Tales of an African Vet Synopsis
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. (Amazon)
The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated — Mahatma Gandhi
This prelude quote from Gandhi sums up beautifully the sentiment that pervades this collection of Tales of an African Vet by Dr Roy Aronson. Short stories such as the heartbreaking tale of baby elephant Jabu, a lioness with a sore eye, a fish with the bends and a delinquent elephant are told in an understated and direct manner, letting nature speak for itself.
‘The male orphan named Temba had developed some bad habits. He tried to mate with several of the reserve’s rhinos and in the process had inadvertently killed three of them with his tusks. An elephant tusk with a 3-ton body behind it can slice through a rhino like a hot knife through butter. Temba had also learned how to use logs with his trunk to short-circuit the electric fence surrounding the lodge. The results of an elephant breaking into places he should stay out of can be quite startling.’
Aronson’s simple story telling provides the reader a quick and easy read with just the right mix of technical explanation, humorous observation and personal philosophy. The best way to improve the treatment of animals in the long term and advance wildlife conservation efforts is through education and this collection of veterinary adventures furthers Aronson’s and his colleagues important work in this field.
Tales of an African Vet published in high quality hardcover with dustjacket will make a wonderful gift for all animal lovers.
BOOK RATING: The Story 4 / 5 ; The Writing 3 / 5
Genre: Non-Fiction, Memoir
Author Information: Dr Roy Aronson currently works in a small private veterinary practice in the City Bowl in Cape Town. Roy’s wife is also a vet. Read more about his experiences and read samples from Tales of an African Vet at Roy’s website.
– A free podcast of an interview with Dr Roy Aronson talking about this publication is available from iTunes
* My receiving this book free for review purposes did not effect my ability to express my honest feelings about it.