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  1. 7.5 hrs • 6/21/2016 • Unabridged

    A passionate naturalist explores what it’s really like to be an animal―by living like them. How can we ever be sure that we really know the other? To test the limits of our ability to inhabit lives that are not our own, Charles Foster set out to know the ultimate other: the non-humans, the beasts. And to do that, he tried to be like them, choosing a badger, an otter, a fox, a deer, and a swift. He lived alongside badgers for weeks, sleeping in a sett in a Welsh hillside and eating earthworms, learning to sense the landscape through his nose rather than his eyes. He caught fish in his teeth while swimming like an otter; rooted through London garbage cans as an urban fox; was hunted by bloodhounds as a red deer, nearly dying in the snow. And he followed the swifts on their migration route over the Strait of Gibraltar, discovering himself to be strangely connected to the birds. A lyrical, intimate, and completely radical look at the life of animals―human and other―Being a Beast mingles neuroscience and psychology, nature writing and memoir to cross the boundaries separating the species. It is an extraordinary journey full of thrills and surprises, humor and joy. And, ultimately, it is an inquiry into the human experience in our world, carried out by exploring the full range of the life around us.

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    Being a Beast

    7.5 hrs • 6/21/16 • Unabridged
  2. 9.9 hrs • 4/12/2016 • Unabridged

    The surprising story of our “naturalist president” Theodore Roosevelt and how his lifelong passion for the natural world set the stage for America’s wildlife conservation movement No United States president is more popularly associated with nature and wildlife than Theodore Roosevelt—prodigious hunter, tireless adventurer, and ardent conservationist. We think of him as a larger-than-life original, yet in The Naturalist, Darrin Lunde has located Roosevelt in the proud tradition of museum naturalism. From his earliest days, Roosevelt actively modeled himself on the men who pioneered a key branch of biology through the collection of animal specimens and by developing a taxonomy of the natural world. The influence they would have on Roosevelt shaped not only his audacious personality but his career, informing his work as a statesman and ultimately affecting generations of Americans’ relationship to this country’s wilderness. Drawing on Roosevelt’s diaries and expedition journals and pulling from his own experience as a leading figure in today’s museum naturalism, Lunde constructs a thoughtfully researched, singularly insightful history that tracks Roosevelt’s maturation from exuberant boyhood hunter to vital champion of serious scientific inquiry

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    The Naturalist

    9.9 hrs • 4/12/16 • Unabridged
  3. 9.7 hrs • 8/20/2015 • Unabridged

    In this sequel to Spineless Wonders, Richard Conniff once again explores the tangled connections between human beings and animals (this time mostly vertebrates). His adventures take us from an island in the Gulf Stream, where a man devotes his life to the devilbird, to provincial England, where bloodhounds and riders on horseback hunt down a human being for sport. With his characteristically offbeat approach, Conniff focuses on some of the least huggable members of the animal world—porcupines, snapping turtles, cormorants, bats, mice, moles. Through their lives, Conniff introduces us to some of the strangest behaviors on earth. We meet sharks that practice sibling cannibalism in their mother’s womb, bats that delight in a sybaritic “disco mating strategy,” and five-hundred-pound grizzly bears that gorge themselves on moths in August. Every Creeping Thing is a fascinating, comic tour through the far side of the animal kingdom.

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    Every Creeping Thing

    9.7 hrs • 8/20/15 • Unabridged
  4. 12.6 hrs • 3/10/2015 • Unabridged

    An award-winning author’s stirring quest to find and understand an elusive and exceptionally rare species in the heart of Southeast Asia’s jungles. In 1992 in a remote mountain range, a team of scientists discovered the remains of an unusual animal with beautiful long horns. It turned out to be a living species new to western science—a saola, the first large land mammal discovered in fifty years. Rare then and rarer now, no westerner had glimpsed a live saola in the wild before Pulitzer Prize finalist and nature writer William deBuys and conservation biologist William Robichaud set off to search for it in the wilds of central Laos. The team endured a punishing trek up and down whitewater rivers and through mountainous terrain ribboned with the snare lines of armed poachers. In the tradition of Bruce Chatwin, Colin Thubron, and Peter Matthiessen, The Last Unicorn is deBuys’s look deep into one of the world’s most remote places. As in the pursuit of the unicorn, the journey ultimately becomes a quest for the essence of wildness in nature and an encounter with beauty.

