David Taylor (veterinarian)

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David Taylor
BornDavid Conrad Taylor
(1934-02-11)11 February 1934
Rochdale, Lancashire, England
Died29 January 2013(2013-01-29) (aged 78)
OccupationVeterinarian, author, television presenter
Parent(s)Frank and Marian Taylor

David Conrad Taylor, BVMS, FRCVS, FZS (11 February 1934 29 January 2013), was a British veterinary surgeon. He was the first veterinary surgeon to specialise in zoo and wildlife medicine. Taylor worked with zoo and wild animals from 1957, acting as a consultant on the treatment of some of the rarest species on Earth. He was world-renowned as an expert in marine mammal medicine. [1] From 1968, he was the vet in charge of Cuddles, the first captive killer whale to be kept in the UK, at Flamingo Park, North Yorkshire. [2]

Killer whale The largest living species of dolphin

The killer whale or orca is a toothed whale belonging to the oceanic dolphin family, of which it is the largest member. Killer whales have a diverse diet, although individual populations often specialize in particular types of prey. Some feed exclusively on fish, while others hunt marine mammals such as seals and other species of dolphin. They have been known to attack baleen whale calves, and even adult whales. Killer whales are apex predators, as no animal preys on them. A cosmopolitan species, they can be found in each of the world's oceans in a variety of marine environments, from Arctic and Antarctic regions to tropical seas, absent only from the Baltic and Black seas, and some areas of the Arctic Ocean.


Life and career

Taylor was born in Rochdale, Lancashire, and qualified at the University of Glasgow School of Veterinary Medicine in 1956. He attended the inaugural meeting of the Federation of British Zoos in 1967 which was held at the Zoological Society of London.

Rochdale town in Greater Manchester, England

Rochdale is a town in Greater Manchester, England, at the foothills of the South Pennines on the River Roch, 5.3 miles (8.5 km) northwest of Oldham and 9.8 miles (15.8 km) northeast of Manchester. It is the administrative centre of the Metropolitan Borough of Rochdale, which had a population of 211,699 in 2011.

Lancashire County of England

Lancashire is a ceremonial county in North West England. The administrative centre is Preston. The county has a population of 1,449,300 and an area of 1,189 square miles (3,080 km2). People from Lancashire are known as Lancastrians.

University of Glasgow School of Veterinary Medicine

The School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Glasgow is one of six veterinary schools in the United Kingdom, and offers undergraduate and postgraduate qualifications in Veterinary Medicine.

He was awarded the first RCVS Fellowship for a wild animal topic (diseases of primates) in 1968, and was recognised as an RCVS specialist in zoo and wildlife medicine, areas to which he made significant contributions. He was the first user of the dart gun in the UK [1] and was the first vet in the country to trial and adopt the newer immobilising drugs for large animals. He was known for inventive and unusual treatments, on one occasion successfully treating a haemorrhaging killer whale by feeding it black puddings.

Black pudding British and Irish blood sausage

Black pudding is a type of blood sausage originating in Great Britain and Ireland. It is made from pork blood, with pork fat or beef suet, and a cereal, usually oatmeal, oat groats or barley groats. The high proportion of cereal, along with the use of certain herbs such as pennyroyal, serves to distinguish black pudding from blood sausages eaten in other parts of the world.

Taylor worked for zoos across the world. These include Chester Zoo, London Zoo, Chessington Zoo, the now closed Belle Vue Zoological Gardens [3] in Manchester, Flamingo Park Zoo in North Yorkshire, Windsor Safari Park, [4] Parc Astérix near Paris, Marine Land, [5] South of France and Madrid Zoo. He has also worked for some of the most famous circuses in the world.

Chester Zoo zoological garden at Upton-by-Chester, in Cheshire, England

Chester Zoo is a zoo at Upton by Chester, in Cheshire, England. Chester Zoo was opened in 1931 by George Mottershead and his family. It is one of the UK's largest zoos at 125 acres (51 ha). The zoo has a total land holding of approximately 400 acres (160 ha).

