Ingrid Visser visits Loro Parque

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Last week Loro Parque received another visit of Free Morgan Foundation activists, led by Dr. Ingrid Visser. This visit was not previously announced to Loro Parque (as on earlier occasions) and was not motivated by any particular concern about the health or welfare of Morgan. Most likely the visit was motivated by the upcoming workshop “Assessment of welfare of marine mammal species in zoological parks” that will be held at Nuremberg zoo in a few days. This workshop will be hosted by the Nuremberg Zoo, the European Association for Aquatic Mammals, the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria, the Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums and the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums. The main goal of this meeting is the scientific evaluation of the welfare indicators used in marine mammals, and will have the cooperation of the European Parliament Intergroup on “Climate Change, Biodiversity and Sustainable Development” and the participation of Loro Parque.

In the past we received visits by Ingrid Visser right before some of the Morgan court cases and verdicts. Thus, it does not seem strange to see a new effort by the Free Morgan Foundation or any similar organizations to criticise Loro Parque, despite the 5 verdicts and the final decision of the Dutch Supreme Court supporting the decision taken by the Dutch Government to not release Morgan. On the other hand, there is no need to use these “undercover” tactics, as Morgan’s photos and weights that prove her healthy growth are regularly updated on the Loro Parque website.

Despite the previous warning and acknowledgement of this availability, the presence of Morgan in the presentation passed totally unnoticed by Dr. Visser. Anyway, after the presentation, Dr. Javier Almunia (Director of Environmental Affairs and expert in Morgan’s case) and two of the veterinarians that take care of Morgan accompanied Dr. Visser and answered all her questions while she was taking pictures of Morgan. The veterinarians confirmed that Morgan does not have any pathology and, as a consequence, she is not currently under veterinary treatment. Dr. Visser asked about the medicines that Morgan and the other orcas are given regularly (antibiotics, diazepam, etc.), and the veterinary staff confirmed that Loro Parque does not use diazepam for its killer whales, nor for its dolphins, and that medicines are not used systematically, but only when a pathology is detected and the veterinarians dictate the prescription. Dr. Visser received the last veterinarian reports made by an independent international veterinarian with over 40 years of experience with Killer whales, proving again that there is no concern about Morgan’s health status. Dr. Visser asked about Morgan’s broken teeth, and the veterinarian staff confirmed that Morgan does not have broken teeth just abrasion in some of them.

This is the description of the last visit of the Free Morgan Foundation to Loro Parque which, yet one more time gave the correct information about Morgan, and proved itself not to be hiding anything, despite that there is no obligation to provide data to organizations that systematically create smear campaigns against Loro Parque. The intention of the Free Morgan Foundation is the same as the Born Free Foundation, PETA, etc, which is to obtain funds from donations. The problem is that they do not use the money for the animals, but instead for their own welfare, as all their projects for so-called animal conservation are useless, from our perspective based on our experience. The story of Keiko is one perfect example of donations employed in a useless way, and you can read the story here.

The welfare of our animals is publicly demonstrated every day to thousands of our visitors, our primary concern the well-being of every single animal under our care. That’s the reason why we reject the insidious attacks of these organizations.

In conclusion, Loro Parque asks all of these anti zoo organizations what they have really done for the conservation of species that are endangered and seriously threatened and need sincere commitment? Please, devote your efforts to fight the real environmental problems faced by our planet and stop trying to destroy the work we do for nature, and the effort we devote to save the world’s biodiversity.

Enough of false accusations against Loro Parque

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The video published by The Dolphin Project on its website is a new attempt at manipulation through exaggeration and dramatization of a completely normal situation in which there is no problem for the animals.

The video shows Morgan (within the medical pool) and Tekoa in the pool B interacting through the door. The interpretation that Morgan is suffering a panic attack is completely incorrect and malicious; all we see is that Morgan wants to open the door to access the pool B and be with Tekoa. When any of these animals (Morgan now exceeds 2,200 kg and Tekoa 2,700 kg) pushes the door strongly, it produces the banging sounds heard in the video.

The interpretation of a panic attack is completely ridiculous, given that the orcas are trained daily to enter and remain quiet within medical pools, since it is an essential element for the veterinarians to make routine examinations of animals or treat one if it is sick. In the same way a dog scratches a door when it wants to enter another room, orcas push the doors when they want access to another pool. It is surprising that advocates of ending the breeding of orcas in human care should be offended by these images, precisely because sexual frustration at not being able to access the pool where there are orcas of the opposite sex with which to mate can trigger this type of behaviour.

Increasingly, some self-proclaimed animal rights organizations dedicate themselves to launching these smear campaigns without any proven information based on the welfare and health of animals. Loro Parque’s orcas are under the care of our team of veterinarians, and regularly receive visits by veterinary experts in cetaceans and inspections by the competent authorities in animal welfare. None of these professionals has found that any stress and cruelty allegation is true. There is no doubt that the interest of the organizations conducting these public defamation campaigns is simply to obtain donations, and not for the welfare of the animals, but for their own welfare and benefit.

