PARIS (NBC/EBU) — The French capital’s largest zoo has reopened its doors to the public following a six-year closure and major renovations.
Crowds gathered early Saturday morning at the Paris Zoological Park, eager to be among the first to explore Paris’ newest attraction.
The zoo, which opened in 1934, showed signs of major wear by the early 1990s. Struggling to adequately host visitors and care for its animals, it fully closed in 2008.
After changes worth $231 million, the Zoo now boasts of being the only one in the world to have been “completely rebuilt.”
The Zoo’s major attractions now include 40 Humboldt penguins, a magnificent lion named Nero and a large family of giraffes.
In all, the modernized park counts more than 1,000 animals belonging to 179 species.
Between 20,000- and 25,000 visitors were expected to flock to the Zoo on its first day alone.