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 fairytales. 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 it 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.
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 Farm in Fables (comics).
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Camp Half-Blood in Percy Jackson and the Olympians 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 ok they come back to life after they're killed).
- 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 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.
- This is the premise of the Hollow World universe of Dungeons & Dragons, according to in-game mythology.
- 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.
- 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.
- In an episode of Superman: The Animated Series, Supes and Lobo are captured by an alien who keeps a collection of creatures who are the Last Of Their Kind.
- The irony is the alien hires Lobo to capture Superman before revealing that he wants the last Czarnian as well (Lobo is a self-made "last Czarnian", though, as he is responsible for Czarnia's destruction as part of his science project).
- There are also some dinosaurs on the ship as well.
- Captain Planet and the Planeteers has a similar one to the above Superman example. The Planeteers are captured by an alien who keeps a zoo of extinct creatures. But he isn't being evil, he believes humanity is endangered and wants to preserve it before it disappears.