The towering boulder zoo landmark houses all the technical needs of the zoo
Children and Teens,  Sightseeing,  Videos

The Paris Zoo Reopens – An Afternoon Visit

The towering boulder zoo landmark houses all the technical needs of the zooThe Paris Zoo (Parc Zoologique de Paris) celebrated its eightieth anniversary with a reopening in June 2014. The six-year closure was necessary to plan renovations. The zoo had never had been renovated or upgraded since 1934.

Now, instead of being cooped in cages according to their type, the one hundred eighty park species, including the insects, birds and reptiles are grouped into five world regions. The visitor winds through the zoo on a voyage to Europe, Patagonia, Sahel-Sudan, Guyane and Madagascar following the “suite du voyage” signs through sixteen bio-zone habitats.

The larger animals, rhinoceros and zebra or the ostrich, kudus and giraffes share spaces and know when to mingle and when not to. At 4:30 pm, the park guide told the crowd giraffe anecdotes (in French). He said, that only the male giraffes are separated from the family herd. The males have visual contact but not physical. Since the females are “in heat” every fifteen days, there would be a lot of giraffe neck fights among the males and pain and suffering if they weren’t.

For your visit
Definitely buy your ticket in advance. With ticket in hand, you walk up to the turnstile immediately. We avoided the two longParents and children looking at the seal in the pool after feeding time at the Paris Zoo Sunday lines. If it is going to be super sunny day, take an umbrella and/or a hat. Two themed cafés are dotted along the “voyage” as the park calls your route as well as two picnic areas and marked water rest stops to refill your water bottle.

Animal feeding times are scheduled. If you are bringing the kids, consult the map online for planning the day. A map is also available when you enter through the turnstile. Unfortunately, the feeding times are only posted on site by several of the species (like the seals).

More about the area of Bois de Vincennes is on the Paris Mayor’s Website. We walked along a portion of Lac Daumesnil on our way to the zoo. The Bois de Vincennes is a great place for picnics, boating, biking and illegal feeding of the swans; all green and shady on a hot Sunday afternoon.Boating, picnics and swans on Lac Daumesnil in the Bois de Vincennes, Paris

A little history
A temporary zoo was opened in 1931 at the time of the Colonial Exposition for visitors to discover “exotic” animals. The 1907 zoo in Hamburg was the architecture model for this zoo and all permanent zoos in Europe and the United States. Using the Hamburg plan, animals were caged in a “natural” setting for display in “apparent liberty”. Zoos were used to also protect threatened species.

Madagascar iguana at Paris zoo (Parc Zoologique de Paris)Since the opening of the permanent zoo in 1934, only the landmark bolder had been restored in 1994. The towering boulder camouflaged the electricity, water and other technical needs behind the scenes. The entire park was closed in November 2008 because the place was crumbling down. The giraffes remained during the work. All the other animals were sent to other French parks for the six years.

Parc Zoologique de Paris
Line 8 (Porte Dorée) or Line 1 (Saint-Mandé or Château de Vincennes)
Bus : 46, 86 et 325 (bus stop : Parc Zoologique)
Tramway : line T3 (Porte Dorée)

Mid-March to Mid-October 10 am to 6 pm weekdays; 9 am to 7:30 pm weekends, holidays and school holidays (all zones)
Mid-October to Mid-March 10 am to 5 pm

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This Web site and and its blog articles are for travelers to Paris who are looking for advice from someone who lives in Paris. These tips are "for Parisians at heart". Many people would like to visit, some can and some cannot - so I will help you enjoy a glimpse of the city and its surroundings. This project has been ongoing since 2002. Prior to living in Paris (since 1992) my European history began in the early 70s with three years in Wiesbaden, Germany. My next foray onto the Continent was in the mid-80s after graduation from the University of Florida (where I met Erik): traveling around Europe and UK with my friend, Margie, hitchhiking around and working in Ireland. After living and working as a journalist in Sweden for four years, traveling on boats, the Trans-Siberian Railway, local trains and planes took Erik and I around the world. I began working as a flight attendant in 1990 for American Airlines, based in Chicago. We moved to Paris, France in 1992 where I commuted between Paris and Chicago for my flight attendant/stewardess job. Finally my inner voice said "Stop!" and I left American Airlines six weeks shy of 20 years January 1, 2010. Now that is over and I am back working as a journalist and photographer full time on - My videos are posted on YouTube on the colleensparis youtube channel. and I am active in Toastmasters 75. Enjoy!