VIDEO. Fire of the Gironde. “We all have the same love for animals.” The bears of the Arcachon zoo that took refuge in Brittany have returned home

On July 18, facing the approaching flames and the smoke darkening the air, the Arcachon Zoo decided to evacuate some animals from the park. Of the 850 individuals, 370 are hidden in 22 zoos in France. The danger is now averted, the park reopened its doors on August 6, the keepers made a tour of France to recover their animals.

Yes, my child, yes, it’s good, it’s good…

The last time Charlie Douillac, keeper of the Arcachon Zoo, saw Dara and Lanaïni, in the middle of the smoke, in the panic of the evacuation of the Arcachon zoo. The fire is getting closer. We have to leave, quick.

370 animals were evacuated in less than 8 hours. “We don’t know how much time we have, we make teams, we reach the cages or the enclosures, we fall asleep, we enter one cage and we leave another cage. It was horrible, “remembered the young woman.

video length: 02min 10

The bears of the Arcachon zoo that took refuge in Brittany have returned home


The weakest animals, the oldest, the most sensitive to the smoke were the first to leave. Arcachon zoo is asking for help from all parks in France. The Trégomeur zoo, which already has two sun bears, immediately offered to welcome Dara and Lanaïni, two bear sisters.

The two “pépettes” arrived on July 20 in Brittany. “We don’t know them, but we try to contact their trainers to find out what they like, what they don’t like.explained Mélanie Bourdu, the meticulous chef at Trégomeur. “We thought they were going to be very stressed, they were traveling with a lion, a tiger, but actually, they were calm, very selfish, it was a good start.” he said when they arrived.

And at the time of leaving the two plantigrades, he admits to a little pain in the heart. “We are used to them. They are so cute, then like all the animals that come here, immediately, we give them all our love so they feel good, like any keeper of any park. So that’s it, we’re a little sad that they’re leaving but at the same time, I’m more relieved for them because they’ll find their environment, their marks in their home, and then, above all, they’ll find their caregivers .

Charlie Douillac was about to cry. Reunite with your bears and discover this unity.; “Everyone takes care of our animals as their own, it’s good. It warms my heart that the unity is still there and that we can trust each other.

For 15 days, the two bears found refuge in the Trégomeur zoo, the keepers often took photos and videos of the pépettes to send the news to their Girondin colleagues. “It must be terrible for them, not seeing them, not knowing exactly what they are, how they behave, Melanie taught, I think about them a lot. “

“I have never seen such strength, Solenn Marzin, the director of the Trégomeur Zoo, is still surprised. zoos, transporters, veterinarians, everyone mobilizes to help the park of Arcachon and save the animals, it’s amazing. “

But when Brittany left, the two bears seemed to hesitate. Cindy Braud, the veterinarian from Nantes especially for the transfer of bears.
Worldwide, there are less than 10,000 sun bears left. The forests where they live in Malaysia, India or Burma have been destroyed by man and the species is poached especially to recover the bile and some organs where Chinese medicine has a lot of power.
Sun bears are now threatened with extinction and are listed as Vulnerable on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List.

We will try to make them voluntarily fit into transport cages”, details by Cindy Braud. Some nuts, croquettes, raisins and a stick covered in honey sometimes help “voluntarily,” but there, the women did not decide.

In Malaysia Sun Bears are called Honey Bears. They love it. Rudy Couturier, the manager of the Zoo d’Arcachon drops big gulps over the cage but the pépettes are quick. Dara only stepped a few centimeters into the cage and his long legs caught the sweet treats and the straws where the honey had fallen, but he quickly pulled them back to him.

After long minutes of negotiating with the animal, Cindy Braud had to resort to anesthesia. “We will put the smallest dose, just enough to put them to sleep at the time of putting them in the cages to have the least consequences of anesthesia”, he determined.

But the bears know the gun and the effects of the anesthetic. The game of hide and seek has begun. Dara and Laïnani started looking around the whole place. The game ends very quickly when heads start nodding. The sandman passed.

The bears were then placed in cages. A few moments later, during the wake, they were loaded into the truck, ready to leave.

Arcachon Zoo will reopen on Saturday, without a second to lose.

We will miss them smiled Solenn Marzin, the director of the Zoo in Trégomeur, we are happy to meet them and proud to participate in this rescue operation. It’s beautiful and inspiring for everyone. We know that if we have a strong punch, other zoos will be there, we all live in the same passion, we all have the same love for animals. “

By waving their arms to say goodbye, the healers of Trégomeur told themselves that one day they would go to Arcachon to see the two bears again.

And then, Teddy and Malaka, the two bears from the zoo were there, with their beautiful faces. They will no doubt receive a double dose of love and attention in the coming days…

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