Anna's Reviews > Zoo Story: Life in the Garden of Captives

Zoo Story by Thomas French
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's review
Aug 20, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: audio
Read from August 20 to 26, 2010

Such an interesting and nuanced book behind the scenes at Tampa's Lowry Park zoo! Thomas French understands the importance of zoos in keeping alive highly endangered species and introducing the public to the world out there, at the same time as the lives of the animals are clearly changed by their captivity. The book opens with 11 elephants on route from Swaziland to Florida and San Diego because the Swaziland park can no longer support the number of elephants there. PETA files several injunctions to prevent the transportation of the animals believing that death (the inevitable outcome of transferring the animals to other parks in Africa that license big game hunters - ugh - or slow starvation of too many elephants in the Swaziland park) would be better than captivity. I can't agree. I had no idea that poison frogs are no longer poisonous in a zoo because they don't eat the ants in their native environment that cause the poison.

I'm a huge fan of non-fiction written by journalists and Zoo Story is an excellent example of that kind of book. It's full of interesting characters - Herman, a chimp that lived with a family for so long that he prefers blonde women to female chimpanzees (isn't that awful?!), Enshalla, a Sumatran tiger that has always lived in captivity and is aggressive with everybody and dies shockingly and unexpectedly, and a CEO that bullies his staff (did you know that new zookeepers earn about $7.50 an hour?) with his grand expansion plans.
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Alicia (new)

Alicia That sound interesting!

message 2: by Alicia (new)

Alicia That SOUNDS interesting!

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