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Dan Freeman takes readers on an an action-packed adventure of his journeys to find wildlife around the world. As a professional zoologist, his career has taken him to six of the world's seven continents for research, photography, tourism or film-making.


What makes his book ‘Mangroves and Man-eaters’ really special is the intimate tone with which Dan writes about the people he has taken with him, the people they have encountered and the histories and politics of the countries in which they have worked.


Wild Discoveries and a Spot of Danger M Man Eaters AND Buy the Book


Mangroves and Man-Eaters and Other Wildlife Encounters, by Dan Freeman, is out now!


Published by Whittles Publishing www.whittlespublishing.com available in Australia through InBooks Scholarly, Academic and Specialist Books www.inbooks.com.au


£18.99 ⅼ AU $ 45


There can’t be many places as physically challenging to a human as a mangrove forest; and nor can there be many animals as intimidating as a man-eating tiger. Put the two together and you have one of the most daunting places on earth. You have the Sundarbans, a vast tidal forest shared between India and Bangladesh. It is here, in the Sundarbans, that the combined force of mangroves and man-eaters awaits thousands of people who must come to collect their wood, fish and honey.


My fascination with mangroves began in Australia in 1968, on a Natural History Museum expedition to study birds. I already knew about hundreds of mosquitoes, but not millions; and I knew, from family outings to Westonsuper-Mare, something about mud; but not deep, cloying mud that clings to a latticework of tightly twisted roots blocking every way. I also knew about tides, but not about tidal races and the speed with which a mangrove forest can fill with water. Nor did I know that people could be killed by giant crabs. What I soon learnt, though, was that mangrove forests are a naturalist’s paradise.


My fascination with man-eating tigers began when was I was eight or nine. My father read me bedtime stories from Jim Corbett’s Man- eaters of Kumaon, and although I was a bit frightened of the dark I was always able to get to sleep. It must have been Jim Corbett’s devotion to tigers radiating from the pages that overshadowed the potentially terrifying details of how he tracked and finally killed these big cats in the Himalayan foothills.


Thirty years later I was on a plane to Bangladesh. It was my turn to enter the Sundarbans, though not despite its man-eating tigers, but because of them. I was working on a BBC film looking at the problems facing the people of Bengal when they entered the forest to collect food and firewood. It was a humbling experience spread over two years, and although we were not able to film a single tiger, we felt their presence wherever we went.


Forest of Fear is just one of the many films I have worked on during 35 years of programme-making around the world. Each trip – and there were others for research, tourism and photography – offered different encounters with people and wildlife. Some were more challenging than others, though none came close to the physical and emotional difficulties posed by the Sundarbans, the tidal forest that combines two of my great interests. It is for this reason that I have chosen Mangroves and Man-Eaters to be the title of this book and I hope that you enjoy these pages and find them fascinating, perhaps even inspiring.


His man-eating tiger story also touches on human poverty and the impact of climate change on Bangladesh; Dan’s African safari covers a terrifying near-death experience with swarming killer bees during the reign of Idi Amin; and his giant oak story has Dan traveling through the Ukraine, following the break-up of the USSR.


Complemented with line drawings by Robin Prytherch, this is a powerful and evocative collection of stories, the result of 45 years engaging with animals and people on six continents. Dan has observed his subjects with a naturalist's passion for detail, resulting in a book that is engaging, informative and highly revealing.


Although some of the creatures would make you want to run a mile, the book will be hard to put down!


Mangroves


TRAVEL


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