Amnéville Zoo is the realisation of a child’s dream: Michel Louis’s passion for the animal world was ignited when he visited the animals in a large French circus. As a child, a teenager and then as a student Michel spent all his free time visiting zoos and decided that, one day, he would set up his own. The original idea of a zoo in Amneville began in 1978. Initially, the project was met with scepticism and hostility and no-one believed in the idea, except the doctor Jean Kiffer who was the only support for Michel Louis and Jean-Marc Vichard, the two crazy young people who dared to go against the grain! But the determination of Michel and Jean-Marc managed to get the project through all its difficulties and on the 28th June 1986 the Amnéville Zoo opened its doors to the public.
Since opening, Amnéville Zoo has launched and developed an effective communication and investment strategy which has allowed the team to build new and ever-more exciting exhibitions within the zoo.
In 2015, the zoo now covers 17 hectares of land and is home to 2,000 animals originating from 5 continents and belonging to 360 different species. The zoo employs between 110 and 200 members of staff depending on the season and the annual number of visitors exceeds 600,000.
We are a private and independent zoo and do not receive any funding.
You can imagine the efforts required for the upkeep of 2,000 animals, ranging from parrots, to flamingos, condors, giraffes, tigers, elephants and crocodiles!
Every day, our resident animals eat : 600kg of meat (beef and chicken), 300kg of fish, 600 frozen prey (rats, mice, chicks, quails, rabbits), 1 tonne of hay and feed, 200kg of cereals, 500kg of specific grains and granules, 700kg fruit and vegetables, biscuits and gingerbread, 100 lettuces, milk, mealworm, jam, honey. Each species also receives vitamin and mineral supplements.
At least 4 times per year, the animals are de-wormed and stool tests are analysed. The enclosures are cleaned daily and regularly disinfected..
Every day, winter and summer, the overhead fees are 35,000 Euros.
From the management team to the trainers and to the maintenance team, every trade is represented: the Zoo is the creator, architect, builder, joiner, roofer, electrician, decorator, veterinary, ethologist, landscapist, cook, sales-man, accountant, publicist, filmmaker, press agent, educator etc… For example, the entire ‘Ourang-Outang’ area of the zoo, from the foundations to the roofing, was put into place from start to finish by the zoo’s technical team.
The trainers’ work is not limited to feeding the animals and cleaning their living area; it consists equally of knowing how to quickly detect any anomalies. Any potential problems of compatibility between individual animals must be monitored to avoid dangerous clashes. The dates of mating must also be noted to predict and prepare for births; some females need to be separated from the group.
There are pathological problems; injuries which require veterinary attention. However, many problems can be avoided with good hygiene, healthy food and effective monitoring! Preventative vaccinations are also carried out, following a strict schedule.
There have been 2 vets at Amneville Zoo since 2014 when resident vet Alexis Maillot and Vanessa Alerte were joined by Adeline Noirault.