The world lost an incredible human being recently. Jocelyn Bezner, VMD, was a friend and a mentor to the staff of CSNW and played a vital role in the chimps’ care over the years. She regularly consulted with Dr. Erin on diagnoses and courses of treatment, even joining in on surgeries over FaceTime. She was a wealth of knowledge and always had time to help chimpanzees, regardless of where they lived.
I asked Dr. Erin if I could share a portion of the email she sent to the rest of the staff when she broke the news. She summed up what Dr. B meant to us and the world better than I could have:
Jocelyn was one of the kindest, most supportive and selfless people I’ve ever known. She was truly an amazing chimp vet and human being and it’s hard to believe that she is gone. I wouldn’t know half of what I do about chimp medicine and behavior if it were not for her mentorship and support. She was SO encouraging and supportive but also very authentic and didn’t take life too seriously. She was the easiest person to talk to and I will miss her very much.
[…] I am just now understanding how many people’s lives she touched and enriched, both human and non human. Such a loss for the veterinary community, the chimpanzee sanctuary world and for all who loved her. She was smart, funny, fiercely dedicated to chimpanzees and a lot of fun to hang out with. She was one extremely loved human and in many ways was my hero.
I strive to embrace life and worry less in honor of the one and only Bez.
Thanks for everything, Dr. B.
📸: Save the Chimps