Antshrike StudioPatricia LatasLocation7223 E. Camino Valle Verde Tucson, AZ 85715 United States Contact Phone: 5209792748 Web LinksAntshrike StidioMember DetailsDr. Patricia Latas is a scientific illustrator and avian veterinarian. Here are presented natural history illustrations from around the world, in celebration of diversity and complexity.
My fate was sealed when evil cousins shredded my favorite stuffed animals. After meticulous stitching, bandaging, and hours of care for my stuffed friends, I knew that I had to be a vet when I grew up. I was 5 years old. Thus followed years of toads, box turtles, baby sparrows, one-legged crows, family dogs, strays, science fair hamsters, and biology.
Somewhere along the way, my path diverged a bit into grassland ecology, and I wound up with a BS in botany and MS in biology; and after an exciting career as an artist, I returned to my childhood dream at age 29, and entered vet school at Oregon State. Being too short-armed to follow a dairy career, I decided to concentrate many of my externships on zoo and exotic practices. I started my veterinary life as a generalist, but in San Francisco, it is possible to become an exotic vet and still see ordinary patients.
It was a gift, a scrawny little Hooded Lovebird, that changed my life. She captivated my heart and my interest in avian medicine. Previous field experience with reptiles and fish along with my new enthusiasm for birds eventually landed me my own practice.
After a number of years, I left my practice in good hands and went back to school. This time around, I gained a certificate in Science Illustration. I learned valuable skills that have been indispensable to my veterinary career. Computer literacy, graphics and animation have supplemented my income as well as spicing up lectures and training sessions.
I have served as an in-house veterinarian for a huge animal shelter (70,000 animals per year); and as staff veterinarian for a large (7,000 admitted per annum and 400+residents) wildlife rescue, rehabilitation and exotic animal sanctuary facility--residents included farm animals, big cats, primates, domesticated deer, and all wildlife native to central Texas. I have been active in psittacine conservation and rescue issues for many years. I worked as a dotcom animation artist and have sold coffee beans. I have volunteered for several wildlife, rescue, and shelter institutions, and donate artwork to a number of conservation organizations.
Several life-changing events have altered my course in this world.
I was deeply honored to be selected to work as a kakapo volunteer on pristine Whenua Hou Island with the Department of Conservation in New Zealand. This opportunity to interact with such a magnificent parrot was a religious experience. I am not afraid to die, I have seen paradise.
A few months later, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. The the ordeal of chemotherapy, and potential death stripped life to the important components. I am grateful for friends and family of all species; my teachers made of air and feathers. I am even more aware of the power of birds, and their physical strength, their drive to overcome adversity and fight for life. I look to them for and am always rewarded with inspiration.
I currently am the contracting veterinarian for Arizona Bird Care, the only facility in the state that caters solely to avian species, everything from hummingbirds to ostriches, and all the ducks, parrots, finches, doves and chickens between.
My hobbies include birdwatching, hula dance, Pacific Island natural history and culture, paleontology and travel. My own pets are an assortment of birds who use me mercilessly as a slave, and a macaw-like husband.