Siberian Lynx from Le Parc des Félins

Le Parc des Felins

Le Parc des Felins is home to over 25 species and sub species of the 36 feline species in the world.  At over 60 hectares, the park which is located in the magnificent woodland estate of la Fortelle, is simply enormous.

European wildcat photographed at Le Parc des Felins

The park comprises of 5 zones, with the 140 cats that live in very large natural enclosures divided up into the 4 continents from which they originate.  The fifth zone/continent is dedicated to the lemurs of Madagascar (well their latin name does contain the word “cat!”).

Portrait of a Lynx

Whilst I had the opportunity to photograph every species in the park (and I did), I am only posting up my favourite images so not all species will be represented with an image.

Asian Golden Cat

Le Parc des Felins is home to both species of the Asian Golden Cat – grey green and red gold. These cats are normally very shy and this is the only time I have managed to successfully capture an image of them.

White tiger from Le Parc des Félins

One of the huge attractions of the park is their large collection of White Tigers. These stunning creatures do not exist in the wild. Nor are they a species in their own right. The white coat is a result of in-breeding and their population has been carefully maintained for the last 60 years by man.

Malayan Tiger close-up

The Malayan tigers live in the largest tiger enclosure in the world at 3.5 hectares. They have the most stunning face – not as mad as that of the Sumatran but not as soft as those of the Bengal or Amur tiger.

Lounging snow leopard cub

Dinah, the year old snow leopard cub was a huge draw for the photographers and boy did she know it! She still acted and played like a cub, pouncing on her mother, playing with branches and rolling down the mound, providing everyone with some great photographic opportunities.

Sumatran Tiger in Le Parc des Félins

The Sumatran tiger is distinguishable from all other species of tiger by the fact that they have webbed feet and their beautiful faces have a slightly mad look.

Pallas cat from Le Parc des Félins

One of the main reasons for visiting Parc des Felins was because another of the WHF Pallas Cat kittens had moved here – Pamir’s older sister, Ulan Bator. It’s been over a year since I last saw Ulan Bator and any ideas of easily identifying her were quickly dashed when I realised that there were two female Pallas Cats in the enclosure!

Thinking Amur Tigress

The park has 2 enormous Amur Tiger enclosures. One is home to a family of 4 and the other holds a second breeding pair. Natalya is the matriarch in the family group and was sadly, wild caught in Russia.

Lioness yawning

The Africa zone is home to two different species of lion, African and Angolan. I watched with much interest as one of the Angolan lionesses started a roaring match with the African lionesses before settling down to sleep once she had wound them up good and proper.

Gordon's Wildcat kitten from Le Parc des Félins

This adorable kitten is a Gordon’s Wildcat and one of a litter of two kittens. The timing of our visit turned out to be impeccable as the park was full of cubs and kittens.

Persian Leopard as photographed at Le Parc des Félins

The Persian Leopard enclosure is huge with tall trees thus allowing the leopards to hide out in the tree branches, just as they would in the wild.

Black Leopard photographed at Le Parc Des Félins

Conscious that we still had one last zone to visit, we didn’t spend as much time in the African zone as I would have liked, but the jaguars in the American zone more than made up for this.

Jaguar cub

The breeding pair had had a litter of two the previous year and whilst they were technically no longer cubs, they were still cute and behaved more like cubs than sub adults.

Mountain Lion in profile

The Puma enclosure is just lovely. It’s spacious with plenty of trees for the five Pumas to climb and chase each other in and made for some wonderful backdrops in which to photograph.

Geoffrey's Cat looking over her shoulder

The female Geoffroy’s cat was very relaxed, unlike her mate who paced endlessly. I got tired just watching him.

The original plan had been to leave le parc des felins at around 5pm in order to ensure that we made it back to Calais on time to catch our train. Based on how long we spent in the park yesterday, we decided to stay in the park til closing time and then rush back. If we missed the train that we were booked on to board, then we would simply get a later one. As luck would have it, we actually made it back in time to board our train!

4 Comments

  1. Wow, que dire de plus, c’est ma definition du mot paradis pour moi. Je suis envoûtée par tout les felins. Merci de nous faire découvrir des espèces pas très connues souvent et pourtant très précieuses. Moi, mes 2 chats sont un Hightlander lynx marbré couleur sépia et un Hightlander Snow blanc. Ce sont mes petits fauves à moi. Félicitation pour des photos plus vrai que nature. Avez -vous des conseils à me donner aux sujet des félins d’Afrique. Je vais réaliser un rêve en octobre, je vais faire un safari photos en Tanzanie ( Arusha,Serengeti et le cratère de Ngorongoro).
    Je ne suis pas une experte en la matière. Merci d’àvance.

    Joanne Blouin
    St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Québec, Canada

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