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The Rhino With Glue-On Shoes

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Vets share their wild animal stories

Santa Cruz Sentinel, Isaiah Guzman, October 17, 2008

Can eels get depressed and lose their appetite? Take one away from its favorite bartender and apparently it can.

That's just one of the unique stories in world-renowned wildlife veterinarian Lucy Spelman's new book, "The Rhino With Glue-On Shoes," a compilation of true stories from her and other wildlife vets.

Spelman, the field manager of the Mountain Gorilla Veterinary Project in Africa, spoke on Thursday evening at the Seymour Marine Discovery Center to kick off the center's fall lecture series. "We don't always think that you can have that kind of connection between a person and a fish," Spelman said, "unless you're a fish owner."


Formerly the director of the National Zoo in Washington, D.C., and a consultant for the Discovery Channel, Spelman also spoke at length about her work with mountain gorillas in Africa. Her studies are showing that the animal's health is linked to human and ecosystem health. The animals, of which only 750 remain worldwide, share 98 percent of our genes, according to Spelman. She's positive about the species' outlook but worries about the effects of war in Congo.

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