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Mike Hardwich Recalls His Experiences as a Vet in The Lion and the Lamb

The Lion and the LambThe stories in The Lion and the Lamb – Memoirs of a Vet are firsthand experiences of Mike Hardwich, both a vet and a farmer, who originally practiced in Pietermaritzburg, but now practices at The Heritage Vet in Hillcrest, KwaZulu Natal.

Amongst other stories, Mike tells of the birth of the first orang-utan in Africa, a C section on a marmoset, complications with farm animals, problems with elephants, the anaesthesia of a fruit bat, racehorses and their crooked owners, obstacles resulting from African superstition, and introduces us to his family’s pet menagerie.

The title of the book is taken from a commission Mike received to get a lion and a lamb to lie down together to promote peace at a time of heightened racial tension in South Africa, 1992. The advert (for Nedbank) went on to win the award for ‘Best Advertisement for Peace’, world-wide, at Cannes.

In places this book is laugh-out-loud funny, and in others incredibly sad – it is suitable for all ages, for all animal lovers, and is a must read for all aspirant vets.

About the Author

Mike Hardwich is a dedicated vet who has worked with wild and domestic animals for over thirty-five years. He assists whenever the need arises and has an extraordinary rapport with all living things. This is perhaps best summed up by the late Sam Ngwena, who spent forty years in all working for various vets as an assistant and the last six of his life working with Mike: “Mike is a white African who understands animals like no other. His spirit calms them; he knows no fear and never panics. He makes our really difficult work seem easy. We seldom have to restrain an animal patient; there is a calming spirit in our practice because of him.” Mike has been married to Judy for forty-one years and they have three married daughters and seven grandchildren. Their family home is on a farm in the beautiful Tala Valley of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.

The Lion and Lamb – Memoirs of a Vet is Mike’s first book and he is currently writing his next book, tentatively titled The Rhino and the Rat. You can visit Mike’s website ( to read an extract and find out where to buy a copy of the book, or like his Facebook page on to get regular animal story updates.

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