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    The Last Unicorn

    12.6 hrs • 3/10/15 • Unabridged
  5. 9.0 hrs • 3/11/2014 • Unabridged

    Boyd Varty had an unconventional upbringing. He grew up on Londolozi Game Reserve in South Africa, a place where man and nature strive for balance, where perils exist alongside wonders. Founded more than eighty years ago as a hunting ground, Londolozi was transformed into a nature reserve beginning in 1973 by Varty’s father and uncle, visionaries of the restoration movement. But it wasn’t just a sanctuary for the animals; it was also a place for ravaged land to flourish again and for the human spirit to be restored. When Nelson Mandela was released after twenty-seven years of imprisonment, he came to the reserve to recover. Cathedral of the Wild is Varty’s memoir of his life in this exquisite and vast refuge. At Londolozi, Varty gained the confidence that emerges from living in Africa. “We came out strong and largely unafraid of life,” he writes, “with the full knowledge of its dangers.” It was there that young Boyd and his equally adventurous sister learned to track animals, raised leopard and lion cubs, followed their larger-than-life uncle on his many adventures filming wildlife, and became one with the land. Varty survived a harrowing black mamba encounter, a debilitating bout with malaria, even a vicious crocodile attack, but his biggest challenge was a personal crisis of purpose. An intense spiritual quest takes him across the globe and back again—to reconnect with nature and “rediscover the track.”  Cathedral of the Wild is a story of transformation that inspires a great appreciation for the beauty and order of the natural world. With conviction, hope, and humor, Varty makes a passionate claim for the power of the wild to restore the human spirit.

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    Cathedral of the Wild

    9.0 hrs • 3/11/14 • Unabridged
  6. 9.7 hrs • 11/25/2013 • Unabridged

    A famous naturalist and his photographer wife explore China in 1916, a medieval country torn apart by revolution, the Japanese military, and the onset of World War I. Their goal was to shoot, trap, collect, and photograph native animals for display at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. Traveling by mule train, they find themselves in conflict with the brutal treatment of Chinese women, the government, the elements, and a closed civilization controlled by the past. From exploring pitch-black bat caves, attempting to hunt and photograph the elusive Blue Tiger, and experiencing the Yen Ping rebellion first hand, this is an exhilarating husband and wife adventure, led by a man said to be the model for the fictitious film character, Indiana Jones.

    Available Formats: Download, Digital Rental
    Also: Digital Rental
  7. 9.6 hrs • 10/7/2013 • Unabridged

    In this inspiring, heartfelt account, Lawrence Anthony, conservationist and coauthor of The Elephant Whisperer, traces his efforts to save the endangered northern white rhino. When Lawrence Anthony learned that the northern white rhino, living in the war-ravaged Congo, was on the very brink of extinction, he knew he had to act. If the world lost the sub-species, it would be the largest land mammal since the woolly mammoth to go extinct. In The Last Rhinos, Anthony recounts his attempts to save these remarkable animals. The demand for rhino horns in the Far East has turned poaching into a dangerous black market that threatens the lives of not just these rare beasts, but also the rangers who protect them. The northern white rhino’s last refuge was in an area controlled by the infamous Lord’s Resistance Army, one of the most vicious rebel groups in the world. In the face of unmoving government bureaucracy, Anthony made a perilous journey deep into the jungle to try to find and convince them to help save the rhino. An inspiring story of conservation in the face of brutal war and bureaucratic quagmires, The Last Rhinos will move animal lovers everywhere.

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    The Last Rhinos

    By Lawrence Anthony, with Graham Spence
    Read by Simon Vance
    9.6 hrs • 10/7/13 • Unabridged
  8. 4.5 hrs • 7/1/2013 • Unabridged

    What the Animals Taught Me is the story of how a woman came upon farm animals that needed rescuing and what she learned from them as they gradually changed her home in Sonoma County, California, into an animal sanctuary. Wishing to escape the urban rat race, freelance writer and editor Stephanie Marohn moved to rural Northern California in 1993. In return for reduced rent, she fed and cared for two horses. Life was sweet. Then more farm animals started to appear: a miniature white horse, a donkey, and sheep, followed by deer and other wildlife. Each needed sanctuary from abuse, physical injury, or neglect, and Marohn took them in, gradually turning her ten-acre spread into an animal sanctuary. With each new arrival, Marohn had to learn how to care for it, to help it to overcome trauma, and to transition back to life with other animals—and to trust people again.  With each successful rescue and rehabilitation, Marohn learned lessons not only about animal care but also about love, compassion, patience, trust, and so many of the qualities we often try to cultivate in ourselves. She shares what she learned from the sheep she rescued from an animal collector and the abused donkey she helped nurse back to health. She also tells about the hilarious response from the guests at her Thanksgiving dinner when they saw wild turkeys come floating down “like paratroopers” to land next to the miniature horse that had walked right up to the patio window.  Marohn’s delightful memoir illuminates how the animals have much to teach us and how they helped her to reconnect with the natural world and to see and embrace others as they truly are.

