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Fantastic Nature Reserve
aka: Fantastic Nature Preserve

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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 a 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.



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     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: There's a dragon preserve in Iceland that's enchanted so that muggles don't notice it.

     Comic Books 
  • DC Comics:
    • Superman:
      • The Fortress of Solitude has an alien zoo. In All-Star Superman it also has a zoo filled with bizarro animals.
      • The bottled city of Kandor (also in the Fortress) has a zoo which contains some of the last Kryptonian animals in existence.
    • The island of Themyscira in post-crisis Wonder Woman has mythical creatures from Greek mythology such as sphinxes, centaurs, dragons, chimeras, and pegasi. There are also sea-creatures, including some megalodons, patrolling the water outside the island.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Judge Dredd: Mega-City One's alien zoo is a popular tourist attraction.
    • There was also a Dinosaur National Park full of cloned dinosaurs, 12 years before Jurassic Park was written.
  • The Marvel Universe has Monster Isle, where all their Kaiju or other dangerous mutant beasts are sent. It's implied to be somewhat close to Japan.
  • Disney Ducks Comic Universe: Scrooge McDuck owns a zoo with such fanciful creatures as a unicorn and a sacred Egyptian crocodile.
  • In the Dan Dare story Operation Triceratops, he visits a zoo on the Isle of Wight where animals from all over the solar system are kept in pressurized cages.
  • As a nod to Dan Dare, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Black Dossier has an interplanetary zoo on Wight complete with a Tralfamadorian, lazoons, Metaluna mutants, green martians, Gorgo's mother and Triffids.

     Fan Works 
  • In It's a Small World University, a companion story to Lost Tales of Fantasia, the Hundred Acre Project is a sanctuary on Earth for extra-terrestrials in the Disney universe.
  • 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.
    • In Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, a billionaire offers to move the dinosaurs to a new island where they'll be left alone after a volcano erupts on Isla Nublar. Turns out he's actually taking them to America to be auctioned.
  • 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.
  • Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: Newt Scamander's suitcase houses his vast collection of magical creatures, including a specimen or several of almost every beast from the Harry Potter universe.
  • Nahum Whitley from Die, Monster, Die! has a menagerie of monsters that were animals mutated by radiation. As Reinhart puts it "It looks like a zoo in Hell!".

  • 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 Talking Parcel by Gerald Durrell is set in one of these, Mythologia, an obvious metaphor for Durrell's real-life conservation work.
  • In A Griffin's Feather, the sequel to Dragonrider, Barnabas Greenbloom has quit his job to set up one of these in Norway, staffed by a mixture of humans, Talking Animal characters, and some of the fantastic beings themselves. The plot kicks off with the difficulties of hand-rearing a clutch of orphaned Pegasus foals.
  • 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, and a number of such preserves show up throughout the series:
    • Hogwarts' grounds work like this, especially the Forbidden Forest which has a tribe of centaurs, giant spiders, unicorns and a giant, and seems to be where the Hogwarts staff turn loose the magical creatures they keep once they no longer need them. The lake has a giant squid and a village of mer-people at the bottom of it.
    • There's a dragon preserve in Romania. 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.
    • From what we hear of them, the few remaining Giant colonies are a much darker version of this. After being on the losing end of several conflicts with humans, can now only live in distant mountains, where their numbers slowly dwindle due to in-fighting, and are very aggressive towards outsiders. When Harry asks why Muggles never stumble upon these colonies, Hagrid merely replies that their deaths are reported as mountaineering accidents.
  • Percy Jackson and the Olympians:
    • Camp Half-Blood is home to satyrs, nymphs and winged horses. The forest houses monsters from Greek mythology, such as Hell Hounds and giant ants, although dryads and satyrs also reside here; the monsters are hunted by the demigod campers during training, but are just as likely to be the ones hunting the campers as the other way around.
    • 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, such as sea serpents and Giant Squid. 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. Technically, there are two islands: Isla Nublar (the park) and Isla Sorna (site B). The first was the zoo variant of this trope, before everything went haywire, while the other was InGen's experimental site and ended up turning into the free-ranging nature reserve variant after InGen collapsed.
  • 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.
  • Thursday Next: Sword of the Zenobians, an unpublished High Fantasy work whose author never developed it beyond an extremely rich setting, was repurposed by Jursifiction to serve as preserve for fictional creatures from various works. Aside from a great diversity of fantasy and science fiction creatures, it's home to unicorns from various stories written by little girls that have to be demolished when they’re never published, excess rabbits from Watership Down (they never did get the lid on breeding there) and grammasites, metafictional organisms that feed on words themselves.
  • Man-Kzin Wars: In "Cathouse" and "Briar Patch" by Dean Ing, the human main character and his Kzin captors come across a barren planetoid whose craters were closed off by force fields by an unknown alien race (speculated to be the Outsiders) and filled with the biospheres of different planets from thousands of years in the past, but incompletely — the vegetation was there, but the animals and people were in temporal stasis and had to be released. They land at the replica of the Kzin homeworld, one of the few places in the galaxy home to sapient Kzin females (the highly macho Kzinti engineered their females to be nonsapient millennia in the past), and the main character later settles in a dome based on ancient Earth, home to mammoths, aurochs and telepathic Neanderthals.
  • In The Jupiter Theft, the Cygnans have a zoo on their Generation Ship where they keep specimens from the various solar systems they have visited and raided for Jupiter-mass planets to use as fuel sources, including a species of birdlike pink humanoids, the crew of a human space mission sent to contact them, and the last Jovians left after the Cygnans turned Jupiter into a fuel source.
  • Animorphs:
    • When the Ellimist first revealed himself, this is how he billed his mission: Earth was going to be conquered by the Yeerks, but he would move some humans and animals to another planet so that they could live on.
    • The free Hork-Bajir's valley sort of counts; at the end of the series, all of the Hork-Bajir left on Earth actually move to Yellowstone, since a big nature reserve actually suits them well.
  • In Siren Cove, the titular Village Of The Mermaids, mermaids are a protected species and humans aren't even allowed to hurt them in self defence.
  • In Larry Niven's Svetz stories, the titular character is a time traveler from a Bad Future where most animals are extinct and the Earth is a badly run, horribly polluted wreck. He's part of a government agency that used Time Travel to obtain animals from the past to stock a zoo for the Secretary General's viewing pleasure, but since a) they're hilariously ill-informed about the animals they seek, and b) time travel is technically impossible and unbeknown to them their "time machine" goes into fantasy worlds instead, their zoo is filled with a variety of fantasy creatures such as a Feathered Serpent they think is a snake, a unicorn they think is a horse, a fire-breathing dragon they think is a gila monster, and a sperm whale that happens to be Moby-Dick.

