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Zoo Story: Life in the Garden of Captives

de Thomas French

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3381957,624 (3.84)13
Based on six years of research, behind the scenes at Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo. A dramatic and moving true story of seduction and betrayal, exile and loss, and the limits of freedom on an overcrowded planet-- all framed inside one zoo reinventing itself for the twenty-first century.
No n'hi ha cap
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This was a good book if you are a Zoo person. Gave an interesting inside look at what goes on in the daily life of the zoo keepers, the animals and the administration. It will change how you think when you go to the zoo after reading it. ( )
  Rick686ID | Jan 27, 2021 |
In this book, a few animals get most of the focus- tigers and elephants. There's also a lot about a certain chimpanzee who had lived in the zoo a very long time, seen many changes- but started his life raised in a private home, so he had some confusion including a fixation on human females instead of his own species. The shuffling of hierarchy among the half dozen chimps at the zoo as some aged and younger ones came in, was pretty fascinating. The tiger- beautiful and always fierce- even to the older, larger male tigers they bought in hoping to be her mate- met a tragic end after getting out of her enclosure one day. Main thread going through the book was about the elephants- brought over from Swaziland to spare them from being killed in a cull... The zoo's acquisition of these elephants caused a huge outcry from animal welfare groups. There was also a lot of conflict among the zoo staff- some wanted direct contact methods used with the animals, others pushed for new methods that kept the keepers and staff safer from the elephants. This book, like the other, also had a lot about how inner operations and politics, but it felt more focused. Quite a lot about the zoo director's decisions and actions, how it impacted the workers, the animals, even how his wife felt about things.

Some other animals featured in the book are the manatees which the zoo rehabilitates and releases into the wild, patas monkeys that escape off their island and run around the outskirts of the city for weeks, and endangered frogs being bred in captivity. It's all based on six years of research- four of which the reporter spent in visiting the zoo and going behind-the-scenes. The appendix has detailed notes about sources for all the described scenes and conversations, very thorough. Most of the time I appreciated the author's attempts to imagine what the animals were thinking, feeling or perceiving in certain moments, but I found his constant comparison of human behavior to chimpanzees (especially in terms of males seeking high status) annoying- it just started to get old. Although he made a good point to reiterate what zoo staff told him about how they help endangered species and work for the good of the animals, a lot of what's in this book made me feel dubious about zoos for the first time- usually I enjoy visiting them. Now I'm not so sure.

from the Dogear Diary ( )
  jeane | Aug 28, 2019 |
"All of it was on display in the garden of captives."

I love that line!! I really enjoyed this book! It was beautifully written and Thomas French did an amazing job of bringing each and every animal he wrote about to life, leaping right off the pages. He made it so I cared about their stories and how they turned out. He also raises the tough question about whether zoos are really where those animals belong and gives a look at the inside working of Lowry Park Zoo. I like that you get to see the zookeepers view of their work, their love for the animals, and the criticism they face. I definitely recommend this book to animal lovers! ( )
  Tabatha014 | Jun 6, 2016 |
Fantastic writing that tells a heartwarming yet troubled story from the Lowry Zoo in Tampa. The Author can take facts and weave them into novel style writing. I was clearly impressed. Any animal lover (and even non) should read this. ( )
  yougotamber | Aug 22, 2014 |
An amazing read. I will never look at animals in the zoo in the same way again. The personalities of the animals, the behind the scenes look, it makes for an put downable read.

Lowry Park Zoo was a small community zoo in Tampa. Run to seed and struggling. Then they imported four wild elephants, in order to save them from a culling. Thomas French, while following the story of the African elephants, was let behind the scenes of this zoo. From the chimp raised by humans (who is attracted to blondes) to the captive bred tiger who is wilder than many raised wild, it is an incredible story. ( )
  bookwormteri | Jul 30, 2014 |
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No n'hi ha cap

Based on six years of research, behind the scenes at Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo. A dramatic and moving true story of seduction and betrayal, exile and loss, and the limits of freedom on an overcrowded planet-- all framed inside one zoo reinventing itself for the twenty-first century.

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Mitjana: (3.84)
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3 12
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Hyperion and Voice

Hyperion and Voice ha publicat 2 edicions d'aquest llibre.

Edicions: 1401323464, 1401310532

Tantor Media

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