lemur 1J. D. (Doug) Porter developed his love of nature growing up in the piney woods and mangrove swamps of Florida’s gulf coast. He nurtured that passion for over forty years as he managed parks, zoos, and museums, and studied wildlife in the Amazon rainforest, the Galapagos Islands, the African savanna, and the Arctic tundra. He is a zoologist and educator with a bachelor’s degree in zoology and a master’s in adult education. Doug combined his experience with animals and his love of historical fiction into his first novel, The Menagerie, A Zoo Story in 2012 and continued following one of his characters when he published The Dogcatcher and The Fox in 2020. The novels explore the history of the American zoo and the origins of America’s animal welfare movement. When he retired at the end of 2015, he found himself driving a mule wagon for a South Georgia quail hunting operation—a job that allowed him plenty of time to pursue his interests as an author, newspaper columnist, and freelance writer who focuses on animals, nature, and the outdoors. Doug used his COVID isolation during the summer of 2020 to publish his memoir, Lessons from the Zoo: Ten Animals That Changed My Life. When he is not swearing at his mules or petting his dogs, he is probably napping on his back porch in Decatur, Georgia while he dreams up his next blog, newspaper column, or book.

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