Jan Latta was born in Sydney. She worked in advertising as a creative director in Sydney, London and Hong Kong.
In 1994 Jan came face-to-face with a mountain gorilla in Rwanda and it changed her life. When her guide said there were fewer than 600 mountain gorillas left in the world she was determined to do something to help. She decided to publish books for children on endangered animals. But first she had to become a wildlife photographer, so she could tell the animals’ stories in pictures as well as words. She wanted to be the ‘voice’ of endangered animals to help their survival.
She went back to Africa to learn wildlife photography. She hired a guide to keep her safe and had to conquer many fears. She followed elephants, dangerous rhinos, prides of lions, gentle giraffes, and had a wonderful experience with two cheetahs. Then the Wolong mountains in China for pandas, jungles of Borneo with orangutans, Sri Lanka for the elusive leopard and Uganda for Dr Jane Goodalls’ chimps. Last year, back to India to follow endangered tigers and see her favourite elephant, Tara.
She has had some amazing adventures, and near-death experiences, following her dream to help the survival of endangered animals.
There are 13 True to Life Books in the series educating children about endangered animals. The Diary of a Wildlife Photographer is a 22-year journal creating the series of True to Life books in the wild.To create the True to Life Books Jan follows wild animals, taking photographs and writing about them in their natural habitats. She is the ‘voice’ of the animals to help their survival.
Jan has travelled to China, Borneo, India, Uganda, Sri Lanka and ten times for the African animals. She has played with orangutans in Borneo, chimps in Uganda and pandas on the mountains of China. She walked with four young lions in Zambia and has been charged by elephants in Amboseli. A cheetah came up to her in Nanyuki and she has held the horn of a rhino! Courtesy True to Life Books