Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Saving the Baghdad Zoo

A different way of helping on the war front - saving the animals of a war-torn zoo!

Halls, Kelly Milner.
Saving the Baghdad Zoo: A True Story of Hope and Heroes.
February 2010.
HarperCollins Publishers.
Review copy provided courtesy of publisher.

When one thinks of war, he/she typically tends to think about the fighting, innocent civilians being hurt and the soldiers being hurt/killed. What isn't typically thought about is others who's habitat happens to also be in the war-zone - the animals and wildlife. However, one U.S. Army Captain, Captain William Sumner was sent to check the status of the zoo in Baghdad shortly after the war broke out in 2003. Upon discovering the devastating state of the zoo, Captain Sumner took on a new mission - saving the animals of Baghdad with the help of a team of zoologists, veterinarians, conservationists, and animal lovers. Saving the Baghdad Zoo shares a details account of what this magnificent team was up again, while giving a scrapbook-style diary of what they were up against and what they were able to accomplish.

This is a wonderfully inspiring story! I very much enjoyed reading the story and looking at the pictures of the exact animals the team worked with as well as before/after style shots that allows readers to really connect with the devastation that existed prior to the work of humans that care so much about animals and rebuilding war-torn areas. I would recommend the book to children in grades 3+, as some of the photos are somewhat disturbing and there is a great deal of text to be read and understood! Overall, though, this would make for a very interesting research project!

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