    Available Formats: Download, CD, MP3 CD, Digital Rental
    What the Animals Taught Me by Stephanie Marohn

    What the Animals Taught Me

    4.5 hrs • 7/1/13 • Unabridged
    Also: CD, MP3 CD, Digital Rental
  9. 14.6 hrs • 5/8/2012 • Unabridged

    Daphne Sheldrick, whose family arrived in Africa from Scotland in the 1820s, is the first person ever to have successfully hand-reared newborn elephants. Her deep empathy and understanding, her years of observing Kenya’s rich variety of wildlife, and her pioneering work in perfecting the right husbandry and milk formula have saved countless elephants, rhinos, and other baby animals from certain death. In this heartwarming and poignant memoir, Daphne shares her amazing relationships with a host of orphans, including her first love, Bushy, a liquid-eyed antelope; Rickey-Tickey-Tavey, the little dwarf mongoose; Gregory Peck, the busy buffalo weaver bird; Huppety, the mischievous zebra; and the majestic elephant Eleanor, with whom Daphne has shared more than forty years of great friendship. But this is also a magical and heartbreaking human love story between Daphne and David Sheldrick, the famous Tsavo Park warden. It was their deep and passionate love, David’s extraordinary insight into all aspects of nature, and the tragedy of his early death that inspired Daphne’s vast array of achievements, most notably the founding of the world-renowned David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust and the Orphans’ Nursery in Nairobi National Park, where Daphne continues to live and work to this day. Encompassing not only David and Daphne’s tireless campaign for an end to poaching and for conserving Kenya’s wildlife, but also their ability to engage with the human side of animals and their rearing of the orphans expressly so they can return to the wild, Love, Life, and Elephants is alive with compassion and humor, providing a rare insight into the life of one of the world’s most remarkable women.

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    Love, Life, and Elephants

    14.6 hrs • 5/8/12 • Unabridged
  10. 14.8 hrs • 3/15/2012 • Unabridged

    The first person to successfully raise newborn elephants, Dame Daphne Sheldrick has saved countless African animals from certain death. In this indelible and deeply heartfelt memoir, Daphne tells of her remarkable career as a conservationist and introduces us to a whole host of orphans—including Bushy, a liquid-eyed antelope, and the majestic elephant Eleanor. Yet she also shares the incredible human story of her relationship with David Sheldrick, the famous Tsavo National Park warden whose death inspired the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust and the orphans’ nursery, where Daphne works to this day. From her tireless campaign to preserve Kenya’s wildlife to the astonishing creatures she befriended along the way, Love, Life, and Elephants is alive with compassion and humor, providing rare insight into the life of one of the world’s most fascinating women.

    Available Formats: Download
    An African Love Story by Daphne Sheldrick

    An African Love Story

    14.8 hrs • 3/15/12 • Unabridged
  11. 1.1 hrs • 6/1/2010 • Unabridged

    From rainforests to deserts, mountains to plains, the sea to the sky, animals raise their voices in an eclectic and thrilling chorus. This collection celebrates the unique calls of the keel-billed toucan, the morning roar of the Guatemalan howler monkey, the seriously social laughing of the spotted hyena Guatemalan coatimundi, the honk of the courtship-crazed hammerhead bat, sophisticated conversation from the Central African forest elephant, the subtle bellow of the great plains bison, and many more intriguing sounds from creatures we seldom hear. The NPR Sound Treks series brings the outdoors to life with outstanding audio documentaries, stories, and commentary from the NPR archives. Each volume features sounds from nature, insights from experts and others who love the outdoor experience (naturalists, zoologists, biologists, adventurers, even a cowgirl), and vivid storytelling that captures the excitement of the wilderness.

    Available Formats: Download

    NPR Sound Treks: Animals

    Produced by NPR
    Hosted by Jon Hamilton
    1.1 hrs • 6/1/10 • Unabridged
  12. 6.6 hrs • 7/23/2009 • Unabridged

    Baree, the son of a grey wolf and a black dog, was born in the vast Canadian wilderness. He learns about nature and his fellow animals by trial and error—fighting with owls and playing with beavers. Being alone in the wild, he desperately seeks to join a pack of wolves, but they see him as a dog, and he is driven away.  If the wolves are treacherous, Baree soon learns that humans are worse. He is shot, beaten, and trapped, but he soon learns to take care of himself. After fighting alone against the world, Baree befriends an Indian maiden, Nepeese, and he finds his purpose in life.

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    Baree: The Wolf Dog

    6.6 hrs • 7/23/09 • Unabridged
  13. 8.2 hrs • 4/20/2009 • Unabridged

    As the snow melts and the spring approaches, the animal kingdom awakens. In Summer World, Bernd Heinrich, the bestselling author of Winter World, brings us an up-close and personal view of that awakening and rebirth.  Almost all life on the surface of the earth derives its energy from the sun, either directly through photosynthesis or indirectly by consuming plants, making summer the time when nature is most active—feeding, fighting, mating, and nesting. From frogs, wasps, and caterpillars to hummingbirds and woodpeckers, Heinrich explores these animals’ adaptations for surviving and procreating during the short window of summer, and he delights in the seemingly infinite feats of animal inventiveness he discovers there.  Infused with his inexhaustible enchantment with nature, Summer World encourages a sense of wonder and discovery for the natural world and its busiest season.         

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    Summer World

    8.2 hrs • 4/20/09 • Unabridged
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