Kids – and adults too – throughout Paris have been waiting for the day that the Vincennes Zoo (the parc zoologique de Paris) will reopen, having been closed since 2008, and the day is here! First opened in 1934, the zoo has undergone a complete renovation, with all the animals sent away (except the giraffes, who didn’t mind the noise) during the building works which cost an estimated 167 million euro.
Le Parc Zoologique de Paris
The reason for the excitement? It’s not your average zoo …
The new parc zoologique, all 15 hectares of it, is divided into 6 geographic zones: the Sahel/Sudan, Patagonia, French Guyana/Amazon, Europe, Africa and Madagascar. To visit the entire park takes, at a strolling pace, around 2 hours.
The species to be kept in the park were selected according to strict criteria: They only host animals for whom there will be enough space to live happily, and this is why you won’t see any bears, hippopotami or elephants. A single elephant needs roughly 5-6 hectares of land (one third of the overall space at the park), and so it was decided that the zoo wouldn’t be able to house them. Whilst it may be a shame not to be able to see these species, one can’t help but admire the policy of “animals’ happiness first”.
But don’t worry, there are still around 170 species to admire and watch. Enclosures will be as large as possible, so that visitors see the animals, not in small cages, but at ease, in surroundings that have been carefully designed to mimic their natural environment as much as possible.
Le Grand Rocher
Literally translated as “The Big Rock”, this 65 meter high rock is the emblem of the zoo. There are 354 steps, but the view is more than worth the sweat!
La Grande Volière
This “Giant Aviary” is new, and measures over 2000m². It is filled with free-flying birds.
La Grande Serre
“The Giant Greenhouse” is 100 meters long and 40 meters wide. It recreates the humid tropical conditions and houses species from French Guyana and Madagascar.
The new vivariums allow visitors to see a variety of invertebrate, amphibian and reptilian species.
The zoo reopens on April 12, so if you’re in town and are looking for a fun day out, it’s not to be missed!
53, avenue de Saint-Maurice
Tel.: +33(0)1 44 75 20 10
Bus: 46, 86 or 325
Metro: Porte Dorée
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