While in Blanzay we were recommended to visit La vallée des singes (Monkey Valley). As we are not big fans of animals in captivity, we were a bit sceptical, but the vision of this animal park got us to change our minds. The monkeys were initially brought here from other zoos and rescue centres, never taken from the wild, and since its creation, Monkey Valley has recorded an impressive 700 births. Some are rare in captivity, especially those of 11 gorilla babies, 5 bonobo babies and 6 woolly monkeys. Hopefully this demonstrates that the monkeys feel at home here.
The different species have their own areas, or even islands to hang out on. Here the policy is: Monkey first, human second. One of the staff told us that before opening time in the morning, the staff would find the monkeys resting on the benches and moving around on the tracks usually reserved for the visitors. With a sigh and a glance saying: “Ok, here we go again with those strange humans”, the monkeys would retire to their green lungs of the forests, but still keep close enough to observe us with a look that made us feel like we are the ones that are wild and weird animals.
All around the park there are local and tropical plants and trees that enrich the experience of the visit, both visually and for the scent. A mini farm with goats, chicken and peacocks walking around as they see fit is also part of the park as an extra entertainment for kids. We were both utterly charmed, hoping that none of them will end up on a plate.