Saturday, October 13, 2007

Who Do I Have to Sleep With to Get a Lion? Uday Hussein!

Woops, missed that boat.

In any case, the former splendor of the Baghdad Zoo is being resurrected with the celebration of Eid. Admission is free and many Iraqis (mostly Shiites) are taking advantage of the heightened security of the day to venture out and enjoy a day of non-wartime activity. Still on display are a few dozen animals including: badgers, Egyptian pelicans, cheetahs, goats, Indian peacocks, and the lions that used to be kept as pets by Uday Hussein.

At its peak, the Baghdad zoo held 650 animals. Unfortunately it has been adversely affected by the US-led invasion and subsequent 4 (almost 5!) years of civil war. Located near several of Sadaam's palaces, animals have been killed, cages have been damaged, and animals have escaped and been stolen.

Unfortunately around noon gunfire was heard near the gates as witnesses reported a skirmish between some policemen and their counterparts in the army. After an initial scattering of the crowds, the queues reformed quickly.

Crowds Flock to Baghdad Zoo for Eid - AFP

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