By Vicki Croke
NEW YORK occasions BESTSELLER • A NEW YORK TIMES amazing BOOK
The amazing tale of James Howard “Billy” Williams, whose uncanny rapport with the world’s greatest land animals reworked him from a carefree younger guy into the charismatic conflict hero often called Elephant Bill
Billy Williams got here to colonial Burma in 1920, clean from carrier in international conflict I, to a role as a “forest guy” for a British teak corporation. Mesmerized through the intelligence, personality, or even humor of the nice animals who hauled logs throughout the distant jungles, he grew to become a talented “elephant wallah.” more and more expert at treating their health problems and accidents, he additionally championed extra humane remedy for them, even developing an elephant “school” and “hospital.” In go back, he acknowledged, the elephants made him a greater guy. The friendship of 1 superb tusker particularly, Bandoola, will be revelatory. In Elephant corporation, Vicki Constantine Croke chronicles Williams’s starting to be love for elephants because the animals offer him classes in braveness, belief, and gratitude.
yet Elephant Company can be a story of struggle and bold. whilst Imperial jap forces invaded Burma in 1942, Williams joined the elite strength 136, the British soiled methods division, working in the back of enemy traces. His battle elephants may hold offers, construct bridges, and delivery the in poor health and aged over treacherous mountain terrain. Now good versed within the methods of the jungle, an older, wiser Williams even extra to his reliable by means of smuggling extra elephants out of Japanese-held territory. because the occupying professionals positioned a value on his head, Williams and his elephants confronted his so much perilous attempt. In a Hollywood-worthy climax, Elephant corporation, cornered through the enemy, tried a determined get away: a dicy trek over the mountainous border to India, with a bedraggled workforce of refugees in tow. Elephant Bill’s exploits might earn him most sensible army honors and the compliment of famed box Marshal Sir William Slim.
half biography, half conflict epic, and half natural world event, Elephant Company is an inspirational narrative that illuminates a little-known bankruptcy within the annals of wartime heroism.
Praise for Elephant Company
“This booklet is set excess of simply the struggle, or perhaps elephants. this can be the tale of friendship, loyalty and breathtaking bravery that transcends species. . . . Elephant Company is not anything under a sweeping story, masterfully written.”—Sara Gruen, The ny instances publication Review
“Splendid . . . mixing biography, background, and flora and fauna biology, [Vicki Constantine] Croke’s tale is a regularly relocating account of [Billy] Williams, who earned the sobriquet ‘Elephant Bill,’ and his strange bond with the biggest land mammals on earth.”—The Boston Globe
“Some of the largest heroes of worldwide warfare II have been even larger than you suggestion. . . . you'll by no means name the lion the king of the jungle again.”—New York Post
“Elephant Company is as robust and big-hearted because the animals of its name. Billy Williams is a rare personality, a real-life opposite Tarzan raised in civilization who unearths knowledge and his actual self dwelling between jungle beasts. Vicki Constantine Croke offers an exhilarating story of this elephant whisperer–cum–war hero, whereas fantastically reminding us of the long-lasting bonds among animals and humans.”—Mitchell Zuckoff, writer of Lost in Shangri-La and Frozen in Time
Read or Download Elephant Company: The Inspiring Story of an Unlikely Hero and the Animals Who Helped Him Save Lives in World War II PDF
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Additional info for Elephant Company: The Inspiring Story of an Unlikely Hero and the Animals Who Helped Him Save Lives in World War II
The nice tusker used to be mendacity on his facet, immobile, lower than the load of the entire trees. yet as they snatched on the particles and reached all the way down to Bandoola, they observed he used to be alive—his facets heaved with every one breath he took. all people started to observed and hack on the boughs. They grabbed heavy felling instruments in order to break up the hyperlinks of the chain securing the bull’s immobile again legs. It took numerous blows prior to ultimately, with a steel crack, the thick hyperlink broke open. Bandoola slowly acquired to his toes. He seemed shocked yet appeared as mild as a lamb. not just alive, he used to be unhurt. Williams checked each inch of Bandoola’s disguise and chanced on that aside from scratches, the livid bull hadn’t sustained any accidents. the problem of tipping his tusks was once by no means revisited. bankruptcy eleven grasp category IN belief AND braveness BILLY WILLIAMS used to be altering. THE ELEPHANTS have been teaching him in concerns of personality and biology. inside years of the elephant school’s first periods, Williams had tested an elephant clinic on the related website. It wasn’t a construction with wards and surgical suites; purely a space the place stable shops of medication may be stored, a spot the place ill elephants may perhaps get better in lush, secure atmosphere. simply the hardest situations went to the clinic. And and not using a approved animal healthcare professional for hundreds of thousands of miles, Williams labored on all of them. His first 4 years at the activity proved the an identical of veterinary institution. He did what he may: He learn, puzzled somebody with wisdom, consulted with the uzis, and realized by way of trial and blunder. He came upon that operating elephants suffered from colic, or went septic from tiger wounds. They fell sufferer to anthrax, tuberculosis, pox, rabies, and tetanus. there have been illnesses of the guts, lungs, and blood. They sustained punctures and gashes whereas hauling teak. they'd accidents—falling down slippery slopes, dragged away by means of raging currents, immobilized via thick dust. They dropped weight. They obtained pregnant. And such a lot of all, they built “galls,” these pus-filled abscesses slightly below the outside the place their harnesses chafed them. As Williams received larger at supporting elephants, he learned they have been doing him a desire additionally. throughout the parade of sore toes, sliced epidermis, and dissatisfied bellies, they have been carrying out an emotional grasp classification, teaching him approximately love, braveness, and belief. He observed that activities intended extra to elephants than phrases, and he intended it used to be a similar with humans, too. belief needed to be earned and used to be granted merely to those that may be relied upon. as soon as he won their belief, they allowed him to do something. they really appeared to snatch that his systems have been “being inflicted for his or her personal sturdy. ” in reality, Williams acknowledged, “I be aware of, with no query, that an elephant may be thankful” for such remedy. What made him so certain used to be a major woman named Ma Chaw, or leave out tender (a time period for a shapely woman). After an evening within the wooded area, the elephant had dragged herself again to 1 of the camps in Williams’s territory with lengthy and deep lacerations crisscrossing her again.