This is a story of human decency in the midst of barbarism - how the zookeeper of Mosul Zoo saved the animals during the Isis rule of the city between 2014 and 2017.
'Callaghan's portrayal of a city under siege is many-layered and brilliantly told' Sunday Times
As ISIS laid terrible siege to Mosul, a zoo on the eastern edge of the Tigris was kept open against all odds. Under the stern hand of the zookeeper Abu Laith, whose name – loosely translated – means Father of Lions, its animals faced not only years of occupation, but starvation and bombardment by the liberating forces. Father of Lions is the story of Mosul Zoo: of resilience and human decency in the midst of barbarism.
'Father of Lions captures, with heartbreaking poignancy, the human cost of these conflicts' Josie Ensor, Middle East Correspondent for the Daily Telegraphy
'Through the story of a man who loves both lions and life, Louise Callaghan shows how humour and defiance can counter cruelty' Lindsey Hilsum, author of In Extremis