Lawrence Anthony
Lawrence Anthony and raised in rural Rhodesia
Rhodesia , officially the Republic of Rhodesia from 1970, was an unrecognised state located in southern Africa that existed between 1965 and 1979 following its Unilateral Declaration of Independence from the United Kingdom on 11 November 1965...

 (now called Zimbabwe), Zambia
Zambia , officially the Republic of Zambia, is a landlocked country in Southern Africa. The neighbouring countries are the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the north, Tanzania to the north-east, Malawi to the east, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Namibia to the south, and Angola to the west....

, and Malawi
The Republic of Malawi is a landlocked country in southeast Africa that was formerly known as Nyasaland. It is bordered by Zambia to the northwest, Tanzania to the northeast, and Mozambique on the east, south and west. The country is separated from Tanzania and Mozambique by Lake Malawi. Its size...

, is an international conservationist, environmentalist, explorer, and bestselling author.

Anthony is the long standing head of conservation at the Thula Thula
Thula Thula
Thula Thula Private Game Reserve is a private game reserve situated in Zululand, KwaZulu-Natal province in South Africa.Thula Thula means ‘peace and tranquility’ in Zulu.- History :...

 game reserve in Zululand
KwaZulu-Natal is a province of South Africa. Prior to 1994, the territory now known as KwaZulu-Natal was made up of the province of Natal and the homeland of KwaZulu....

 South Africa and the Founder of The Earth Organization, a privately registered, independent, international conservation and environmental group with a strong scientific orientation. He is an international member of the esteemed Explorers Club of New York and a member of the National Council of the South African Association for the Advancement of Science, South Africa’s oldest scientific association.

Anthony, has a reputation for bold conservation initiatives, including the rescue of the Baghdad zoo
Baghdad zoo
The Baghdad Zoo is a zoo originally opened in 1971 and located in Baghdad, Iraq, in the al-Zawraa' Gardens area along with the Zawraa Amusement Park and Zawraa' Tower. Before the 2003 invasion of Iraq, the zoo housed 650 animals...

 at the height of the US lead Coalition 2003 invasion of Iraq
2003 invasion of Iraq
The 2003 invasion of Iraq , was the start of the conflict known as the Iraq War, or Operation Iraqi Freedom, in which a combined force of troops from the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and Poland invaded Iraq and toppled the regime of Saddam Hussein in 21 days of major combat operations...

, and negotiations with the infamous Lord's Resistance Army
Lord's Resistance Army
The Lord's Resistance Army insurgency is an ongoing guerrilla campaign waged since 1987 by the Lord's Resistance Army rebel group, operating mainly in northern Uganda, but also in South Sudan and eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo...

 rebel army in Southern Sudan, to raise awareness of the environment and protect endangered species
Endangered species
An endangered species is a population of organisms which is at risk of becoming extinct because it is either few in numbers, or threatened by changing environmental or predation parameters...

, including the last of the Northern White Rhinoceros
Northern White Rhinoceros
The northern white rhinoceros, or northern square-lipped rhinoceros , is one of the two subspecies of the white rhinoceros. This subspecies is a grazer in grasslands and savanna woodlands. These animals are now feared to be extinct in the wild. There are currently seven left in captivity...

Details of his conservation activities have appeared regularly in regional and international media including CNN
Cable News Network is a U.S. cable news channel founded in 1980 by Ted Turner. Upon its launch, CNN was the first channel to provide 24-hour television news coverage, and the first all-news television channel in the United States...

CBS Broadcasting Inc. is a major US commercial broadcasting television network, which started as a radio network. The name is derived from the initials of the network's former name, Columbia Broadcasting System. The network is sometimes referred to as the "Eye Network" in reference to the shape of...

The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters is at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff...

, Al Jazeera
Al Jazeera
Al Jazeera is an independent broadcaster owned by the state of Qatar through the Qatar Media Corporation and headquartered in Doha, Qatar...

 and Sky TV
British Sky Broadcasting
British Sky Broadcasting Group plc is a satellite broadcasting, broadband and telephony services company headquartered in London, United Kingdom, with operations in the United Kingdom and the Ireland....

 and featured in magazine's and journals such as Readers Digest, the Smithsonian, the Explorers Journal, Africa Geographic, Men's Journal, Shape magazine, Elle Magazine and others.

