Saving the White Lions: One Woman’s Battle for Africa’s Most Sacred Animal
In this captivating, suspenseful memoir, white lion conservationist Linda Tucker describes her perilous struggle to protect the sacred white lion from the merciless and mafia-like trophy-hunting industry, armed only with her indomitable spirit and total devotion.
Her story begins in 1991 with a heart-stopping misadventure in the Timbavati Reserve of South Africa. Tucker—then a successful advertising executive—and a group of fellow travelers found themselves surrounded by a pride of angry lions. There was no way out, night had fallen, and the battery in their only flashlight was beginning to flicker. Miraculously, a local medicine woman, with two youngsters in tow, passed, trancelike and fearless, through the lions and escorted them all to safety.
For Tucker, that life-threatening experience became a life-changing one. She abandoned her career, left Europe, and returned to Timbavati to track down the medicine woman who had saved her: Maria Khosa. Upon seeing Tucker again, Khosa only smiled and said, “What took you so long?” She had been expecting her, and there was so much to do. Under Khosa’s shamanic tutelage, Tucker learned of her sacred destiny: to be the “keeper of the white lions,” believed to be angelic beings sent to Earth to save humanity at a time of crisis. Khosa also prophesized that the queen of the white lions—the embodiment of the mother of Ra, the sun god—would soon be born, on a day and in a place considered holy by Westerners.