Paris. “Animals are not attractions”… they demand the closure of the Jardin des Plantes menagerie

“Exhibiting animals is archaic”, “Freedom for animals”, “Animals are not attractions”, around thirty members of the Paris Animals Zoopolis (PAZ) association held up signs this Saturday morning in front of the Jardin des Plantes (Ve) to request about closing the menagerie.

Founded in 1794, making it the oldest in Europe according to PAZ, this public zoo houses just over 500 animals in enclosures and pavilions set in the large garden on the left bank. Real head of the menagerie, the orangutan Nénette, captured in 1972 at the age of three, has lived in captivity for half a century. Ana, a 49-year-old sports coach, denounces the “exploitation and commercialization of animals”, waving the cardboard silhouette of the primate, under which one could read “Nénette in a cage since 1972”. This demonstration mirrors the petition calling for the closure of the zoo, published online in 2019 on the website, which has so far collected nearly 61,000 signatures.

The association appeals to the mayor of Paris

Amandine Sanvisens, co-founder and director of the PAZ association, harangues passers-by through a megaphone: “A single bird in a cage and freedom is in sorrow,” she says, quoting Jacques Prévert’s phrase. She is outraged at the fate of “Caribbean red flamingos whose wings are joined so that they can no longer fly away and escape”, before condemning “the business of caged animals that are not stamps that we collect”. “We must stop exhibiting animals reduced to attractions in a menagerie, which is only the sad witness of a bygone past with its dozens of cramped cages”, she continues, before appealing to Anne Hidalgo and to the Paris Council ” so that the City asks the government to close this menagerie”.

Placed under the dual supervision of the Ministry of Ecology and the Ministry of Higher Education, “the direction of the menagerie obtained for 2023, a state grant of 12 million euros to renovate the pavilion of reptiles, improve the visitor route and enlarge the orangutan pavilion” , laments Amandine Sanvisens . In the eyes of the director of PAZ, who was received in November 2022 at the State Secretariat for Ecology, “this public money must be used to finance refuges and transform this zoo into a real educational and scientific place. “.

When asked, the management of the menagerie did not want to respond to the demonstration.

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