Books: the greatest gift…and here are our top picks

ELEPHANTS IN HEAVEN by wildlife photographer Joachim Schmeisser, published by esteemed house of teNeus, pays homage to the beauty of nature and the majestic elephant who is being maltreated and hunted to extinction. Elephants have been hunted and killed for their ivory tusks since antiquity. And people often ignore the calves left behind, who must now live out their lives as traumatized and fearful orphans. Working with the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, the world’s largest and most successful rescue and rehabilitation operation for orphaned elephants, headquartered in Nairobi, Schmeisser followed numerous elephants through the entire process and captured fascinating pictures from their arrival at the nursery all the way to their release back into the wild. ELEPHANTS IN HEAVEN provides a compelling visual record of how these traumatized elephants are raised in a place that is truly heavenly for them, offering a intimate behind-the-scenes look inside an elephant nursery. The touching animal portraits also convey the devastating consequences of poaching, because for Joachim Schmeisser, it’s about “beauty, fragility, tran- sience, mindfulness, and about dignity and the equal standing of each individual.” This major coffee table book with stunning photography makes a poignant case to to protect these gentle giants.

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