Reptiland has the finest collection of reptiles in Europe in a covered, air-conditioned space, open to the daylight. It has more than 200 specimens of over 100 species of snakes, crocodiles, lizards, monitor lizards, iguanas, turtles, tarantulas and scorpions. It also has the largest collection of venomous reptiles in France. The animals are tranquil, cautious, clean and beautiful to look at in the daylight. Reptiland has close links with its colleagues in North America and Mexico. Every year, new species are introduced.
This animal park is unusual in that the reptiles are shown in daylight and have been trained not to be afraid of the public. This is done by never intervening from the viewing side of the enclosure, so the animals see the glass as an unalterable part of their home. It is a long drawn out operation which resulted from one man’s fear of snakes. François Gouygou wanted to understand why the sight of a snake made him feel so afraid. After a long period of observation and disturbing discoveries, he became passionate about the animals to such a degree that he turned his home into the centre of his hobby with a library and terrariums and aquariums under the stairs ! Many years later, to share his knowledge and love of reptiles with the public, he set up Reptileland with his wife in 1990.
The vivarium is divided into different climatic areas, recreating animal habitats. There are snakes, crocodiles, lizards, turtles and lots more, all chosen for their beauty which is enhanced by the natural light. The aim is to present a different image of reptiles. Visitors can watch the keepers handling and feeding the animals all day long. Other inhabitants which suffer from a negative image include tarantulas and scorpions.