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Customer Review

on 1 March 2014
This book was first published in 2006, has 273 pages, 19 chapters, 42 B/W photos and 2 maps. The foreword is by Mark Bahr, Novelist from South Africa. ANNE INNIS DAGG was born in 1933 and was brought up in Toronto. She graduated with Biology degree from the University of Toronto and earned her PhD in animal behaviour from University of Waterloo. Her love for the giraffe took her to Africa. Aged 23, she went to South Africa and learnt about apartheid (apart-hate) and racism in Africa. She also visited Tanganyika, Kenya, Zanzibar, Victoria Falls and climbed Mt Kilimanjaro in 1956. She went to study the giraffe near Kruger NP, Tanganyika (Tanzania), Kenya and South Rhodesia. She was the 1st Zoologist to go to Africa to study the behaviour of any wild animal.
Dagg was offered the opportunity to study the giraffe on a farmers ranch in South Africa. In May 1956, she sailed from Montreal to London and then South Africa on 19.7.1956. From Port Elizabeth, Dagg is driven to Grahamstown. She buys a 1950 green Ford and names it 'Camelo'. She studies more information about the giraffe at Rhodes University. She drives 1,000 miles north to "FLEUR-DE-LYS" farm. Part of this farm was a Game reserve area. It is here that Dagg finds many giraffes and sable and starts observing the giraffe. She makes notes and identifies each individual and their communications and behaviours. Then she sees her first snake -a spitting cobra. She films the giraffe actions, including their homosexual behaviour. After a giraffe is shot, Dagg studies its parts and organs.
While in Pretoria, Dagg sees an OKAPI in the zoo and she learns that her giraffes have been eating 32 different kinds of plants. She observes the giraffes at night and watches then lick salt from the ground. She films them resting sitting down and eating and sleeping. The gestation period is 15 months and after delivery the females come into oestrus within 2 weeks. She watches a male giraffe mounting a female few times. On new years eve in 1957, Dagg sails on "Kenya castle" from Durban to Dar-es-Salaam. After visiting Zanzibar, she flies to Tanga and then takes a train to Moshi. At Marangu Hotel, she takes a guide and porters and slowly climbs Mt Kilimanjaro and its KIBO peak.
Dagg takes a lift to Arusha and checks into New Arusha Hotel. After getting no help in Arusha and then in Nairobi, Kenya to study the giraffe, she plans to go to Uganda and then south to Tanganyika and Nyasaland. Unable to see giraffe in Uganda, she sails on "Uringa" in Lake Victoria to Mwanza and catches a train to Tabora and ITIGI and a bus to Mbeya. She gets a lift along the full length of Nyasaland (Malawi) and from Blantyre, flies to Salisbury in South Rhodesia(Zimbabwe). Then on train to the border town of Umtali. Here the manager of Fleur-de-lys farm meets Dagg and they visit the Great Zimbabwe ruins and the Victoria Falls, before returning to South Africa.
New giraffe calves had been born near that farm, since Dagg was away. She takes more film of the giraffes and plans to write a book about the giraffe. She also joins a lion hunt. She visits Kruger NP, Swaziland, Hluhluwe game Reserve and then drives 1,000 miles back to Grahamstown. She sails from Port Elizabeth to Cape Town and on 2.6.1957, sails on "Carnarvon Castle" to Southampton, England. She arrives here on 20th June. She marries IAN Dagg (died in 1993 of heart attack), who becomes a Professor in Physics at Waterloo. They have 3 children, Hugh, Ian and Mary. Later she is not offered the permanent post of Scientist, because she is a woman!
Some other book of interest are:-
(1) Raising Daisy Rothschild, Betty and Jock Leslie-Melville 1978
(2) The Book of Giraffe, Spinage 1968
(3) Bush and Boma, John cairns 1959
(4) The Giraffe, Krumbiegel 1971
(5) Tall Blondes, Lynn Sherr 1997
(6) The Okapi, Susan Lindsey 1999
(7) The Giraffe, Anne Innis Dagg 1976
(8) Zarafa, Michael Allin 1999
(9) Giraffe, Ledgard 2007
(10)Giraffe, Edgar Williams 2010
(11)Giraffe Reflections, Peterson 2013
Having born in Kenya, I enjoys reading this book.
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