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Raw: Paris Zoo Set to Reopen After Makeover

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The distinctive "Great Boulder" still dominates the landscape, but pretty much everything else has changed at Paris' best known zoo, as it prepares to reopen to the public on April 12th after a multi-year, multi-million-dollar makeover. (April 8)

SHOTLIST:

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Paris, France - April 8, 2014

1. Various of giraffes in their new compound

2. Various of baboons

3. Wide of zoo biosphere

4. Tilt down from roof of tropical forest biosphere

5. Pair of macaws

6. Close of manatee in water

7. Wide of man passing by biosphere aquarium

8. Various of penguins

9. Mid of lion

10. Wide of zoo with Great Boulder in background

STORYLINE:

The distinctive "Grand Rocher" (Great Boulder) still dominates the landscape, but pretty much everything else has changed at Paris' best known zoo, as it prepares to reopen to the public on April 12.

The Parc Zoologique de Paris, which lies near the eastern suburb of Vincennes and is also called Zoo de Vincennes, admitted journalists on Tuesday in advance of Saturday's grand opening.

The zoo has undergone a 167-million euro (230 million US dollar) makeover, and it is hoped that this will revive an attraction that had fallen into neglect.

With no major refurbishment since its opening in 1934, the zoo's displays had become old-fashioned and dated, a concrete jungle of traditional animal cages.

Now managers are celebrating an unparalleled, top-to-bottom renovation: winding pathways, richer vegetation and 21st-century displays.

Animals are now grouped by five regions of origin, Madagascar, Patagonia, Guyana, Europe, and Sahel-Sudan, which is the largest single area in the zoo and home to African savannah roamers.

Giraffes and ostriches co-habit one display area, zebras and rhinos another.

A lone male lion, somewhat understandably, has his own pen, but will soon have three lionesses to keep him company.

During the lengthy refurbishment nearly all the animals were transferred to other French zoos.

Only the 16 giraffes, who are among the most popular creatures with visitors, remained as the work was carried out, and journalists watched as they took their first steps into their new enclosure on Tuesday.

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