A tapir challenge
One thing for which Garston Vets will be forever remembered is its association with Longleat safari park.
Lorraine says: “In 1966 when Longleat opened, Stephens and Stephens [as the practice was then known] were vets to Lord Bath and his estates. So they were already his vets, but not to exotic animals.
“One day they got a call that there was a sick tapir. The vet popped home to look in an encyclopaedia to see what a tapir was!” She says that the Garston vets became pioneers in exotic animal treatment. They invented a way of sedating animals – apparently sedating a giraffe is very difficult because it can regurgitate and choke to death. They had to use rifles with the larger animals, although the small ones could be sedated with the use of a blow pipe. “The vet often had to operate in situ, surrounded by a guard of rifles. As a vet then you had to have nerves of steel!”