Kicked, Bitten, and Scratched: Life and Lessons at the World's Premier School for Exotic Animal Trainers

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Overview

Journalist Amy Sutherland takes readers on a fascinating tour of this boot camp of a school, with its nearly all female student body and teaching zoo of two hundred animals. Over the course of a year, Sutherland follows students as they touch their first animal (a tarantula), learn how to kill pigeons with their hands to feed the birds of prey, take the emu for a stroll, and rush to the emergency room with a bad animal bite or two. EATM pushes the limits of all enrolled as they master animal anatomy and hundreds ...
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Kicked, Bitten, and Scratched: Life and Lessons at the World's Premier School for Exotic Animal Trainers

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Overview

Journalist Amy Sutherland takes readers on a fascinating tour of this boot camp of a school, with its nearly all female student body and teaching zoo of two hundred animals. Over the course of a year, Sutherland follows students as they touch their first animal (a tarantula), learn how to kill pigeons with their hands to feed the birds of prey, take the emu for a stroll, and rush to the emergency room with a bad animal bite or two. EATM pushes the limits of all enrolled as they master animal anatomy and hundreds of Latin species names in between hosing poop out of the big cats' cages and making sure Zulu the mandrill gets his morning juice in a paper cup. If the students survive the grueling twenty one month program, they will have essentially learned to talk to the animals.
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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Exotic Animal Training and Management Program at California's Moorpark has been called "America's teaching zoo" and the "Harvard for exotic animal trainers." Whatever you call it, this institution of learning offers a curriculum unlike any other. Its courses provide incomparable training for animal professionals destined for jobs at zoos, aquariums, animal sanctuaries, research studios, and Hollywood. Kicked, Bitten, and Scratched shepherds readers through the school's unique academic regimen, following students as they learn to interact with cougars, baboons, snakes, wolves, tortoises, mule deer, camels, servals, and rats.
Los Angeles Times
Anyone who reads [this book] will never view animals in quite the same way again.
The Christian Science Monitor
If you've ever dreamed of swimming with dolphins, dancing with wolves, or walking a cheetah on a leash, then this is the book for you.
Elizabeth Marshall Thomas
… Sutherland's book does showcase the importance of training in a world where wild places are quickly disappearing and many species may soon exist only in captivity.
— The New York Times
Publishers Weekly
Graduates of the Exotic Animal Training and Management Program at California's Moorpark College land jobs in prestigious zoos, animal sanctuaries and research facilities, and they can be found in high-profile positions in Hollywood studios, the U.S. Navy and the organization Guide Dogs for the Blind. Sutherland (Cookoff: Recipe Fever in America) chronicles the intriguing year she spent with students at this "Harvard for exotic animal trainers," accompanying the "first years" as they interact with the exotic and not-so-exotic animals in the teaching zoo-including baboons, cougars, servals, wolves, tortoises, snakes and rats. She attends classes in the rigorous academic program, goes to training sessions where the students learn to communicate with, rather than dominate, the animals, and discovers that the school is no place for anyone who thinks animals are cute: students may be attacked by emus, kicked by mule deer or backed into corners by camels. There is, however, much friction among the students, especially with the "second years." Sutherland observes that people who relate well to animals don't always relate well to other people, and this theme makes the book a fascinating study in human as well as animal behavior. (June) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Who trains the animals that star in Disney movies, the dolphins that dance at Sea World, and the guide dogs that lead the blind? Mainly, it's the (mostly female) graduates of the Exotic Animal Training and Management Program (EATM) at Moorpark College in California, the premier school for animal trainers. Journalist Sutherland (Cookoff) spent a year observing this associate degree program, following the students through their grueling 16-hour days as they cleaned excrement from cages, prepared special diets, memorized species' Latin names, and trained rats. She explains the positive, reward-based training methods taught at EATM pioneered by Karen Pryor (Lads Before the Wind: Adventures in Porpoise Training), which are improving the lives of captive animals. This fascinating account of these dedicated students-whose mantra is "The animals come first"-is recommended for career collections in public libraries and for academic libraries serving institutions with programs in animal behavior, veterinary technology, and preveterinary medicine.-Florence Scarinci, Nassau Community Coll. Lib., Garden City, NY Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780641910807
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 6/1/2006
  • Pages: 336
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Amy Sutherland is the author of Cookoff and was a features reporter at the Portland Press Herald in Portland, Maine, for seven years. Her articles have also appeared in the Los Angeles Times, The Boston Globe, The Christian Science Monitor, and Disney Magazine. She has a master's degree in journalism from Northwestern University.

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Table of Contents

Orientation 1
Behaviors 24
September 35
Nutrition 47
Animal people 55
October 62
Briz 87
The fire 101
Elephants 116
November 133
Baboon here! 144
December 152
Dr. Peddie 168
Walking big cats 178
Falling in love 192
Birdman bites 208
Dolphin dreams 215
February 226
March 243
Baltimore 261
Spring 274
Graduation 287
The zoo is theirs 299
August 312
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 18, 2009

    Could Be Better

    I was quite disappointed after reading the first chapter. There's nothing compelling or interesting enough to convince me to continue reading. Although the author does follow certain students through the book, she doesn't follow them all and you end up getting confused when she starts referring to those she hasn't detailed well. Also, some of her "facts" appear more as conjecture and could be misconstrued.

    I was hoping this book was going to be more like "All of My Patients Are Under the Bed" or "Tell Me Where It Hurts", but, unfortunately, this is just a reporter telling a story and not making it very interesting in the process.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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