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Of Animals and Men premieres on June 22nd in 750 movie theaters across the United States. The list of participating theaters can be found here.

The film Of Animals and Men tells the story of the Żabiński family, the long-standing keepers of the Warsaw Zoo, already extensively covered in Niki Caro's The Zookeeper's Wife.

Under the Nazis' noses, about 300 people, mainly Jews, found shelter at the Warsaw Zoo during the Second World War. Of Animals and Men tells the amazing story of how the Zabinski family, the Warsaw zookeepers, helped rescue and hide Jews during these horrid times. Includes an exclusive feature on the Warsaw Zoo.

Łukasz Czajka, the film's creator, interweaves archive footage with memories of the living witnesses, helping the viewers understand the wartime fear and the heroism of the Żabiński family.

The Villa

The grounds of the Warsaw Zoo, including the Żabińskis home, served as a hiding spot and refuge for Jews and escapees from the Warsaw Ghetto during World War II. Zookeepers Jan and Antonina Żabiński, responsible for saving hundreds of Jews, were eventually granted the title of Righteous Among the Nations for their contribution, effort, and goodwill. These events were documented in the novel The Zookeeper's Wife by Diane Ackerman and in the 2017 war drama film starring Jessica Chastain.

Today, the villa is open to visitors and serves as a living monument to the strength of human will, courage, and spirit. An immersive virtual tour of the estate is available here.

The Warsaw Zoo

Warsaw Zoological Garden on Ratuszowa Street is an inseparable part of the city's landscape for nearly a century.  Through the decades, its fate was intricately linked with the history of Warsaw.

The grounds of the Warsaw Zoo lie in a lush, green park that runs along the Vistula River. The zoo covers roughly 100 acres, is home to over 12,000 animals representing more than 500 species, out of which nearly 50 are covered by the European Endangered Species Program. With around one million visitors annually, it is one of the busiest in Europe. 

The Warsaw Zoo offers visitors multiple noteworthy exhibits. One of the most beautiful is the elephant house with outdoor and indoor pools, individual paddocks, and walks for the herd of African elephants. Others include a modern pavilion for great apes, where chimpanzees and gorillas can be observed and admired. A hippopotamus house with a marine aquarium draws crowds as its construction allows to watch hippos while they swim submerged in the water. Daily feedings of hippos, lemurs, rhinos, seals, penguins, and apes are a definite highlight of every visit.

A stop by the Warsaw Zoo can quickly turn into a memorable whole-day affair. Only in the Warsaw Zoo can one admire beautiful and magnificent creatures and learn about Polish history and the resilience of animals and men.  

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Polish National Tourist Office
221 River St. 9th floor
Hoboken, NJ 07030
Phone: 1 (551) 344-3057
e-mail: info.na@poland.travel