Fantastic Nature Reserve
aka: Fantastic Nature Preserve

Safely guarded from the Muggle world that's so ignorant and hostile to it, the Fantastic Nature Reserve is one of (if not the) last refuge for mythical beings. Much like the Bazaar of the Bizarre, the Fantastic Nature Reserve will have many species of flora and fauna heard of only in myth and fairy tales. Entire ecosystems may be preserved in lush "biomes," or individual beings kept in cages much like a zoo (which is likely to also have an evil Zookeeper).

It may be hidden somewhere deep in the dark, forgotten places of the world, in the labyrinthine corners of human city thanks to some powerful illusions, Another Dimension entirely, or even bravely visible to the world at large. If it's hidden, that's because there is safety behind The Masquerade as a Hidden Elf Village, and by banding together they can cooperate to fend off those pesky humans. If out in the open they may hope to survive by raising awareness of their existence, which may be exactly what's called for if the residents are subject to Gods Need Prayer Badly and Clap Your Hands If You Believe.

Another possibility is that the residents have formed this Reserve because Mana is a part of their "diet," and with it becoming scarce in the Muggle world they have to seek sources of magic and live near them. Because of this the Fantastic Nature Reserve is likely a settlement on the magical equivalent of a proven well. If this miniature Cosmic Keystone is stolen or destroyed, the Fantastic Nature Reserve will fall with it. Whether natural or artificial, the Fantastic Nature Reserve residents are likely fiercely protective of the place, its residents and its secrecy. Unless of course they're not there of their own free will.

It's also possible for a Fantastic Nature Reserve to be "person" made. A benevolent "zoo keeper" likely does this to preserve the Uniqueness Value inherent in these creatures and to protect them from poaching. The less altruistic Collector may justify objectifying these creatures (whether sentient or not) on the basis that they're saving them from destruction. An outright evil zoo keeper will use them as shock troops and as a self replenishing treasure trove of magical ingredients. It's easy to harvest Eye of Newt when you can apply Healing Factor laden troll blood to keep the newt from going blind.


    open/close all folders 

     Anime and Manga  

  • The Count's shop in Pet Shop of Horrors is played up as one, even if he does occasionally sell some of the residents. Luckily, the residents typically volunteer for this so everyone is happy in the end provided the humans don't mess things up.
  • The Headmaster in Rosario + Vampire has one of these in a pocket dimension. It's for monsters that could never adapt to the Masquerade.
  • The Ancient Magus' Bride: Has a dragon preserve in Iceland that's enchanted so that muggles don't notice it.

     Comic Books  

  • The Farm in Fables, which is where animal and more monstrous Fables who are too poor or too lazy to get a glamour to pass as human in Fabletown wind up.
  • The Phantom has Eden, an island where even normally predatory animals are peaceful vegetarians, and live together with their would-be prey. Aside from the lions, dolphins, tigers (in Africa!), gorillas, etc., there are some miniature dinosaurs and a family of cave monsters.
  • The island of Themyscira in post-crisis Wonder Woman has mythical creatures from Greek mythology such as sphinxes, centaurs, dragons, chimeras, and pegasi.
  • An early one-issue plot of Sonic the Hedgehog has a misguided intergalactic collector who captures the Freedom Fighters, Robotnik and Snively and puts them in one of these. He collects them for their Uniqueness Value, and while he provides a safe place for them, he is compared to a kid who collects ants in an ant farm, even seen tapping on the glass of his reserve when tech-loving Robotnik seems to be acting lazy and not at all responsive to the provided unpolluted nature-style environment. He mends his ways and returns them when Robotnik breaks free and ejects the collector from his ship and the Freedom Fighters rescue him from going adrift in space.
  • Superman's Fortress of Solitude has an alien zoo. In All-Star Superman it also has a zoo filled with bizarro animals.
  • Judge Dredd: Mega-City One's alien zoo is a popular tourist attraction.

     Fan Works  

  • Solgell Island from The Bridge effectively became this continuity's Monster Island (see films) though in this case it's the kaiju willingly choosing to live there, making Solgell and the rest of the Mu Island chain the home for numerous Terran kaiju. It's home to both neutral kaiju just wanting a place to live outside of human influence, along with the Defender faction's base of operations. The story opens up with it getting invaded.
  • Prehistoric Park in Prehistoric Park Extinction World, more so than its canon counterpart.


