Monday, August 8, 2016

Parc de Merlet

While Daniel was out conquering mountain trails, I visited the Parc de Merlet, a wildlife sanctuary in Les Houches just outside of Chamonix. It is home to many Alpine animals, including marmots, chamois, ibex and deer, and also has a few imported animals such as Japanese sika deer and even a couple of llamas! The animals receive food twice a day throughout the year, but are otherwise free to come and go as they please, making them 'semi-wild'. There are large quarantine enclosures for some animals, but the rest wander at will through the spruce trees and meadows. There are a few trails through the park and visitors can get quite close to the animals.

The feeding area

A small chapel on the grounds

A couple of llamas in the meadow

A sika doe
The climb up from the parking lot to the park entrance is pretty steep, but it's worth it. It's great to see the animals up close and there are also spectacular views over the Mont Blanc massif.

It was a bit cloudy on my trip, but I glimpsed
Mont Blanc, a glacier and a waterfall through the clouds!

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