The Man Who Loved Pink Dolphins: A true story of life and death in the Amazon (Paperback)

The Man Who Loved Pink Dolphins: A true story of life and death in the Amazon By Anthony Ham Cover Image

The Man Who Loved Pink Dolphins: A true story of life and death in the Amazon (Paperback)


Acclaimed travel and nature writer Anthony Ham spotlights the world's largest rainforest in this unique combination of international politics, conservation, true crime, travel, biography and memoir.

This is the story of Christopher Clark, a remarkable man who spent his life helping to save a pristine corner of the Amazon rainforest in Brazil. Clark's strict childhood sent him far from home in search of adventure, landing him in the Amazon, where he fell in love with the forest, its people and its wildlife. When a village elder in a dying riverbank town begged him to save the forest and its inhabitants, this challenge became his life's work. Over the next thirty years, he set up home in one of the most remote parts of the Amazon and lived an extraordinary life. Together with the isolated Waimiri-Atroari Indigenous people, he stared down men with machine guns, weathered government campaigns to discredit and drive him out, apocalyptic fires, and more.

Australian writer Anthony Ham traveled to Clark's forest home in Xixuaú, and listened as Clark told his story for the first time. With Valdemar, an Indian guide and Clark's lifelong friend, they explored the forest world in a dugout canoe as pink dolphins swam beside them. They spoke for days over caipirinhas, as Clark told stories of close encounters with jaguars and anacondas, of his life among the people of the Amazon, and of the deadly threats still being made against him. Ham brings to life the forest and its many dark and beautiful secrets, as well as depicting Clark in all his complexity. In the process the two men, writer and activist, became friends and together faced one last attempt on Clark's life.

At a time of great peril for the Amazon and its inhabitants, as vast areas are being destroyed with frightening consequences for our planet, the rainforest itself becomes a haunting character in this gripping book. The Man Who Loved Pink Dolphins is captivating, crucial, terrifying and hopeful, and is very much a story of our time.

Praise for The Last Lions of Africa:

'Urgent and important. This moving tale with a heroic cast of characters, leonine and human, is a must-read for anyone passionate about wildlife and wild places.' - Tony Park, author of Last Survivor

'A moving journey . . . Ham is a beautiful storyteller.' - Australian Women's Weekly

'This is gripping, insightful, evocative and ultimately heartbreaking reading.' - Travel Africa

'The Last Lions of Africa took me to new horizons among familiar territory, to a richer more spiritual understanding of us and lions. What a thoughtful, educational and spiritual book.' - Jonathan Scott, author of The Marsh Lions, Sacred Nature and Big Cat Diary

'The Last Lions of Africa is much more than a tale about the struggle to save the lion from extinction. What makes it so rewarding and gives it mythic resonance is the way Ham captures the intimate, complex interrelationships between humans - farmers, villagers, hunters, conservationists - and these proud, awe-inspiring beasts.' - Sydney Morning Herald
Anthony Ham is one of Australia's most experienced nature and travel writers. For more than two decades, he has been traveling to the earth's wild places in search of stories, to Africa, the Amazon, the Arctic, and Outback Australia. His work has appeared in The New York Times, Smithsonian Magazine, National Geographic Traveler, BBC Travel, The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Monthly, Virginia Quarterly Review (VQR), BBC Wildlife, Lonely Planet Traveller, Africa Geographic, The Independent, Travel Africa, and elsewhere.

Through his writing, Anthony's readers have observed up close Africa's most endangered elephant herd, traveled to remote villages behind al-Qaeda lines, and experienced the beginnings of Libya's long descent into chaos. Anthony has also written or co-written more than 135 travel guides for Lonely Planet, including Brazil. He believes in the power of the written word, the enduring power of stories, and the importance of writing beautifully about important things. His first book, The Last Lions of Africa, was published by Allen & Unwin in 2020.
"Ham’s initial assumption that Clark was a “benevolent, modern-day Kurtz with a devoted band of friends and followers” evolves into a more nuanced portrait of a dedicated and fearless, if flawed, environmental campaigner, social activist and family-man. Most importantly, his story is a compelling vehicle for drawing the world’s attention to just how dire the threat to the Amazon has become." —Sydney Morning Herald