“A policeman explained that there was an armed man walking around, we were ordered to get out as quickly as possible.
“Eva will long remember her outing to the Museum of Natural History in the Jardin des Plantes, in the 5th arrondissement of Paris, this Monday at the start of the afternoon.
The 17-year-old Marseille tourist was evacuated from the botanical garden around 1:20 p.m., pressed to leave by the police, due to a potentially dangerous presence within the site.
It all starts around 12:40 p.m.
“A visitor calls 17 to report that he has seen a man in khaki, gun in hand, entering the Jardin des Plantes,” says Michel Saint-Jalme, director of the Paris zoo hosted on the site.
The police arrive immediately and "several thousand visitors" are then evacuated.
It is around 1 p.m., the public in the galleries is confined to the place, as are the menagerie caretakers.
The police carry out a verification of the identities of the people present in the garden who leave the premises.
A large police force deployed
Follows a reconnaissance operation in the park by means of a large device.
Police on bicycles, motorbikes, dog squads… Agents take over the aisles while drones fly over the spaces.
Still, in the meantime, the police are questioning the whistleblower… and realize that the man is making “disjointed or even delusional remarks”, confides Michel Saint-Jalme.
The man is finally taken care of by the Samu and hospitalized.
Evacuation of the Jardin des Plantes in Paris #terrorist #paris #jardindesplantes pic.twitter.com/9HNNpHvigX
— Valentin (@DeniesValentin) August 15, 2022
“We were very scared, the atmosphere was quite anxiety-provoking,” says Eva, who had just finished visiting the large gallery of evolution with her two little brothers and her mother when the family was asked to clear out.
"The police ordered us to run towards the exit, so a lot of people started running," says the young woman.
At the exit, "many police officers, soldiers" were already criss-crossing the ground.
At 4:34 p.m., the police headquarters confirmed the false alarm.
“Vain search in the Jardin des Plantes, end of prospecting.
They found no one.
The park was able to reopen its doors around 4:45 p.m.
A little too late for the menagerie and the galleries which will keep the door closed until Tuesday.
“August 15 is traditionally a busy day.
If several thousand people were evacuated, several thousand others could not return, ”regrets the director of the zoo of the Jardin des Plantes.
People who bought their tickets on the Internet “will of course be reimbursed”, specifies Michel Saint-Jalme, who deplores “a big financial loss”.