Dr. Chris Enright, Head Vet at the Assiniboine Park Zoo will present "The Tiger" at McNally Robinson on Jan. 25 (Assiniboine Park Zoo)
Paging all booklovers! On January 25th, at 8 p.m., CBC Radio and McNally Robinson invite you to Prairie Ink Restaurant for
an evening we're calling:
5 Writers, 5 Readers, 5 Minutes.
Canada Reads 2012 features five non-fiction titles this year, and in our regional warm-up to the national CBC Radio book brawl, five well-known Manitobans have been matched with the five titles. Up to Speed host Larry Updike will invite each reader to share their insights with the audience, each with a unique presentation lasting only five minutes. Well, maybe ten. No debating, no brawling, but plenty of insight, humour and stories.
Here, Head Assiniboine Park Zoo vet Dr. Chris Enright tracks John Vaillant's The Tiger.
1. How does this compare with your experience/interest in the subject?
Being an animal centred book, this was certainly up my alley. I've worked in a number of different zoos in various capacities since high school. After finishing vet school and working for a few years I came back to zoos and have worked with the captive wildlife at the Assiniboine Park Zoo here in Winnipeg for the last five years treating everything from fish to birds to bears, but one of the most impressive animals I've worked with is certainly the Amur tiger.
One of my first memories of Amur tigers is a 500 pound male tiger named Tongua jumping down from a four foot height next to me onto the floor and he made less noise than I would have. Not only are they incredibly large and incredibly powerful, they have that uncanny cat stealth when they so desire.
Also, like most people working in zoos I'm interested in the topic of conservation of wild spaces. This was a broader theme within the book, and certainly an important question of how to make room for people and wild places.
2. What surprised you about the book?
Before reading the book I was unfamiliar with the story of the Amur tiger attacks that figure prominently within. The details of this tiger, its behaviour and the human story surrounding it are surprising, and run counter to a general understanding one may have of conflicts
between people and large predators.
On a broader scale I was a little surprised by how well the book drew me in. The first portion laid the ground work with a lot of background information, then further into the book the diversions lessened and the story accelerated with the approaching confrontation.