London Zoo Worlds oldest scientific zoo in London

London Zoo is the world's oldest scientific zoo. It was opened in London on 27 April 1828, and was originally intended to be used as a collection for scientific study. In 1831 or 1832, the animals of the Tower of London menagerie were transferred to the zoo's collection. It was eventually opened to the public in 1847. Today, it houses a collection of 673 species of animals, with 19,289 individuals, making it one of the largest collections in the United Kingdom. The zoo is sometimes called Regent's Zoo.

Belle Vue Zoological Gardens zoo, amusement park, exhibition hall complex and speedway in Manchester, England

Belle Vue Zoological Gardens was a large zoo, amusement park, exhibition hall complex and speedway stadium in Belle Vue, Manchester, England, opened in 1836. The brainchild of John Jennison, the gardens were initially intended to be an entertainment for the genteel middle classes, with formal gardens and dancing on open-air platforms during the summer, but they soon became one of the most popular attractions in Northern England. Before moving to Belle Vue, Jennison, a part-time gardener, had run a small aviary at his home, the beginnings of the zoo that over the years grew to become the third-largest in the United Kingdom.

In 1976 he founded the International Zoo Veterinary Group (IZVG) with his partner Andrew Greenwood and the Dinnes Memorial Veterinary Centre in Santa Clarita, California. [6] Today, the IZVG is one of the largest and best-known independent zoological veterinary practices in the world.

Martin R. Dinnes was a veterinarian from Agua Dulce, California, recognized for his accomplishments in veterinary medicine. Dr. Dinnes died on December 12, 2017.

Santa Clarita, California City in California

Santa Clarita, officially the City of Santa Clarita, is the third largest city in Los Angeles County, California, and the 24th largest in the state of California. The city has annexed a number of unincorporated areas, contributing to the large population increase. It is located about 35 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles, and occupies most of the Santa Clarita Valley. It is a notable example of a U.S. edge city or boomburb. Santa Clarita was ranked by Money magazine in 2006 as 18th of the top 100 places to live.

In March 2008, Taylor retired from the International Zoo Veterinary Practice, [1] though he still acted as a consultant and continued to be a prolific writer until his death.

One by One

In the mid-1970s and early 1980s, Taylor wrote a popular series of autobiographical books that charted his life and experiences as a "Zoo Vet". These books were adapted for Television in a drama series, One by One . [7] The BBC made three series and 32 episodes of One By One, broadcast between 1984 and 1987. It was set in the 1950s, with Dudley Zoo doubling as the Great Northern Zoo, and followed the career of Don Turner, based on Taylor himself, as he established himself as wildlife vet. Don Turner was played by Rob Heyland and James Ellis played head keeper Paddy Reilly. Other actors who appeared in the series included Peter Jeffrey, Peter Gilmore and Catherine Schell. [8]

No. 73

Between 1983 and 1988, Taylor made regular appearances on the Saturday morning children's show No. 73 . He brought all sorts of exotic animals to the show and would usually be interviewed in these segments by Andrea Arnold. Arnold's character, "Dawn", supposedly worked at Taylor's veterinary surgery for a while. Taylor held several competitions on No. 73, including one in 1987 in which the winner went on a trip to a Madrid Zoo accompanied by himself and "Dawn". In 1984–1985 Taylor and Arnold presented their own programme on Children's ITV, Talking Animal, in which each episode focused on one animal. [9]

Autobiographical books

Other books

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  1. 1 2 3 "Zoo vet retires after 50 years". Veterinary Record. 162 (19): 603. 10 May 2008. doi:10.1136/vr.162.19.603-a.
  2. Pollard, Sandra (2014). Puget Sound Whales for Sale: The Fight to End Orca Hunting. Arcadia Publishing. ISBN   9781625851390.
  3. "Zoo Staff". Manchesterhistory.net. Retrieved 2013-01-31.
  4. "Windsor Safari Park • View topic - David Taylor Zoo Vet is retiring". National-pcsos.co.uk. Archived from the original on 2016-03-05. Retrieved 2013-01-31.
  5. Brilliant Creatures - Killer Whales. 2006-11-15. Retrieved 2013-01-31 via YouTube.
  6. "International Zoo Veterinary Group (UK)". Izvg.co.uk. Retrieved 2013-01-31.
  7. "Home - David Taylor (Zoovet) and One By One". Onebyonetv.webs.com. Archived from the original on 2012-04-02. Retrieved 2013-01-31.
  8. https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0086773/
  9. https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0179033/