Of all the places you'd expect to find a zoo, Kabul may not be at the top of your list. The Afghan capital has been racked by years of war and foreign occupation, and remains a chaotic place despite halting progress since the 2001 U.S. invasion. Inaugurated in 1967, the Kabul Zoo once housed more than 500 animals, but decades of war have caused extensive damage, while rampaging soldiers have decimated its animal population — sometimes for food, sometimes for sport.
Today the Kabul Zoo is a sad place for an animal to live. It has a couple hundred inhabitants that regularly endure miserable conditions, often including unchecked harassment from visitors. It has received some support from zoos around the world, but remains in need of substantial improvements.