In A Certain Curve of Horn, veteran journalist John Frederick Walker tells the story of one of the most revered and endangered of the regal beasts of Africa: the giant sable antelope of Angola, a majestic, coal-black quadruped with breathtaking curved horns more than five feet long. It is an enthralling and tragic tale of exploration and adventure, politics and war, the brutal realities of life in Africa today, and the bitter choices of conflicting conservation strategies. A Certain Curve of Horn traces the sable's emergence as a highly sought-after natural history prize before the First World War, and follows its struggle to survive in a war zone fought over by the troops of half a dozen nations and its transformation into a political symbol and conservation icon. As he follows the trail of this mysterious animal, Walker interweaves the stories of the adventurers, scientists, and warriors who have come under the thrall of the beast, and how their actions would shape the fate of the giant sable antelope and the history of the war-torn nation that is its only home. A new epilogue by the author and pages of illustrations are included.
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Page xi - We carry with us the wonders we seek without us: there is all Africa and her prodigies in us; we are that bold and adventurous piece of Nature, which he that studies wisely learns in a compendium what others labour at in a divided piece and endless volume.