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Kicked, Bitten, and Scratched: Life and Lessons at the World's Premier School for Exotic Animal Trainers Paperback – Bargain Price, May 29, 2007
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From Publishers Weekly
Graduates of the Exotic Animal Training and Management Program at California's Moorpark College land jobs in prestigious zoos, animal sanctuaries and research facilities, and they can be found in high-profile positions in Hollywood studios, the U.S. Navy and the organization Guide Dogs for the Blind. Sutherland (Cookoff: Recipe Fever in America) chronicles the intriguing year she spent with students at this "Harvard for exotic animal trainers," accompanying the "first years" as they interact with the exotic and not-so-exotic animals in the teaching zoo—including baboons, cougars, servals, wolves, tortoises, snakes and rats. She attends classes in the rigorous academic program, goes to training sessions where the students learn to communicate with, rather than dominate, the animals, and discovers that the school is no place for anyone who thinks animals are cute: students may be attacked by emus, kicked by mule deer or backed into corners by camels. There is, however, much friction among the students, especially with the "second years." Sutherland observes that people who relate well to animals don't always relate well to other people, and this theme makes the book a fascinating study in human as well as animal behavior. (June)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
It is a rare pleasure to see behind the scenes of EATM, the Exotic Animal Training and Management Program of Moorpark College, California, a world nothing like the Disney version of human-animal interaction. Here the students discover that anything with a mouth can bite and that excrement does not smell like daisies. The school veterinarian lectures on pus, death, and infected scrotums. While handling the animals, students "could be chomped, mauled, or even killed by an animal. Even the smallest nick could produce a surly infection." Animals are respected for what they are, and their behavior is shaped by operant conditioning. The graduates of this unique program find work in Hollywood, zoos, and the military. Sutherland does not gloss over past mistakes as she explains in detail the demanding EATM course work and charts the program's evolution into an outstanding source for top exotic animal trainers. Readers will acquire new and enhanced respect for a little-studied profession. Pamela Crossland
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top customer reviews
The author describes well the trials and tribulations of being a student at Moorpark College, but all career preparation involves hard work and difficult things that one must get used to, and this is a hands-on education. Clearly it is not easy to work with animals as a profession as so much is expected and one's knowledge base must be quite extensive. The best rewards of working with animals probably come afterwards when one is working in an appropriate job. I believe and I hope there will always be good jobs for people that work with animals. After all, the importance of animals to our lives and the planet cannot be underestimated.
The daily grind of waking up early to clean the zoo, long days of very challenging course work and dealing with your 2nd years lording it over you while having to endure all the of the petty squables in your own class. She also did a good job at showing how the school affects all aspects of your life, in essence you have to give yourself over completely for 2 years and everything else (family, spouses, income,...etc) are all subordinate to EATM.
But on the other hand she captured the wonder and joy of working with the animals and being able to have close personal contact with them. Being able to walk Rosie the baboon or sitting next to her cage and grooming with her made all the other cares and worries go away.
If you are thinking about going into the animal field or just interested in it I highly recommend this book. If you are thinking about applying to EATM then this book is a must read, nothing else will allow you to make an informed decision about attending the program like this book.
Overall for me this book brought back the roller coster of emotions that I felt while attending EATM and a lot of good memories, thanks for the book.
This book is simply about the students and experiences at the Moorpark EATM program. The program came into being some years after both my sister and I graduated from school and we never had the chance to go. I wanted to work at the San Diego Zoo (doing what Joan Embree did was exactly what I wanted) but I had no idea of how to get there and neither did my sister, so we ended up both being pet groomers.
Nevertheless this book gave me a chance to dream of what could have been. So the book was just what I was looking for. For anyone dreaming of working at a Zoo, GO for it but be VERY persistent! For me the book was a little disorganized, that is I had to keep looking up what animal had what name etc.
It was so good for me I gave it to my sister. She also enjoyed it. I actually got on Kindle hoping someone had written a similar review. I am ready for another book about Moorpark and EATM!!! Kicked, Bitten, and Scratched