Escape—Virtually—for the Holidays With Evan Antin's World Wild Vet
He might've been out swimming with whale sharks, scratching a tortoise's head, or trimming a rhinoceros's horn (to save her from poachers), but Evan Antin, DVM comes home just like a lot of us: to the sight of happy dogs and cats excited to see him.
The California veterinarian—who is also known to the world as PEOPLE's Sexiest Veterinarian—chronicles his globe-spanning adventures in his new book, World Wild Vet: Encounters in the Animal Kingdom. The book, written alongside Jana Murphy, appears just as the holiday season peeps its head around the corner. In its pages, he writes about caring for animals of all shapes and sizes, but his most beloved four-legged associates live at home with him, particularly his dog, Henry, and cats, Willy and Blue.
"They're our best friends," Antin says. "These guys, they're as crazy about me as I am about them."
He's eyeing a dive trip to Bahamas—hammerhead sharks!—around the holidays, but he'll otherwise be spending his time with Henry, the Chihuahua mix and couch potato, Willy, the social shorthair, and Blue, aka Blucifer.
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The rest of us might very well be spending the end of 2020 in at least a modified lockdown because of COVID-19, so we could all use a little bit of escapism. That's where Antin and his book of adventures come in.
You can read about him trekking through the Ugandan savannah or swimming off the coast of Ecuador. Heck, the book begins with him narrowly avoiding having his head taken off by a giraffe's kick. Chapters later, he's figuring out a way to escape the stern, scary gaze of an adult male hippopotamus in Tanzania. (Spoiler alert: Hippos are big, and they are fast.)
The incredible experiences sometimes yield to the unfortunate for Antin. Case and point: His bathroom-destroying bout with dysentery after drinking unfiltered tap water in Africa.
"Every day I'm thankful for having clean water on tap that I can drink and temperature control on multiple faucets inside my home," he says. "That's a total luxury."
Mostly, however, readers get up-close descriptions of animals they would likely never see outside a zoo or aquarium.
"This is a time where it's tough to travel, and not everybody has that luxury anyways from year to year," he says. "But for those of you who do just want to get out and hear what it's like to be in these other parts of the world, try to get a little bit of that fix, try to live vicariously through my crazy adventures, I think you can do that with this book."
The final chapters of the book address animals who are critically at risk of extinction: rhinos in South Africa, crocodiles in the Philippines, giraffes in Uganda. Antin's adventures are vivid, but he wants to send a bigger message. (It's mostly our fault these animals are at-risk, after all.)
"There's a lot of conservation messages in there and things we can do. Little, small, simple ways that don't cost anything to bigger ways, donations and things like that," he says.
His book is the latest project in what's been a life full of them. Beside the adventures in foreign lands, he's starred in his own TV show, appeared as a go-to animal expert on morning shows, and amassed the most Instagram followers of any other vet out there.
Even though he's the host of Evan Goes Wild on Animal Planet and now an author, his day job is still working one-on-one with animals as a vet. He does tend to exotic animals at his job at Conejo Valley Veterinary Hospital, but more than half his clients are still dogs and cats like the ones he has back at home.
"The human-animal bond is something that's such a big part of my life, and you can't get that better than with a dog or a cat—or both in my case," he says.
World Wide Vet is available for purchase on Amazon.com, the perfect gift for any animal lover this holiday season.