Anthony is married to Francoise and lives on the Thula Thula
Thula Thula
Thula Thula Private Game Reserve is a private game reserve situated in Zululand, KwaZulu-Natal province in South Africa.Thula Thula means ‘peace and tranquility’ in Zulu.- History :...

 game reserve in Zululand. He has two sons and two grandsons.

Baghdad Zoo
Baghdad zoo
The Baghdad Zoo is a zoo originally opened in 1971 and located in Baghdad, Iraq, in the al-Zawraa' Gardens area along with the Zawraa Amusement Park and Zawraa' Tower. Before the 2003 invasion of Iraq, the zoo housed 650 animals...

 was the biggest zoo in the Middle East; however, by 8 days after the 2003 invasion, when Anthony reached the zoo on a private rescue initiative, out of the original 650 to 700 animals in the Baghdad Zoo only 35 survived owing to bombing of the zoo, looting of the animals for food, and starvation of the caged animals without food and water. Anthony could not get to the zoo any earlier at the height of the war owing the safety, transport and bureaucracy issues. The animals that survived tended to be the larger animals, including bears, hyenas, lions and tigers. In the chaos of the war, Anthony used mercenaries to help protect the zoo, and with some of the zoo keepers looked after the zoo animals, and fed the carnivores by buying donkeys on the streets of Baghdad. US Army soldiers, Iraqi civilians and various other volunteers including former Republican Guard soldiers came to assist. Eventually, Bremer
L. Paul Bremer
Lewis Paul "Jerry" Bremer III is an American diplomat. He is most notable for being the U.S. Administrator to Iraq charged with overseeing the country's occupation after the 2003 invasion. In his role as head of the Coalition Provisional Authority, he reported primarily to the U.S. Secretary of...

, supported the zoo and American engineers helped to reopen the zoo. Anthony has written a book about the wartime rescue of the Baghdad Zoo, and the movie rights have been acquired by a major Hollywood production company.

African conservation

An African Wildlife expert, Anthony has long been involved with programs to involve remote African tribes in conservation on their own traditional land, an activity he considers essential to the future well-being of conservation in Africa. He has created two new Game Reserves in South Africa. The Royal Zulu Biosphere in Zululand, which is expanding to join the world famous Umfolozi Hluhluwe reserve, and the Mayibuye Game Reserve in Kwa Ximba.

Anthony's private focus is the rehabilitation of traumatized African elephant. He has developed a unique relationship with a wild herd of elephant on the Thula Thula Reserve in Zululand. Anthony's second book, The Elephant Whisperer, tells the story of his working relationship with the African elephant.

Anthony has served on the National Transitional Executive Committee during the South African Governments transition from Apartheid on the panel for the electronic media which appointed the Board of Directors of the South African Broadcasting Corporation and on the committee which appointed the Film Board of South Africa.


Anthony is a bestselling author and his books have been translated into several languages.

Anthony's first book "Babylon's Ark
Babylon's Ark
Babylon's Ark, The Incredible Wartime Rescue of the Baghdad Zoo is a book written by South African conservationist Lawrence Anthony along with author Graham Spence...

", published by Thomas Dunne Books
Thomas Dunne Books
Thomas Dunne Books, a division of St. Martin's Press, publishes popular trade fiction and nonfiction. Established in 1986 and based in New York City, Thomas Dunne Books publishes approximately 175 titles each year, covering a range of genres including commercial and literary fiction, mysteries,...

, is the true story of the wartime rescue of the Baghdad Zoo. Babylon's Ark has won literary awards including the Booklist Editors Choice in the category adult books for young adults, and the French 28th Prix Littéraire 30 Millions d'Amis literary award, popularly known as the Goncourt for animals.

Anthony’s second book, "The Elephant Whisperer
The Elephant Whisperer
The Elephant Whisperer published in April 2009 by Pan Macmillan in London and in July 2009 by Thomas Dunne/St Martin's Press in New York, is the second book written by South African author and conservationist Lawrence Anthony along with journalist Graham Spence. It follows Babylon's Ark, the...

