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Giants of the Monsoon Forest: Living and Working with Elephants

Jacob Shell (Temple University)



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11 June 2019
Social & cultural anthropology; Mathematics & Sciences; Conservation of the environment; Wildlife: mammals
From the kings of the Indus Valley to Hannibal's Alpine cavalry, humans have been living and working with elephants for millennia. In Giants of the Monsoon Forest, Jacob Shell travels to communities that still rely on this ancient partnership. After the 2004 tsunami, Indonesian officials deployed trained Sumatran elephants to clear wreckage. Along the mountainous Indian-Burmese border, the logging industry employs several thousand elephants. They share these forests with Kachin rebels, who navigate a secret network of trails atop elephant mounts.

Blending history, science and reportage, Giants of the Monsoon Forest offers a new perspective on animal intelligence and reveals an unexpected relationship between evolution in the natural world and political struggles in the human one. By working together, fugitive elephants and humans help preserve the wild spaces they both need to survive.
By:   Jacob Shell (Temple University)
Imprint:   Norton
Country of Publication:   United States
Dimensions:   Height: 244mm,  Width: 165mm,  Spine: 25mm
Weight:   600g
ISBN:   9780393247763
ISBN 10:   0393247767
Pages:   288
Publication Date:   11 June 2019
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Jacob Shell is a professor of geography and urban studies at Temple University. He lives in Philadelphia.

Reviews for Giants of the Monsoon Forest: Living and Working with Elephants

Never truly domesticated, many elephants in Southeast Asia work for humans during the day and yet are let go at night to forage in the forest. Jacob Shell discusses this age-old pact between two brainy species. Even if our view of the human-animal relationship is changing, the awe in which we hold elephants is amply fed by the stories and history in this fascinating book, especially those in which elephants appear to use their own judgment to solve problems in the field.--Frans de Waal, author of the best-selling Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are? and Mama's Last Hug No one who loves elephants or how humans interact with wildlife should pass up Jacob Shell's remarkable book. From Hannibal's elephants, to those of the Ho Chi Minh Trail, to the author's own accounts of logging elephants in Burma, Shell's stories of these intelligent animals and their human companions sing with compassion. I was thoroughly hooked.--Dan Flores, author of the New York Times best-seller Coyote America: A Natural and Supernatural History

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