Comments about Karen’s New Book

Published : 17 Mar, 2024

There is a review of my book “HIPPOS, A MONGOOSE AND ME” at
Please read it at :
There are also other reviews on amazon so here are a couple of things that were said on amazon :

Inge Skliros

“As I read Karen’s second book about her life at Hippo Haven in the Zimbabwean bush, I can smell the bush, feel the scorching heat of the sun, and hear the birds chattering in the trees and the barks and wahoos of the baboons, with the grunts, bellows and squeals of the hippos in the Turgwe River providing the background score. I am transported to wild Africa, a place that has always been close to my heart. I have visited Africa on 5 separate occasions and Zimbabwe remains my favourite place to visit. Karen is leading the life that I, as a young child, had dreamt of, but never had the courage to follow. It takes a very special person to wholeheartedly dedicate their life to wild animals, knowing full well that with such devotion, there will be unbearable heartbreak – the loss of a beloved animal whether wild, or tame – is a physical pain like no other. Karen’s description of the finding of an abandoned newborn mongoose she and Jean-Roger set about raising, her impact on their lives and her sudden death at age 9 years, had me practically in tears. Being a dog lover myself, I know what it feels like to lose a beloved pet, so I could relate to Karen’s feelings. The continuing hardships she and Jean-Roger face due to political pressures and poaching are hair-raising and I admire the courage with which they continue their work against all odds. To stock 18 feeding stations for over 14 months during a prolonged drought in the mid 1990s, with money for feed coming only from donations to Hippo Trust needs faith, determination and back-breakingly hard work. Nevertheless, she persevered and not one hippo was lost during the drought. Many other animals – elephants, and varied ungulates – also attended the feeding stations and Karen estimated that they were feeding 24 hippos and about 250 other animals! Karen is an extraordinary person, and she is fortunate to be supported by a loving husband as well as receiving the support of many sponsors of Hippo Haven from all across the world. She is also a talented writer whose words transport you to the bush in south-eastern Zimbabwe, where you can share her life through her vivid descriptions of living in the wild. I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves Africa and especially hippos!”

C.J Carver author of many published thriller books as well as the popular Dan Forrester series

“I absolutely loved this book. Utterly engaging, evocative and heart-warming. The narrative is stunning – I could feel the heat, see the vast open spaces, smell the bush and hear the lioness’s motorbike-growl as though she was prowling behind me. I loved the observations of the animals in their natural habitats along with Karen’s witnessing some extraordinary behaviour, especially between crocodiles and hippos.

Karen has a near-magical gift for combining warmth and gravitas as she writes about her passion for animals. No creature is regarded less than another, from scorpions and violin spiders to hippos and leopards. She treats them all not just with enormous respect, but a deep love.

What sets Karen apart is her extraordinary storytelling and sheer authenticity. A marvellous book. But what stands out is her relationship with wild animals, who allow her to treat them when wounded. Astonishing, wondrous.

Full of wonder and downright thrilling in its descriptions of facing armed poachers and fleeing from enraged elephants, this book is utterly engaging. What an extraordinary, powerful and rewarding life Karen has led. I am in awe.

If I could give this book ten stars, I would! “

Derek Kilgariff

“This is an inspiring book from a passionate animal advocate, who has lived in the bush in Zimbabwe for the last 30 years, fighting tooth and nail to protect the animals from poaching and drought. She does this without fences or guns. Although her love is for the hippos, her knowledge and awareness of all the local wildlife is wonderful. She writes with the same passion as she lives her life and you will be thrilled and shocked by her tales of the events she has experienced. Buy this book and you will be taken on an amazing journey.”

Mark Powell

“Karen Paolillo takes us on a journey back through her life in the bush. Beautifully told in a natural style, she brings every chapter to life. We learn about some of the individual animals that have been significant in her life along with the self-reliance required to deal with everything from earthquakes to Parabuthus scorpions and the relentless battle against poaching. What shines through is Karen’s determination, commitment, and love of the natural world – brilliant.”

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  1. Kevin Cichetti

    All I will say is the book is amazing.
    It is an emotional whirlwind that inspired, provided hope and strength, and made me laugh and cry depending on the page.

    I could not recommend it more!

    Kevin Cichetti USA

    • karen paolillo

      thank you Kevin for your kind words Love Karen and all the hippos


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