November 21st, 2010
This is a behind-the-scenes look at a zoo and the lives of the animals kept there. French discusses the conflict many zoo keepers feel and describes their efforts at conservation and enrichment activities even while feeling sorry for their charges, who ideally should be free. It’s the story of several animals in particular at Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa. We learn the history of Herman the chimpanzee, Enshalla the Sumatran tiger, and the story of the elephants being brought to the zoo from Africa, amid a flurry of protests, to keep them from being euthanized.
French’s book is a clear-headed and balanced view of zoos and is recommended for those who enjoy nonfiction that reads like fiction and those interested in novels like Sara Gruen’s new Ape House.
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