The zoological Park of Paris has more than 190 species and 2000 animals, divided into 5 biozones (Amazonia-Guiana, Europe, Madagascar, Patagonia and the Sahel-Sudan). After a closure from 2008 to 2014, the date of its reopening, it has continued to evolve. “The time has passed both quickly and slowly” smiled Alexis Crest, veterinary training, scientific director and ceo of the zoo. “Slowly, because it is the biological rhythm of the life of plants and animals that you can’t accelerate, you can’t go faster than nature. And at the same time fast. Once the construction period has passed, the animals appropriate the space and we have accompanied them in everyday life.”

The park has one hundred employees, including 50 zoo keepers. Several of them are specialised on certain breeds, for example the reptiles or the amphibians, some can be divers. There is also a business a little particular: that of registrar. It is he who maintains the register regulatory 2000 animals exhibits at the zoo.

The employees all work in the same goal: to present to the public in the proper way, the animals in their natural environment while respecting their mode of life. Several species cohabit within a vegetation proper. In the greenhouse of 4000 m2, there is vegetation (trees, shrubs, flowers, etc.), 20 to 25 species of birds of flight, bats, sloths in freedom, lizards that live together. “We have no vocation to host rare species,” explains Alexis the Crest. “The specificity of the zoo of Paris is to be part of the National Museum of Natural History. This gives the particular tasks to the level of the diffusion of knowledge, pedagogy, research and the conservation of the species. One of our goals is to develop a soul, a naturalist and broaden the horizon of the visitors.”

An international collaboration between all the zoos

All the zoos are now working in networks on the national, european and international. 99% of the animals in the zoo of Paris are born in captivity here or in wildlife parks in europe. One-third of animals are part of a breeding program, with coordination led by a manager responsible for monitoring the population of a species to maintain the genetic diversity of optimal, avoid inbreeding and produce groups consistent with the biology of the animal. The zoological park of Paris is the coordinator for the lemurs. The ultimate goal being to make reintroductions or reinforcements of populations of some species in nature reserves. Thus the addax (antelope on the nose-spotted) are they left at the end of the 1990s in North Africa (Tunisia and Morocco).

The year of the five years is sequenced every two months with the presentation of a new species to the visitors. In February, two southern fur seal have joined the sea lions with manes of Patagonia. In the spring, coatis roux (kind of raccoon) is set with the dogs of the bushes in the area, the Amazon-Guyana. Then a colony of meerkats (five individuals) will take its summer quarters in the band with the otocyons (little fox) in the space Africa. In the fall, the blob (a single cell organism that looks like a large lichen) will show the audience the branches unknown to the living in the european area. Finally, at Christmas, a bamboo shark madagascar will be presented in an environment of coral reefs. Beautiful new encounters in perspective.

Parc zoologique de Paris. Avenue Daumesnil (Xii). Monday to Friday from 9h30 to 18h, Saturday and Sunday from 9.30 to 19.30.

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