“I don’t understand all the fuss. If any creature is in danger, you save it, human or animal.” -Diane Ackerman, the Zookeeper’s Wife

The Warsaw zoo is situated in Poland, Warsaw, first inaugurated in 1928. It happens to be a scientific zoo with annual visitors of about 1,ooo,ooo, which makes it one of the busiest zoos in Europe. The Warsaw zoo holds significance not only over the 4,200 animals belonging from 500 different species that are kept there, but the Żabiński family also.

The zoo was bombed in 1939 by German forces, killing most of the animals. After Germans seized the zoo they moved animals they thought valuable, to a reserve back in Germany and the rest were killed. Now that the zoo lost all its animals, the caretakers really felt the loss and so designed a scheme to fill the zoo and save lives. The Żabiński family, the husband Jan and the wife Antonina, were the caretakers. They were also responsible for hiding hundreds of Jews in the very same zoo that they smuggled from the Jew Ghetto, at the time of World War 2. Later they received the title of ‘Righteous among the nation’ for their unwavering stance in saving as many Jewish men, women and children as they could.

A family, who took care of animals their whole lives, couldn’t resist the zoo being empty and so filled it with humans instead, and for the right cause too. The zoo survives to this day, and the Żabiński family struggle is highlighted in the 2017 movie, the zookeeper’s wife.