll try again when I retire. ...more
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Richard Erskine Frere Leakey is a paleoanthropologist and conservationist. He is second of the three sons of the archaeologists Louis Leakey and Mary Leakey, and is the younger brother of Colin Leakey.

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