Opened on October 6, 1860 by Napoléon III and Empress Eugénie, the Jardin d'Acclimatation de Paris or the Jardin Zoologique d'Aclimatation as it was first called was a Paris zoo. It was directed by Isidore Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, son of the naturalist Étienne Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, until his death in 1861.
From 1877 until 1912, the Jardin Zoologique d'Acclimatation was converted to "l'Acclimatation Anthropologique". In mid-colonialism, the curiosity of Parisians was attracted to the customs and lifestyles of foreign peoples. Nubians, Bushmen, Zulus and many other African peoples were "exhibited" in a human zoo. The exhibitions were a huge success. The number of visitors to the Jardin doubled, reaching the million mark.