Château of Thoiry

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Château of Thoiry
Château de Thoiry Yvelines côté jardins01.jpg
The castle
Date opened 1965
Location Thoiry, France
Coordinates 48°51′50″N 1°47′45″E / 48.86389°N 1.79583°E / 48.86389; 1.79583Coordinates: 48°51′50″N 1°47′45″E / 48.86389°N 1.79583°E / 48.86389; 1.79583
Land area 150 ha (370 acres)[1]
No. of animals 1,000[1]
No. of species 130[1]

The Château of Thoiry is a 150-hectare (370-acre) castle, zoo and botanical garden that was opened to the public in 1965 in the village of Thoiry, France, with gardens and a zoological park. Located about 30 miles (48 km) due west of Paris, it is best visited by automobile to take advantage of the drive-through lane. Its popularity has continued to grow—by 1974, over 280,000 visitors per year were coming to see an assortment of 1,000 wild animals.


Many of the animals roam freely along an 8-kilometre (5.0 mi) road through the 240-acre (97 ha) "African Reserve". Others can be viewed in a walk-through zoo.[1] Animals in the reserve include Przewalski's horse, bears, European and American bison, wildebeest, greater and lesser kudu, dromedary camels, zebras, giraffes, rhinos, hippos, eland, Watusi cattle,[2] and three elephants.[3]

Animals in the walk-through portion of the zoo include Siberian tigers, Eurasian lynx, snow leopards, lar gibbons, red pandas, ring-tailed lemurs, a colony of about 60 Tonkean macaques, cheetahs, reticulated python, wolves, pygmy goats, and Komodo dragons.[2][4]

2017 poaching incident[edit]

On March 7, 2017, a male Southern white rhinoceros named Vince was found shot dead with one horn removed and another partially sawn off.[5][6][7] This was reported as being the first such live animal poaching at a European zoo.[8] Thierry Duguet, the head of the zoo, said "There has never been a case like this in a zoo in Europe, an assault of such violence, evidently for this stupid trafficking of rhinoceros horns".[6]

Other attractions[edit]

Other attractions at the Château include a maze and several gardens.

The castle itself is still the home of the Counts of La Panouse, and parts of it are open to the public, with costumed guides leading the tour.[1] The castle was built in the 16th century by Raoul Moreau, an alchemist and the treasurer of the King of France. It was designed by architect Philibert de L'Orme to be in perfect harmony with nature, and the center arch of the castle marks the position of the sun during the summer and winter solstices.[9]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Thoiry". Château de Thoiry. Retrieved 9 October 2011. 
  2. ^ a b "Plan". Château de Thoiry. Retrieved 9 October 2011. 
  3. ^ "Thoiry Zoo (Parc de Thoiry) in France". The Elephant Encyclopedia. Retrieved 9 October 2011. 
  4. ^ "Visit the Zoo". Château de Thoiry. Retrieved 9 October 2011. 
  5. ^ "White rhino shot dead in French zoo, horn sawn off". Reuters. March 7, 2017. Retrieved March 7, 2017. 
  6. ^ a b Breeden, Aurelien (March 7, 2017). "Rhinoceros Is Killed for Its Horn at Wildlife Park Near Paris". The New York Times. Retrieved March 7, 2017. 
  7. ^ Willsher, Kim (March 7, 2017). "Rhino shot dead by poachers at French zoo". The Guardian. Retrieved March 7, 2017. 
  8. ^ Forster, Katie (March 8, 2017). "Poachers break into Paris zoo, shoot rhino dead and steal its horn". The Independent. Retrieved March 8, 2017. This is thought to be the first time in Europe a live animal living in captivity has been killed by poachers. 
  9. ^ "Thoiry Zoological Park". ParisMustSee. Retrieved 9 October 2011. 

External links[edit]