Josh Rottenberg
March 02, 2007 AT 05:00 AM EST

Babylon's Ark

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Lawrence Anthony, Graham Spence
publisher
Thomas Dunne Books
genre
Nonfiction, War

We gave it a B+

As detailed in Babylon’s Ark, in 2003, shortly after the U.S. invaded Iraq, South African conservationist Lawrence Anthony entered Baghdad on a very different mission: to rescue the starving and dehydrated lions, bears, and tigers stranded in the city’s bombed-out zoo, which was beset by armed looters. Enlisting help from the U.S. military and sympathetic Iraqis, Anthony took on the daunting task of saving from the crossfire not just the zoo’s animals but Saddam Hussein’s Arabian horses and son Uday’s pet lions. As one Pentagon photographer says in Anthony’s gripping account — the rare Iraq war book that could conceivably be called uplifting — ”Everything’s a f—ing zoo here, man.” B+

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