Jonah Ludovic (Sam Neill) is the last zookeeper in an Eastern European city ravaged by civil war. The streets are owned by snipers as guns in the hills rain shells into the city. Ludovic keeps the zoo barely functional with the assistance of a vet (Om Puri) to keep the animals alive until promised UN help arrives. Change is forced upon them when a wounded ten year old boy and his mother (Gina McKee) arrive at Ludovic's doorstep. As the war intensifies they all join together in a struggle to keep the animals alive. As they do, they discover each other, their secrets, and eventually forgiveness and love.