|That time Charlotte and I went to Amiens - part 2: Amiens Zoo (25.6.2015)
||[Jul. 17th, 2015|09:57 am]
After wandering through Amiens and visiting the cathedral, we were going back to the car for our next stop: the zoo!
Our sole reason of wanting to go to Amiens Zoo was the fact that their website claimed they had maned wolves. And as it was only € 6 (yes, SIX Euro) entrance for adults, we decided we HAD to go.
Finding the zoo proved harder than it seemed. The original way we wanted to go to had roadworks, so we had to turn all the way back to where we drove into town and followed that route. Which was the scenic route so it wasn't that bad. We drove past Venice du Nord (a quartier of Amiens) and lamented not having turned that way from the Cathedral. But having been there in 2010, I assured Charlotte that whilst it was nice, it was nothing like REAL Venice.
The Zoo is actually inside a park, much like the Roman Zoo. But unlike the Roman Zoo, where you have to walk through Park Borghese (unless you are immune to spider bites, like me, do NOT go through the high dune like grass if you ever go to the zoo in Rome!) this park wasn't as easy to get into. Because there was a GIANT fair happening (for those in Belgium: think Sinksenfoor, but bigger still).
So much driving around and some cursing later, we found the parking of the zoo (free) FILLED with giant busses, because tons of schools were having an end-of-year field trip. Luckily there was still space further down the road. It was kind of better anyway because we could park under trees in the shadow. It was super hot that day.
The entrance of the park that led to the entrance of the zoo was easy to find, and from there on it was like a 15 minute walk I think. Without fields full of spiders so yay :)
There was only a small queue to get into the zoo and we could see the gibbons on our right
and had a cage with this cute birds on our left.
The Amiens Zoo, is a small conservation zoo. It's literally putting in all the money in the care of the animals (and they are doing a splendid job). They rather spend money on making sure the animals are taken care of correctly and have a beautiful cage than in the actual outside of the cage. So there was plenty of ugly wiring etc, but whilst that was annoying to take photos, seeing animals that were clearly happy totally made up for that.
I couldn't help but wonder. If a small zoo like the Amiens one can do it, whilst charging € 6 entrance to adults, then why can't large zoos such as Planckendael and Antwerp NOT do it whilst charging € 20+ on regular adult entrance?
Food for thought.
Immediately when I got into the zoo, it made me think of the zoo in Rome, because it was the same kind of concervation zoo (even in a park!) and that made me happy, because the zoo in Rome remains the best zoo I've ever been to, with Berlin second and Amiens 3rd (only because it was so small mind!).
Of course, it was actually quite good the zoo was so small, because that way we could easily see all of it and still leave for home at a decent hour :)
In fact the zoo is so small they don't even have a decent gift shop, neither do they have a cafetaria or restaurant (I'm sure there's some in the park though!) and when we were there the concession stands were all closed (we were happy we had brought our own drinks!) but they do have clean toilets all over so yay for those :)
The only downside was that the wolves had moved to Germany, which we didn't find out 'till we were actually IN the zoo and asked a caretaker because we couldn't find them and they weren't listed on our map. SADNESS! But regardless of that, it was a lovely zoo and I'm glad I went :)
Anyway, have some pictures of animals!
Originally I wanted to include videos too, but apparently Flickr doesn't think that it should provide video coding that actually WORKS to their customers anymore. So I can't actually share a video that works anymore sadly. But there's a link to all the photos and videos below this post so if you click that you can still see them ^^
The serval was hard to photograph due to the wiring of the cage, so I made some videos instead. Which I can't share here due to aforementioned Flickr fail :(
We also saw the ocelot but it was vast asleep.
Amiens zoo had the happiest elephants I have ever seen in a zoo. This one was very cheekily stealing leaves haha :)
In fact the only animals I saw that were displeased were the green iguanas. My Shinto can be angry or annoyed, but I've NEVER seen her look so furious witout any reason at all! The two they had seemed to be permanently really ill-tempered, even though they had a perfectly lovely cage, clean water and lots of food and a comfy space to snooze on. Oh well.
Underwater carp shot :D
This one kept on walking up to guests on from his side of the fence and shout hello at them :)
You can't tell from this photo, but this was the REDDEST red panda I have ever seen.
It also had the most beautiful cage! It was nigh impossible to photograph because it kept on wandering around, playing with all the stuff it had :)
Spot the baby meerkat!
Funnily enough, even though I was using my parasol most of the day, I only got TWO creatures giving me the stinkeye for it. One was that meerkat standing up. And the other was the ONE lolita we saw all day.
She just walked in (in lolita, kudos considering the weather!) with her boyfriend when we passed them en route to another part of the zoo. I complemented her on her outfit, her bf smiled and she took one look at my (very much NOT lolita outfiit) and my Baby the Stars Shine Bright umbrella and gave me a NASTY look. Charlotte and I had to restrain ourselves not to burst out into laughter right then and there.
Goes to show how ridiculous things can get though!
There were plenty of people we crossed that day and the only actual comment I got was from two guys in their 40ties saying "wow you know, that's actually really practical against the sun, good idea!".
Oh well :)
At least it was amusing :)
For more photos of the Amiens Zoo, click here :)
After that we drove home, and stopped by the road stop which had the PAUL where I had a sandwich (because they did not have any giant macarons in flavors I like) and Charlotte had a pistacchio giant macaron (she was luckier than me) and got back home at a decent hour :)