Gently. That is how Saeed Kamel moves among the animals. His graceful attitude did not fade away during his 26-year journey of working at the zoo. “I stay all night long beside my children when they get sick. Animals are just big babies too; they can’t tell you what is hurting them… I remember once the vet was stitching one of the animals, I cried because it was painful for it, and I cry whenever I remember that day because I sympathize with its pain.”
On flake of hay, Uncle Saeed sat by the firewood making tea for his fellow caretakers, using fresh mint leaves he is growing in a small patch of land at the zoo. While he made the tea, Kamel spoke with pride about his children and grandchildren, and his work at zoo, how he left the job after only two days, but then the zoo director called and asked him to keep the job.
“I don’t know what he saw in me back then, maybe it is how I love animals, I am originally a farmer and I used to raise cattle. It is god’s will after all, and I am content with it.” Said Kamel.