Some say their goal is to visit every country in the world. My mission, should I choose to accept it, is to explore every zoo. And on this day, I added another one to my list – Parc Zoo Du Reynou in Le Vigen, France.
Far off the beaten path, even the SatNav in my Aunt’s car couldn’t find it. It was my ingenious idea to navigate to the nearest town, and from there hope for a sign that would lead us to our destination. After passing several that claimed the Zoo was ‘only 100m away’, three kilometres later, we arrived.
Selling food to feed the animals is a classic now found at many children-friendly attractions. Seemingly unique to France, however, is the choice of cuisine served – popcorn. But if the goats enjoy it, then who are we to question? Tickets are 14 € for adults.
We wandered down the trail into the bamboo forest, and curved round to view the stone mansion hidden by towering undergrowth. With picnic tables dotted around the area, it would have been a nice place for lunch. Instead we chose to continue along the path and stop at the café by the souvenir shop.
After food, we backtracked to visit the red pandas. Their fluffy red coats are a gorgeous sight in good weather, glowing in the sun. If you’re lucky, you’ll be able to see their clown antics as they scramble up and down the trees, feasting from any branch they can reach.
The Zoo is home to an array of wonderful creatures. There’s a mini yard filled with farm animals, such as donkeys, goats, and llamas. The wolves are near a giant lake, home to many birds of varying colours. Crossing the bridge will take you to the other predators, from snow leopards to barn owls.
The African Plains are a long walk away but they’re worth the trip to see giraffes and elephants roaming free. On your way back, don’t forget to visit the monkeys and raccoons, and see one of my personal favourites, the reindeer.
This is by no means an exhaustive list of all the animals at the Zoo, so make sure to take a trip there if you’re in the area. Once we arrived back home, the rest of the day was spent entertaining guests and singing the Polish anthem to the delight of my Aunt’s neighbours.