A year ago today, I began editing the final draft of Born Free Elephant Rescue. One of the things I love about writing is that it brings you to knowledge you’d never otherwise get to. I only had the obvious insight into elephants, before working on the book: that they were big, grey, trunky, tusky and famed for having a good memory. By the time I finished, I’d fallen in love with these incredible, complex animals.
One of the things that really struck me, was the elephant instinct for parenting. Adult females gestate their babies for 22 months – the longest of any mammal. As a veteran mother of three human babies, I’d say that’s pretty hardcore! And after such a lengthy pregnancy, it’s no wonder elephants make remarkably gentle and tender mothers. Nina’s story, one of the elephants featured in Elephant Rescue, is absolute testament to this. She had an amazing and moving journey, from being orphaned by poachers, enduring 25 years in captivity, to being given a new lease of life in the wilderness by Born Free. She then did a great job of raising a calf of her own – something no one ever thought would happen.
I will always feel a special connection to Nina’s story. While editing the book, I was going through my own trial of motherhood, looking after my very premature baby in Special Care. Arguably, authors are at their best when writing about subjects that really matter to them. All I can say is that a little piece of my mothering soul is definitely wrapped up in this book.
Happy Mother’s Day.
Born Free: Elephant Rescue is now available for pre-order: