Disneyland Paris and surrounding areas were recently on high alert following reports of a Tiger on the loose. Families in the town of Montevrain were advised to keep children indoors and police officers and animal specialists were called in to track the creature down. However, the search was scaled down when tracks left by the big cat were identified as too small for a tiger and are more likely to belong to a wild cat or lynx.
If you liked the idea of a big cat encounter in France, there is no need to feel disappointed. A number of French zoos are part of a global captive breeding programme for threatened species and these include big cats.
If you are heading to one of our Vendee campsites a great day out can be had at Zoo des Sables. This conservation zoo has a strong focus on ecology, environmental protection and education. The enclosures aim to recreate the animal’s natural habitat and due to the sunny climate, shady areas are provided around the zoo for the comfort of both animals and visitors.
This year Demitri, an Amur Leopard joined Zoo des Sables. This species originates from the borders of China and Russia, but is threatened due to deforestation and poaching. It is estimated that there are only around 50 Amur Leopards left in the wild. It is hoped that Demitri will be joined by a female Amur Leopard in 2015 and that they may go on to produce cubs.
Another big cat at Zoo des Sables is a family of Atlas Lions. These creatures originate from North Africa where habitat loss and poaching have led to complete extinction in the wild. Zoo de Sables is closest to Camping La Dune des Sables but is an easy journey from any of our Vendee campsites.
Further down the coast in Les Mathes near Royan is Zoo de la Palmyre. Here you can see the beauty and power of a number of big cats in their enclosures. It won’t be an illusion when you see the zoo’s Siberian Tigers and you can also visit Snow Leopards, Cheetah and Lions.
Both zoos include a good selection of animals besides the big cats and both have a good reputation for animal welfare. They can make for a good family day out should you ever need a change from Vendee’s golden beaches.
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