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These entertaining essays offer insight into a world of singular strangeness-of giant panda colonoscopies and anorexic moray eels-modern zoological medicine in short, a field where the practitioners are as passionate as their patients are unwilling. Twenty-eight wild animal doctors recount their most memorable cases-polar bear hernias, hippo root canals, rhino pedicures-in vignettes ripe with humor and pathos. Editor Spelman compares the challenges of wild animal medicine with infant pediatric care-both "their patients can't speak"-and expounds on the slow process of bonding with patients too timid or aggressive to approach and examine. Readers will be dazzled by stories of recapturing a fugitive herd of wild bison from the outskirts of Paris and medical marvels developed to treat especially small or sensitive patients: a new anesthetic method pioneered for a tiny poison dart frog, prosthetic leg braces built for giraffes. Spelman writes, "Zoo vets are known for their stamina, strong constitutions, steady hands, good aim, and healthy knees"-these affectionate testaments ensure that compassion can be added to the equation. (July 1)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.