Zoo de Vincennes
Giant Panda Zoo 1939, 1973-2000
Zoo de Vincennes
The Zoo de Vincennes opened it's doors in 1934. The Zoo in the Bois de Vincennes was built according to an architectural model of Carl Hagenbeck. It was a revolutionary model for it's time. The people and the public were not seperated by bars, but the animals were presented on exhibit platforms with ditches around.
History of Giant Pandas in Paris
Zoo de Vincennes had 3 giant pandas: Happy, Yen Yen & Li Li
Happy (male) was born approximately in September 1935.
He has studbook number 5.
He was captured by Floyd Tangier Smith in the Chinese Sichuan Province. Together with 5 other pandas, he was shipped from Shanghai to the United Kingdom. They arrived in London on December 24, 1938.
One panda died from internal lesions on the transport, one died in the quarantine station of London Zoo and three were sold to London Zoo.
Happy was for sale at a price of 10000 dollars. But for the reason of the tense political situation in 1939, none of the European zoos neither had the courage nor the money to buy this panda.
Otto Fockelmann received Happy from his owner, Floyd Tangier Smith, in trust on January 26, 1939. He took him to Hannover and placed him at the disposal of animal dealer L. Ruhe for exhibition in Germany.
Ruhe & Fockelmann displayed him at Zoologischer Garten Berlin, Zoo Hannover, Münchner Tierpark Hellabrunn, Zoologischer Garten Leipzig & Kölner Zoo.
After his German Tour, Happy was on display at the Zoo de Vincennes in Paris, France from May 24, 1939 until June 6, 1939.
Happy was sold to the Saint Louis Zoo, Saint Louis, USA.
He left Europe on an ocean liner at the port of Cherbourg on June 6, 1939.
Happy arrived in Saint Louis on June 24, 1939 and stayed there until his death on March 10, 1946.
Georges Pompidou receives a gift from China - Yen Yen & Li Li
On December 8, 1973 President Georges Pompidou received a goodwill gift from the chinese government, a couple of giant pandas: Yen Yen & Li Li.
Yen Yen (male) was born approximately in September 1972.
He has studbook number 140.
He was captured in Pigwu in the Chinese Sichuan Province in April, 1973 and was transferred to the Beijing Zoo on October 19, 1973.
He came to the Zoo de Vincennes on December 8, 1973 with Li Li.
Yen Yen was (one of) the biggest attraction(s) at the Zoo de Vincennes.
Yen Yen died on January 21, 2000.
Li Li (male) was born approximately in September 1972.
He has studbook number 138.
He was captured in Baoxing in the Chinese Sichuan Province in March 1973 and was transferred to the Beijing Zoo on October 19, 1973.
He came to the Zoo de Vincennes on December 8, 1973 with Yen Yen.
The Chinese thought he was female, but in Paris they found out he was a male.
Li Li died on April 20, 1974 from a pancreas tumour.
The Present of Zoo de Vincennes
On November 30, 2008 the Parc Zoologique de Paris closed its doors for several years. It's undergoing a complete renovation and normally it will be reopened in 2012...
Image Source Happy: Archive of Zoo Hannover.