COWLING-based writer Jo Jones has secured a publisher for her first children’s novel. The Wild Boys of Pilanesberg, published in paperback by United PC, tells the story of a rogue herd of young male elephants whose uncontrolled behaviour unsettles the natural balance in one of South Africa’s famous National Parks.

A series of attacks on animals in the park is brought to the attention of Dingida, a wise old elephant, who takes it upon himself to investigate. Working with his herd and the other animals that share the Pilanesberg Game Reserve his detective work uncovers an uncomfortable truth about his own kind and a problem he must resolve if peace and harmony are to be restored.

Jo Jones says she had the idea for the story while a regular visitor to Pilanesberg National Park during two years’ living and working in South Africa.

“It’s loosely based on a true story of conservationists trying to help threatened elephants,” she explains.

“A number of young elephants that survived the slaughter of the rest of their herd were brought to the park and released. Left with no matriarch, their behaviour went unchecked and coincided with the unexplained death of a number of rhino. However, the killings stopped when six adult elephant bulls were introduced to the park, with the young ones’ behaviour returning to normal.”

The Wild Boys of Pilanesberg can be ordered from online and retail booksellers: ISBN: 9783-7103-4046-8.