I tend not to review books that are non-fiction, especially memoirs, because it they are more fact and life stories than anything else. And really, how can you judge that? But in the case of The Last Rhinos I felt the need to at least do a small review. I have always loved Africa and my favorite animal has been rhinoceros for as long as I can remember. So seeing the plight of these majestic beasts, killed because some believe their horn holds healing properties, has always got to me.
The Last Rhinos chronicles Lawrence Anthony’s fight to try to save the Northern White Rhino from extinction. Lawrence was a conservationist and the owner of Thula Thula Reserve in South Africa. He was also working to save the Southern White Rhino, who is also critically endangered but not nearly as close to extinction as the Northern’s were.
Reading this book certainly gave me the perspective of how hard it is to try to save a species, whether it is endangered or not. Poachers are an obvious problem and often times considered the main, and sometimes only, reason an animal is on the brink of extinction. However, in the case of this book, it also shows how bureaucratic red tape, along with unsettled countries caught in decades long war, could be a major hindrance to saving a species so precious to the whole of Africa. At times, reading what Lawrence was going through, mostly getting blocked at all attempts, frustrated me just as much as it had frustrated him. Why would a country turn down help to save a species that is so important? Especially when someone else is willing to do all the work and foot the bill as well. It just makes no sense. But certainly explains why we are losing species so quickly now.
I highly recommend this book to everyone. It was really an eye opened, and animal lovers especially will be draw into this chronicle of a mans attempts to save the rhinos from their inevitable end. I will definitely be reading his other books at some time.