Tuesday, July 05, 2011

And the zookeeper is very fond of rum

I spent a recent afternoon where it's all happening: at the zoo. Just outside of Saint-Aignan is a pretty amazing zoological park. A local woman founded the zoo in 1980, starting out with a large collection of birds in aviaries. Since then, the park has expanded amazingly. The collection includes over 4,000 animals from over 400 species.

Some of the ring-tailed lemurs on Lemur Island. They were preoccupied and wouldn't turn around.

One of the first exhibits you see after entering the zoo is the island of lemurs. There are several varieties including the ring-tailed lemurs pictured above. They hang out on the ground and swing from trees. They seem as curious about the people going by as the people are about them.

There are lions and tigers and bears (oh my). Also zebra, rhinos, giraffe, sea lions, eagles, penguins, koalas, snakes, chimps, and elephants. They even have manatees and raccoons. The exhibits include amazing natural enclosures where the animals can wander around outdoors.

The zoo boasts the largest sea lion tank in Europe and there is a daily show starring the sea lions and free-flying raptors (eagles, kites, condors, etc.). It's quite a spectacle.

There are large aviaries you can enter and walk through while exotic birds fly around you. There are vivariums with snakes and other reptiles behind glass. It's everything you expect a zoo to be and more.

I didn't take a lot of photos while walking around, but there are a few that I'll share over the next days.

8 comments:

  1. Tune in tomorrow when we hear Annabelle say to Richard,"Not now, Dearest, but perhaps after we've seen Walt's zoo pictures".

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  2. I've always found Lemurs to be so terribly rude.
    How was your Fourth? Did you run around the streets waving the American Flag shouting, "U.S.A"?
    m.

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  3. That's quite a collection for a small town zoo!

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  4. Zoos usually bum me out, but this one with natural settings & room to run seems like an improvment. I always apprciate that you share your photos.

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  5. I'm not really into zoos as I don't think that they treat the inhabitants well enough in general.
    But yours sounds different from the usual corporate monstrosity. Quite unusual for a rural area.

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  6. It didn't occur to me France would have zoos. Somehow the notion of French lemurs is a queer one !

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  7. bill, yeah, that'll put you in the mood...

    mark, just another day. Watched the tour de france on tv. :)

    starman, it's amazing.

    nadege, ;)

    stephen, it has a good reputation.

    craig, it draws people from all over France and Europe. And it keeps expanding, so they must be doing something right.

    michael, apparently lemurs do quite well in captivity. Much like office workers. ;)

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