A vet with a particular interest in exotic pets and wildlife has joined Best Friends Veterinary Group as clinical director.
In his new role, South African vet William Lewis will help younger, less experienced vets learn about surgery and exotics.
During his career, Dr Lewis – who is a certificate holder in zoological medicine – has tended to ailing alligators and poorly parrots, in addition to treating wild animals and reptiles from zoos and private collections – including a 5ft crocodile with a broken tail that had to be amputated.
He has also treated lions, elephants, monkeys, snakes and a giant African land snail.
Dr Lewis said: “Part of the challenge of exotics is their anatomy and temperament, and ensuring you have the right drugs to treat them.
“There are also practical challenges, such as getting an alligator on to an operating table.
“Often, we have to think in advance to ensure we can find practical solutions and have to be resourceful.
“Exotic vets look after everything from family pets to wildlife and zoo animals. We can see 10 to 20 exotics in a day, so there is huge demand from clients for our services.”
‘Delighted to be back’
Dr Lewis is mainly based at Best Friends Veterinary Group’s Brentwood branch, but also works at its other surgeries across Essex, including VetSavers in Cranham.
He added: “I’m delighted to be back at Best Friends Veterinary Group as I spent three years with the practice until 2015.”