Bridge to the Wild: Behind the Scenes at the Zoo

Bridge to the Wild : Behind the Scenes at the Zoo



About the Book

Curators at Zoo Atlanta never know what the day will bring: Did the rain make the ground too slippery for the elephants? How are the sick fruit bats? Did the bongo get loose again? In a typical day at the zoo, there are routines that must be kept, including feeding, socializing, and sleeping. On any given day there are moments that bring laughter and moments that bring tears. Caitlin O’Connell and Tim Rodwell chronicle the average day for zoo scientists, encountering both surprise and routine along the way. Bridge to the Wild is the perfect book for any reader who wonders what a life working with and for animals would really be like.

About the Author

Dr. Caitlin O'Connell is a Consulting Assistant Professor in the Department of Otolaryngology, Head & Neck Surgery at Stanford University School of Medicine and a world renowned expert on elephants and vibrotactile sensitivity. She is the author of the internationally acclaimed nonfiction science memoir, The Elephant's Secret Sense (2007, Free Press). Her narrative nonfiction photo book An Elephant's Life (2011, Lyons Press) uses a graphic novel approach to revealing subtle and intimate aspects of elephant society. Her co-authored nonfiction children's book, The Elephant Scientist (2011, Houghton Mifflin Children's Books) won five awards, including the Robert F. Sibert Honor and Horn Book Honor for 2012. A Baby Elephant In The Wild (2014, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers) is a Junior Library Guild Select, and Elephant Don: The Politics Of A Pachyderm Posse (University of Chicago Press) comes out April 6, 2015. Her debut novel is Ivory Ghosts (Random House). O'Connell is the co-founder and CEO of the nonprofit organization, Utopia Scientific (, dedicated to research and science education. She is also co-director of Triple Helix Productions, with a mandate to develop more accurate science content for the media. She has written five screenplays with science themes and has just finished her first co-authored novel to inspire girls with an interest in physics. She has taught Science Writing for Stanford University and The New York Times Knowledge Network. Visit her author website at Also visit her elephant blog: And be sure to watch an award-winning documentary about her research on the Smithsonian Channel.

The photographers Caitlin O’Connell, Ph.D., and Timothy Rodwell, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H., are scientists and professional photographers that have blended art and science to help make science more accessible and engaging. Their photography has appeared in National Geographic, National Wildlife Magazine, Discover, Science News, Africa Geographic, and many other international magazines, scientific journals, and newspapers. More of their elephant photography will appear in their forthcoming photography book An Elephant's Life, which will feature every aspect of an elephant's life in rich detail. Caitlin is on the faculty in the Stanford School of Medicine and Timothy is an assistant professor at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine.