When Dr. Evan Antin thinks “ambush predator,” it’s the jumping pit viper of Costa Rica that springs to mind.
“When you get hit by those nice, long fangs – those are long, big fangs – you’re in big trouble,” he notes in a confident cadence, as he holds a muscular female viper toward a video camera and exposes fangs dripping with yellow venom. “I mean, those are just mean, big, hypodermic needles.”
This hunky veterinarian is a 2013 Colorado State University D.V.M. alumnus, and he charms more than venomous snakes: He recently caught the eyes of editors at People magazine. The magazine dubbed Antin “Sexiest Beast Charmer” in its annual “Sexiest Man Alive” issue.
The square-jawed young vet, who practices exotics medicine in southern California, was featured alongside Hollywood hotties including Chris Hemsworth and Bradley Cooper. He was highlighted in a magazine section called “Sexy Men at Work.”
Not long before the magazine shout-out, Antin appeared as a guest on the Kris Jenner Show, a talk show hosted by the mom of reality TV’s Kardashian sisters. On the show, Antin introduced Jenner to a barely-out-of-the-pouch kangaroo, named Bella Roo.
“She’s harmless,” Antin assured Jenner as he handed her the little roo, cuddled inside a blanket. “Here, touch her cute little hand.”
Turns out it’s good for business to maintain a sexy demeanor while cozying up to not only cuddly kangaroos, but caimans, cobras and other potentially deadly beasts.
Antin admits that, since he landed the high-profile tag from People in December, his clientele has grown at the Conejo Valley Veterinary Hospital near Los Angeles, where he practices.
“I’ve gotten a little bit of teasing from my colleagues, a lot of attention locally, and a few more patients than normal since the magazine came out,” he says.
Antin has a face the camera loves, even deep in the jungle. He has trekked into the wilds in search of creatures to highlight in educational videos posted on his YouTube channel. Like the Crocodile Hunter before him, Antin appreciates the beauty of wild, exotic creatures and encourages their conservation.
He began making videos 10 years ago while traveling in Australia, living from a hatchback car. He set up a tri-pod at night, caught small reptiles, and filmed short videos in the car’s headlights.
“Now that I have my D.V.M. and have been in practice for a year and a half, I can incorporate more veterinary medicine information into my videos,” says Antin, also a regular veterinary columnist for the Conejo Valley Happening magazine.
He has visited six of seven continents, and plans annual trips to interact with exotic species, work with animals at wildlife rehab sanctuaries, and promote animal conservation.
Back in Conejo Valley, Antin treats companion animals, exotic pets, and wildlife and zoo animals.
“My boss will let me see anything,” says Antin, who is especially interested in dangerous creatures. “It’s like a nervousness combined with a fascination. It’s humbling.”
Exotics rotations with Dr. Matthew Johnston fed Antin’s fascination while he was a student in the Colorado State DVM Program. He recalls treating a tiger with a hind-limb amputation.
Crocodiles are his favorite patients, Antin says, “because they’re like living dinosaurs.”
But are they sexy dinosaurs?