The one-time director of the acclaimed San Jose Zoo (now defunct) has written a semi-expose, semi-guide on zoos and their hapless inhabitants. Overcrowding, insanitary conditions, improper diet, concrete floors for burrowing animals, bright lights over nocturnal ones, floor shelters for birds that nest high, fresh water for seals and sea lions, failure to provide privacy and stimulation for nearly all animals--not to mention protection from both sadistic and ""well-intentioned"" visitors--the list of derelictions extends even to such prestigious institutions as the San Diego Zoo. The fault? Ambitious directors more interested in publicity (births of rare specimens, the openings of showcase exhibits) than in the everyday needs of their charges; a lazy and often ignorant civil service staff. The author's observations derive from personal viewing and responses to a questionnaire; despite the lack of hard statistical data, there can be no doubt that this is a much-needed first look at our least-enfranchised minority (zoo mortality statistics are much lower in Europe).