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Parc Paradiso

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Parc Paradiso

Address Domaine de Cambron 1 7940 BRUGELETTE
Telephone
How to Find it: Access by car : less than one hour from Brussels, Namur, Charleroi, Cambrai, Lille, Courtrai or Ghent, Paradisio is situated in the Hainaut province, in Brugelette - A7/E19 Brussels-Mons-Paris or E42 Liège-Mons-Tournai, exit Ath near Mons, exit 23 coming from Lillle, Tournai or Valenciennes, exit 23 bis coming from Brussels, Liège or Charleroi - A8/E429 from Brussels to Tournai, exit 30. Signposted route. Access by train : Brugelette railway station is less than a 1/4 hour walk from Paradisio
Open: Opening periods: from Saturday 22 March 2008 to Monday 30 June 2008 DAILY : 10:00-18:00 from Tuesday 1 July 2008 to Sunday 31 August 2008 DAILY : 10:00-19:00 from Monday 1 September 2008 to Sunday 2 November 2008 DAILY : 10:00-18:00
Prices:
Area:
No of Species No of Animals Star Rating
Mammals Conservation
Birds Enclosures
Reptiles Education
Amphibians Recreation
Fish Research
Total 0 0
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This critique last updated:  Feb 2008


Visitor Reviews

I work at SHAPE in Mons Belgium and live 20min from Parc Paradisio.  The zoo is one of the most unique I have visited.  It resides on the outskirts of the city of Cambron which is historic in it's own right, but the zoo is located behind the walls of a 12th-century Cistercian abbey once attacked by Napoleon's army when the monks that lived there were harboring the enemies of France.  The original monks still live there... underground in a special burial site.  Many of the ancient walls, buildings, and stone work still stand but the massive entrance gate was shattered by Napoleon's men as punishment.  An ancient English whaling ship used from 1870-1914 is moored on the grounds and used for conservation and education as well as to house giraffes.  This is why it is unique, you gain a sense of history and education of the animals at the same time.

 

The park caters to birds, and has an outdoor and indoor aviary that is exceptional.  A walk in the tree tops via a roped aerial suspension path allows viewers to get closer to the birds, as well as a ground level path with loose birds nesting and eating.  There are over 3000 birds and there is even a penguin area.  There is a variety of ungulates, zebras, horses, donkeys, petting zoo, reptiles, giraffes, ect.  There is even a fantastic aquarium inside a 19th-century chateau.  Along a circular path around a large lake, there are historic points of interest written both in French (the native language) and English.  There is also the largest outdoor playground I have ever seen.

 

European zoos are different than in the United States in that safety regulation are not as stringent.  For example no double fences for the animals.  I was able to pet a zebra through chain link fence that almost crushed my hand as it leaned against me.  While walking through the aviary, was attacked by one of the birds as it was protecting it's nest.

But the advantage of the 'openness' is the closeness you get to the animals.  My favorite part of the zoo is the lemur island.  The lemurs are loose and you can pet them (BUT DON'T FEED THEM!).  They are so used to humans that when you pet them, they act like they don't even realize it.  The openness of the zoo is probably why they don't have carnivores here, too dangerous and they need to provide upgrades for public protection.  Europe is not as freely litigating as in the U.S.  If a lemur bites you for pulling it's tail... well in their mind that was your fault so don't sue me.  The playground is another hazard in that kids can rope climb over 20 feet high, but if your kid falls, well that was your fault.

 

The disappointment I have with the zoo is that there are no mammalian carnivores to be seen only birds of prey.  I don't know why but suspect regulations.  They make enough money which is my second complaint because they charge 16 EURO (~$25.00) to visit for the day.  Houston zoo is only $8.00 (6.00 EURO).

 

 

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