Roger and Pat de la Harpe's excellent book of one of the little known species in the world, which is on the brink of extinction, is not only a very informative and provocative read but also a book with exceptional insight into preservation and conservation on this planet. In Search of the African Wild Dog is a combination of wonderful photography coupled with well researched and well thought out text. The species of the African Wild Dog is hanging on to existence in the Northeastern area of South Africa, most prominently in the area of Kruger National Park. The animal has a bit of a hyena look to it because of the ears and some of the head features, but is clearly very different when the total body is viewed. My feeling from seeing the de la Harpe's pictures was that it was a large jackal with hyena ears. Their strange yellow, black, and white blotching of color is very unique. I had never known of the existence of these animals, which are known to be possibly the most successful hunters in Africa by those that have studied them and attempted to help preserve them. From the accounts given in the book, the reader finds this species to be one of the more interesting African animals. The methods of hunting as well as such things as their use of an old aardvark hole as a den to raise the pups and returning year after year to the same place are among the many features brought out by the authors. The book details the history of human encounters with the African Wild Dog from the early 1800s. It also goes into great detail about the present efforts to preserve the species as well as the efforts to reintroduce the animals back into areas where they once roamed by the group called The Wild Dog Advisory Group, which was formed with the purpose of establishing several small populations of wild dogs in different locations. The de la Harpe's give the reader in depth accounts of this with description combined with unbelievable photographs. First seeing the cover of this book might lead one to think it to be only a coffee table photo book, but it is what I believe to be a captivating read in understanding life on this planet and the need for preservation of any of the species that are in danger of extinction.
-- Bonnie Neely, Real Travel Adventures, May 2010