Saving the Baghdad Zoo

Saving the Baghdad Zoo Cover

Saving the Baghdad Zoo

A True Story of Hope and Heroes

By Kelly Milner Halls; William Sumner; William Sumner (Illustrator)

Greenwillow Books, Hardcover, 9780061772023, 64pp.

Publication Date: February 1, 2010


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 neglectedbut tenaciousanimals 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.

Praise For Saving the Baghdad Zoo

“Sobering and uplifting photographs—many taken by Sumner—underscore both the direness of the situation and the spirit of hope that drove the project…Eye-opening.”
-Publishers Weekly

“Loaded with reader appeal, these tales of animal rescue focus on the animals but also provide some insight into what Baghdad was like in the wake of the U.S. invasion.”
-Kirkus Reviews

“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.”
-ALA Booklist

-The Horn Book

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