The ZooParc de Beauval (French pronunciation: [zo.opaʁk də boval]), more commonly called Beauval zoo or, more simply, Beauval, is a French zoological park located in Saint-Aignan, in the Loir-et-Cher department, in the Centre-Val de Loire region. It features more than 3,000 animals on 35 hectares, which is one of the largest animal collections in France and in Europe. Created in 1980 by Françoise Delord, it is now run by her son, Rodolphe Delord, and managed by his family, which owns most of the capital.
Beauval was often the first zoo to have some animals in France, which contributed to its reputation and to its development. It has been the first zoo in France to present leucistic big cats, white tigers and white lions, in the 1990s. Still today, many species are rare in France, such as the okapi and the tree kangaroos, or even unique, such as the koala and the giant panda.
Four greenhouses presents birds, great apes, sloths, reptiles, manatees and Australasian animals, while three plains allows to present herbivores of the African savannah (giraffes, white rhinos, wildebeest, antelopes …), African elephants and Asian herbivores (Indian rhinos, Malayan tapirs, antelopes …). Other notable facilities in the park are the Chinese zone called On China heights, the African swamp called The Hippos Reserve, and the two spaces dedicated to shows: the sea lion basin presenting the sea lions Odyssey and the outdoor theater presenting a free flight bird show, entitled Masters of airs.
As a permanent member of the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria, it joined ex situ conservation by participating in European Endangered Species Programme (EEP), which it coordinates three of them. It also supports in situ conservation associations working in the field through its dedicated association, Beauval Nature, and has reintroduced several animals in Africa.
The ZooParc de Beauval also proposes a consistent hotel offers with three accommodation facilities: an apartment hotel, Les Hameaux de Beauval, and two 3-star hotels: Les Jardins de Beauval Balinese inspired and Les Pagodes de Beauval in Chinese style.
With more than 900,000 annual visitors since 2012, it is the most visited touristic site of the Centre-Val de Loire region, one of the five most visited zoological institutions in France and the most visited private conventional zoo of the country. In 2013, the ZooParc de Beauval had 170 permanent employees. In 2014, it had a revenue of 30.1 million euros and a net income of 1.8 million euros.
La Savane Africaine
The African Savannah habitat is home to a large collection of African animals roaming together. Separated from the visitors by gravel ditches, thirteen species of animals live together here, including giraffes, white rhinoceroses, Grevy’s zebras, wildebeest, ostriches, Egyptian geese, springbok, lechwe and reedbuck.
The Australian House is one of the few places in Europe where koalas and Goodfellow’s tree-kangaroos can be seen. There is also an aquarium, home to 1,500 species of fish from Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. There are also timid rat-kangaroos, and kookaburras. In nearby outdoor enclosures, there are red kangaroos, both in large enclosures.
The Manatee Basin is a habitat for a family of West Indian manatees, and ZooParc de Beauval has one of the most successful breeding herds in Europe. The manatee tank is 26 degrees, 1,000 cubic meters of water and 2 meters of glass around part of the tank. As well as manatees, the pool also hosts amazing Amazonian fish and river turtles. Each manatee consumes up to 50 kg of vegetation per day, preferring to eat lettuce, celery and carrots. The first baby manatee is called Sylvester and was born on the 31 December 2001, and was later followed in 2003 by the world’s first captive born manatee twins.
Serre Tropicale des Grands Singes
This house was made to provide shelter for some of the parks many primates. Some of the primate species present include the troop of chimpanzee and the orang-utan (which live alongside gibbon families). Both species of primate live on large outdoor islands that can be viewed easily, and each group of primates have 400 meters of ground to explore. At the beginning of this house is a vivarium, home to one hundred snakes, as well as turtles and American Alligator that can be observed underwater. At the far end of the house is an area devoted to small primates, with emperor tamarin, and pygmy marmoset.
Leading on from the Bassin le Lamatins, the Gorilla Complex is a huge 11-meter-tall greenhouse, home to free-flying ducks and birds such as toucans. There is a lagoon home to rays, and a large indoor habitat for a family of gorilla, with a huge 9 meter space to allow the gorillas to climb. The gorillas also have access to a large outdoor island.
The big cat list in this complex is extensive, and the species list includes:
There are also spotted hyena near the big cat complex.
The show features a family of Californian sea lion, as well as performing parrots and birds of prey. There are nine adult sea lions and their four babies, and all were born in Beauval.
La Reserve Des Hippopotames
Opened in 2016, this exhibit is extensive, home to a small pod of Hippopotamus, as well as a herd of Nyala and Red river hog. The exhibit is complimented by massive Baobab trees and a metal net, spanning the entire enclosure. This is because the exhibit also houses many African birds such as Hamerkop and Eurasian spoonbill.