Cry of the Kalahari

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American zoologists Mark and Delia Owens work as conservationists . Delia Owens, Ph.D., B.S., and Mark Owens M.Ed., B.S., have conducted research and conservation projects on endangered species in Africa for 23 years. They met in the early 70s as graduate students at the University of Georgia, and soon discovered that they shared the dream of saving part of Africa’s vanishing wilderness. Shortly after they married, they auctioned everything they owned, and with $6,000, one-way tickets and back-packs, they headed to “the Dark Continent.” Beginning in 1974, Delia and Mark worked for seven years in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve of Botswana studying brown hyenas and black maned lions where they made landmark discoveries regarding both species. For the first seven years they lived in tents in Botswana’s Central Kalahari Desert. There they studied black-maned lions and elusive brown hyenas in an area so remote that the animals had never before seen humans. Cry of the Kalahari, their best-selling book, is a gripping and vivid account of their research and adventures.

From 1985 through 1997 the Owenses worked to rehabilitate a 5,000 square mile area in north Zambia by eliminating elephant and meat poaching for the benefit of the people and the wildlife living there. From 1986 to 1997 the Owenses developed the North Luangwa Conservation Project (NLCP) in Zambia, a multidimensional approach to wildlife conservation and resource development. When Mark and Delia arrived in North Luangwa, more than 100,000 elephants and several thousand black rhinos had already been slaughtered by poachers in the Luangwa Valley; each year 1,000 elephants were still being killed in the “North Park” alone. By 1997, elephant poaching was controlled in North Luangwa. The Eye of the Elephant, the second book by Mark and Delia, published in 1992 by Houghton Mifflin, details their efforts to reclaim the North Luangwa wilderness from commercial ivory and meat poachers.

In 1997, Delia and Mark returned to the US and began assisting grizzly bear conservation in North Idaho, which is one of the five remnant grizzly bear populations in the lower 48 states. Today, Delia and Mark continue their support for the people and wildlife of Zambia as well as working for grizzly bear conservation in the northwestern US.


Read Cry of the Kalahari by Mark and Delia Owens and view the two National Geographic videos, Eternal Enemies and Lions of the African Night. You will take three tests over the book and then write a paper on the book and videos.


Cry Quiz #1 – Read pages 1-118                           ____________________
Cry Quiz #2 – Read pages119-214                        ____________________
Cry Quiz #3 – Read 214 to the end of the book     ____________________

Format of the Paper

I.      Biography of Mark and Delia Owens
II.    Republic of Botswana
III.   Lion Prides
IV.    Brown Hyena Packs
V.     Ungulates of the Kalahari
VI.    Interactions of Predators and Prey
VII.  Fencing and Disease Control
VIII. Bibliography (all 3 sources – book and 2 videos)
IX.    Appendix (Must include 2 drawings from book – Map of Africa showing Kalahari location and Map of Deception Valley)

* The paper should be 6 – 8 pages typed (9-10 pages handwritten) NOT counting the bibliography or appendix.

* You must use font size 12, Times New Roman, Double spaced, 1″ margins.

* Include a cover sheet with the title, and your name and period.

Due ___________            Counts as a Unit Test Grade (200 points)

Delia and Mark Owens near Marula Puku Research camp in North Luangwa National Park of Zambia.
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