The Born Free True – Life Stories about wild animal rescues are about the dramatic rescue of animals in horrible situations. They’re captivating, well-written, and informative– so they’re perfect for animal-loving 8 – 12 year old kids.
In fact, I read 3 of the books in one night, I loved them that much! (And they’re pretty short, less than 100 pages.)
The books tell the true stories of animals rescued by the Born Free Foundation. The books are interspersed with beautiful, color photographs and intriguing facts about the animals.
The Born Free Foundation believes that no animals should live in captivity — that they should all be free. Or as close to it as possible. You’ll see in the stories that often it takes years to retrain the animals to function in the wild and sometimes it isn’t possible to live in the wild again again.
When you consider how to help kids understand and connect with wildlife and endangered animals, I think reading captivating stories like these is one very good way.
True Stories of Wild Animal Rescues
Dolphin Rescue: True-Life Stories by Jinny Johnson
The story of dolphins, Tom and Misha, will break your heart at first. These captured dolphins live in a disgusting, broken pool in Turkey and are advertised as a tourist attraction except most of the tourists are appalled at the conditions. When people start protesting and not coming to swim in the filthy pool, the owner closes it and eventually Born Free buys the dolphins from the landlord.
Because the dolphins had been languishing in captivity for so long, they had no idea how to be real dolphins, not to mention they were both malnourished and underweight. Soon, the duo started gaining weight and improved health. But it took over a year and a lot of creativity to get them to even consider eating non-frozen local fish. (And this had to be done without any humans nearby, since the trainers were reconditioning the dolphins not to take food from a human hand.) The entire rehab process took an incredible amount of time and patience. After around two years of dedicated work, Tom and Misha were successfully released into the wild. (With a minor bump but I’ll let that be a surprise.)
This book tugs at your heartstrings since it’s hard to imagine treating animals so poorly, but very gratifying when you see the hard work of the Born Free team to get them healthy and fit for survival in the wild. Animal lovers, don’t you think you’ll love this incredible series?
Chimp Rescue: True Life Stories (Born Free) by Jess French
When a little baby chimp, Chinoise, is captured after poachers kill his family, she’s taken to a cage near a noisy restaurant in the city. There she’s exposed to the sun with no shade, can’t move about, and suffers from lack of food and freedom. Learn how Born Free comes to her rescue. They slowly work to reintroduce Chinoise to other chimps but it takes quite awhile before she does anything but watch. Not to worry, time and a persistent chimp named Billy help Chinoise find friends and happiness.
Chinoise won’t be able to go back to the wild due to a lack of suitable habitat from deforestation. She lives with other orphans at The Limbe Wildlife Centre in Africa.
Leopard Rescue: True-Life Stories (Born Free Books) by Sara Starbuck
Born in captivity, this family of leopards live (and suffer) in small, cramped cages in a Greek zoo. Before he can be rescued, the dad leopard dies. Fortunately, the Born Free Foundation is granted permission to relocate the mom and daughters who are safely taken to the Shamwari Reserve in South Africa where they get their own habitats. It’s a fascinating and heart-grabbing story that will make you think twice about any small zoo enclosures.
Other stories in the series include:
Lion Rescue by Sara Starbuck
Elephant Rescue by Louisa Leaman
Tiger Rescue by Louisa Leaman (pub 10/2017)
Bear Rescue by Jess French (pub 8/2017)