What I said in the “What I’m reading right now” section
Babylon’s Ark is a spellbinding account of the super human effort to rescue desperate animals from disaster amid wide-spread chaos of a very human war. From the pen, heart and mind of Lawrence Anthony (the same man who wrote Elephant Whisperer) the book tells the story of Anthony’s spur of the moment decision to attend to the starving and suffering animals of the Baghdad Zoo shortly after the US invasion in 2003 and Saddam’s fall. Up against a string of almost impossible challenges such as looters, low food & medicine supplies, water shortages, no electricity, angry beasts and difficult humans, the South African, his team of two Kuwaitis and a number of local Iraqis show endearing, heart-rending, soul lifting determination to save lives of the forgotten and helpless. Totally intriguing! Loving every word, sentence and page so far.
Well, I finished it a couple of weeks ago and can safely say it was one of the most incredible, mind altering books I’ve ever read. Although the focus of the story was the incredible rescue of the Baghdad Zoo, it turned out to be more of a study about the way in which we treat our precious natural resources… and the terrible consequences.
Lawrence Anthony, who sadly and unexpectedly passed away during the time I was reading the book, was a story-teller extraordinaire with a heart for, not only animals and nature, but the sacredness of life in general.
Can’t wait to get my hands on his brand new, posthumously-published The Last Rhinos.
I recommend this to anyone who has felt a fluttering of compassion for any form of life, especially the vulnerable and voiceless. Also anyone who just enjoys a good, evocatively told story.