After a six-year, multimillion dollar overhaul, the Zoological Park of Paris is once again opening its doors, with a new look -- and a new outlook. The zoo is aiming to create a more natural series of "biozones," with replica habitats for tropics, forests and grasslands in South America, Africa and Europe where the animals will be housed.
"We've invented a new zoo, whose concept is different from 20th century ones, where animals were exhibited like in some amusement park," said Thomas Grenon, head of the National Museum of Natural History, which manages the Vincennes Zoo. "This is a 21st-century zoo, which will show biodiversity and talk about it, and where the animals will live together as they do in their natural environment."
The zoo, set in a suburb of Vincennes, features a cathedral-like greenhouse as long as a football field, filled with tropical birds. The park houses 180 species -- including 74 bird and 42 mammal species -- totaling over 1,000 animals (aside from the insects).
Even more notable, the zoo's curators have taken animal welfare into account in their selection of species. Elephants and bears are no longer featured, AFP notes: