If you aren’t keen on classic zoos where animals are confined in small spaces, Haute Touche is definitely for you and is also a lesson for us all !
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Haute Touche Animal Reserve, a natural animal park
Keepers and scientists monitor the well-being and protection of the 120 species of animals. Defenders of animal rights and ardent enthusiasts of animals being seen in their natural habitat, the staff are also involved in preventing deforestation, the n°1 reason for the disappearance of many animal species. La Haute-Touche is at Obterre near Azay-le-Ferron in La Brenne. In fact, it isn’t really a zoo in the strict sense of the word, it began in an outbuilding of the Château at Azay-le-Ferron ! Now one thousand animals from the five continents live freely in 440 hectares of untouched forest. Many of them are part of an international protection programme and a collection of deer which is the only one of its kind in the world. The wildlife park allows animals to be seen in semi-captivity in their natural, ‘no frills’ environment. The Reserve belongs to the National Natural History Museum of Paris and was designed as a centre for wildlife reproduction. It has two objectives : to save endangered species from extinction and reintroduce threatened species. Nature is considered a very worthy cause at Haute-Touche as is sustainable tourism! An ideal destination for a wonderful family day out.
Surrounded by European wildlife…
As soon as you enter Haute-Touche, you drive 4km through wildlife from all over Europe to the heart of the Reserve. From there, you continue your tour on foot, by bike (bike hire on-site), in an electric cart or a horse-drawn carriage (Sundays, public holidays and French school holidays). If you decide to walk there are one or two circuits to follow. Numerous observatories offer panoramic views of most of the herds and flocks of wild animals which live at Haute Touche. Binoculars can be hired to see the animals more clearly. The different trails are lined with information boards. There are special areas to take part in feeding time for lemurs, pelicans and other African birds, lots of benches and picnic areas plus a restaurant and a shop. Guided tours and different activities take place throughout the day. Your guide will give you some concrete advice on how to preserve plant and animal life, simple everyday actions which can have an effect on biodiversity protection. They will change your vision of the animal world ! Have a look at the programme you get with your ticket before you start your discovery journey.
What to see in the area around Haute-Touche Animal Reserve