In the last 22 years thanks to the work of a zoo internationally recognized for its quality, as is Loro Parque, it has been possible to invest more than 16 million dollars in the conservation of endangered species on our planet. The most important success of this work has been to save two parrot species from being critically endangered, and to help many others to increase their small populations and not disappear forever. What are the achievements of The Dolphin Project in the conservation of biodiversity? How much money has it invested in the conservation of the most endangered species? How many species have been saved? The terrible paradox is that not only has it not helped to preserve nature, but it aims to destroy those who work daily to save species from extinction. How then can they call themselves animal lovers?

Response to the petition of the Great Ape Project Spain (Proyecto Gran Simio España) about closing the Loro Parque orca show.

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In recent weeks we have witnessed different requests made to Loro Parque about the orcas, from various organizations that claim to defend the rights of animals. These requests are not based on evidence but are based on assumptions about the lack of animal welfare that have never been verified. The case of the Great Ape Project Spain organization is even more embarrassing, because their accusations have been proven false on several occasions.

  In May 2010 D. Pedro Pozas Terrados, as Executive director of the Great Ape Project, presented to the SEPRONA headquarters in Madrid a complaint against Loro Parque for violating the Law of Zoos by keeping dolphins and orcas in captivity. In the complaint, Mr. Pozas said that Loro Parque “Infringes entirely scientific purposes of zoos and the Law of Zoos” and “the abuse, neglect or deterioration, intentional or negligent, of the animals in the zoo.” After the mandatory inspection of facilities, the team of SEPRONA agents found that none of these statements was true, and that the complaint was unfounded. As a result of the lack of veracity of the complaint the Nature Protection Service of the Civil Guard did not open any proceedings arising from the complaint. However, when the legal services of Loro Parque tried to contact the Great Ape Project through a Burofax to sue for false accusation, no one received the communication. It seems that either the Great Ape Project organization does not have a registered office or the executive director accepts no official communications.

  Again in 2011 D. Pedro Pozas Terrados representing the Great Ape Project Spain submitted an official request to the Committee on Petitions of the European Parliament for an alleged breach of the European Zoos Directive on the transfer of the orca Morgan to Loro Parque. The Great Ape Project published the full text of the petition on its website, and made a statement to the press in which it made public the serious damage that the health of Morgan would suffer by being held in Loro Parque. In May 2012 the Committee on Petitions of the Parliament ruled on the petition and informed the Great Ape Project, after consultations with experts from the European Commission, that the transfer of Morgan was verified as having been done legally and strictly following European regulations. However, the Great Ape Project never made public the Parliament’s response to its request, and much less did it publicly announce that its arguments had not been considered. Meanwhile predictions of serious damage to the health of Morgan have also been proven to be totally wrong, Morgan is now fully integrated into the group of orcas in Loro Parque, her health is excellent and she weighs over 2,000 kilos.

  In September 2013 Great Ape Project launched a public campaign to prevent the gorilla Leon from being transferred to the zoo of Belo Horizonte in Brazil to form a family group with two females. The transfer was made on the recommendation of the head of the Endangered Species Programme of the European Association of Zoos and Aquariums, within a global project that seeks to establish a population under human care that allows for the saving of the species in the future. Despite the catastrophic image that the Great Ape Project endeavored to disclose in the media about the Brazilian zoo, and report a number of potential risks involved in the transfer, the fact is that it was a success. Leon is part of a healthy family unit and in 2014 the first baby from him was born. The Great Ape Project never corrected its campaign to discredit, nor recognized its error.

  This brief analysis of campaigns that the Great Ape Project has made against Loro Parque in the past clearly shows that this organization moves only with a clear anti-zoo objective, and takes every opportunity to get media coverage. In each and every one of the occasions that the Great Ape Project has publicly denounced or criticized Loro Parque it has been shown that such criticisms and complaints were unfounded. Despite this, the Great Ape Project has never recognized its mistakes nor rectified its false accusations.

In conclusion it would be important to reflect on some organizations like the Great Ape Project, whose sole activity is to constantly attack zoos. In the last 22 years, thanks to the work of a zoo internationally recognized for its quality such as Loro Parque, has been possible to invest more than 16 million dollars in the conservation of endangered species on our planet. The most important success of this work was to save two parrot species from being critically endangered, and to help many others to increase their small populations and not disappear forever. What are the achievements of the Great Ape Project Spain in the conservation of biodiversity? How much money has it invested in the conservation of the most endangered species? How many species have been saved? The terrible paradox is that not only has it not helped to preserve nature, but it aims to destroy those who save species from extinction. How then can they call themselves animal lovers?  