     Live-Action TV 
  • The Sliders episode "In Dino Veritas" 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
    • The various Safari Zones, although they might better qualify as Fantastic Hunting Preserves. They're typically home to Pokémon based on exotic animals (such as kangaroos, giraffes or rhinos) and/or that cannot be found elsewhere. The Kanto Safari Zone in the first generation was also home to Dratini and Dragonair, the games' only wild Dragon-types.
    • The Great Marsh in the Sinnoh games functions much like the Safari Zones. It's an extensive stretch of wetland set aside as a nature/hunting preserve and home to unique Pokémon found nowhere else in the region, such as the giant cobra Arbok, the leaf-winged sauropod dinosaur Tropius and the human-sized Venus flytrap Carnivine.
    • 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. The Spiritual Successor Jurassic World: Evolution uses the same concept.
  • N64 Yoshi Valley in Mario Kart 8 takes place in and around the Wild Yoshi Sanctuary, a nature reserve for the Yoshis.
  • Fallen London: The Labyrinth of Tigers in London is a strange cross between this and an insane asylum, housing normal animals, strange creatures from the Neath and madmen and criminals alike in its cages. In Sunless Sea, you can expand their collection by selling them things like the fry of a sea serpent that uses its woman-shaped tail tip to lure zailors to their doom or live specimens, which in-game can be anything from a small worm-like thing you won from a drowned man to a predatory monster with many-jointed limbs that you caught before it could catch you to the autonomous organs of a sea monster.
  • Sunless Skies: Leadbeater & Stainrod's Nature Preserve, created by the titular company, is a reserve for the wildest, most verdant and strangest of the Reach's flora and fauna. L & S seemingly decided to beat everyone to the punch, as it's founded on the edge of the Reach, one of the least explored star systems in the Empire where no actual nature destruction was going on, but it's a valuable spot for both tourists and researchers who want to see impossible lifeforms (and Albion, the heart of the Empire, saw its share of natural destruction itself).
  • Most of the titular Environmental Station Alpha is several of these combined into one.

     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.

     Web Original 
  • SCP Foundation:
    • Woodsworth's Zoo is an otherwise normal zoo that regularly receives donations (in the form of animals just appearing in its enclosures) from one William Woodsworth, a Bold Explorer who, from the notes he sends back, seems to be on an extended trip of The Multiverse. Among the things he sends back are a brontothere, a Kentrosaurus, a pair of giant Martian arthropods and a school of bioluminescent piranhas from the "para-Amazon".
    • The Mesozoic Preserve is about fifty square kilometers of Congolese jungle full of dinosaurs, all of them feathered, and a few non-dinosaurian prehistoric reptiles. An unknown force keeps the animals inside — if they try to leave, they vanish and reappear sedated within the preserve. The dinosaurs are completely passive to humans, except for a few species that have not been discovered by science yet, which are highly aggressive. Apparently, this place is where African dinosaur cryptid legends originate from.
    • Anomalous Item 20224 (A Video Oddity) is a somewhat disturbing take on this trope. It's a series of DVDs showing a "nature" documentary through one such preserve, starting with regular shots of savannah wildlife and showing more and more fantastical/surreal things as time passes, from some Misplaced Wildlife and sky-blue ants to a quagga pegasus and carnivorous fungi big enough to eat small rhinos to strange, alien creatures and a colony of humans that seem to have been abducted and forced into the "preserve".

     Western Animation 

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


Example of: