Friday, March 5, 2010
The Rhino with Glue-on Shoes ed. Lucy H. Spelman, DVM and Ted Y. Mashima, DVM
The Rhino With Glue-on Shoes and other surprising true stories of zoo vets and their patients.
Edited by Lucy H. Spelman, DVM and Ted Y. Mashima, DVM with a foreword by Jack Hanna, I really enjoyed this book of short stories by wildlife veterinarians. Easy to read, pick up to read when you don't have much time, or read it all at one go. These are all actual rescues or attempted rescues of wildlife, the stories range from an elephant to a dung beetle and many a strange animal in between. It's a wonderful testament to the care and devotion these men and women give to the animals they have dedicated their lives to. An added bonus is the insertion between some of the stories, Lucy Spelman, ed. inserts short chapters of her own. There is also a short bio at the end of each vet's story.
I was surprised to learn how often hospital surgeons volunteer their time to help the veterinary surgeons; I have always had an interest in wild animals and this book has renewed that interest 100%. There is so much to learn, so many unknowns, so many survivors returned to the wilds to help rebuild populations. Who would expect a bartender to have an anorexic moray eel in his establishment, or a rhinoceros kept in conditions that would ruin his feet? These caregivers must think on their feet, be innovative, communicate around the world, invent new treatments, and second-guess themselves around the clock.
I learned how to take blood from an octopus, how to transport whale sharks, how to repair the spine of a kangaroo, and how to anesthetize a frog or a goldfish among many more interesting things. But this book is no dry textbook, this is compassionate, heartwarming, often funny and a great read. There are 28 individual, completely separate true stories. Includes some photos. I highly recommend it.