Karen has received great comments from highly recognised authors. Here are their comments welcoming Karen as a fellow published author.
Freshly added: a review from Book Shop owner.
A Hippo Love story is a wonderful book. It is the inspiring story of Karen’s quest to courageously protect the hippo’s, and her work also gives us new and important insights into the behavior and psyche of these wonderful animals. Today, the more we learn about animal behavior, be it elephants, lions, gorilla’s, hippo’s and the myriad of other species, we increasingly learn that the so-called ‘species barrier’, dividing us from the other species of life, is a damaging myth that should, like other human prejudices, be dismantled.
Gareth Patterson is author of 10 books,including Last of the Free, and the forthcoming autobiography, My Lion’s Heart.
Tammie Matson, author of Planet Elephant, Elephant Dance, Dry Water.
C.J Carver is well known thriller author of 7 books among them The Honest Assassin, Back with Vengeance
Bookey Peek is author of All the Way Home, Wild Honey, Beyond the Wild Wood. Richard Peek is the photographer for all of her books.
Sally Henderson is author of : ‘Silent Footsteps’ – A Woman’s Awakening Among The Elephants Of Africa: Pan Macmillan, ‘Ivory Moon’ – Getting Lost And Found Among The Desert Elephants Of Namibia.
Sharon Pincott, is author of “The Elephants and I” and “Battle for the President’s Elephants”. She works among the wild clan of elephants known as The Presidential Elephants of Zimbabwe, on land bordering the Main Camp section of Hwange National Park.
Mandy Retzlaff, is author of “One Hundred and Four Horses”.
Now that I have had the time to read and reflect on Karens story, with no distraction from wild animals, stunning scenery or just that indescribable African light, I understand exactly the sacrifices Karen and Jean-Roger have made over these years to protect a local population of this largely misunderstood animal, battling drought and flood and their biggest threat, man. The events Karen relates through her memoir A Hippo Love Story are vividly described. It is difficult to come to terms with the fact that this diminutive woman has managed to rescue a pod of thirteen hippos from the worst drought in Zimbabwe in living history, physically help to build a system of pools and weirs which now provide a year round water supply for these creatures, hand feed this group of animals said to be the most dangerous in Africa (where there are MANY dangerous creatures) and create a beautiful home for herself, her husband and their menagerie of mismatched animals. Not only has this tiny dynamic woman achieved these things with her own blood, sweat and tears, she has also stood up against the (supposed) war vets; the black people who have been given the go ahead to settle on white owned lands, rape the bush and decimate the wildlife. These people have marched aggressively upon the Paolillo household, instructing them to leave their property as it was now rightfully theirs. I cannot even imagine the scene: the terror for their own lives and the lives of their beloved animals was well and truly at stake. Karen and Jean-Roger stood their ground, willing to die for their animals, earning the respect (for the moment) of these people. There is now a tentative peace in Hippo haven. The population of hippos under Karen’s care has grown steadily, 49 calves being born since the devastating drought of 1992, and the poaching of wild animals in general is still being fought on a daily basis.
It was wonderful to be back at the Turgwe River, the wildest place I have ever been, whilst reading Karens story; this time I could truly absorb what she and Jean-Roger had endured over the past two decades. Karens spirit and passion shines throughout the book; her writing is personal and well considered she leaves little out. I could once again smell the African bush, hear the wildlife serenade, and even feel those inquisitive fingers deftly probing my pockets! This is a book for people who enjoy a fascinating human or animal story, or anyone with a love or a hunger for Africa. Congratulations Karen, on opening the door to the non-adventurous, allowing them a window into your world. I wish you happiness health and safety as you continue your lifes work.
Annie Grossman. Annie’s Books on Peregian
Annie is running a Bookstore in Australia. She will be able to sell Karen’s book from her shop. Feel free to contact her if you live in Australia at www.anniesbooksonperegian.com.au