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Catherine de Courcy’s latest book is a beautiful family book about Dublin Zoo’s elephants. It takes the young reader into the world of the elephants at The Kaziranga Forest Trail in Dublin Zoo.  We learn about how the elephants live and how they communicate.  We also learn how to identify each elephant and we find out a little about their personalities.

‘Elephants’ describes some of the keepers’ work behind the scenes. The management of elephants in Dublin Zoo is so highly regarded internationally that zoo professionals come from all over the world to study The Kaziranga Forest Trail and exchange ideas with the Dublin Zoo elephant team.

There is a reference section at the end of the book for older readers, which contains further information about the biology of the Asian elephant.  It also describes the threats to the wild Asian elephant and conservation programmes to which Dublin Zoo contributes.

Dublin Zoo’s is fully illustrated by Irish artist, Cathy Callan, and is published by Associated Editions for Dublin Zoo. 
It is available from the Dublin Zoo shop or online at  It retails at €7.95.


Catherine de Courcy is an Irish author who divides her time between Dublin and the Languedoc region in the south of France.   She is a historian, travel writer and former research librarian; she has published twelve non-fiction books, many articles and contributed to television and radio broadcasts.   She has lived and worked in Papua New Guinea and Australia, as well as Ireland.

She is an authority on the history of zoos, publishing books and contributing to encyclopaedias and other international publications in Australia, the United States and Ireland.  While living in Australia, she wrote two Australian desert travel books with her late husband, John Johnson.

Over the past three years, Catherine has explored two topics – the world of the elephants in Dublin Zoo and the history of the medieval Christians, known as the Cathar, in Languedoc.  In pursuit of a greater knowledge of elephants, she has spent many hours with the Dublin Zoo elephant team learning about the extraordinary work they do to provide a rich life for their small but complete herd of elephants. 

Her illustrated book for a young audience, ‘Dublin Zoo elephants’, published in December 2013, is available from at €7.95 euro.  Meanwhile research on the Cathar continues and involves extensive reading, hiking to key Cathar locations, and talking to mystics and others who are drawn to the stories emanating from the tragedy at Montsegur in 1244.  A book, her first novel, is in preparation.