I have a strange little fetish. OK. Probably several. But this one is visiting zoos in other cities and countries.
It’s sort of a train wreck thing for me. I know it’s going to make me sad if I look at how the animals are kept, and yet, I can’t not go and I can’t look away.
Well, the Menagerie du Jardin des Plantes is no exception. Created in 1793 during the French Revolution, the exotic animals from Versailles were moved to Paris to live in habitats that were supposed to present the animals in their natural environments (like, leopards in little cages, you know, just like in Africa).
Really, some of it’s not so train wreckish, but some of it is. And still I go.
But don’t let me bring you down. Coupla fun things about the Menagerie is it’s the oldest civil zoological garden in the world, and, it’s the same zoo featured in the Madeline books.
And, guys and gals take note. If you have to propose to someone, the conservatory next to the zoo is one of the most romantic places to visit anywhere in the world – particularly in the winter when it’s cold outside and you step into the warm, steamy glass houses and wander among the tropical plants. It’s yum yum yummy. And the Museum of Natural History there is also way cool. Then you can head to La Grande Mosquee de Paris for mint tea and baklava.