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The ménagerie du Jardin des plantes is a zoo belonging to the botanical garden Jardin des Plantes. It is the second oldest zoological garden in the world. Today it does not have very large animals like elephants, but a lot of rare smaller and medium-sized mammals and a variety of birds and reptiles. 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 Jardin was free for all visitors and tourists right from its inception. While the menagerie at first was just provisional it grew in the first three decades of the 19th century to be the largest exotic animal collection in Europe.


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