Matt Brash

26th November 2012   Television zoo vet, Matt Brash, is a specialist zoo and wildlife vet and published author. He  speaks widely about his work with zoos involving conservation, education and research. Sponsored by MARK MOBILITY CENTRE, Holland-on-Sea.

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  1. Zoo vet with Matt Brash. 26/11/2012
    As I stood in front of the projector talking to a friend of mine, just before the presentation, I noticed that my silhouette was cast on the onstage cloth , ”that’s one of the few times in my life that I have been on the silver screen”, I mused!!? The image shown was a human hand next to the paw of a rather large animal (a polar bear, we were later told). I thought it was meant to signify the close relationship between man and beast(well, we were to find out later on that this is not always so!)

    Matt brash gave an insight into his work as a vet and how he came to be one. Apparently it all started when he was a very young boy and saw some goldfish in a tank in his father’s greenhouse-concerned, he immediately scooped them out and laid them in a neat row to dry out so as they would not drownunfortunately- he was too late as, on later inspection, he found they had all `passed on` to that `dry pond` up in the sky!!? After that event he vowed to be involved in truly saving lives of animals and making their existence a bit more comfortable.

    A varied talk ensued about the methods used to sedate various animals either for needed operations or to tag them to establish their movements and habits. At one juncture he described the castrating of a hippopotamus-not only was this a large undertaking in anesthetising the animal, but location of the testacies INSIDE the body proved to be a daunting task!

    He talked also about humane animal culling to preserve certain species that risked extinction as other imported ones were becoming dominant. It is sad to see that, even in this supposed current world where we endeavour to give the animal kingdom the same rights to reside on this planet as we humans, that there are still those who capture them for cruel sport-badger baiting was mentioned and several slides showed rather graphic injuries to the dogs used to pursue this end and to the badgers themselves-very harrowing!

    Human beings have much to blame themselves on for many of the adverse things we are currently enduring-the weather (in particular) and the ever increasing scarcity of resources that we are now suffering. Rain forests hacked down at an an alarming rate, with no consideration(other than monetary!) that these trees provide valuable oxygen, digest our waste fumes(CO2) and not only that, hold the soil together-deserts have been thoughtlessly created in this way.

    Atom bombs exploded in the atmosphere have definitely had some input into these conditions and also those exploded under the sea. This massive and instantaneous displacement of material must have some adverse effect, even if it takes years for it to be realised. There was a `movie` clip of a female snake (it wasn’t actually one-but it looked that way) having a caesarean performed by the vet and the great difficulty experienced in getting the babies out of the mothers womb. In The second half of the programme he expounded on his work in various parts of the world, showing much beautiful wildlife and his own survival in extreme conditions of cold and under much duress.

    An interesting and very informative evening. Jennifer Kersey

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