In our July newsletter from your hosts at Sport Hotel we begin a series on the residents of the totally revamped Paris Zoo: this month we introduce the extraordinary animals of Patagonia - and we also recommend the astonishing underwater wildlife of the Aquarium Tropical.
Go around the world at the Paris Zoological Park and enjoy the animals of Patagonia
Both the Aquarium Tropical, in a beautiful 1930s building, and the Paris Zoo are just a short stroll from our front door - or an even shorter taxi ride, and we're delighted to have both of these attractions as our neighbours.
The renovated Paris Zoo, reopened earlier this year, takes you to the remotest regions of our planet - and none more remote than Patagonia, in the far south of South America. You'll see the beautiful, rare and dangerous puma, one of the biggest of the big cats which can can weigh up to 120kg and jump up to four metres in the air. In the wild, they're hard to see, so viewing a puma in a zoo is a privileged experience. The South American sea lion is a great favourite with the children, and has its own special habitat at the Paris Zoo. These majestic creatures can weigh up to 300kg and live for more than thirty years.
Another firm family favourite is the delightful Humboldt penguin, which they like to call "the bird that flies underwater" because of its graceful swimming style. In the wild, when parents go fishing, their young offspring are grouped together in a kind of animal nursery so they are protected from any roaming predators. In Patagonia, you'd have to look very hard to see the Pudu, a small deer which lives high in the Andes. At the Paris Zoo you can see this delightful little creature up close and personal.
Tropical aquarium just a short walk from Sport Hotel
Aquarium Tropical is in a landmark art deco building, the Palais de la Porte Dorée, which dates from 1931 and features sculptures of wildlife on its exterior. In the basement there's a secret: a vast aquarium featuring some 300 species, including crocodiles, piranha and the underwater wildlife of Africa, Asia, the Americas and so much more. A visit is a memorable experience and one that all the family will remember.
- Paris Zoological Park Avenue Daumesnil, Route de la Ceinture du Lac, Paris 12e Open: 10h-18h weekdays; 9h30-19h30 weekends, public & school holidays Tel: 0033 (0)1 44 75 20 00
Photo © Daniel Thierry – Office de Tourisme de Paris