My Life with Leopards: Graham Cooke's Story
In 1993 game ranger Graham Cooke was given the opportunity to parent two six-
But first he had to gain the young leopards’ trust. Boycat, the slightly bigger male
cub proved to be an easy-
Eventually Poepface relented and so began a love story; a powerful bond.
When a year later Graham prepared the cubs for their release in the remote South Luangwa Valley he knew it was the beginning of the end. Joining the cubs on daily walks to familiarise them with their new home. Graham knew that soon it would be time to let go.
Set in both in the bushveld of South Africa and the wilderness that is the South Luangwa Valley in Zambia, My Life with Leopards is a story with the universal theme of love, loss, danger and heartbreak.
"Set in the spectacular wilderness of the South African lowveld and later in Zambia’s Luangwa Valley – both vividly portrayed – this is as poignant a tale of unrequited love as you are ever likely to read. And, like the best animal stories, it tugs at the heartstrings without ever descending into anthropomorphism."
Brian Jackman , BBC Wildlife Magazine
"Anyone who has read Joy Adamson's books will rekindle some of that awe of experiencing
life in the company of our big cats. Graham Cooke's tale is no less engaging, as
written as a first-
Nerine Dorman, author and editor
"Vividly told, beautifully written with lovely descriptions."
Andre Eva Bosch, author and journalist
"This compelling story is a “must read” for anyone who loves nature and the challenges of helping two young leopards get back to their wild world. Well written, entertaining and emotional; to be enjoyed."
"No other book I know takes you so deeply into the secret world of the leopard."
“Animal lovers will delight in the antics of these kitties while pondering the ethical dilemmas that the situation naturally brings up. While I loved each cat's personality endearing, what I found fascinating was the aspect of "Empty nest syndrome" that plagued Cooke as the leopards' release date drew nearer.”
Jeimy Gonzalez -
“I very much enjoyed this book. Being let into Graham's world was an amazing experience. I loved the raw power of it.”
Angela Campbell -