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Father of Lions


A true-to-life narrative of one man's remarkable quest to save the Mosul Zoo.
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Discuss Father of Lions by Louise Callaghan:
The children think Mother is evil for attacking Warda and for eating Father. Abu Laith says it's just animal instinct, though her actions clearly upset him. Do you agree with the children or with Abu Laith?

Created: 01/13/20

Replies: 16

Posted Jan. 13, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 2143

The children think Mother is evil for attacking Warda and for eating Father. Abu Laith says it's just animal instinct, though her actions clearly upset him. Do you agree with the children or with Abu Laith?

The children think Mother is evil for attacking Warda and for eating Father. Abu Laith says it's just animal instinct, though her actions clearly upset him. Do you agree with the children or with Abu Laith?


Posted Feb. 01, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
PinkLady

Join Date: 01/22/18

Posts: 78

RE: The children think Mother is evil for attacking Warda and for eating Father. Abu Laith says it's just animal instinct, though her actions clearly upset him. Do you agree with the children or with Abu Laith?

I agree with Abu Laith but it did turn my stomach. And if there was some evil involved, her circumstances might have produced that.


Posted Feb. 01, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
katherinep

Join Date: 07/16/14

Posts: 220

RE: The children think Mother is evil for attacking Warda and for eating Father. Abu Laith says it's just animal instinct, though her actions clearly upset him. Do you agree with the children or with Abu Laith?

Evil??? Animals cannot be evil! Survival of the fittest is more than a theory.


Posted Feb. 01, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
laurap

Join Date: 06/19/12

Posts: 265

RE: The children think Mother is evil for attacking Warda and for eating Father. Abu Laith says it's just animal instinct, though her actions clearly upset him. Do you agree with the children or with Abu Laith?

I agree with Abu Laith. The instinct to survive is strong and controlling -- often, even among humans. The morality of the behavior is a strictly human construct.


Posted Feb. 01, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
rco

Join Date: 11/04/18

Posts: 19

RE: The children think Mother is evil for attacking Warda and for eating Father. Abu Laith says it's just animal instinct, though her actions clearly upset him. Do you agree with the children or with Abu Laith?

abu Laith is correct. If you are caged and hungry an animal will do what is necessary to eat.


Posted Feb. 01, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Maggie

Join Date: 01/01/16

Posts: 241

RE: The children think Mother is evil for attacking Warda and for eating Father. Abu Laith says it's just animal instinct, though her actions clearly upset him. Do you agree with the children or with Abu Laith?

I agree with Abu Laith. Especially wild animals have the want to survive no matter what. Actually people will do the same, not necessarily kill, but in certain situations eat another human who has already died. Cannot remember the title of the book I read years ago where this did happen.


Posted Feb. 01, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 2143

The children think Mother is evil for attacking Warda and for eating Father. Abu Laith says it's just animal instinct, though her actions clearly upset him. Do you agree with the children or with Abu Laith?

In response to Maggie -- you are right, there are many examples of humans eating each other in modern history - whether out of desperation (such as the Siege of Leningrad or sailors marooned at sea - if the sailors were later rescued, the British Navy might convict but usually with a relatively light sentence due to it being "the custom of the sea"). Or out of respect/love, as was the case in Papua New Guinea up until at least the middle of the last century (and in fact this proved a key clue to understanding prion diseases, as the women and sometimes children frequently got sick with 'kuru' and died within a year or two, whereas the men did not, and the connection turned out to be that the women were eating the brain and thus contracting a disease similar to Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease).


Posted Feb. 02, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
TerryPark

Join Date: 09/03/19

Posts: 17

RE: The children think Mother is evil for attacking Warda and for eating Father. Abu Laith says it's just animal instinct, though her actions clearly upset him. Do you agree with the children or with Abu Laith?

I also agree with Abu Laith. Survival is a drive for animals, and for humans. I can't feel good about reading it in any book I remember, but I do recognize it as an instinct that wins over death.


Posted Feb. 02, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
susiej

Join Date: 10/15/14

Posts: 264

RE: The children think Mother is evil for attacking Warda and for eating Father. Abu Laith says it's just animal instinct, though her actions clearly upset him. Do you agree with the children or with Abu Laith?

Maggie, the 1972 non fiction Alive by Paul Read - the story about the Uruguayan Rugby team who was involved in the airplanne crash of Uruguayan Air Force Flight 571 - tells how survivors were forced to sustain their own lives by eating the bodies of those who were killed in the crash high atop the Andes Mountains. Clearly survival is a human and animal instinct.