  • Midian in Nightbreed is the last city for the eponymous Nightbreed, who have been persecuted for all of human history.
  • Played for Laughs in Shrek, where all of the fantasy beings Lord Farquad has exiled are sent to Shrek's swamp.
  • In The Troll Hunter the main premise of the film is that Norway's government are secretly keeping gigantic trolls in a kind of troll preserve in the northern wilderness, electric fenced in using high-voltage pylons.
  • In Destroy All Monsters, Godzilla and several other monsters are placed on Monster Land/Monster Island, although it's not to protect them, but to protect humanity from them. It seems to be working well at first, with several provisions in place to prevent the monsters from leaving the island. However, the monsters are turned loose once the Kilaaks take over.
  • Jurassic Park is similar to the book but by the time of the the fourth movie, they've opened it to the public.
  • The main characters in Predators think they're in a jungle on Earth but it turns out they're on a Predator game preserve planet that Predators bring humans and other aliens to for hunting purposes.


  • Fablehaven is about a secret nature preserve protecting the beings of myth and legend from the outside world, complete with caretakers that act almost as park rangers.
  • The Forgotten Beasts of Eld by Patricia A. McKillip, where Sybel has a menagerie of legendary animals which she and her ancestors called using magic to their crystal domed white hall. Animals include a giant black cat that knows witch's spells, a dragon that killed many men, a boar that knows the answer to every question but one and a falcon that rode on heroes' arms.
  • It's implied it's how fantastic creatures survive in Harry Potter. Hogwarts' grounds work like this. Mainly the Forbidden Forest which has a tribe of Centaurs, giant spiders, unicorns and a giant. The lake has a giant squid and a village of mer-people at the bottom of it.
    • There's also a dragon preserve in Romania in the books. Ron's brother, Charles, works there. It's where Norbert (later revealed to be a "Norberta") is taken after it's found out Hagrid was trying to raise the dragon in secret.
    • Relatedly, there are plenty of wild magical creatures throughout the world in the setting, whose existence and secrecy is protected by hordes of wizards with memory charms.
  • Percy Jackson and the Olympians:
    • Camp Half-Blood is home to satyrs, nymphs, and winged horses. The forest houses monsters from Greek mythology, but these are hunted by the demigod campers during training (It's okay—they come back to life after they're killed).
    • Geryon owns the Triple G Ranch, where he breeds fire-breathing horses and giant scorpions, among other dangerous monsters from Greek mythology, although he also keeps less dangerous animals, such as Apollo's sacred cows and hippalectryons — horses with the back halves of chickens.
  • In the Sequel Series The Heroes of Olympus, the Georgia Aquarium has a VIP section where the sea gods Keto and Phorcys keep various mythological sea monsters. They try to capture Percy and Frank so they can have a show where demigods fight off the monsters, and so that they could have the only captive descendants of Poseidon in the world.
  • Reconstructed in the Kem compound in Play Places which is home to all manners of animal-people that are genetically modified animals held in an advanced mega-cage somewhere.
  • For John Hammond, Jurassic Park is this, even in theme park form. Lets just say it went horribly right.
    • Don't forget that there are two islands: Isla Nublar (the park) and Isla Sorna (site B).
  • The dragons are given these in The Last Dragonslayer.
  • The Monstrumarium of The Monstrumologist series is a darker version of this, home to a number of man-eating beasties.
  • Broken Homes has a very small one of these hidden in the centre of a Council Estate, deliberately created to be hard to access from the muggle section.
  • The Goblin Reservation: The reservation we get to see is one of many such areas created all over the world, and its inhabitants are various kinds of Fair Folk: goblins, fairies, trolls, banshees and so on. Actually, they are stagnant Sufficiently Advanced Aliens who colonized Earth and many other planets hundreds of millions or billions years ago.
  • The Menagerie, in the League Of Magi story of the same name, is more of a zoo, but it hits large parts of the trope.
  • Carry On by Rainbow Rowell: Watford is like Hogwarts, a Wizarding School with various magical creatures living in the grounds but the snow devils are actually specified to be a protected magical species. It's illegal to attack them even after they throw snowballs at you.
  • Schooled In Magic: Whitehall has a menagerie with a Mimic and portals leading off to enclosures of centaurs and unicorns.
  • Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children: Children with supernatural powers are hidden in time loops to keep them safe from monsters. The second book introduces ''Miss Wren's Menagerie" that house Peculiar animals instead.
  • Island of the Aunts: The titular aunts live on an island taking care of sick creatures. Most of them are real animals but they also look after mermaids and krakens.
  • Ella Enchanted: Ella visits the royal menagerie, which has dragons, centaurs, gnomes and ogres.
  • Enchanted Glass by Diana Wynne Jones is about a man who inherits a house and a surrounding "field of care" from his magician grandfather, which is a magical area that keeps The Fair Folk hidden from the rest of the world.

