♦ Dr. Evan Antin’s ‘World Wild Vet’ is a Love Letter to Nature and the Animals Kingdom [REVIEW]

Evan Antin with an elephant friend at the Ol Jogi Wildlife Conservancy in Nanyuki, Kenya.
Dr. Evan Antin with his elephant friend at the Ol Jogi Wildlife Conservancy in Nanyuki, Kenya. (Photo courtesy Dr. Evan Antin/Facebook)
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Like so many other animal lovers, we’ve enjoyed watching veterinarian Evan Antin share his adventures with all creatures great and small on Instagram. Whether he’s treating domestic pets at the veterinary hospital where he works or is globetrotting to save an endangered species, he’s always got something new and interesting to share. Now he’s published a book all about his encounters in the animal kingdom called World Wild Vet, and it offers us a fun and fascinating look at both the wildlife he’s met and the career he’s built for himself.

Dr. Evan Antin's WORLD WILD VET
Henry Holt and Co.

Evan is one of those rare social media sensations who seems genuinely real and approachable. Sure, he has plenty of fans who believe he’s the world’s sexiest vet. But he isn’t defined by his Hollywood worthy good looks and chiseled physique. Instead, he’s quickly become one of the world’s leading animal advocates, and he uses his popularity to educate and introduce us to the critters he’s so passionate about.

But he didn’t start out as someone who was comfortable in front of the camera. That comfort level developed over time, with plenty of trial and error. Instead, the Kansas City native began as boy who was just crazy about animals of all shapes and sizes, but particularly the cold-blooded kind: lizards, snakes, and insects. We can only imagine the stories his mother has to share about all the animals he brought home, which is one of the reasons I can’t help but draw a parallel between Evan and Gerry Durrell, recently portrayed by Milo Parker in Masterpiece Theatre’s The Durrells in Corfu. Both are so innately fascinated by nature, their enthusiasm for the topic is infectious.

Infectious or not, that compulsion to investigate the world around him, to meet and interact with all kinds of animals has at times put Evan in peril, more than once. Like his hero, the late Steve Irwin, Evan dives head first into nature (and I mean this quite literally) without regard to his personal safety in many cases, in an effort to learn, explore, and expand his knowledge about every animal under the sun. And this book showcases those adventures as they unfold, sometimes with a guide, other times with rescue organizations, and other times he simply throws his video equipment in a car and heads out into the unknown all on his own.

Reading World Wild Vet is an enthralling experience, in part because Evan writes the way he talks, with immediacy and passion, along with plenty of awe and self deprecating humor. He is definitely self aware enough to know that others oftentimes see him as nuts (like the safari guide who was not about to stick around for them to get trampled by an angry elephant). But after reading this book, I love his eager enthusiasm even more. From his videos I’ve always known he has a very playful side, which is fun to watch. But now, more than ever, Evan reminds me of an adorable Labrador who never tires of chasing after a ball or begging others to play with him or rub his belly, except in Evan’s case the ones he wants most to engage with are all the species of wildlife out there that he can’t wait to meet. As he says himself, sometimes he’s like a dog who is always distracted by the next squirrel to cross his path.

In a time when we’re all struggling to shelter in place, this is the perfect book to curl up with for a few hours and escape within its pages. Not only does it help us forget the world’s current health crisis for a while, but it educates us and opens our eyes to all the great and wonderful possibilities that lay in wait for us in the future, if we’re only willing to accept nature’s open invitation to explore them. It’s a book that may be equal parts travelogue and memoir, but largely it’s just a huge love letter to nature and all the wildlife that Evan loves. With World Wild Vet, Evan reveals that he is a fantastic and very capable writer, one who leaves us smiling and eager to plan adventures of our own (which is why we’re so proud this is our 12th diamond reviewed book). Mostly though, Evan proves his mettle as a vet and animal advocate, and I for one can’t wait to see where his wanderlust takes him next. If I’ve learned anything reading this book, it’s this: you may take the boy out of Kansas, but no matter how big he grows, he’ll always be the same sweet kid with the Cheshire grin and a critter in his palms. Enjoy!

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Dr. Evan Antin with a bearcat on his shoulders.
A bearcat gets cozy with the good vet. (Photo by Evan Antin)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dr. Evan Antin hails from Kansas City, Kansas where he grew up spending the majority of his childhood in search of native wildlife including snakes, turtles, and insects.

Antin currently lives near Calabasas, California, with his dog, Henry, his cat, Willy, his savannah monitor lizard, mangrove snake, and an assortment of tropical freshwater fish.

He stars on the SEEKER/Facebook TV show “Tusks to Tails” which currently has over 8.7 million subscribers on Facebook. He previously starred on Animal Planet’s “Evan Goes Wild.”

He is a renowned animal expert and exotic animal veterinarian at Conejo Valley Veterinary Hospital.

For more information, visit ConejoVet.com, like him on Facebook, follow him on Twitter and Instagram, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube.

WORLD WILD VET: ENCOUNTERS IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM
By Dr. Evan Antin
256 pp. Henry Holt & Company. $26.99

Purchase World Wild Vet direct from Jathan & Heather Books or from one of these other fine online retailers: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, Half Price Books, Hudson Booksellers, IndieBound, Powell’s, Target, or Walmart.

About Jathan Fink
Jathan is a journalist, philanthropist, and entrepreneur. He is also a travel junkie, foodie and jazz aficionado. A California native, he resides in Texas.

One Response to ♦ Dr. Evan Antin’s ‘World Wild Vet’ is a Love Letter to Nature and the Animals Kingdom [REVIEW]

  1. Saweelderd says:

    Animals are our source of our prestige let them be treated fairly

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