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Author sheds emotional light on Africa's wild life

Updated: 2024-04-20 10:21 ( China Daily )
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Chen and a cheetah which jumped on his vehicle at the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania in 2017.[Photo provided by Chen Jianxing/For China Daily]

At the beginning of 2020, Chen Jianxing experienced an unforgettable month with a hedgehog. When COVID-19 was spreading in Africa, he could not buy a plane ticket home and was stuck in a scarcely visited Serengeti National Park in Tanzania, where he formerly worked, and didn't know where to go.

It was the rainy season, and seeking shelter in his tent he found a hedgehog, the nest of which he later found out had been flooded by heavy rain. He made a new nest and fed the animal, and the two quickly became friends.

Feeling confused and depressed over the spread of the pandemic, it was a tough time for Chen, whose only company was the hedgehog. Chen felt he was experiencing a similar situation to the film Life of Pi, building a special bond with an animal during a hard time.

This is just one of many captivating stories that the man who has spent 15 years observing wild animals in Africa can recount. Many of them appear in his recently published book We Are in Africa, which tells of his encounters with wild animals in Africa and his thoughts about the experiences.

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