From the outset the Réserve Africaine de Sigean has pursued a fourfold set of objectives :
- CONSERVATION : Saving endangered species for future generations
- EDUCATION : Learning to observe and thereby better understand wild fauna and interdependences between animals and their habitats
- RESEARCH : Adding to the sum of human knowledge about wild fauna
- LEISURE : Introducing visitors to the delights of observing wildlife
The objectives of conservation, research and education have been incorporated into the European Directive relating to the keeping of wild animals in zoos, dated 29 March 1999, which makes them compulsory for zoos in Europe, giving recognition to the work done by establishments like the Réserve Africaine de Sigean which have always treated them as priorities.
The steady increase in visitor numbers has demonstrated the lasting attraction of a wildlife park firmly commited to « provide animals with conditions in which they can enjoy social life in a suitable setting of sufficient size to enable them to behave in much the same way as has been observed in their native habitats».
With this new approach to wildlife park management, it has proved possible to keep large herds of different but compatible species living alongside each other, sharing extensive areas of land.
Sigean today, extending over an area of more than 300 hectares, is home to more than 3500 animals. It has been planned to integrate with nature so as to offer visitors the experience of discovering both African wildlife and a unique environment : the lagoon-flecked Languedoc coast.
Touring the park takes visitors through a natural landscape, with lakes, marshes, scrubland, pine groves, plains and hills, divided into areas of about ten hectares each, where a wide variety of species live and breed, most of them African but also other belonging to the local fauna. Visitors derive great satisfaction from recognizing the various species, watching their day-to-day activities and interpreting their behaviour.