When it comes to travelling circuses, France is several decades behind the UK because they still have animals performing tricks. People are finally starting to protest about the welfare of the animals but they are a small minority that goes largely unheard. We don't go to the performances but we do usually go along to the circus zoo to see the animals in their cages and pens. They don't actually seem distressed, often coming over to see you, but I still feel very sorry for them.
Despite my misgivings, there is something slightly surreal and magical about having a zebra come over to you so you can stroke it.
They are truly magnificent animals and their markings are beautiful.
The camels aren't quite so pretty and photogenic !
They could certainly do with learning some table manners and Pierre said they needed a toothbrush !
Pierre ran past the llamas because he was worried they would spit at him !
I was surprised to see some wallabies - I wouldn't have thought of them a circus animals.
We laughed at the ostriches who came right up close to the bars and kept pecking ... then laughed even more when we saw the cheeky goats in the next pen, pulling feathers out of the ostriches' backs and eating them !
We found a big ostrich feather on the ground which Pierre decided to keep as a souvenir.
The big cats were all fast asleep.
It's always the bigger animals I feel sorry for because they have such small enclosures.
Especially the elephants who always look so sad.
The animal keeper saw us looking at the elephants and came over, raising his arm in the air so that the elephant would copy him.
Then he went to get some baguettes and gave them out so that we could feed them.
Stroking a zebra was already pretty magical but hand feeding bread to an elephant was even more unexpected !
Pierre was too scared but Sophie and Juliette had a go and were absolutely delighted !
I don't think we'll ever be this close to an elephant ever again !