The baghdad zoo was once home to more than six hundred magnificent animals. But after the war in Iraq began in 2003, the city faced widespread destruction.
When U. S. Army Captain William Sumner was asked to check out the state of the zoo, he found that it, too, was devastated. Hundreds of animals were missing, and the few remaining were in desperate need of care. And so Captain Sumner accepted a new mission. Together with an international team of zoologists, veterinarians, conservationists, and dedicated animal lovers, Captain Sumner worked tirelessly to save the neglected--but tenacious--animals of Baghdad.
Saving the Baghdad Zoo tells the poignant stories of these remarkable animals. Meet the abandoned lions who roamed an empty palace with no food or drink; the camel, Lumpy, who survived transport through sniper fire; the tigers, Riley and Hope, who traveled 7,000 miles from home; and many more.
The Baghdad Zoo, open once again to the people of Iraq, has become an oasis of hope and safety in a city where both are precious gifts.
Grades 4-7. Bolstered with large, beautiful color photos and informative sidebars, this dramatic picture-book-size photo-essay tells of the U.S. army rescue of zoo animals in the Iraqi war zone. The authors investigate what the rescue effort has done for the animals––including lions, tigers, dromedaries, bears, Arabian horses, tortoises, cheetahs, and more—as well as diplomacy, building bridges between the American military and the Iraqi people, especially the zoo workers. The rescue stories of human-animal bonding include close-up photos and facts. Archaeologist Sumner serves as a general in Iraq and is still active in protecting the zoo and its cultural heritage, and his first-person eyewitness accounts are woven in with Hall’s overview. Together, the authors address the continuing controversies: Why save the animals and not focus on the people? Why not return wild animals to their natural habitats? Many readers will be drawn into the debates about the ongoing role of the U.S. in Iraq.