Françoise Delord et Fredo le toucan - ZooParc de Beauval

ZooParc de Beauval’s history

Françoise Delord et Fredo le toucan - ZooParc de Beauval

ZooParc de Beauval’s history

Discover one family’s 40-year commitment to animals, their welfare, and their protection…

A lifetime’s work

The park’s story begins in Paris, with Françoise Delord. A presenter of shows on the grand stage of the Bobino music hall, her life was forever changed when she won two birds, African silverbills. Thus, began her great passion for birds.

Françoise Delord à Paris - ZooParc de Beauval

The beginnings of the ZooParc

For the well-being of her little feathered friends, Françoise settled in a place called Beauval, in Saint-Aignan-sur-Cher with her two children, Delphine and Rodolphe. Rodolphe quickly took part in his mother’s project: the opening of an ornithological park.

Over the years, new species, and new spaces, each more wondrous than those before them, have expanded the zoo. The animal welfare-oriented park’s development was accompanied by the creation of the Beauval Nature association in 2009.

The ZooParc in its early days

Passing the torch on to Delphine, Sophie and Rodolphe

In pursuit of their dream, the Delords have been building a haven for species and one of the most beautiful zoos in the world for the past 40 years, today housing nearly 35,000 extraordinary animals and 800 species. Françoise has now let her children and her daughter-in-law, Sophie, take over and they have taken up the torch with energy.

Delord family

The ZooParc de Beauval over time…

  1. 1980

    Françoise Delord, fondatrice de Beauval - L'histoire du ZooParc

    Opening of the Beauval ornithological park, housing nearly 2,000 birds. A collection unlike any other in France!

  2. 1989

    Jaguar - L'histoire du ZooParc

    The park becomes the ZooParc de Beauval housing its first big cats and primates.

  3. 1991

    White tiger

    Arrival of the white tigers Gorby and Raïssa, the first in France, from the United States.

  4. 1992

    Chimpanzee

    Opening of The Orangutan and Chimpanzee Tropical Greenhouse, unlike any other in France with regards to its size and design. Housed within are a group of orangutans and a group of chimpanzees, each with access to 2,000 m² islands.

  5. 1993

    Veiled chameleon

    Opening of the vivarium, located in the great ape tropical greenhouse.

  6. 1994

    Rainbow lorikeet

    Opening of The Bird Tropical Greenhouse (2,000 m²), also one of a kind in France. Here 300 or so exotic birds roam free in amongst lush vegetation.

  7. 1995

    Sea lion show

    Creation of the sea lion pool and first performance of the bird of prey and sea lions show. One hour of fun and educational entertainment!

  8. 1996

    Asian small-clawed otter

    Arrival of the Asian otters, red pandas, and raccoons, with enclosures that are furnished with climbing structures and pools with underwater viewing.

  9. 1997

    Manatee

    Opening of the gorilla and manatee greenhouse, Beauval’s 3rd tropical greenhouse.

  10. 1998

    Hyena

    Two new spaces house hyenas and wild dogs.

  11. 1999

    Giraffes

    Arrival of a pair of white lions (the first in Europe) and creation of The African Savannah, where 80 animals roam about together in complete harmony: giraffes, wildebeest, springboks, zebras, ostriches, marabouts…

  12. 2000

    White rhinos

    Three white rhinos join The African Savannah.

  13. 2001

    Baby turquoise-fronted amazon

    Creation of the nursery, for hand-rearing baby parrots.

  14. 2002

    Koala - L'histoire du ZooParc

    Opening of the Australian greenhouse that includes a marine aquarium and houses a pair of koalas, as well as tree-kangaroos! Previously located at the ZooParc entrance, the petting zoo is relocated and extended.

  15. 2003

    Elephants

    A family of African elephants are housed in a 5-hectare extension, including a grassy plain and a sandy park

  16. 2004

    Beauty rat snake

    Renovation and extension of the vivarium to 400 m². Snakes, tortoises, iguanas… More than 250 reptiles are housed here.

  17. 2005

    Okapi - L'histoire du ZooParc

    Arrival of two okapis, of which there are few representatives of their species in France.

  18. 2006

    Javan langur

    Arrival of Somali wild ass, Javan langurs, and clouded leopards. Creation of a piranha pool in the gorilla and manatee greenhouse.

  19. 2007

    Humboldt penguin

    Creation of the Humboldt penguin pool and opening of the South American pampas. Arrival of giant anteaters.

  20. 2008

    Les Jardins de Beauval - L'histoire du ZooParc
    Opening of the Balinese-inspired Les Jardins de Beauval hotel, 500 m from the ZooParc.
  21. 2009

    Male white rhino Kanty

    First trip out of the pouch for our first baby koala and birth of Kanty, a male white rhino.

  22. 2010

    Malayan tapir

    Opening of The Asiatic Plains, a 2.5-hectare expansion housing Indian rhinos, Malayan tapirs, cranes, and Asian antelopes.

  23. 2011

    Red panda

    Opening of The Heights of China, an area housing emblematic species from China: red pandas, muntjacs, snow leopards, takins, and Steller’s sea eagles.

  24. 2012

    Giant panda

    A pair of giant pandas are housed at the centre of The Heights of China, the only representatives of their species in France, as part of a Research, Reproduction, and Conservation programme in collaboration with the Chengdu base, in China.

  25. 2013

    Two-toed sloth

    Refurbishment of the bird greenhouse. Enclosures, plants, water features… Everything is redesigned to accommodate multiple species in a lush botanical setting. Armadillos, two-toed sloths, and mouse-deer reign supreme here.

  26. 2014

    Les Hameaux de Beauval - L'histoire du ZooParc
    Expansion of the ZooParc and the presentation of a new bird show, Les Maîtres des Airs, within a 3,000-seat amphitheatre. Les Hameaux de Beauval residential hotel opens in Saint-Aignan-sur-Cher town centre.
  27. 2015

    Les Pagodes de Beauval - L'histoire du ZooParc
    Presentation of a new sea lion show, L’Odyssée des Lions de Mer. Opening of Les Pagodes de Beauval hotel with its authentic Chinese decorative features.
  28. 2016

    Hippopotamus

    Opening of The Hippopotamus Reserve. An installation with unique underwater viewing, housing many African species: hippos, nyalas, red river hogs, birds, and fish.

  29. 2017

    Huan Huan and Yuan Meng

    Opening of The Land of the Lions, a reconstructed savannah for our felines; and redevelopment of the elephant space to house new individuals. Birth of Yuan Meng, the first baby panda born in France.

  30. 2018

    Brown bear

    The North American Territory housing the wolf-pack and brown bears opens, and the cheetah territory is created. Opening of Les Hauts de Beauval, an African-inspired hotel.

  31. 2019

    Le Nuage de Beauval cable car

    Arrival of the first and only Tasmanian devils in France and opening of the first cable car in a French zoological park: Le Nuage de Beauval.

  32. 2020

    The Equatorial Dome

    Beauval’s 40th anniversary and opening of The Equatorial Dome: a gigantic one-hectare greenhouse housing 200 species, some of which are found nowhere else in France.