Posted Feb. 04, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
dorinned

Join Date: 10/13/14

Posts: 103

RE: The children think Mother is evil for attacking Warda and for eating Father. Abu Laith says it's just animal instinct, though her actions clearly upset him. Do you agree with the children or with Abu Laith?

I agree with Abu Laith - animal instinct is survival of the fittest.


Posted Feb. 05, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
ARR

Join Date: 08/12/19

Posts: 3

RE: The children think Mother is evil for attacking Warda and for eating Father. Abu Laith says it's just animal instinct, though her actions clearly upset him. Do you agree with the children or with Abu Laith?

I agree with Abu Laith. While it was disturbing to read about a young bear's limb being ripped off, and as a child onlooker I would be distraught by this, the lion was starving, and survival was kicking in. An opportunity to eat something, even a zoo compatriot was necessary, in order to survive. I felt horrible that Mother was placed in a position (within their shared cage) to steal food from Father and then eat (and be sickened by) his corpse speeding her own death. I'm glad that even under the terrible consequences of ISIS occupation, and even unexpected consequences of US occupation in the 2000s, Abu Laith recognized and respected the natural animal instinct for survival (including humans) and wild nature. I was upset by the U.S. soldiers who stuck their hands in the tigers cage, got bit, then shot her multiple times. Have we fooled ourselves into thinking wild animals are tame and we can do what we want with them regardless of their welfare? Control over nature, animals caged by humans for entertainment, and subject to our whims, and war. That really sticks with me. I'm glad Zombie is roaming free as Abu Laith wanted.


Posted Feb. 05, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
jennie r

Join Date: 08/06/17

Posts: 39

RE: The children think Mother is evil for attacking Warda and for eating Father. Abu Laith says it's just animal instinct, though her actions clearly upset him. Do you agree with the children or with Abu Laith?

I agree with Abu Laith on this one. Mother was half-mad from starvation and living in a confined space...she followed her instincts.


Posted Feb. 09, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
djcminor

Join Date: 03/14/19

Posts: 77

RE: The children think Mother is evil for attacking Warda and for eating Father. Abu Laith says it's just animal instinct, though her actions clearly upset him. Do you agree with the children or with Abu Laith?

While it is hard for many to understand, Abu Laith is right when he says it is instinct. I would find it hard to watch, but I know it is the way of the animal world.


Posted Feb. 10, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
kathleenb

Join Date: 09/14/12

Posts: 100

RE: The children think Mother is evil for attacking Warda and for eating Father. Abu Laith says it's just animal instinct, though her actions clearly upset him. Do you agree with the children or with Abu Laith?

I think it is a hard for the children to understand the survival of the stronger one that involved in her attacking her mate. I agree with bi Laith.


Posted Feb. 10, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
kellyo

Join Date: 09/15/16

Posts: 53

RE: The children think Mother is evil for attacking Warda and for eating Father. Abu Laith says it's just animal instinct, though her actions clearly upset him. Do you agree with the children or with Abu Laith?

The whole thing is such a tragedy. The animals were not only starving but very stressed from all the gun fire, explosions, etc. Mother was suffering greatly. Not only was she hungry but she was clearly stressed. She did what she had to do to survive. It sounded like Father was in much worse shape than her so it was easier for her to steal his food. It would have been a horrible thing for a child to see or for anyone to see for that matter.


Posted Feb. 12, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
vickys

Join Date: 04/21/11

Posts: 40

RE: The children think Mother is evil for attacking Warda and for eating Father. Abu Laith says it's just animal instinct, though her actions clearly upset him. Do you agree with the children or with Abu Laith?

This was such a horrible and sad situation. I felt pain for the animals locked up and starving, unable to take care of themselves, completely dependent on humans who either did not know what they were doing, didn't have enough money or feared for their own safety. It was sickening. I don't blame the lion for what she did. And it is understandabe that to the children it appeared to be an evil action.


Posted Feb. 19, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Junebug

Join Date: 01/25/20

Posts: 21

RE: The children think Mother is evil for attacking Warda and for eating Father. Abu Laith says it's just animal instinct, though her actions clearly upset him. Do you agree with the children or with Abu Laith?

It was totally the lion doing what was necessary to survive. But it is easy to see that when the children were attached to all the animals, they would ascribe evil to the one that killed or maimed the others.


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