Owl Rescue Centre

Wildlife Conservation Book Collection

Rebecca has grown up with animals her entire life. Her parents are wildlife conservationists and since she can remember, different wild animals have filled their home. This time, she gets to help one of her all-time favourite animals, a Cape Clawless Otter named Lazzy, to return to the wild. This means swimming with him in the river, teaching him to fish and helping him to learn survival skills that he would need out in the wild. But Lazzy is afraid of water and Rebecca has her own fears to face; she must bravely perform a solo dance in an upcoming competition. Her bond with Lazzy teaches her courage and inspires her to follow her dreams.

Wild Adventures with Lazzy the Otter! is a work of fiction that draws upon the real-life events of a project we were involved in to help a Cape clawless otter return to the wild. It is aimed at middle school level readers, but is guaranteed to be enjoyed by all.


Return to the Wild is an inspirational story of a rescued otter who was raised in captivity and a family’s dedication to setting him free. His release is met with many challenges and when it is discovered that Lazarus, a Cape Clawless Otter is afraid of water they must find a way to help him overcome this. 


Conservationist couple Brendan and Danelle assuredly tackle their task, despite the doom-laden prophecies of critics, and succeed to teach Lazzy to swim, hunt and survive on his own. The authors take the reader on this personal and heart-warming journey of discovery that finally leads to his freedom. 


The story of his introduction and adaption to the wild is told in 20 descriptive chapters. The book also features 29 full colour photos of Lazzy's release.


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A remarkable memoir of a family who dedicates their lives to saving and protecting owls.  It is a story of passion, courage and bravery, but also of terror and sacrifices.  What happens when their love for owls threatens their safety? Read the amazing story behind the cause of owl conservation.

About the Author

Danelle Murray is a passionate wildlife conservationist who uses her writing to encourage others to support her mission of protecting the Earth's fauna and flora.

With a degree in Psychology, she spends a considerable amount of time contemplating the intricate relationship between humans and the environment. With her husband Brendan, the couple founded Owl Rescue Centre. They are also members of the IUCN (International Union of Conservation of Nature) SSC (Species Survival Commission) Otter Specialist Group.

Danelle has been spreading awareness about wildlife preservation through books and magazine articles and working to protect wild animals through various wildlife conservation and rescue operations for more than 15 years.  In 2021 she released Return to the Wild, which quickly became a huge hit.  Recognising how many kids were interested in Lazzy's story, she wrote an adaptation of her book called Wild Adventures with Lazzy the Otter for younger readers. 

Alongside their work to protect wildlife, Danelle and Brendan have an exhilarating 10-part reality TV series on BBC Earth called Owl Rescue SA. In it, viewers can follow their thrilling adventures as they help owls and other animals in South Africa!


Liz Blaam

I don't often write reviews because I read so many books. However, this one [Return to the Wild] demands to be reviewed. I have met Brendan and Danelle Murray a few years ago when they came to our area to put up some owl boxes. They were a quiet and unassuming couple, in fact, rather humble about the work they do for owl rescue and rehabilitation. I follwed the story of Lazzy on Facebook so more or less knew the history of his rehabilitation. But reading this book I found it is far, far more than just a cutesy story o fan otter being rehabilitated. Yes, it is that. But it is also an eye opening, gut punching, wake upto what conservation is and means or should mean to the human race. Anyone who has any feeling for nature and our natural world should read this book. With the awareness recently being brought about by the like of Sir David Attenborough and the Duke of Cambridge , this book should be right up there and compulsory reading for every child in every school in the whole world. It is a wake up call. I read this book in a day and would encourage everyone to read it, learn from it - and pass it on!

Christelle MacKay

Wow, amazing book. Easy to read and very insightful. You can clearly see their love and passion for Lazzy and wildlife. I couldn't put the book down till the last page.


Absolutely beautiful story of Lazarus’ return to the wild. An easy yet thoughtful read where you get a glimpse into this little creature’s life as well as learn more about the team behind his rehabilitation and the rescues of many other wild animals and birds in South Africa. Well written, and highly recommend for any age from anywhere in the world.

Cathie Rooyen

A lovely read of a great family doing marvelous things for both animals and humans.
We get educated and see the behind the scenes of what animal rescue truly entails.
What a wonderful otter.