How the Animals Get to the Zoo
Mary Elting with pictures by Stefan Martin
published 1964 by Wonder Books
Again, I shutter to think of the complete unPCness of this book, but it is hugely fascinating none-the-less. For any fan of the awesome John Wayne flick, Hatari!, this book takes the story one step further. When my husband was wee, Hatari! was his favorite movie, partly because those guys who used to trap exotic animals old school-style were like African cowboys. Looking at it now, the capture and caging techniques were pretty horrific...
How do wild animals get to the zoo?
Men from the zoo go out to look for them.
Men from the zoo catch them and bring them back.
I am definitely a memoir girl in my own reading, and one of my all time favorite books EVER is West with the Night by Beryl Markham. Though she was much more of an animal observer and a conservationist, this story still takes you back to that time when Africa and its wildlife were still so exotic to the Western world. I know, I know... there are so many things wrong with that too... but my son's favorite animals are African, his favorite movie is Africa Imax on DVD and the place he talks about going someday all the time is Africa, so any book that brings him that much closer to the experience is OK with me. My husband and I went on safari in Tanzania a few years back, and already are saving money so that when the little guy turns 11ish, we can take him.
Includes techniques for wrestling crocs, trapping monkeys in trees and digging holes to capture rhinos... a title definitely not for the squeamish animal lover, but still an interesting picture of how all these generations of zoo animals made it stateside in the first place.