Download E-books Elephant Destiny: Biography Of An Endangered Species In Africa PDF

By Martin Meredith

For hundreds of thousands of years, the majestic elephant has roamed the African continent, as liked by way of guy because it has been preyed upon. yet centuries of exploitation and ivory searching have taken their toll: now, as wars and poachers proceed to ravage its habitat, as illness and political strife deflect awareness from its plight, the African elephant faces impending extinction.

what's going to develop into of those marvelous beasts? because the elephant's destiny looms ever darker, Martin Meredith's concise and richly illustrated biography lines the elephant's background from the 1st ivory expeditions of the Egyptian pharaohs 2500 years in the past to this present day, exploring alongside the way in which the indelible imprint the African elephant has made in artwork, literature, tradition, and society. He stocks fresh striking discoveries concerning the elephant's subtle family members and group constitution and divulges the amazing ways that elephants exhibit compassion and loyalty to every other.

dependent, illuminating, and pressing, Elephant Destiny bargains a stunning and critical tribute to 1 of earth's such a lot magisterial creatures on the very second it threatens to fade from being.

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Related paintings was once commissioned from Temne-Bollom carvers in Sierra Leone. the hunt for Prester John’s empire in the meantime persevered in earnest. Portuguese mariners crossed the equator in 1474; they reached the Congo estuary in 1483 and rounded the Cape of fine wish in 1488. In 1497 an day trip below the command of Vasco da Gama set sail from Lisbon sporting letters for varied potentates he was hoping to satisfy, together with Prester John. crusing up the east coast of Africa, da Gama’s males reached the harbour of an offshore island referred to as Mozambique the place they have been advised by means of Arab investors that Prester John held many towns to the north. An officer of the fleet recorded: ‘This info, and plenty of different issues which we heard, rendered us so satisfied that we cried with pleasure, and prayed to God to supply us health and wellbeing, in order that we'd behold what we rather a lot wanted. ’ On achieving the Swahili port of Malindi, besides the fact that, da Gama was once diverted by means of a good better prize. unintentionally he encountered there essentially the most well known Arab navigators of the time, Ahmad Ibn Majid, and persuaded him to teach the Portuguese the ocean path to India. hence all started an age of ecu maritime strength within the Indian Ocean. Ibn Majid later regretted the assistance he had given to the Portuguese: ‘Oh! Had I recognized the implications that may come from them! ’ he wrote. Following da Gama’s go back to Lisbon in 1499, the Portuguese despatched out a sequence of armed expeditions to East Africa to implement their keep watch over over its prosperous buying and selling ports. cities that refused to undergo Portuguese calls for have been bombarded, then pillaged. Zanzibar was once the 1st to succumb in 1503; Mombasa was once sacked in 1505; Kilwa, Mozambique Island and Sofala have been additionally subjugated. the search to arrive the land of Prester John used to be now not forgotten. Portuguese envoys eventually controlled to set up touch with the Christian rulers of Ethiopia of their historic mountainous nation. yet little got here of Portugal’s hopes of forging an army alliance opposed to their Muslim adversaries. Nor did Portugal’s advertisement empire prosper as were was hoping. In 1506 a Portuguese commander said that Sofala, the gateway to the Zimbabwe goldfields, used to be in a position to delivering 4,000 lots of gold according to 12 months. officers in Lisbon have been jubilant on the information, believing they'd came across one other Gold Coast. A fort was once outfitted at Sofala; buying and selling posts have been demonstrated alongside the Zambezi River valley; yet just a comparative trickle of gold emerged. there have been, besides the fact that, lots of elephants. A Dominican missionary, João dos Santos, who arrived in Sofala in 1586 and later travelled up the Zambezi, suggested: ‘The variety of elephants during this nation is prodigious, lots so certainly that the population are obliged to pursue and make widespread looking classes after them, to maintain from their ravage the lands they sow with rice and millet, during which lands those animals commonly dedicate waste. ’ The neighborhood Africans, he famous, have been largely attracted to elephants for meat, yet there has been additionally a substantial site visitors in ivory exported to India.

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