The heart-wrenching and adventure-filled stories of a South African wild animal vet and his colleagues When do you watch a wild animal suffer and let nature take its course, and when do you intervene? In his more than twenty-five years as an African vet, Dr. Roy Aronson has seen and done some remarkable things. He has tracked lions and cheetahs, anesthetized rhinoceroses and king cobras, collared rogue elephants, performed eye surgery on a lion out in the bush, been attacked by a puff adder, come face to face with an angry hybrid wolf, and nearly lost a foot to a crocodile. Dr. Aronson has also worked with some of Africa's most dedicated conservationists and wildlife veterinarians. He has witnessed their passion and bravery and been with them when hard decisions had to be made. Tales of an African Vet brings together Dr. Aronson's adventures in a rare behind-the-scenes look at those who treat wild animals in their natural habitat. For those drawn to outdoor adventure stories, African wildlife, or the veterinarian's trade, it is a riveting book replete with rich insights into both the animal and human cultures of Africa.
|Publisher:||Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.|
|Product dimensions:||5.40(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.70(d)|
About the Author
Dr. Roy Aronson is a South African veterinarian who has been in practice for more than 25 years. He self-published Tales of an African Vet in South Africa in March 2008. He is currently approaching the Discovery Channel, National Geographic, and Animal Planet with a series by the same name. His book is available through all the National Parks Board stores throughout South African National Parks. He published a second book, It's a Vet's Life: Adventures in the City and the Wild, in July 2009 with Tafelberg. He is the South Africa Veterinary Association representative on the Commonwealth Veterinary Association and was invited to speak in November 2010 at the Commonwealth Vet Association International Congress.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Tales of an African Vet based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
This is a very entertaining book. The author, who has a standard cats-and-dogs veterinary practice in Cape Town, also got to treat various exotic pets and injured wildlife brought in by concerned individuals, got called for help by national parks and private game reserves which organize wildlife-viewing safaris for tourists, and was invited by fellow veterinarians to see interesting cases all over the country, from the Kruger National Park to crocodile and fish farms, for a TV program about veterinary practice. I've read plenty of books about animals, but even so I've learned various new facts, such as the existence of a big, brightly-colored pet fish called "koi" which "can be tamed, hand fed, and will actually respond to individual signals," or that animals don't recognize humans on horseback as humans to such a degree that wild antelopes would allow riders to mingle with the herd. All the stories were interesting and although they're not connected it was hard to stop reading. I also liked it that the author didn't shy away from expressing his views on various topics, such as hunting or helping wild animals in parks and reserves. To my surprise, I've also read about some positive news for wildlife in this book. The author says that it's not uncommon today for cattle farmers throughout the country to turn their land into private game viewing operations. He also says that there are quite a few of them on the borders of the Kruger National Park today, and they're even taking down the fences between them to allow animals to wander freely, and even between Kruger and Zambian and Mozambiquean parks adjacent to it, which will allow the animals to resume their ancient migrating routes! I highly enjoyed this book.
Tales of an African Vet is a fascinating series of vignettes from the life of author Roy Aronson. The stories follow his real life experiences as a veterinarian in South Africa and his patients range from elephants and lions in the wild to snakes and squirrel monkeys brought into a clinic for treatment. Dr. Aronson shows a depth of passion for his work and for all the animals he treats that reveals a sense of compassion as great as his intelligence. The book is amazing for it's details of science and medicine - and the logistics behind treating incredibly large and dangerous wild animals - as well as the knowledge and interesting facts about the variety of animals encountered (from rhinos to alligators to hedgehogs to koi).The book was well written and the format of stories rather than a single narrative provides a sweeping coverage of the grand scale of Dr. Aronson's work. This is a great book for anyone interested in African animals, exotic veterinary medicine, or just a great biography of a man with an extraordinary job.
Reason for Reading: I enjoy travel books and although I am not an animal activist I enjoy memoirs of vets along the lines of James Herriot and Gerald Durrell. This book simply caught my attention.Roy Aronson has been a veterinarian in Cape Town, South Africa for twenty-five years and while he sees his fair share of cats and dogs, he's also had some unique African wild animals brought into his office. Plus he has friends who are vets on Wildlife Reserves and they often call him in to assist or simply to have a look-see at an interesting case and thus Aronson has led an eventful life caring for wild animals both clinically and in the bush. Each chapter of this book is a separate vignette and there is also no real chronological progression either making this an easy book to pick up, read a chapter and come back to again later.While a couple of cases take place in Aronson's practice most of the stories take place out in the African bush on wildlife reserves or the Pretoria Zoo. He also goes out to farms, specifically fish farms, both trout and koi, and an alligator farm. Each chapter was interesting telling tales of elephants, lions, hedgehogs, snakes, rhinos, cheetahs, gemsboks, and many more. Each story usually involves some sort of danger, either to the animal or the animal handlers, so there is a sense of excitement to the reflections along with the author's apparent love for animals of all species. He also spends some brief time, without preaching, on educating against needless slaughter/poaching of animals for inane reasons. For example, rhinos are still killed in the wild for their horns which are sold for tremendous amounts of money to be ground into powder to make teas which supposedly are an aphrodisiac. The author has sampled said tea and can vouch for its ineffectiveness. Through such types of education of the masses, the author feels the slaughter can be stopped.An interesting read that I really enjoyed. The author's voice was friendly and informative but was lacking an element of humour which I think would have made the book just that bit more enjoyable. He did have a sense of humour, of a sort, but if fell rather flat, leaving funny scenes without the laugh. Overall, though, an entertaining read.
The time was October 19th 2010. The place was World's Biggest Bookstore in downtown Toronto. Mr. Turning The Pages had just taken me out to a nice romantic dinner and we were walking down the aisles (of the bookstore) and I saw a book on display that I knew I had to read but unfortunately I had already surpassed my book buying budget for the month and I sadly had to leave the book sitting there. Lonely and calling me back, begging to be taken home with me but it was not to be. However, the title of this book never left my mind and a few weeks ago I was finally able to put it on hold from the Toronto Public Library. As you already know if it has anything to do with animals or Africa it's pretty much a guarentee that I may want to read it but if it has both than I am most definately going to give it a try. I was so excited to read it, that I finished it the next day! Roy Aronson wrote the book with passion. You can tell right off the bat that he loves animals and hates to see them suffer. He writes with conviction about the plight certain species are facing like the rhinos who are being poached all for their horns. It's evident that he also harbours a deep respect for all creatures from hamsters, to cobras, to wolf hybrids and seals. I loved the stories he shared within his book, he certainly has lived an exciting life and he is lucky to have been able to experience the wonders that he has and to have met so many interesting people that like him are involved with animals and their healthcare. His accounts will strike a cord in you and make you want to head to your nearest zoo, aquarium, lake, ocean or forest just to see the natural world as it is. It will also make you think that things do indeed have to change if we are to ensure the survival of all the creatures great and small. I loved this book! Roy Aronson wrote his book in an easily accessible way so that the young and the old can enjoy what is between it's covers and I can't wait to get my hands on his other book that he has written. I would recommend this to anyone who has a soft spot for animals. This is also a great read for fans of James Herriot's books on being a yorkshire vet. It will make you really want to thank your vet when you see them, their jobs are hard and often dirty but they do reap the rewards when their animal patients get better but they are also human too and they hate losing a beloved patient to illness or natural causes. It's a must read in my opinion!