Zoo Story

Zoo Story

Life in the Garden of Captives

Book - 2010
Average Rating:
Rate this:
Based on six years of research, behind the scenes at Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo.
Publisher: New York : Hyperion, c2010
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9781401323462
Branch Call Number: 590.73 F889z
Characteristics: 288 p. ; 25 cm


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Apr 14, 2017

Well-written and even-handed book about Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa, which went from 32 animals to roughly 2000 in about 20 yrs. Growth like this is bound to have problems, and this zoo was no exception. There was a keeper death, the escape of a tiger, leading to the tiger's death, an evidently preventable death of an alpha chimp, and the ultimate termination (OK, he was given the choice of resigning or being fired and he chose the former) of a charismatic zoo director for conflicts of interest that centered around starting up a for-profit safari park while being the director of a nonprofit zoo. On the other hand, the zoo appears to have an excellent manatee recovery program for injured or sick manatees and at least at one time, was lauded for its children's programs. The author, a newspaper journalist, does a nice job of exploring the dichotomy presented by zoos, how zookeepers feel about their jobs, and the consequences of keeping a primate as a pet (don't do it). All in all an entertaining and thought-provoking read.

Jan 14, 2016

I wanted to read this because I am against animals in zoos. And I thought it would be only fair to see the zoo's side. This book highlights one of the top 10 zoos in the USA and it softened my stance on captives in a good zoo. However, it is still has faults as a couple of animals died needlessly at the Tampa Lawry zoo. And many zoos are woefully inadequate in the USA and around the world. I dislike the use of the word "conservation" in anything but the natural home of animals and zoos are no exception. And, unfortunately, this has set a precedence of record number of elephants from Zimbabwe to be shipped to China where they are now suffering. Elephants in this story is also from Zimbabwe. The politics of this is far and wide.
The novel is engaging and especially because it is extremely factual and well researched. Anyone reading a novel like this should also read Anthony Lawrence and Daphne Sheldrick to round out their understanding of the controversial capture and killing of animals.

Sep 03, 2015

I actually found this book at a dollar store, picked it up as it looked interesting... and it was VERY interesting! I expected it to be a sob story "poor animals behind bars" but it was a fascinating look at the true day to day behind the scenes of the actual running of a zoo, and all the mistakes made by the one zoo it was written about (Lowry Park in Florida). It was quite fascinating to read!

Jul 06, 2012

Fascinating, even-handed, in-depth account of zoo life, zoo expansion, animal acquisition, animal conservation and controversy, and zoo politics. Focusing on the Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa, Florida, the author takes us from Swaziland to the political boardroom. Along the way, we come to know animals as personalities, and people exhibiting animal-like characteristics.

You don't need to have a previous interest in the topic to be engaged by this page-turner. Read it now before someone decides to make a movie of it.

m2 Jan 11, 2011

Really well written and reported story about the transformation of the Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa, FL. Facinating -- and the author made sure to raise all the philosophical questions of animal captivity and also the status of animals in the wild. Would make a good book club book -- lots to talk about. Highly recommend it.

Nov 08, 2010

Excellant, interesting till the end


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at Northern Indiana Database Cluster

To Top