Following a Directive from The Ministry of Public Security in 1941, marksmen from the Royal Ulster Constabulary shot and killed 23 animals at Belfast Zoo. They destroyed one hyena, six wolves, one puma, one tiger, one black bear, one Barbary lion, two polar bears, one lynx and a giant rat named Hugo. During these turbulent times, a woman secretly walked a young elephant from the zoo each evening to the backyard of her terraced home. There, she cared for and comforted it as the Luftwaffe bombs rained down over Belfast. 10 year old Tom, aided and abetted by his misfit friends, takes on the fight to save Buster the elephant.