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Getting real with Ron Magill: Lessons learned from the animal world

Ron Magill is a wildlife photographer and Zoo Miami’s “Goodwill Ambassador."
Karli Evans
/
Courtesy of Ron Magill
Ron Magill is a wildlife photographer and Zoo Miami’s “Goodwill Ambassador."

Ron Magill is a rare breed.

As a boy, he hand-fed squirrels in his backyard. He grew up dreaming of watching lions chase gazelle across the plains of Africa, like they did on his favorite TV show.

A lot of us had that dream as kids, too. The difference is that Ron grew up — but he never grew out of it.

Ron is the communications director for Zoo Miami. He’s a spokesman for the animals.

Ron has become famous around the world for his animated animal advocacy. Even speaking out against projects that endanger Miami ecosystems.

On the Dan LeBatard Show, he answered hair-brained call-in questions like, who would win in a fight between a crocodile and a bull shark. He narrated animal videos with zeal and the appropriate animal sounds.

Latin America knew him as the animal expert on Sabado Gigante.

Ron’s a noted wildlife photographer. He started an endowment that’s raised millions of dollars to help animal populations in the wild.

And he’s written a new book, The Pride of a Lion. Ostensibly it’s the story of a lion cub raised at Zoo Miami. But it’s actually the biography of the most interesting animal, Ron himself.

On the Jan. 3 episode of Sundial, we talk with Ron about his career and life journey to where he is today. Ron will be presenting his book at Books&Books in Coral Gables on Jan. 9.

On Sundial's previous episode, host Carlos Frías and producers Leslie Ovalle Atkinson and Elisa Baena talked about their favorite moments on Sundial in 2023.

Listen to Sundial Monday through Thursday on WLRN, 91.3 FM, live at 1 p.m., rebroadcast at 8 p.m. Missed a show? Find every episode of Sundial on your favorite podcast app, such as Apple PodcastsStitcher and Spotify.

Carlos Frías is a bilingual writer, a journalist of more than 25 years and the author of an award-winning memoir published by Simon & Schuster.
Leslie Ovalle Atkinson is the former lead producer behind Sundial. As a multimedia producer, she also worked on visual and digital storytelling.
Elisa Baena is a former associate producer for Sundial.