Nov 11, 2009

Next Panda, Please!

Further Adventures of a Wildlife Vet
by David Taylor

I was so glad to enjoy a David Taylor book again, after my last disappointment. This one describes Taylor's work with animals at Belle Vue Zoo in Manchester, as well as his travels abroad to treat sick falcons in Saudi Arabia and the first panda to live in a zoo in Madrid (the panda's story is a continual thread throughout the book). Among his animal patients are an armadillo who was kicked down a street by teenagers, a dolphin that needs a limb amputated, a deer with a dislocated eye, some killer whales with frostbite, cheetahs which have mysteriously been drugged, and young giraffes suffering from stress, on account of being included in a filmmaking project. This chapter delighted me the most, as here I "met" people known to me from other books. A few years ago I read two books on giraffes, one Raising Daisy Rothschild by Betty Leslie-Melville. Taylor knew Leslie-Melville, and went to Kenya to visit the ranch when they were making a film about how she had raised an orphan giraffe. The funniest chapter (although not its ending) was about a traveling circus where a chimpanzee took revenge on a parrot that constantly taunted him by sitting and crapping on his head while screaming dirty words at the crowd. The saddest chapter was reading about how the Belle Vue Zoo finally closed, and the difficulties finding places for all the animals to go. And of course, like always in Next Panda, Please! I was completely engaged with Taylor's easy writing style and learning the interesting facts about animals. Did you know, for example, that one of the very few animals to suffer from leprosy alongside humans are armadillos? Lucky for us (but unhappily for the armadillos) this means they were used in research on treatments for leprosy.

Rating: 4/5 ........ 196 pages, 1982


Peter S. said...

Hey! So I see that you like animals! I have a great recommendation for you -- Dr. Tatiana's Sex Advice for All Creation. It's actually a nonfiction book about the sexual habits of animals. It's very funny yet really informative. It's the perfect book for animal lovers!

bermudaonion said...

Wow, this sounds like an amazing book. It sounds like Taylor has some great stories to tell.

carolsnotebook said...

Actually, I did know that about armadillos and leprosy, but I read a lot of animal books with my daughter.

Bybee said...

I totally love David Taylor's books...thanks to you!

Hazra said...

Oh, this sounds really awesome!

TheBlackSheep said...

You have me convinced. I think I really need to read this one.

Jenny said...

Interesting about armadillos & leprosy. I do not know anything at all about armadillos, except that I really like the Just-So Story that tells how they were made. :P

Jeane said...

Peter S.- From that title I would never guess it's a book about animals. Glad you let me know.

Bermudaonion- I always love reading Taylor- so many interesting stories.

Carolsnotebook- Did the books you read mention any hows or whys of the research? this one only mentioned it in passing w/no details.

Bybee- You're welcome!

Hazra- it's pretty good.

BlackSheep- I hope you do.

Jenny- That's one of my favorite Just-So Stories, too!