Elephants at Safari de Peaugres. Photo: Hape662/Flickr
Anarchists calling zoos 'prisons' have said they were behind a blaze that destroyed several ticket booths at the Peaugres Safari park in the Ardèche region on August 1, France Bleu reported.
No animals or people were harmed by the flames.
The fire began late in the night on August 1st and burned through into the early hours, until firefighters arrived to put it out.
The zoo had to close for one day on August 2.
An investigation has been opened into the incident.
In a blog posted on the anarchist website Le Laboratoire Anarchiste, its authors explained that they decided to set the zoo on fire because “zoos are like prisons” and equated them with colonisation.
“Zoos pretend to protect these animals, when in fact at the time they were discovered by colonialists, they were decimated and thrown into cages and brought back here to be exhibited as entertainment, as gifts in circuses and zoos.”
“Zoos remind us of those colonialists who didn't just massacre and exile non-human animals but by using the same arguments that they had that “human zoos” which were developed during the bloody process of colonialisation.”
The authors describe how they planned the fire so it would spread quickly but without reaching the forest nearby.
The park spans over 80 hectares and is home to 1,150 animals. It draws 300,000 visitors a year.