Saddened to learn today of the passing of Zoo Vet, David Taylor BVMS, FRCVS, FZS. I first met David in 1968 when he was already an established zoo vet. Our paths crossed on multiple occasions till his retirement in March 2008. He had then worked with exotic animals for more than 50 years.
David was not just a colleague but a personal friend as well. We worked together in five different zoos. He knew me, some of my girlfriends and my now ex wife and he watched my children go up. He was almost family. He was even kind enough to mention me in a number of the books he wrote. David was as prolific a writer as he was a storyteller. An evening out with David and a few beers and one tale followed another. Some were tall but most were truthful as we in the zoo world know that truth can be stranger than fiction. Joking aside David had an immense knowledge of a huge variety of creatures. He was a great vet and one who appreciated that it was the keepers who had the understanding and knowledge of the animals he came to treat.
David made friends wherever he went and I know that they will be sad to learn he has now gone. I recollect arranging to meet him in the bar of the Al Ain Hilton Hotel some years back. I was a half an hour late. When I arrived he had no less than a dozen people around him. Strangers only a little while before but new friends by the time I got there. Such was David. A lovely man.
David’s funeral will be held at the Church of St. John the Divine in Richmond Surrey (just west of London) at 1200 on 19th February.
All are welcome. If anyone wishes to send a short message, it can be read out at the service.
By David Taylor