The Wilderness Family

Kruger, Kobie

Published by Bantam Books (Transworld Publishers a division of the Random House Group) 2002-01-01, 2002
ISBN 10: 055381334X / ISBN 13: 9780553813340
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Synopsis: When Kobie Kruger, her game-ranger husband and their three young daughters moved to one of the most isolated corners of the world - a remote ranger station in the Mahlangeni region of South Africa's vast Kruger National Park - she might have worried that she would become engulfed with loneliness and boredom. Yet, for Kobie and her family, the seventeen years spent in this spectacularly beautiful park proved to be the most magical - and occasionally the most hair-raising - of their lives. Kobie recounts their enchanting adventures and extraordinary experiences in this vast reserve - a place where, bathed in golden sunlight, hippos basked in the glittering waters of the Letaba River, storks and herons perched along the shoreline, and fruit bats hung in the sausage trees. But as the Krugers settled in, they discovered that not all was peace and harmony. They soon became accustomed to living with the unexpected: the sneaky hyenas who stole blankets and cooking pots, the sinister-looking pythons that slithered into the house, and the usually placid elephants who grew foul-tempered in the violent heat of the summer. And one terrible day, a lion attacked Kobus in the bush and nearly killed him. Yet nothing prepared the Krugers for their greatest adventure of all, the raising of an orphaned prince, a lion cub who, when they found him, was only a few days old and on the verge of death. Reared on a cocktail of love and bottles of fat-enriched milk, Leo soon became an affectionate, rambunctious and adored member of the fmaily. It is the rearing of this young king, and the hilarious endeavours to teach him to become a 'real' lion who could survive with his own kind in the wild, that lie at the heart of this endearing memoir. It is a memoir of a magical place and time that can never be recaptured.

Review: Longtime animal lover Kobie Krüger got a little more than she bargained for when she married a game warden and moved deep into some of South Africa's wildest country.

In The Wilderness Family, Krüger recounts adventures and misadventures with the curious menagerie that shared her turf--and sometimes her roof--in the remote Mahlangeni section of Kruger National Park, which lies in the river-laced country between South Africa and Mozambique. Among the animals she encounters in the pages of her memoir are enterprising hyenas who, for whatever reason, pilfer cookware and blankets; a python that crept into bed with the Krügers on their first night in Mahlangeni; Egyptian goslings raised by a proud but broad-minded bantam hen; and the occasional ill-tempered elephant. Most affecting of all her encounters, however, is her long association with an orphaned lion cub named Leo, whom she and her family raised into adulthood. Leo, whose pastimes included alarming unsuspecting visitors and staring at passing birds in the sky, takes center stage for much of this book, and Krüger's loving portrait is a warm rejoinder to Joy Adamson's Born Free.

Readers who come to this memorable study of life in the African outback will be duly entertained, and those who are planning a trip there will learn a thing or two about how to behave around genets, cobras, rhinos--and, yes, lions. --Gregory McNamee

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Title: The Wilderness Family
Publisher: Bantam Books (Transworld Publishers a division of the Random House Group) 2002-01-01
Publication Date: 2002
Binding: Paperback
Book Condition: New

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