© National Geographic
A mother lioness and her cubs from "African Critters."
Tender moments between a mother leopard and her two newborn cubs, a startling encounter with a young elephant bull, and a battle between mammoth buffaloes and tiny lion cubs. These are just a few of the adventures in “African Critters,” the latest book from National Geographic wildlife photographer Bobby Haas, a great friend of The HSUS and a man whose passion for animals matches my own.
The book condenses several years’ worth of safaris into 91 pages of brilliant photographs and stories, and each chapter is devoted to an animal that Bobby encountered in Africa—leopards, elephants, wild dogs, lions, hyenas, hippos and rhinos, birds and insects, and cheetahs. In a gentle, inviting tone, Bobby details the unique behaviors of each animal and the dangers they face in their daily life-and-death struggle in the savannah.
I was honored to write the book’s foreword and, as I explain there, I was inspired as a young boy by Bobby’s predecessors at National Geographic. Every month I would dive into the latest issue of National Geographic magazine, letting the photographs and stories take me away to far-off places, amongst animals that were amazingly different than any I had ever seen.
It is my hope, and Bobby’s hope as well, that the spectacular photos and stories within “African Critters” will inspire a new generation of appreciation for our planet and its animals. As Bobby says in the September issue of our classroom newspaper Kind News:
“Humans are the only species in the world with the power and therefore the responsibility to take care of other species. … Kids are just adults waiting to happen. It’s a natural instinct to love creatures. If you can keep that in your heart as you grow older, you’ll make a positive impact on this world.”
All proceeds from “African Critters” will be donated to The HSUS. And Bobby’s generosity doesn’t stop there. He’s offered tips for photographing animals on our website and he sat down with Humane Society Youth for a great piece in Kind News, where he details his encounters with Africa’s animals.
If you’re looking for a gift for a child in your life, be sure to keep an eye out for “African Critters.” You can buy it online through National Geographic or find it anywhere books are sold. You’ll help The HSUS with your purchase, and you just might inspire some creative kid out there to become our future president and CEO.