this was such a sweet story. however, the story seemed more about the owner/trainer than the actual lion. ralph helfer has been an amazing influence on the way that animals are trained for movies/commercials/etc, and this should be a book that all animal lovers read.
Ralph Helfer is a trainer that believes in "affection training" rather than fear which was the predominant method of handling wild animals at the time. He is given an orphan lion cub and develops a special relationship with him that enables him to trust him in situations that are unbelievable for a wild animal. He relates the stories that happened to him during this time with Zamba, including his remarkable year in Africa filming a movie and a flood in LA that nearly destroyed his wildlife reserve. He has a wonderful way of sharing with his readers his love for animals and the special bonds that develop. Most of us who are animal lovers have experienced this bond with domestics, but not with wild animals.... except through Ralph's books.
Great book! Well written, keeps you interested. Quick read. Talks about some of his others animals as well. Would have loved to meet Zamba myself! It would be wonderful if all trainers treated their animals like Ralph Helfer. He is a man to be commended for his techniques. I was worried about how Zamba dies, but it was a beautiful ending!!
This book is for those of us who absolutely love to read animal stories. The author just wants to tell his story not looking for a pulitzer prize. I was enchanted by precisely this simplicity without witticism. Probably the author would have like to have more language resources to express his love and admiration for Zamba but IMH, he did it just right as is.