     Live Action TV  

  • The BBC's Walking with Dinosaurs Spin-Off Prehistoric Park fits pretty well. It involved a naturalist who traveled through time and brought back extinct animals for his nature preserve in Africa. Basically, a more down to earth and zookeeper-esque version of Jurassic Park... but with time travel !
  • Sanctuary is this trope.
  • A Sliders episode has a dinosaur preserve, the last place where they can be found on this world. Naturally, it's also a haven for poachers, provided they don't get eaten. Rangers are only allowed to enter the park via holo-projections, so as not to disturb the dinosaurs.

     Tabletop Games  

  • This is the premise of the Hollow World universe of Dungeons & Dragons, according to in-game mythology, serving as a place where the Immortals could store civilizations and species that would have gone extinct in the outside world.
  • In Warhammer, there is the Imperial Zoo at Altdorf, a popular tourist attraction holding numerous fantastic beings and monsters, such as pegasi, hippogriffs, wyverns and chimeras, brought back by adventurers and armies from all over the world. It also serves as a home for the Empire's fiercer war beasts, such as griffons, including Emperor Karl Franz's favorite mount, Deathclaw, and the Imperial Dragon.

     Video Games  

  • Dracula in basically every Castlevania game. It's implied all of the creatures in his castle have died out centuries ago in the real world.
  • In Overlord II, the elves are trying to create one of these to save magical creatures (including themselves) from The Empire (the other Empire). Their queen's hippy-ish right hand man is actually the Emperor himself.
  • Pokémon has the Safari Zone.
    • More literal in Pokémon Black 2 and White 2 with the Nature Preserve. No legendaries, but a nice shiny Haxorus for the catching.
    • The first generation games and their remakes also have an actual zoo in front of the Safari Zone, which also includes an extinct Pokémon cloned from a fossil.
  • In Star Ocean: The Second Story, Claude, Rena and the others must visit one in order to obtain a wild Psynard. The keeper is understandably reluctant to let them into the preserve, but accompanies them inside, and can potentially be recruited if the player wishes.
  • Touhou takes place entirely within Gensokyo, a Magical Land that was sealed off from the rest of Japan in the Meiji Era, and explicitly exists to preserve the supernatural creatures who would otherwise die off due to lack of belief.
  • The original Zoo Tycoon game has a few Easter eggs that can be used to create exhibits with certain mythical creatures, like unicorns. Both the first and second Zoo Tycoon games allow for the player to obtain dinosaurs and other prehistoric animals as well.
  • In World of Warcraft, the Netherstorm area of Outland has four arcane eco-domes containing various species, while the Conservatory of Life in Ulduar is inhabited by dragons and living flora.
  • In Stellaris, non-Xenophobe empires can build Alien Zoos, where alien animals from the empire's worlds are proudly displayed.
  • The Elw Dimension in Wild ARMs 1 is essentially this, preserving a piece of the world in its older, more natural state.
  • Jurassic Park: Operation Genesis: naturally, being based on the Jurassic Park film series. With every species to make major appearances in the three films up to that point, the player can either make Jurassic Park the success Hammond never could or set it up to re-enact the films.
  • N64 Yoshi Valley in Mario Kart 8 takes place in and around the Wild Yoshi Sanctuary, a nature reserve for the Yoshis.

     Web Comics  

  • The Order of the Stick has the pit full of monsters from previous editions, the intent of which wasn't so much to protect the beasties as to keep them away from harming PC's.
  • Zoophobia's "Safe haven" is this in a nutshell.

     Western Animation  

Alternative Title(s): Fantastic Nature Preserve, Supernature Preserve, Supernature Reserve