It’s that time of year… good ol’ summer in the office. The hours drag on a bit longer. Glances at the clock from your cubicle become more frequent. And instead of googling the best spots for happy hour… you’re searching “immunization shots needed for the Amazon.”  

“Who am I?” you ask yourself.

Maybe it’s the stillness and monotony of summer heat that tempts us to forgo the common day at the pool and  crave a whirlwind of an adventure. Whatever it is, before setting off, may I suggest reading Alan Dean Foster’s adrenaline infused travel memoir, Predators I Have Known.

Over the last forty years, Foster has journeyed to planet Earth’s far-off, most exotic locations featuring the most nature’s most ferocious predators. The thrill-seeking enthusiast has trekked just about everywhere- from elephant rides across the plains of Central India in search of the elusive Bengal tiger to chasing great whites in the coastal waters of Australia.

The following is brief excerpt from his narrative of his encounter with Lions in Namibia in 1993:

…I found myself blinking. It had been a long, hot day. After witnessing the feeding, it would be good to get back to the room, lie down, and relax. Except for a few insects, there was little noise now and … The lions exploded.

I don’t know how else to describe it. For nearly ten minutes, they had been staring at each other, their faces a couple of feet apart, virtually silent as each strained to take control of the evening meal from his brother when, without warning, they erupted in a sequence of roars, slaps, and violent contortions that were powerful enough to, as the learned sages used to
say,freeze the blood.

As quickly as the eruption had taken place, it quieted. One of the women had started to scream, and it had caught in her throat—a sound nearly as extraordinary as the one made by the two lions. Everyone, including me, had momentarily jerked slightly backward. Time, existence, the air…had for an instant been stopped. Then the lion brothers resumed their silent contest of strength and will, and a number of human bodies resumed their normal patterns of respiration. It was one of the most extraordinary couple of seconds I have ever experienced, vastly heightened by the fact that it occurred only a fewfeet in front of me.

Ever since, I have not been able to look at a lion, no matter how quiescent, or sleepy, or indifferent, or far away behind moat or bars in a zoo, in the same way again.

Foster’s wild story above either smacked the common sense back into you or lit a fire under your swivel chair. If it’s the latter read the rest of his pulse pounding book and create your own memory of a lifetime. Happy travels!

Click here for more on Alan Dean Foster and his wild experiences.

Contest opportunity: Open Road Media is excited to invite you to share your own encounter with a wild animal! They’d love to hear what sort of exciting, thrilling, and even terrifying experience you’ve had with a predator or other dangerous animal. Like Foster’s these stories are fascinating and fun to read. Most experiences you’ll find are truly unbelievable. On June 13th, Open Road Media will choose a winner- “the blogger with the most interesting, engaging, and wild account of an encounter with a wild animal will be selected- to win a free digital copy of “Predators I Have Known.” Open Road Media will also promote the winner’s work on our Facebook page, Alan Dean Foster’s Facebook page, Twitter, and Tumblr!”

The New York Times bestselling author of more than 110 books, Alan Dean Foster is one of the most prominent writers of modern science fiction and fantasy. Born in New York City in 1946, he studied filmmaking at UCLA, but first found success in 1968 when a horror magazine published one of his short stories. In 1972 he wrote his first novel, The Tar-Aiym Krang, the first in his Pip and Flinx series featuring the Humanx Commonwealth, a universe he has explored in more than twenty-five novels. Foster also created the Spellsinger series and has written dozens of bestselling film novelizations, as well as the story for Star Trek: The Motion Picture. An avid world traveler, he chronicles some of his own adventures in the wild in his memoir, Open Road E-riginal Predators I Have Known (2011). Foster lives with his family in Prescott, Arizona.

Trishna Patel
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