Somewhere in the middle of my career at the Bronx Zoo, I began writing animal care books and articles that targeted private keepers and hobbyists. Many colleagues warned me that these activities would “ruin my professional reputation’ (as if all good zoo men and women did not start out as pet keepers!). A call from Dr. Kevin Wright DVM convinced me that I was on the right track. He thanked me for writing a book on seahorse care, which had been helpful to him and his wife. This man, at the very pinnacle of his profession, urged me to continue my efforts to help, and to learn from, private animal keepers. As was his way, he declined my compliments about his own work, claiming that my writings filled a greater void (I do not agree, but appreciated the thought). As I moved out of the zoo field and into full-time writing, Kevin’s words served as an important inspiration, and I remain grateful. In time, he too left zoo work and continued to make immense contributions in his exotic animal veterinary practice.
Kevin Wright passed away on September 26, 2013, at age 50. I have benefitted greatly from his astounding volume of ground-breaking work, as have countless others, but it is his kindness and willingness to help any and all comers, from 8-year-old garter snake keeper to veterinary surgeon, that I will remember – and miss – most. Read More »