", published by Pan Macmillan, tells the story of his adventures and relationship with a rescued herd of African elephant.

Awards and recognitions

  • The Global Nature Fund
    Global Nature Fund
    Global Nature Fund, established in 1998, is a private non-profit foundation with the stated goal of protecting the environment. It is headquartered in Radolfzell, Germany....

    , Living Lakes Best Conservation Practice Award, for “A remarkable contribution to nature conservation and environmental protection.”
  • The Earth Day medal presented at the United Nations by the Earth Society for his rescue of the Baghdad Zoo.
  • The Earth Trustee Award.
  • The US Army 3rd Infantry, Regimental medal for bravery in Iraq during the Coalition invasion of Baghdad.
  • The Rotary International
    Rotary International
    Rotary International is an organization of service clubs known as Rotary Clubs located all over the world. The stated purpose of the organization is to bring together business and professional leaders to provide humanitarian service, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations, and help...

     Paul Harris
    Paul P. Harris
    Paul Percy Harris was a Chicago, Illinois, attorney best known for founding Rotary International in 1905, a service organization that currently has well over one million members worldwide.-Biography:...

     Fellowship for outstanding contribution to the ideals of Rotary.
  • The IAS
    International Association of Scientologists
    The International Association of Scientologists is an English non-profit organization, which was formed in October 1984 by a group of Scientologists, who assembled at Saint Hill Manor in East Grinstead, Sussex, England...

     Freedom Medal.
  • The Umhlatuzi Mayoral Award for Outstanding Community Service.
  • International membership, the Explorers Club
    The Explorers Club
    The Explorers Club is a professional society dedicated to scientific exploration of Earth, its oceans, and outer space. Founded in 1904 in New York City, it currently has 30 branches world wide...

     of New York.
  • At a presentation in Washington, DC in March 2009, respected international journalist Tom Clynes named South African conservationist Lawrence Anthony amongst his six most impressive and influential people in a lifetime of reporting. Other names on the list include such luminaries as Sir Edmund Hillary
    Edmund Hillary
    Sir Edmund Percival Hillary, KG, ONZ, KBE , was a New Zealand mountaineer, explorer and philanthropist. On 29 May 1953 at the age of 33, he and Sherpa mountaineer Tenzing Norgay became the first climbers known to have reached the summit of Mount Everest – see Timeline of climbing Mount Everest...


"I have never understood the saying 'To think outside the box.' Why would anyone sit inside of a box and then think outside of it. Rather just get out of the box."

"There is more to life than just yourself, your own family, and your own kind."

"I don't think I have a mission in life. I just want to hold together the values that are important to us as human beings. The name of the game is to survive, and we can't survive without the plant and animal kingdoms."

"Our inability to think beyond our own species, or to be able to co-habit with other life forms in what is patently a massive collaborative quest for survival, is surely a malady that pervades the human soul."

"The green movement has become tainted with extremism and intemperance resulting in lack of credibility. It needs new direction, new priorities and new leadership."

"Workable solutions for Earth are urgently needed. Saving seals and tigers, or fighting yet another oil pipeline through a wilderness area, while laudable, is merely shuffling the deck chairs on the Titanic."

"Man's cultural and traditional links to nature that used to be passed down, generation to generation, have become lost in a sea of 'civilization', bureaucracy and technology."

"It just got serious."

"The prophets of doom are already saying it is too late, that the crude and uninformed impact of man on the planet's life systems is just too great and that we don't have enough time to turn it all around. I don't happen to agree, but I do know that we are entering the end game. That unless there is a swift and marked change in our attitudes and actions, mankind could well be on its way to becoming an endangered species."

"This time around it may not be a natural phenomenon; it may be ignorance and neglect of the natural world will prove to be our undoing."

"Thankfully the Earth has an incredible capacity to sustain life, so perhaps something can still be done about it."

"'Ethics' is the key theme. Ethics are essential to establish a granite moral code as an environmental lodestone."

External links

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