Animal Park, Labenne, France

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The peacocks were on parade at Labenne’s animal park. The little zoo is home to two peacocks, one of which is a white peacock. Contrary to popular belief this magnificent white bird is not albino, it’s eyes are blue. The other peacock is equally as beautiful, especially as he paraded around the park showing off his feathers. As we visited during mating season both birds were being rather noisy, emitting a high pitched meow-like call.

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Both birds roam freely about the park and sometimes out of the front gate and into the car park. Last year one did just that, a visitor panicked and started pulling the poor bird back in my his beautiful long feathers. The scared bird went ballistic, kicking up dust and crying. Why on earth she didn’t realise that the animal wouldn’t go far is beyond me. Thankfully she let him go and he went and hid on top of the shop for the rest of our stay.

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The goats were as comical as ever. Visitors are free to go into the gated goat enclosure and feed the goats. They get incredibly excited, jump up and if you are wearing a skirt will most likely try and chew it. To our delight lots of baby goats had been born since we last visited. We spotted this little fella outside of his enclosure. Eager to put him back I opened the gate and about five or six goats barged out, I tried to beckon them back in with the promise of more popcorn and even more escaped. It was wild. Goats on the loose!

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Thankfully the staff didn’t mind and soon rounded them all up. However the little fella stayed out. Wonder why? He was lovely, so loving and tame, like a calm, little puppy. I’d love to have goats and chickens one day.

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The ring tail lemurs also turned up the funny factor. Two families of ring tail lemurs live at the park. One family goes out in the morning, the other in the afternoon. Everybody in the first family has to go home before the second family come out to play. Those are the rules and I imagine there is trouble if they are broken. I have read that the males engage in stink fights by impregnating their tail with their scent and wafting it at opponents.

One chap from the first family flatly refused to go home. The second family was ready to come out but he was being very cheeky, hiding from the zoo attendant and playing tricks. After twenty minutes of high jinx he went home and the second family came out to play. The ring tail lemurs are incredibly sociable and friendly. They loved taking the plain popcorn we offered them.

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And for my little monkey there was a large play and picnic area situated by the shop. A lovely little animal park.

Zoo Labenne, Avenue de l’Océan, 40530 Labenne, France

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