Posts Tagged ‘Jardin des Plantes’

La Zoo

Thursday, March 24th, 2011

La Zoo – it’s French for “The Zoo”. We went there. It was great. It isn’t really a zoo as such – they called it a Menagerie and it is relatively small and located within the Jardin des Plantes.


Jardin des Plantes

Jardin des Plantes on a lovely sunny day


We went there.

Considering its small size, it was full of foreign and weird-looking animals and we managed to wander around staring into their cages for over two hours. There were animals that I never knew existed! Sure, the names were in French so that made it even harder to know what they were, but normally you can at least hazard a guess. Not this time. There were a large number animals that I presume are ‘cousins of deer’ including: les anoas, les gorals, les vigognes, les dik-diks de Kirk (we spent a lot of time giggling about their name, especially when we discovered they were very very small), and les markhors.

One of my favourite animals was the cabiai, or capybara, which, according to Wikipedia, is the largest living rodent in the world. It looked like a giant guinea pig with manners; a group of them were sitting on the ground with their front paws/hooves crossed or placed elegantly in front of them, looking very regal. I wanted to take one home as a pet. I think he would fit nicely in my apartment.


Look at him! So fat.

There were also plenty of Australian animals, although the signage was a little bit wrong at times, describing exactly where you would find them. Apparently you can find giant camels across most of Australia, black swans in the desert and cassowaries absolutely everywhere in Australia. If you look now, you might see one in your backyard.

There was a lone emu who looked quite sad and generally annoyed about being stuck in a small cage in Paris. I am currently concocting a picture book in my head about the Emu in Paris – he wears a beret, smokes too much and can’t be bothered running.


Emu smoking
He’ll be famous soon.

A few other highlights – the orang-utans are always entertaining and there were giant turtles which made me very happy. And a flock of pink flamingoes. They were more orange than pink really… They looked magnificent. For more animals snaps, head to my Flickr site.