Waiting for Giraffes
Dr. Sami is the veterinarian at the Qalqilya Zoo, which is in the west of the West Bank, close to the border with Israel. It’s not easy to work in the only zoo in the world located on occupied territory. The giraffes died during the last intifada, and replacing them is proving to be a real challenge. Animals that are “surplus to requirements” are sometimes available from foreign zoos, but never a giraffe. Everything in Palestine is related to politics, even something as innocent as a zoo. The zoo’s collaboration with the nearest Israeli zoo reflects the cross-border relations. We follow Dr. Sami’s quest for international recognition and watch as he makes friendly overtures to his Israeli counterparts. On a work visit to the zoo in Jerusalem, the zoo’s staff realize how far they are from even reaching the minimum standards. This rude awakening triggers Dr. Sami to push for the necessary improvements.