Tuesday, April 7

Zoo D'Amneville

This zoo was pretty amazing. Honestly, it kinda kicked The Woodland Park Zoo's butt. The first thing we noticed about the Zoo D'Amneville was that we could actually see the animals. They were either sleeping in clear view or strolling around their habitat where we could easily see them. There was none of the usual post zoo discussion about what was out that day.

We were also blown away by the variety of animals that were at the zoo. There were lots of animals that Bryce and I had never seen at a zoo before (I don't know why I find this so notable as I've only ever been to 2 zoos, both in Washington State.) They must have had every kind of cat on earth, including a black panther. There was also an enormous variety of monkeys and raptors.

The animal habitats were, in most cases, enormous and elaborate. The orangutans had a play area the size of a small arena. The concession and eating areas were also strategically placed next to the animal habitats. We had lunch in the middle of the African Safari habitat. It was really fun to see giraffes and ostriches pass by as we munched on our pommes frites.

The zoo is known for its animal shows. There must have been 6 different shows that you could watch throughout the day. We saw the Medieval Raptor show. It was unlike anything I'd ever seen. As we sat in an arena, birds of prey would fly by and over us. We saw falcons, owls (my favorite. watching them fly is so interesting to see) vultures, hawks.

I was surprised to see popcorn being sold so visitors could feed the animals. Not sure how I feel about this. Our zoo in Seattle has signs all over the place reminding visitors NOT to feed the animals. Maybe this popcorn feeding is what made the animals so social at this zoo. It certainly made the monkeys very interactive with the people. But something about it just didn't seem right. People were throwing popcorn at these gibbons who would then reach down and scoop it out of the water to eat. I don't know . . . what do you think about this?

There was only one sign I saw telling visitors to refrain from feeding these animals popcorn. It was at these strange looking wild boars. The sign said that that these animals were very rare and fragile. Is this popcorn feeding common place at big zoos?

I love these new experiences. This was a sunny, cheerful day that I'll remember for a long time.
More pictures here.


Mama Llama said...

I am pretty stoned on cough medicine this morning, and as I was reading your post, I was thinking that raptors meant, like, alligators and crocodiles. So when you said you watched a Medieval raptor show, I was so confused. I'm thinking "well, that's new. I had no idea that knights had to fight alligators, but maybe thats part of French history". LOLOL! Can you imagine?

No wonder they tell you not to drive while taking this stuff.

Kara said...

I think that is kind of odd about feeding the animals. I live close to the Toronto Zoo, and I have seen on TV that the zookeepers actually wear gloves when preparing the animals food to prevent them from getting sick.

Lisa said...

The feeding of the animals wouldn't sit well with me, but I am sure the kids would love it. It does sound like an amazing zoo, but maybe it doesn't make as many attempts to make it as natural as possible for the animals?? That seems to be the push in North American zoos where the keepers want as little human contact with the animals as possible, which means not as many tricks, shows..... Though the WP zoo does do the giraffe feeding (for a price of course!).

Leslie said...

i've been to woodland park and thought it was pretty nice...so this must have been really awesome. i love the zoo no matter where i am

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