In this captivating, suspenseful memoir, white lion conservationist Linda Tucker describes her perilous struggle to protect the sacred white lion from the merciless and mafia-like trophy-hunting industry, armed only with her indomitable spirit and total devotion.
Her story begins in 1991 with a heart-stopping misadventure in the Timbavati Reserve of South Africa. Tucker—then a successful advertising executive—and a group of fellow travelers found themselves surrounded by a pride of angry lions. There was no way out, night had fallen, and the battery in their only flashlight was beginning to flicker. Miraculously, a local medicine woman, with two youngsters in tow, passed, trancelike and fearless, through the lions and escorted them all to safety.
For Tucker, that life-threatening experience became a life-changing one. She abandoned her career, left Europe, and returned to Timbavati to track down the medicine woman who had saved her: Maria Khosa. Upon seeing Tucker again, Khosa only smiled and said, “What took you so long?” She had been expecting her, and there was so much to do. Under Khosa’s shamanic tutelage, Tucker learned of her sacred destiny: to be the “keeper of the white lions,” believed to be angelic beings sent to Earth to save humanity at a time of crisis. Khosa also prophesized that the queen of the white lions—the embodiment of the mother of Ra, the sun god—would soon be born, on a day and in a place considered holy by Westerners.
On December 25, 2000, in the little South Africa town of Bethlehem, a snowy white lion cub, Marah, was born. From the moment of her first meeting with Marah, Tucker’s story immediately takes off into battle, as she dedicates her every waking moment to prying Marah and her siblings from the grips of the trophy-hunting industry.
Compellingly written in the intimate style of a journal, Tucker describes with unflinching honesty her fears, doubts, hopes, and dreams, all the while unfolding for us an unforgettable tale of adventure, romance, spirituality, and most of all, justice.
LINDA TUCKER grew up in South Africa during Apartheid and attended the universities of Cape Town and Cambridge. In 2002, she founded the Global White Lion Protection Trust, an organization that works not only to protect the white lions, but also to protect the communities and knowledge of the Tsonga and Sepedi cultures, which celebrate the white lion as a sacred living heritage. She has been a guest speaker at multiple international conservation congresses, and her work has been featured in documentaries produced by National Geographic and Animal Planet. She lives in the Timbavati reserve of South Africa with her partner, lion ecologist Jason Turner.
"Linda’s new book, Saving the White Lions: One Woman’s Battle for Africa’s Most Sacred Animal, conveys an astounding odyssey that restores faith in humanity’s capacity to see, feel and put the pieces together to ensure a compassionate future for all biodiversity, including ourselves."
"Cambridge-educated model and advertising executive Tucker found her calling as resident lion shaman of South Africa's Timbavati Reserve. This journal-like memoir details Tucker's life transformation including the numerous adventures and various miracles occurring before and after she accepted her role as protector of the beautiful snowy-white lion known as Marah, the Lion Queen. Amidst her personal tales, Tucker offers an important message about the white lions and why the genetic lineage must be protected. As the founder of the Global White Lions Protection Trust, she is well-qualified to speak on their behalf. The reality of the author's experience will in itself serve as evidence for her unusual point of view. The book's guiding spiritual principles, though unorthodox, will serve to educate anyone interested in the conservation of endangered species."
"...a woman famed for her work rescuing the technically-extinct white lion."
—San Francisco Bay Guardian
"Saving the White Lions is an important, compelling work of nonfiction. It combines an intimate memoir written in the form of a journal with a vital plea for protection for and conservation of South Africa’s rarest and most endangered indigenous creatures, the White Lions, sacred to native tribes."
"This is a great, blazing, lionhearted book by a great warrior woman of our times."
—Andrew Harvey, author of Radical Passion and The Hope: A Guide to Sacred Activism
"I have never met such a marvelous woman. Someone so dedicated to saving the children of the Sun."
—Dr. Robert Powell, astronomer, author, and founder of the Sophia Foundation
Praise for Mystery of the White Lions, also by Linda Tucker:
"Linda Tucker has done a great job of chronicling the whole story and mythology of these sacred animals.… Through understanding the White Lion we will understand ourselves and our great role in the chain of being."
"An entrancing story, told by a rare individual … a phenomenal book that comes at a critical time in environmental history."
—Dr. Ian Player, internationally renowned conservationist
From the Trade Paperback edition.
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