The Last Rhinos

My Battle to Save One of the World's Greatest Creatures

Lawrence Anthony with Graham Spence

Thomas Dunne Books

When Lawrence Anthony learned that the northern white rhino, living in the war-ravaged Congo, was on the very brink of extinction, he knew he had to act. If the world lost the sub-species, it would be the largest land mammal since the woolly mammoth to go extinct. In The Last Rhinos, Anthony recounts his attempts to save these remarkable animals.

The demand for rhino horns in the Far East has turned poaching into a dangerous black market that threatens the lives of not just these rare beasts, but also the rangers who protect them.

The northern white rhino’s last refuge was in an area controlled by the infamous Lord’s Resistance Army, one of the most vicious rebel groups in the world. In the face of unmoving government bureaucracy, Anthony made a perilous journey deep into the jungle to try to find and convince them to help save the rhino.

An inspiring story of conservation in the face of brutal war and bureaucratic quagmires, The Last Rhinos will move animal lovers everywhere.



Read an Excerpt


It was barely light when the radio first crackled into life.

'Code red! Code red! Come in, Lawrence, come in. Over.'

'Standing by.'

'Bad morning.' The caller paused. 'We have a dead rhino at Hlaza Hill. A female. Over.'

Dread froze my blood. I looked up at the sky above the distant Hlaza Hill, the highest point on the new community game reserve that abuts Thula Thula, my own reserve and my home in Zululand, South Africa. There were no vultures and no gunshots had been reported, a sound that echoes like a thunderbolt across the African wilderness



Praise for The Last Rhinos

Praise for The Last Rhinos

“A riveting account by a compassionate, dedicated man.”

Kirkus Reviews

“Riddled with heartfelt anecdotes, Anthony’s brave crusade to save these mammals—even at great risk to his own safety—reads like a safari adventure, a history lesson, and a warning that our careless ways will bring an end to so many magnificent species.”

Publishers Weekly

“Anthony is a supreme storyteller and a man who certainly lived his life to the fullest. … If you are sitting on the fence about the destruction of our natural heritage – and more specifically our rhinos – this book should push you over the edge to do something constructive about it.”

The Mercury

“This inspiring story of courage and conservation is a moving testament of the good that can be done when there is a will.”

Tucson Citizen


The National (United Arab Emirates)

"A fascinating book."

Hudson Valley News

“Heartfelt and exciting, The Last Rhinos provides a provocative look at the Lord’s Resistance Army and the escalating struggles of conservationists in Africa. The inspiring story of a battle against insurmountable odds, The Last Rhinos is a deeply moving and far reaching book.”

Portland Book Review

Praise for Lawrence Anthony

“The Indiana Jones of Conservation.”

The Guardian (UK)

“Anthony has made a difference in the lives of many magnificent animals who otherwise would have been lost to the world.”

—Marc Bekoff, author of The Emotional Lives of Animals

“In my thirty-five years of studying man/animal communication I have met only a few individuals who have the ability to enter into the metaphysical realm of the exotic animal. Lawrence Anthony has been there and back.”

— Ralph Helfer, author of Modoc

“Anthony’s enthusiasm and obvious love for the bush shine through in hair-raising, sad, and funny tales.”


“Anthony deserves tremendous credit for his fearlessness and perseverance in rescuing countless animals against all odds.”

The Explorers Journal


In the Press

THE LAST RHINOS by Lawrence Anthony, Graham Spence | Kirkus Book Reviews
Read the Kirkus Review of THE LAST RHINOS My Battle to Save One of the World's Greatest Creatures. The story of a leading conservationist's efforts to save a dangerously threatened animal,\ and of his role as a mediator in a failed attempt to end armed conflict in Uganda.
- Kirkus Reviews

Reviews from Goodreads



  • Lawrence Anthony with Graham Spence

  • Lawrence Anthony (1950–2012) founded the Thula Thula wildlife reserve in Zululand, South Africa; launched The Lawrence Anthony Foundation; and received the UN’s Earth Day award for his efforts to save the animals of the Baghdad Zoo. Graham Spence is a journalist and editor. Originally from South Africa, he lives in England. Together they are the authors of Babylon’s Ark: The Incredible Wartime Rescue of the Baghdad Zoo and The Elephant Whisperer: My Life with the Herd in the African Wild.

  • Lawrence Anthony Zululand Observer
    Lawrence Anthony
  • Graham Spence © Terrie Spence


Available Formats and Book Details

The Last Rhinos

My Battle to Save One of the World's Greatest Creatures

Lawrence Anthony with Graham Spence



Thomas Dunne Books