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Growing Up Wild - Thorsten Milse

Growing Up Wild

Review by Lizzie Guilfoyle

IN 2006, it was Little Polar Bears. A year later, Growing Up Wild hit UK bookshelves. Both are the work of wildlife photographer Thorsten Milse and both are an absolute delight.

As well as polar bear cubs in northern Canada, Growing Up Wild looks at tiger cubs in the forest of Bandhavgarh, penguin chicks in Antarctica, young kangaroos (joeys) in the Australian bush, cheetah cubs in Namibia and young mountain gorillas in the rain forest of Rwanda.

And from the quality and beauty of the images, it’s easy to why Milse was awarded a prize in the prestigious BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition.

You may, of course, think you’ve seen it all before but think again. Granted, Milse has chosen as his subjects familiar species, yet with patience and skill he has captured never before seen facets of their behaviour. Take, for instance, the penguin chick ‘tweaking’ another’s wing, apparently one of these adorable creatures’ favourite games.

Which brings me to an important point – such images not only reveal the beauty of these young birds and animals, they also remind us that they deserve our respect – never more so than in today’s uncertain world when ever increasing numbers are coming under threat of extinction.

As well as images, Growing Up Wild has an accompanying text by Uta Henschel, a science writer who specializes in natural history and behaviour. Her description of a female cheetah’s pursuit of a springbok positively leaps from the page.

So what more can I say, except Growing Up Wild is a truly beauiful book. But don’t take my word for it – take a look for yourself.

Little Polar Bears