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