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What are the animals of the Sigean African Reserve, a unique park

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Sigean African Reserve

Before I explain what animals are in the Sigean African Reserveyou have to tell yourself, because you may not know it, that this natural space is not in Africa, but in Europe and close to us. More specifically, it is located in the French region of Languedoc Roussillonabout fifteen kilometers from Narbonne.

It is one of the five largest zoos in the neighboring country, but it is much more than that. Because it was born with the vocation of sheltering animals with protocols of integration into the natural environment and extensive agriculture, while protecting and conserving them as a species. Now we will do a bit of history and then we will show you what animals are in the Sigean African Reserve.

A little history of the Sigean Nature Reserve

The Sigean reserve

Panoramic view of the African reserve of Sigean

This reserve was born on the initiative of naturalists Daniel de Montfreid Yes Paul de La Panouse which, supported by the regional authorities, imagined an animal park unique in its size and its way of doing things. They chose to install it in a vast area of ​​scrubland abundant in fauna and flora.

Thus, the reserve opened its doors on April 8, 1974. Since then, it has continued to grow, welcoming new species protected by European breeding programs. Many of them are in danger of extinction and come to the park for preservation. This is the case, for example, of an African nothingness: the tibetan bear.

As for what animals are in the Sigean African Reserve, we will tell you that currently it has nine hundred species of mammals, six hundred reptiles and two thousand birds. However, these are approximate figures, since the animals live in freedom and, in addition, there are many migratory birds. Due to its proximity to the Mediterranean coast, the area is a place of passage for these birds, which take advantage of the ponds of Sigean to make a stopover.

Animals of the Sigean African Reserve

pink flamingos

Flamingos in the African reserve of Sigean

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It would be impossible to tell you one by one about all the species that you can see in this reserve. As we have said, in total, it is estimated that about three thousand five hundred distributed by its three hundred hectares of extension. We are therefore going to show you the most representative and least expected of the European continent.

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wild dog

A wild dog specimen in the reserve

We also mentioned that this reserve has some nine hundred species of mammals in its facilities. Therefore, we cannot tell you about all of them. However, among the most representative are the the Lionsdifferent varieties of antelope and zebra, gazelles, chimpanzees, camels, gibraltar monkeys, watusis Yes white rhinos.

But, with regard to the animals of the African reserve of Sigean, it is more curious to find mammals such as the red necked wallaby. It is a variety of Australian kangaroo that reaches a height of 70 centimeters and a weight between 13 and 18 kilograms, depending on whether it is a male or a female. Also you will be surprised meerkats, weighing only 900 grams and 35 centimeters high. In their case, they are small mongooses that come from Africa’s Kalahari and Namib deserts.

It is also very curious Bolivian squirrel monkey, popularly known as the squirrel monkey, which is even smaller, rarely exceeding 31 centimeters. And what about potamom red, a kind of wild boar that can reach 115 kilograms in weight and 80 centimeters in height at the withers. In his case, it comes from the equatorial forests of Africa.

For his part, the Lyaon, also called wild dog or hyena dog because of its resemblance to these, is also present in Sigean. It is a carnivore native to the steppes and savannahs and reaches about 75 centimeters in height for a weight of 30. However, it is distinguished above all by its large ears.

Anyway, we could go on talking about curious species among the animals to see in the Sigean African Reserve. Thus, we will cite the nile conch, a bovid almost a meter high; from momentum, with its sharp horns; from dwarf buffalo, which, despite its name, reaches 300 kilograms in weight; from somali wild asswhich reaches up to 250 or the enormous greater kuduwhich comes from the savannas and has a cross height of 1.60 meters.

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american alligators

Less numerous than mammals are the reptiles of Sigean. However, the reserve has about six hundred such species. Not missing among them, the huge and fierce american alligator, which can reach more than six meters in length and weigh 450 kilograms. Also present are the no less formidable boaconstrictor and its variant, the madagascar tree boaas good as common iguana and the african spurred tortoisewhich can reach 100 kilograms in weight.

But also in this case you can see more curious species of reptiles in the Sigean reserve. Among them, you will be surprised by the dwarf crocodile which, despite its name, reaches one and a half meters in length and 80 kilograms. But more surprising are the bony scales that cover his body, especially his neck. Because of them, it is also known as the Armored Crocodile. Beside this you can also see the african snout crocodile.

Less known is the nile monitor, the largest lizard in Africa, reaching 2.4 meters in length and 15 in weight. Out of curiosity, we will tell you that it is an excellent swimmer due to its paddle-shaped tail and its resistance in apnea (about thirty minutes).

However, perhaps he takes the cake among the reptiles of Sigean le four-cornered chameleon, so named because it has two horns above its mouth and several more on its neck. It weighs about two hundred grams and measures about 35 centimeters. But, also out of curiosity, we’ll tell you that his tongue reaches twice the size of his body. This is not surprising, since it is his hunting weapon. Its parent is priest’s chameleonthe largest in the world, since it measures about 70 centimeters.

Birds among the animals of the Sigean African Reserve

african tantalum

An African Stork fishing in Sigean

Birds are the most numerous in Sigean. As we told you, they are around the two thousand species, it is true that many of them are passing through during their annual migration. How could it be otherwise, if we are talking about an African reserve, there are a good number of ostriches. but you can also see emus, their Australian cousins, which reach almost two meters tall and can run at 48 kilometers per hour. And similarly, their South American cousins, the rhea.

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Also, you have in Sigean elegant pink flamingos Yes peacocks, pelicans Yes pigeons from india. There is no shortage of different types of waterfowl such as the crested duckthe brown pochard or the two-tone and white-faced suirirísnor different varieties of Turkish such as red crest or western gray.

On the other hand, among the birds there are also particular ones in the reserve. This is the case of african tantalum, a wader from the stork family that has a curious way of fishing. While stirring up the mud of the lagoons with one of its legs, it introduces its long open beak into the water. When it senses prey passing by, it snaps it shut, seizing it.

An equally powerful beak has the african kiss. With it, he is able not only to break the shell of snails, but also to cut the muscle that binds them to it. This is how he feeds. And to the same family that tantalum belongs marabout, a large bird that feeds on both carrion and small mammals. The same can be said of jaribouwhich is characterized by a long and colorful beak of great beauty and a size of one and a half meters.

Of course, if we are talking about curious peaks, maybe the palm takes over trumpeter hornbill, which owes its name to its greatness. And the same can be said of its parent, the gray hornbillwith its crest of feathers, as well as the african spatula, named after its spoon-shaped beak. With it, it moves water and mud from lagoons to get its prey.

common pile driver

A specimen of common martinete

For her part, the little prickly lapwing lives in Sigean during his migrations, like his relative, the Marine, which defends its young with pointed growths on its wings. The dark vulture takes care to clear the territory of carrion, although its relative, the palm vulture prefers fruits, especially the nuts of the African palm. another vulture, the speckledis protected in Sigean, because it is in serious danger of extinction.

Other bird species like common and stork of Abdimthe bald ibisthe crowned cranethe common pile driver or the gray parrot They complete the list of birds that you can see in this magnificent French zoo.

In conclusion, now you know what animals are in the Sigean African Reservelocated in the Languedoc. But, more importantly, these species live there in semi-freedom and protected, since many are in danger of extinction. The park is divided into several areas, each with certain animals so that they do not harm each other. And the visit consists of an hour drive by car and another on foot of about two and a half hours. Rejoice to know the Sigean African Reserve.

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