While the fire in Teste-de-Buch (Gironde) fails to be controlled, the zoo in the Arcachon basin has been closed, animals have been evacuated.
[Mis à jour le 19 juillet à 12h33] While firefighters are trying to put out a colossal fire that has been ravaging the surroundings of La Teste-de-Buch for almost a week, the zoo in the Arcachon basin closed its doors on Monday July 18. Many animals were evacuated. The animal site is indeed located in the town in which the forest fire broke out. The fumes emanating from it could be dangerous, especially for animals.
Around 350 animals have found refuge for a time at the Pessac zoo, located 60km from their place of residence, in the western suburbs of Bordeaux. Evacuation operations are being implemented gradually, and other additional decisions are awaited. The situation is only temporary and preventive, the authorities said.
“During the day yesterday and also this night, all available means were implemented to save as many animals as possible and to protect the site from the fire” indicated the teams of the Zoo du Bassin d ‘Arcachon, joined by nearly 100 caretakers and veterinarians from other zoos, as well as agents from the French Office for Biodiversity, worked tirelessly to extract as many animals as possible, until last moment, while the nearby forest was engulfed in flames,” said the Ministry of Ecological Transition and Territorial Cohesion in a press release on Tuesday morning.
“All of the transportable animals, i.e. 363 animals, were transported by special convoys escorted by the police to a security zone set up on the site of the Bordeaux-Pessac zoo located 65 kilometers from the Zoo du Bassin d ‘Arcachon with the decisive assistance of the French Association of Zoological Parks and state services, “said the authorities.
For the moment, the animals transferred are mainly monkeys and big cats. The other animals of the Arcachon basin zoo are still there, but all are in shaded areas; park officials ensure that the animals do not suffer from dehydration and regularly water the cages and enclosed spaces.
The Arcachon zoo located a few kilometers from the fire
If the decision to close and evacuate part of the zoo in the Arcachon basin, it is because the park, which has a hundred different species, is located on the edge of the fire which is ravaging the south of the area. , attached to the western flank of the forest in flames. Earlier in the day on Monday, the spokesperson for the Gironde firefighters said that “the fumes are toxic.” If the decision to evacuate part of the population was imposed, it was therefore followed by that of the animals in order to preserve them from any tragedy.
What animals make up the Arcachon zoo?
At the Arcachon basin zoo, more than 150 different species live together in an area of 22 hectares. Various mammals, from alpacas to bears, but also panthers, rhinos, tigers, zebras, chimpanzees and even antelopes, share these lands in the company of birds of all kinds, from ducks to parrots.