Root’s first letter to me began, “We’ve got to stop not meeting like this.” Postmarked Nairobi, it arrived in my cubicle in New York’s Graybar Building.
Alan Root had another vision for wildlife films, to focus on nature, with precious few people on-camera. Wildlife documentaries produced by Alan & Joan Root often rivaled feature films and in some cases surpassed them, although the actors were animals and birds that did not always stick with the script. Joan certainly understood the needs of the many orphans brought to her, and was so wise about behavior that she persuaded me to help her capture a python, later released on Crescent Island.
The setting for the Roots’ Lake Naivasha home was originally chosen by Ewart Grogan, who considered this landscape the most beautiful he encountered in his walk from the Cape to Cairo. Knowing her divorce was imminent as we set out on safari, Joan held on to the magic, describing with fervor her last working safari with Alan, to capture an erupting volcano in Central Africa.
It was the beginning of a partnership that demanded a unique mix of skills from Joan, from sewing up a balloon envelope to flying it. Modestly describing herself as Alan’s assistant, Joan served as a target for a spitting cobra while Alan filmed the venom in slow motion, and narrowly escaped being blinded by a hippo that ripped off her diving mask with its tusks. Alan Root is a “walking testament to the hazards of life in the East African bush,” I wrote in 1981. The inspiration for this was “Secrets of the African Baobab,” an enchanting story about the distinctive, big-trunk trees which legend holds were planted up-side-down.
During my first visit to Naivasha in 1977, Alan Root projected a rough cut of the termite film. Alan told the story in his soft voice, a barely audible level favored by both Roots, so often in the presence of animals they didn’t want to frighten. The great director refused to allow our producer to attend the recording session, held in his personal hotel room, near Los Angeles. The film was nominated for an Oscar as best documentary during a time when 60 minute TV films were accepted in that category. By 1979, I was back in Kenya, on location with Alan and Joan as they filmed the story of “The Lightening Bird.” Joan managed the camp on the Mara River, and I learned first hand how tedious wildlife filmmaking can be. After their divorce, Alan shifted his projects from East Africa to the Congo, and Joan, out of character, joined the Muthaiga Club. Shortly after midnight, on Friday the 13th of January, 2006, Joan Root was shot at her home at Naivasha. If the killing of the 69 year-old naturalist was an assassination in retaliation for her leadership of a local an anti-poaching Task Force, Joan Root joined a growing list of conservationists murdered by poachers or people who profit from poaching. Watched by resident gazelles, waterbuck, and dik dik, Alan Root buried Joan’s ashes at her favorite spot in her garden. On May 21 in Cannes, it was announced that Working Title Films & Julia Roberts plan a movie about Joan’s life, which ended when she turned on a light.
All proceeds from the sale of these titles go to the Turtle Survival Alliance for the long term preservation of the Bog Turtle. Synopsis des Familles, Genres et Especes des Reptiles Ecailleau et des Batraciens de Madagascar.
The Poisonous Terrestrial Snakes of our British Indian Dominions (Including Ceylon and How to Recognize Them.
There he ponders his leaking bat-ridden birthright, devilishly diverted by sexy Miss von B.
We do our best to provide good quality books for you to read, but there is no escaping the fact that it has been owned and read by someone else previously. As the only USA employee for Survival Anglia Ltd., I was the point person for post production and duct tape.


