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The O’Reilly Animals

2013 April 3

As you know, at O’Reilly we are very proud of the animals displayed on the covers of our books. Our animals are so famous that the public often refer to them instead of the title of the book. We have, to name a few:


At conferences, our animals are very often the opening topic of conversation at the booth. A question I am always asked is “What are you going to do when you run out of animals?” or “Why do you use this animal?” I listen to some very funny conversations –

– Why do you use a bat on the sendmail book?2 polar_bear_hi
– because sendmail sends you batty.


– Why do you use a camel on Programming Perl?
– because a camel goes a long way.

Right or wrong, it does not really matter. What matters is that people are talking about our books as a great source of knowledge. But… what happens to the animals? So please listen to Edie Freedman, the O’Reilly Creative Director.

“When I designed the first Animal covers for O’Reilly, I had no idea how popular the animals would become; 25 years later, the brand continues to flourish. Unfortunately, the same is not true of the real-life animals whose images appear on many of the book covers.”

Our books have been there to help you achieve your dream career but during that time, gloom has descended on our animals, and many are now critically endangered. Conservationists are in desperate need of people with your tech expertise and O’Reilly hope to help by putting you in touch with them. Please read on and find a way to help our animals so that our future society can benefit from them.

There are many ways to get involved:

  • making donations to conservation organizations 
  • volunteering your time in the field and/or bringing your technical expertise to bear on the problems
  • using technological expertise to track populations, detect poachers and help the conservation organizations achieve their goals.

On The O’Reilly Animals, you will find all you need to help.

Please follow us on Twitter, @OReillyAnimals, retweet and spread the word!

One Response Post a comment
  1. avatar
    Niki permalink
    February 4, 2014

    It’s easy for you to say. Do you have to put animals that people tend to be scared of though. I have a serious snake Phobia and had a small anxiety breakdown running into your book on Amazon. I think it’s on map reduce. No matter how good the book is it wouldn’t come near my house. Many people have a real fear of these things. Be considerate before you wrap a long slithery snake on the front of a book that has nothing to do with snakes. Sorry maybe it’s because you still live in a world where female don’t program.

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