Loro Parque celebrates with affection Sandy’s 70th Birthday

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Today, we wanted to surprise a person dedicated to her work and transmitting energy between colleagues and visitors. She is Sandy K Bate, Manager of the Discovery Tour – that amazing experience that we are sure many of you have already enjoyed. Thanks to her commitment to Loro Parque, we have improved the park’s experience, allowing the people to get to know Loro Parque and its diversity with a lot of interesting details, learning about the history and species of our animals, as well as the functioning and maintenance of the park. Sandy knows how to reflect the dedication and engagement of Mr. Kiessling for the animals from all over the world, as well as his passion for research, education and conservation projects, which ensure the welfare and happiness of our all animals.

Loro Parque’s family wanted to share with you all the recognition for her hard work during these 15 years, always showing a high and positive moral, turning the workplace into a more productive place and full of companionship.

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Congratulations, Sandy!


The Loro Parque’s Team, Winners of the Los Silos Natural

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Once again, Yacomar, one of the members of the Loro Parque’s team, celebrated his victory having proven himself to be the fastest among all the participants as he arrived at the finish line, sharing the progress on the last laps with his teammate Adrián Trujillo.

During the entire race, the Loro Parque’s team core members have been in the lead, having made a clear claim for the top places in this competition. With ten laps still remaining in the race, Yacomar, Enrique Romualdo, Adrián y Juani Delgado were ahead of all the other participants, an achievement that they maintained until the final of the race. The loros – members of Loro Parque team – worked together and placed Yacomar in the front of the race, position that he did not lose track off until the end of the competition arriving with a time of 2:20:18.

We are proud to support this family, environment and health promoting sport, and we know that our team will continue to maintain this successful pass through the year 2016.

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We are proud to support this family, environment and health promoting sport, and we know that our team will continue to maintain this successful pass through the year 2016.

Loro Parque sponsors Per Lillieström’s exhibition “Pájaros”

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Loro Parque was pleased to participate at the press conference as a preliminary event to the opening of “Pájaros”, the new exhibition by Swedish artist Per Lillieström in Tenerife Espacio de las Artes (TEA) of Santa Cruz de Tenerife.

This fascinating exhibition, which is sponsored by Loro Parque, addresses the exciting career of this artist, characterized by a clear focus on the journey of migratory birds, a recurring topic in the works of Lillieström as a metaphor for his life experiences and the figure of the traveller.

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Per Lillieström was born in Stockholm in 1932, although he lives in northern Tenerife since the mid-1950s. His 60 years on the island are reflected in the thirty paintings that the exhibition will host, that was enhanced in the works of Karina Beltrán that added a special touch to the exhibition, as her works maintain a clear dialogue with the paintings of the artist.

With this sponsorship, Loro Parque maintains its commitment to culture, which is considered as a fundamental part of the awareness raising labour made by the #1 zoo of Europe and second best in the world according to TripAdvisor.

The golden lion tamarin is endangered, its population has dropped by 50% in the last three generations.

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In Loro Parque, we work in the breeding of the golden lion tamarin (Leontopithecus rosalia), an endangered primate species from Brazil.

The male and female of our pair of golden lion tamarins came separately to Loro Parque between 2014 and 2015, and this is the only centre in the Canary Islands to house this species. Our male is from the Heidelberg Zoo, whereas our female tamarin came from the zoo of Copenhagen — both of them collaborate in the same way as Loro Parque in the programme of conservation and breeding of this species.

The golden lion tamarin is a primate species from Eastern Brazil, where there are only 1.700 individuals left in nature in the forests south of Rio de Janeiro, in the Atlantic coast.

Such is the threat of extinction of this species, that part of the population is in the Poço das Antas Biological Reserve of Mongaguá.

Furthermore, there are 210  tamarins in captivity in the conservation program in which zoos from all over the world participate. According to official records, the captive population of golden lion tamarins has up to 559 individuals in 59 zoos of Europe. All of them are owned by the Government of Brazil.

According to the official evaluation of of 2008 by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the golden lion tamarin is classified as endangered as population stability has been reached. In 2003, this species was removed from the critically endangered list.

The golden lion tamarin is characterised by its abundant and silky, golden coat . Its body measures 34 to 40 centimetres long, the tail between 22 and 38 centimetres long and they weigh between 300 and 700 grams.

In this species, parenting tasks are shared by all members of the group, including older siblings. The golden lion tamarins are monogamous and form family groups of 4 to 14 individuals led by the parental couple, and live in that group for years. Therefore, Loro Parque hopes to get a great family; the gestation period lasts between 126 and 130 days and usually brings forth one, two and even three baby tamarins.