To other baboons in the troop, it was an ego trip that began much better than it ended, like Alan’s balloon flight with Mrs. Mary Leakey offered to divulge an ultimatum she gave Louis Leakey, if Joan would keep the advice confidential. At 16 she left Kenya for school in Switzerland, but her love for African wildlife drew her back to East Africa. Joan also earned a pilot’s license for a single engine Cessna, and shot photos published by National Geographic. But the power of the film was loud and clear, and did not evoke pests, but architects and soldiers, loyal to a Queen.
It was part of my job to submit Anglia films for awards, and it wasn’t uncommon for the hour specials to win a Peabody, a Christopher, even an Emmy.
Bullets from an AK47 were fired through the bedroom window as Joan spoke to John Sutton by phone. Not far down the Naivasha Lake Road from the Root house is Elsamere, once home to George & Joy Adamson. The Roots’ initial prime time film was shot in the Galapagos and featured Joan fending off mocking birds at camp, riveting stuff. The 88 acre nature preserve is frequented by 200 species of birds, including African fish eagles that use towering yellow-barked acacias as a perch to survey for a meal, or build a nest.
Although she attended the same high school as Alan Root, they didn’t meet until 1960, in Tanzania, where Joan was helping her father run a photo safari. Fair and blonde, Joan looked older than her years because of her exposure to the equatorial sun.
But this was our first nomination for an Academy Award, so I insisted on watching the Oscars while a guest of the Clintons at the Governor’s Mansion in Little Rock.
We spent hours driving in an open Land Rover, watching hippo, birds and stumbling upon the occasional wart hog tusk, porcupine quills, and the nest of a plover.
Young Sutton was not only a tenant in a little house she had built at Naivasha, but head of a security company. In 1989, George Adamson’s Land Rover was riddled by poacher’s bullets as he and two assistants were killed near his lion sanctuary at Kora, which the Roots visited at Christmas time.
Flying the former first lady over Naivasha, the theory of Lighter Than Air was tested when the gondola drifted too close to a massive industrial smoke stack.
Garrett, former editor at National Geographic (which published several articles and photographs by the Roots;) said, “It’s not like sending a film crew to Africa.
Snakes and tortoises were part of the bestiary, and newcomers were treated to The Egg Trick: the weekly feeding of a serpent, otherwise unique decor in Roots’ home office. Her affinity for animals, and her ability to successfully rear a young orphaned elephant, appealed to Alan, who she married in 1961. The Roots had chosen John Heminway to accept the award, but the acceptance speech by the godson of Clark Gable was never read.
Helpless in Dar Es Salaam, he listened as additional shots were fired, and talked to Joan as she tried to staunch the bleeding with bed sheets. Mission Scientifique au Mexique et dans l'Amerique Centrale, ouvrage Public par ordre du Ministre de l'Instruction Publique. The dawn flight is a highlight for many travelers to Kenya, and inspired other balloon companies in Kenya, Tanzania and South Africa. During tea time on the verandah, a wooden box resembling a casket was opened to reveal a supply of meal worms, which one could toss to birds hovering for a hand out. East Africa became his playground for business ventures, including the area’s first classy hotel.


This was not the first attack; newly installed metal doors meant to deter intruders delayed rescuers. Grogan also did his part to establish the old saw, “Are you married or do you live in Kenya?” Cape to Cairo Grogan eventually had three separate families.
Mission Scientifique An Mexique et dans l'Amerique Centrale, ouvrage Publie par ordre du Ministre De l'Instruction Publique. Not simultaneously, but close enough to make tongues wag in Langata, the Nairobi suburb where I made my base camp.
Light mostly marginal waterstain on upper margins of pages and plates, but otherwise an outstanding, clean copy of this extremely rare volume. Initially the accounts of batrachians from the Mission Scientifique were meant to be incorporated into the Reptiles volumes. Volume 1 is the text with xiv, Map, and 1012pp; Volume 2 is of the plates with vi, and 99 plates (21 of which are in color) with plate descriptions. Due to the death of Dumeril in 1870 and the fact that Bocourt was too busy completing the Reptiles volumes, Brocchi was given the task of writing the Batrachians volumes.
Library of Bern Tryon - All proceeds from the sale of this item goes to the Turtle Survival Alliance for the long term preservation of the Bog Turtle. Beautifully bound in new half leather morocco with marbled boards, spine with five raised bands and gold tooling, and two black labels with gold lettering.
The Batrachian volume was given its own pagination and published as Section two of part Three of the Mission Scientifique.
Five of the remaining six are lithographs, and one stippled engraving by Milne-Edwards is also included.
When the French intervened in Mexico, they decided to send to the country a civilizing and scientific mission. Because of dangerous and uncertain times in Mexico, his work was carried out in Guatemala and other parts of Central America. Dumeril and Bocourt with Dumeril undertaking the descriptive part, Bocourt the illustrative. But Dumeril died in 1870, shortly after the publication of the first of 17 parts, and Bocourt proceeded as both author and illustrator until the time of his death in 1904. Thus, Dumeril and Bocourt are the authors of the first part, Bocourt of parts 2-15, and Mocquard of parts 16-17. The engraved plates are highly detailed and lifelike and rank among the best ever produced (Adler, 1997).
With the large number of species described and illustrated, it also ranks among the most important stematic books in herpetology.
It is difficult to believe that this beautiful volume was completed over the 40+ years that elapsed between Bocourt's early collecting to the publication of the final section.
This is compounded by the death of Dumeril shortly after the work began, and Bocourt's death prior to its completion.
Because the 17 parts were published over this time span, a complete volume is nearly impossible to find.
Especially in this condition, it is one of the rarest and most difficult to find of all herpetology books.



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