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ABOUT RICK LECOUTEUR

Based on a childhood spent immersed in the rustic charm of rural Australia, Rick’s love for animals blossomed into a lifelong career as a veterinarian, educator, and advocate for animal well-being.

Currently, as director of education for a company dedicated to introducing people to the wonders of wildlife in remote locations, Rick shares his love and knowledge of animals with enthusiasts of all ages.

Through the telling of stories crafted to inspire love, understanding, and advocacy for wildlife, Rick’s journey has evolved beyond clinics and teaching, into the enchanting realm of children's literature. Through his stories about animals, Rick seeks to cultivate in young readers, a sense of curiosity, empathy, and responsibility towards the natural world.

Moreover, Rick’s narratives serve as a clarion call for environmental stewardship in the face of climate challenges. It is Rick’s belief that by nurturing young minds with the mystery and fascination of animals, we can sow the seeds of compassion, and a deep reverence for the delicate balance of life on our planet. Through his stories and illustrations, Rick hopes to kindle imagination in young hearts, and to inspire a new generation of animal lovers and conservationists.

Extended Biography (Docendo discimus)

Rick LeCouteur is an educator. He subscribes wholeheartedly to the words of the Latin proverb above, which (loosely translated) means "by teaching, so we learn" or "teaching teaches us."


RIck loves all animals, is a strong advocate for the environment, and is enthusiastic about conservation.


Growing up in Australia, at every opportunity he escaped the city to spend time at the family farm in rural Australia. It was here that his love of nature blossomed.


Given this background, it is not surprising that Rick studied to become a veterinary surgeon. He graduated from the Faculty of Veterinary Science at the University of Sydney, in 1975.

After a year in private mixed animal practice in Sydney, Rick completed an internship and residency in small animal surgery at the Ontario Veterinary College in Canada. He then went on to complete a residency in neurology and neurosurgery at the School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California.

From 1980 to 1984, Rick completed a PhD in comparative pathology at the University of California, and from 1984 to 1989, was a professor of neurology and neurosurgery at the College of Veterinary Medicine, Colorado State University.


In 1989, Rick returned to Sydney to establish a specialty practice in neurology and neurosurgery. Subsequently, in 1995, missing teaching and research, he returned to the United States to become professor of neurology and neurosurgery at the University of California, where he remained until his retirement in 2015.

Rick is a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (Neurology), a diplomate of the European College of Veterinary Neurology, and an honorary fellow of the Australian & New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists.


Enthusiastic about education in all its forms, Rick has conducted lectures and laboratories at veterinary conferences in over seventy countries. In addition, he has served as editor-In-chief for Clinician’s Brief, and as chief veterinary officer for the North American Veterinary Community.

During his professional career, Rick has written numerous abstracts, proceedings, book chapters, books, and scientific articles. He is recipient of multiple awards (all listed on his professional CV below). Rick values numerous faculty teaching awards, favorite teacher awards, and invitations to be the faculty speaker at graduation ceremonies, above all other recognition, as, for these awards, he was selected by his students.

In retirement, Rick is the director of education for Veterinary Expeditions L.L.C., a company that provides educational opportunities in wildlife and conservation around the world. Rick co-founded the company with Dr. Carol Walton, who also is a veterinarian. Rick has been on numerous expeditions with Carol, including the Pantanal, Antarctica, the Amazon, Galapagos Islands, Rwanda/Tanzania, Madagascar, Southern Africa, Borneo, and many more. His keen sense of humor, good organizational skills, and enthusiasm for wildlife and travel, help make each expedition a resounding success and lots of fun!


Rick often selflessly donates his time, before or after expeditions, to provide local veterinary communities in the countries visited with veterinary educational opportunities, consisting of both lecture presentations and hands-on demonstrations. Veterinary Expeditions provides the perfect opportunity for Rick to combine his love of wildlife and conservation, curiosity regarding travel, and dedication to veterinary education and teaching.

Rick's enthusiasm for wildlife, the environment, and conservation, knows no bounds. His lifelong goal is to write and illustrate children's picture books in order to teach kids about the wonder of nature, and the importance of taking care of planet Earth.

Click on a button below to see excerpts from Rick's professional CV, which demonstrate his extensive experience in scientific writing, teaching, and oral/visual communication. A strong foundation for an individual aspiring to embark on a career as an author/illustrator of children's picture books about animals.


Also below, click on a button that links to images of Rick's teaching at every level - from his grandchildren to veterinarians in Madagascar!

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