Loro Parque Fundación project confirms that the Vinaceous-breasted Parrot is in danger of extinction

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Found in Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina, the Vinaceous-breasted Parrot (Amazona vinacea) is a species of the Atlantic Forest, having a close association with Araucaria forests. Today those are degraded, reduced and fragmented, which is the main cause of the population decline of the parrot. BirdLife International has estimated the upper limit of the total wild population at 2,650 individuals, and places the Vinaceous-breasted Parrot in the category of endangered.

The Loro Parque Fundación (LPF) supports various actions for the conservation of this endangered species in Brazil, partnered by the Friends of Environment Association (Associação Amigos do Meio Ambiente – AMA), and in Paraguay by the BirdLife International partner, Guyra Paraguay. To improve the conservation actions, it is important to monitor the populations, and in 2015 the LPF supported a complete census of the species in its three home countries.

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The field teams counted a total of 3,133 Vinaceous-breasted Parrots, with 2,857 in Brazil, 143 in Argentina and 133 in Paraguay. Although the result is positive because it exceeds the official estimate of BirdLife International, it is still a very reduced population and the species is still endangered. The total world population of 3,133 is minimum figure because the field teams estimate that they were able to include 80% of all possible individuals.

The projects will continue their objective to minimize the negative human pressure on its habitats for breeding and feeding, seeking greater protection of the remaining forests. They will engage landowners, to explain the importance of cavities in old trees and showing that the species depends on them for nesting. Presentations will be made in the schools of the main regions of occurrence of the parrot, with the distribution of educational materials such as posters and brochures, especially to make people aware of the problems of taking the young parrots from their nests.

A group of orcas pass near the coast of Gran Canaria

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Today, we would like to start this post by mentioning an exciting moment that took place yesterday in Gran Canaria: a pod of orcas could be seen during the day.

 

There are evidences that this species visits the Canary Islands each year following tunas in their migration to the North. A recently published scientific study made in collaboration with Loro Parque has proven that these orcas have no genetic nor ecological kinship with the population observed in the Strait of Gibraltar.

   

This information will be essential to establish conservation measures for the orcas registered in Gibraltar, one of the most endangered populations in the World.

 

Remember to check out this interesting scientific article which details the study on orcas’ relationship in the Strait of Gibraltar.

 
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The largest of the anteaters subspecies is endangered and we must give our help!

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Once again, and with our passion for Nature, we have reached out to a species that need the collaboration of all of us. In this case, Loro Parque has decided to give shelter the giant anteater and participate in its population growth. From here, we want to express that without your help and the visits we welcome every day, we could not protect all the species that need our urgent help.

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Don’t you know the family of anteaters that live in Loro Parque yet?

A male anteater named “Hombrecito” and two beautiful females, “Cuñatai” and “Suanne”, are the only family of giant anteaters (Mirmecophaga tridactyla) in the Canary Islands, and they happily live in Loro Parque. This zoo participates in the European Endangered Species Programme (EEP) to conserve anteaters and promote adequate conditions for their survival and reproduction. This species is categorised as ‘Vurnerable’ on the Red List of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), due to the dramatic decline of living specimens. In their natural area, the particularity of their diet, the low rate of reproduction and the threats that degrade their habitat have been proved to be significant causes of their threatened status.

Did you know? In the last 10 years, anteaters’ population has dropped by 10%!

The extension of their habitat covers from Southern Mexico to Northeastern Argentina and is only present in the American continent. The largest concentrations are found in South America and the greater threats they suffer from are forest fires, which both destroy their natural environment and impede them to survive, as their fur is flammable – furthermore, their moves are too slow to be able to escape the fire. On the other hand, both hunting and sport hunting increases its vulnerability, as their fur and claws are used to tailor clothing products.

Let’s learn more about this particularly strong-looking yet particularly delicate species

The striking appearance of the giant anteater is mainly due to its long snout, which can measure up to 45 centimetres. The tongue in even longer: 50 centimetres covered with sticky saliva. The skull, ears and eyes and eyes are small though. Anteaters can be both diurnal and nocturnal, depending on their needs. Although, most of anteaters near of cities make their daily activities by night. They usually curl up and rest in dense bushes, abandoned burrows and tall grass with their tail curved over its body to keep heat and camouflage. This species is an excellent swimmer and he usually goes through broad rivers. Therefore, we have designed a lake in their facilities in Loro Parque with many fish species, where you can see them bathing in it. Did you know that they can eat thousands of ants and termites, sticking out the tongue up to 150 times per minute? They can eat up to 30.000 larvae and ants.

Loro Parque will always fight for respect and preservation of biodiversity, and we encourage all of you to join us in this fascinating world. Get passionate about nature and protect our most important legacy! Let’s learn, together, how to love it and take steps in the right direction: the conservation of all the species of flora and fauna on this beautiful planet. Thank you, Nature lovers! Let’s meet in our next post!