The Ménagerie du Jardin des Plantes is a zoo in Paris, France, belonging to the botanical garden Jardin des Plantes. It is the first and thus the oldest civil zoological garden in the World. Today it has no very large animals like elephants, but a lot of rare smaller and medium sized mammals and a variety of birds and reptiles. The Zoo is located directly by the Seine in the Centre of Paris. It takes up about one third of the Jardin des Plantes.
The institutional incorporation of the menagerie within the National Research Institute of the National Natural History Museum facilitated the academic study of the animals by doctors and zoologists. Studies related to systematics, morphology and anatomy were all carried out, notably by Georges Cuvier. Étienne Geoffroy, Frédéric Cuvier (the brother of Georges Cuvier) performed research in the area of behavioral observation.
Étienne Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire and Frédéric Cuvier published their results in the quarterly work Histoire des Mammifières. It was first published in 1826 and became one of the foundational books concerning the biology of exotic animals. Furthermore, F. Cuvier's plans regarding the breeding of new domestic animal species were formulated.
Attractions and Species Growth:
The expanding range of species was chiefly the result of French travelling researchers, colonial officials and donations from private people, which accounts for the fact that the animals in the Jardine were not limited to local French species.
The so-called Rotonde was added to the basic enclosures in 1804, and from 1808 was used to harbour large animals such as elephants. In 1805 the bear ditch followed and in 1821, a so-called Fauverie or predator enclosure. The Volieren enclosure (voleries, birdhouses) for diurnal birds of prey was added in 1825, and two years later a birdhouse specifically for pheasants. A monkey house was set up for the first time in 1837, while reptiles had to wait until 1870 for their enclosure. Most animals were kept in functional, classicist, gallery-like buildings. These buildings and the zoo itself can be seen as an expression of the Imperial Power of France.