Thursday, July 07, 2011


In French, it's une autruche. What zoo is complete without a few of these? The Beauval zoo does not disappoint. Except when it does.

I looked on the internet before we went for the zoo hours and the web site said that the zoo was open until dark, around 10:30pm this time of year. What the site didn't tell me (or what I didn't see) was that many of the big animals are brought indoors for feeding in the evening, long before closing.

We missed seeing the elephants outdoors as they were inside eating when we got to them. We still got to see them, however, because most of the indoor pavilions have public viewing areas, either through glass or from above. But it's not quite the same as seeing the animals in the outdoor habitats.

One disappointment was that we missed the Australian pavilion. It closed at 7:00pm, five minutes before we got to it, but the closing time was not obviously noted* in the zoo guide brochure. Inside that pavilion are the koalas and other Aussie animals, including a beautiful representation of the Great Barrier Reef with corals and tropical fish. Still, we did get to see some wallabies outside.

It pays to check out the web site and brochures thoroughly when planning a trip to the zoo. There are specific feeding times listed for many of the animals, and the keepers do commentary during many of the feedings. We didn't figure any of that out on our afternoon visit. We did, by luck, get to the penguin pool just after the feeding, so we saw the final fish being devoured by the birds.

*I've since given the zoo guide brochure a second look, and yes, all the times for bringing the animals into their pavilions and the closing of others is clearly noted along with all the commented feeding times. But I didn't take the time to read the brochure thoroughly as we wandered around. My bad.


  1. What a wonderful picture. It is a portrait, really.

  2. Ours are called Emus - different species.
    Funny story to tell - while in the bush, my son Mitch got out of the car, layed on his back and pretended to ride a bike in this position.
    The Emus all gathered around with curiosity. Fair Dinkum.

  3. Would love to know the story of
    how one woman managed to build
    this zoo into such an extensive
    collection of animals. She must
    be a dynamo.

  4. Shame! You should stick your head in the sand. m.

  5. I find it surprising the brochure would have that much information.

  6. Love the goings on in zoos! I like to watch the feedings also. The Cincinnati zoo is open everyday of the year. We could hear the gibbons from our house a couple of miles away.

  7. Walt, check out my second post on my "blog". I found live webcams in Africa. I have seen ostriches at Pete's pond few times. "Ustream" is pretty amazing. It will be fun to watch them in winter time (their summer in the Southern hemisphere).

  8. How cute - he looks almost cuddly.....and I wonder how many males of our species check a brochure (or instructions) before doing anything ?!! - OUCH!!

  9. Hi Jean!

    I'd read the brochure, but never, ever, ask for directions (and not just because I don't speak French).

  10. It still was waaaaaay fun. You'll be all set when Geri and Phil come to visit. :)

  11. diogenes, he (or she) really did cooperate nicely.

    leon, what possessed him?

    sheila, local people have told us she was quite driven. I'm not certain if she's still living.

    mark, that's where it usually is.

    starman, it reads like a train schedule.

    evelyn, it's true that the animals do observe human holidays...

    nadege, will do!

    jean, we were all focused on the map of the zoo to inform our wanderings. The map is one whole side of the unfolded brochure. We didn't bother with the little print on the reverse side. :)

    john, this is the reason that a woman made "Do you know the way to San José" famous.

    ginny, a good time was had by all! Being strategic can take some of the fun out! ;)

  12. Ooops! I meant:

    evelyn, it's true that animals DON'T observe human holidays.


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