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2007 Goldman Prize

Secrets of the Savanna
by Mark and Delia Owens

The dramatic and successful story of how, against unimaginable odds, Delia and Mark Owens saved an elephant population by helping villagers find alternative work to poaching. Crossing stick bridges over swollen rivers and traversing ravine-cut terrain, Mark and Delia found their way into the most startlingly beautiful and wild places on earth, the North Luangwa Valley of Zambia. They soon found that gangs of commercial poachers were shooting the elephants in devastating numbers and virtually enslaving the local people. Mark and Delia stopped the cycle of violence only to put themselves in severe danger. But the story is more than a real-life adventure. Living with wild creatures all around them (lions sleeping at their toes, an orphaned elephant dancing a jig in their camp), Mark and Delia observed surprising similarities between the behavior of humans and other animals and learned the true secrets of their survival.

Alexandra Fuller, best selling author of Don't Lets Go to the Dogs Tonight:

"As romantic as it sounds to hitch oneself to a dream and attach oneself to an impossibly noble goal, the reality of years of gritty, flies-in-your-eyes, malarial loneliness in the name of humanitarianism and science isn't for anyone with less than a lion heart… This book is a beautifully written account - honest, funny, searing, and sometimes poignant - of the Owenses' effort to save the national park while giving villagers in the area an opportunity to regain their dignity and reclaim the ground beneath their feet."

"This is a fascinating look at the interplay of social and wildlife upheavals in Africa in the early 1990's and a worthy follow-up to the author's Cry of the Kalahari."
--Publisher's Weekly Review

"A stirring account by two courageous and dedicated conservationists."
--Kirkus Review
"This book, full of adventure and a few hair-raising moments, deserves a wide readership and the best-seller status of its predecessors."
--Library Journal - Review

Publisher Houghton Mifflin Company - Boston, MA
Copyright 2006
ISBN 0-395-89310-0 & ISBN 978-0-395-893104

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Cry of the Kalahari

Cry of the Kalahari by Mark and Delia Owens
National and International Bestseller
Condensed in Reader's Digest; Life Magazine
Translated in seven languages
Alternate Book of the Month selection
Winner of the John Burroughs Award

Carrying little more than a change of clothes and a pair of binoculars, two young Americans, Mark and Delia Owens, caught a plane to Africa, bought a third-hand Land Rover, and drove deep into the Kalahari Desert. There they lived for seven years, in an unexplored area with no roads, no people, and no source of water for thousands of square miles. In this vast wilderness they met animals that had never seen humans before. They would wake in the morning to find lions sleeping beside them; leopards, giraffes, and brown hyenas were regular visitors to the camp. But the Kalahari isn't Eden, and Mark and Delia Owens were continually confronted with danger from drought, fire, violent storms, and even from the animals they loved.

"For anyone interested in animals or in real life adventure, this book is a must."
--Jane Goodall

"One of the most absorbing true adventure stories I have ever read."
--Roger Tory Peterson
"I defy anyone who picks up this book to put it down or remain untouched by the story."
--Marlin Perkins

"If their lives are a wonder, so is their book."

Publisher Houghton Mifflin Company - Boston, MA
Copyright 1984
ISBN 0-395-32214-6 (hard cover)
ISBN 0-395-64780-0 (soft cover)

Click the book title or image at left to buy this book on-line. The Owens Foundation receives a small fee for each purchase you make when you start from our site.

The Eye of the Elephant

The Eye of the Elephant by Delia and Mark Owens
Condensed in Reader's Digest
Translated in seven languages
Featured in ABC Documentary

After being expelled from Botswana for writing their controversial best seller, Cry of the Kalahari, Delia and Mark Owens set off on a journey across Africa, searching for a new Eden. They found it in the North Luangwa Valley of Zambia, an area the size of Delaware with no roads, no buildings, and no people. Hippos and crocodiles swam in the rivers, lions stalked the bush, and elephants wandered into camp to eat the fruit of the marula trees. But the peace and quiet were soon shattered by gunfire; poachers were killing a thousand elephants a year. When they learned that the people in the villages around the valley depended on poaching to survive, Delia and Mark became a one-woman, one-man economic development team, helping villagers start sewing and woodworking shops, fish farms and grain mills, all the while trying to convince them that in the long run wildlife could be worth more alive than dead. But some of the big commercial poachers decided that the Owenses should die, and Delia and Mark's battle to save the elephants turned into a fight for their own lives.

"Their ingenuity, courage and accomplishment are beyond exaggeration."
"Another good book by a remarkable pair."
--Chicago Tribune

Publisher Houghton Mifflin Company - Boston, MA
Copyright 1992
ISBN 0-395-42381-3 (hard cover)
ISBN 0-395-68090-5 (soft cover)
Note: The Eye of the Elephant is also published abroad under the title, "Survivor's Song."

Click the book title or image at left to buy this book on-line. The Owens Foundation receives a small fee for each purchase you make when you start from our site.

Copyright © 1996- Owens Foundation for Wildlife Conservation    Privacy Policy

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