‘The lion is my totem animal, and this is the story of my life in Africa, for the lion.’
My Lion’s Heart is an all-encompassing African story. From Gareth Patterson’s childhood in West and East Africa to his study of a threatened lion population in a private reserve in Botswana to his work with George Adamson, celebrated as the ‘Lion Man’ of Africa, we witness Gareth’s growing commitment to his life’s mission. This is nowhere more evident than in his account of his life as a human member of a lion pride, experiencing life and death through its eyes, as he successfully rehabilitated three famous orphaned lion cubs back into a life in the wilds.
At considerable risk to his own personal safety, he exposed the sordid canned lion ‘industry’ in South Africa, bringing this shameful practice to international attention.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, given the stressful nature of his work, Gareth suffered a massive physical and mental breakdown in his forties, which he discusses here for the first time with an openness that underlines his courage. Lesser men might have been broken, but his ‘lion’s heart’ fought back and he ultimately overcame his illness.
Gareth Patterson’s long-awaited autobiography is a moving account of one man’s single-minded dedication to the preservation of Africa’s wildlife.
Patterson says: “My Lion's Heart is my tenth book, and is probably the most important book I have written. It tells my life story, a story of tears and smiles, about my attempts to greater protect the iconic animal symbol of this continent, the African lion.”