A Rhino In My Garden by Conita Walker with Sally Smith (Jacana) ISBN 978-1-4314-2595-2
This is a courageous, true story that took me on an amazing adventure. A Rhino In My Garden isn’t my usual choice of genre, but I was drawn to the beautifully illustrated cover.
Nail biting at times, this story left me laughing, sobbing, and completely captivated by the amazing account of the lives of the Walkers and everyone who crossed their paths. Conita Walker tells the story of her life in South Africa spanning almost fifty years.
Conita, a flight attendant, marries the free-spirited conservationist, Clive Walker. Their lives begin in the Waterberg where Conita finds her true purpose by hand-rearing a white and a black rhino and an orphaned hippo. Conita is a surrogate mother to these orphans and takes us on her journey of unconditional, motherly love.
Conita raises their two boys and the rhino orphans during a time in South African history at the end of Apartheid era. The story includes land claims and the devastating, senselessness of rhino poaching.
I thoroughly enjoyed this heartfelt story and learnt so much about conservation in South Africa and the daily challenges facing conservationists to conserve our land and protect our animals.