I met Dr. Jerry Haigh in the Banff Science Communications Program last year. He’s worked extensively as a wildlife vet in Africa and Asia, and has tons of cool stories and great photos. My childhood hero was Gerald Durrell, and my greatest dream as a kid was to live somewhere with more interesting wildlife than Canadian raccoons, so when Jerry got going on wild game stories, I was all ears. Eventually, he pitched me some anecdotes for inclusion on the squeaky-clean kids’ TV show I was writing for.
“So there was an angry rhino with an impacted colon. I tranquilized her, then plunged my arm shoulder-deep into her anus to remove 40 kilos of rock-hard stool, and…”
“Let me stop you there, Jerry. We can’t talk about poo on this show. Or rectal disimpaction.”
“Oh. Well that’s ok, I have more stories. Once I was artificially inseminating a lion, and I had just inserted a syringe full of semen when the tranquilizers wore off and…”
“Jerry, seriously. Do you have any anecdotes that do not involve orifaces.”
“…Let me get back to you.”
Anyway, he’s written two books and keeps a blog full of interesting stories, killer photos, and thought-provoking analyses of ecological issues. Worth checking it out. I particularly liked these reindeer photos, and this fascinating post about an emergency treatment of an injured lion. And let’s not forget the saucy tilt of this elephant calf’s little whip of a tail.
PS- Both here and on Jerry’s blog, clicking a photo will enlarge it.