MY ANIMAL KINGDOM, ONE BY ONE by David Taylor

MY ANIMAL KINGDOM, ONE BY ONE

By
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

In his latest blend of the fabulous and the informative, England-based, globetrotting veterinarian Taylor chattily recounts some new adventures. On call to zoos, marinelands, and safari parks, Taylor may find himself one day in the Middle East treating a sunburnt hippo, a constipated camel, or a sheik's prized falcons-and the next en route to Iceland to determine the sex of a killer whale. (On one such occasion, he invents, on the spot; a foolproof chromosome examination technique.) Being responsible for the successful artificial insemination of Shao-Shao, the female panda at the Madrid Zoo, Taylor experiences a moment of exaltation as he cradles her treasured offspring in his arms. And when he learns of the death of longtime patient Kim, a killer whale, he is equally moved, since he had gone to great extremes to save the giant cetacean. (When all ""orthodox"" marine mammal medicine had failed, Taylor had not only resorted to ""washing"" seven gallons of Kim's blood, he'd even consulted a medium.) ""The care of wild animals,"" Taylor reflects, isn't all dewy eyes and plaudits; it is rough and tough and so often depressingly, frustratingly a failure."" At England's Chessington Zoo, Taylor whelps an ill-tempered emu named Clara with the aid of a plumbing plunger and some ""chip oil"" from a concession stand; performs a Caesarean on a Capuchin monkey named Cleopatra, thus bringing (you guessed it) young Mark Antony into the world; and calls in a dental surgeon to artificially reconstruct a neurotic hornbill's damaged beak. Fail-proof animal storytelling for aficionados.

Pub Date: April 27th, 1984
Publisher: Stein & Day