Loro Parque begins the year with the birth of twin jaguars

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Loro Parque has welcomed the birth of two jaguar cubs that were born in December during their 47th anniversary celebrations.  The Panthera onca specimens are with their mother, Naya, adapting to their new home where they can already be observed together.

This great event represents a conservation success because the Panthera onca is a species categorized as Near Threatened in the Red List of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).  One of the greatest dangers faced by jaguar specimens is the high rates of deforestation in Latin America and the fragmentation of their habitats that isolates them and makes them more vulnerable to human persecution.

These births reinforce Loro Parque’s place in its commitment to the protection of nature and different species, which makes it a true embassy for wild animals.  The birth of new specimens is always an excellent indicator of animal welfare, because it means that their requirements are covered and, consequently, they manage to reproduce without difficulty.

To receive the cubs, the entire team of the Terrestrial Mammal Department and the expert vets ensured the correct evolution of Naya’s pregnancy.  And the team prepared the habitat especially so that the mother would be comfortable at all times.

For now, as is natural in the first few months, the jaguars are being fed by their mother, who is attentive to their care at all times.  In terms of physical appearance, the twins are similar to their father, Gulliver, who has more visible spots and a lighter-coloured coat. Conservation success Naya is part of a conservation programme within the European Endangered Species Programme (EPP), to which zoos linked to the European Association of Zoos and Aquariums (EAZA) are affiliated.  She arrived at Loro Parque in 2019 from a zoological institution in Martinique, in the Caribbean, with the aim of increasing the programme’s genetic diversity.   The jaguar is the largest cat in the Americas and the third largest in the world, after the tiger and the lion.  Within its range, it’s the animal at the top of the food chain, and can live in habitats as diverse as the Amazon rainforest or the dry steppes of southern South America. In the wild, it feeds on a variety of live prey, from fish to large mammals and even small alligators.  In addition, it’s known to have the strongest jaws within the big cat group.  In general, and with the exception of the breeding and reproduction periods, it’s a solitary animal. Although commercial hunting of jaguars for their skins has decreased dramatically since the 1970s, thanks to various anti-fur campaigns and the progressive control and closure of international markets, unfortunately there is still demand for their paws, teeth and other products. However, through these zoo-organised conservation programmes, the population of these animals is growing.  And at the same time, this particular family of jaguars will help to make visitors aware of the difficulties faced by their fellow creatures in the wild.

Loro Parque’s Statement about a gathering in front of the Krefeld town hall under the slogan “Our Zoo – Our Responsibility”

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On Friday, January 24th, at 4 p.m., a major event under the slogan “Our Zoo – Our Responsibility” will be taking place in front of the Krefeld town hall with the objective of commemorating the more than 30 animals who fell victims to the tragic fire of the great ape house on New Year’s Night.

During this meeting, the good-willed people will be able to give their words of consolation to the deeply committed Krefeld zoo team, led by Dr. Wolfgang Dreßen, among them, naturally, the zookeepers, affected by the loss of these wonderful animals, whom they have known and looked after for decades. It will also be an opportunity to express the gratitude to the members of the emergency services who helped in dealing with the tragedy. Many thanks will also go to the numerous friends of the Krefeld Zoo from all over the world who have shown their great sympathy and will certainly continue to demonstrate it.

Despite all the deep grief, this solidarity, especially coming from the Krefeld town population, whose outstanding sympathy for their zoo is impressive, gives a lot of encouragement to the authentic animal friends!

Taking into account the imminent threat to humans and wildlife from the man-created sixth global extinction, which is currently taking over our planet just like the climate crisis (more than 1 billion animals lost their lives in the bushfires in Australia and many more their home), this is a positive and hopeful sign that the modern zoological gardens are standing even closer together in the light of this situation. The expertise of our modern zoos in protecting the endangered animal species is becoming increasingly important. Their importance as Embassies for Wild Animals and as a meeting point between humans and animals in an increasingly alienated society is growing today more than ever.

Together with our numerous friends and supporters from politics and administration, science and education, as well as nature and animal protection, we as modern zoos will not let up in our commitment to protect wildlife and nature. We would also like to thank the Mayor of Krefeld, Frank Meyer, for his clear words on the start of the New Year, when he criticized as inappropriate the attacks of uninformed and misguided radical animal rights activists.

We, at Loro Parque and Loro Parque Fundación, would like to express our appreciation of Mr. Meyer’s strong commitment to the reconstruction of the modernized facility for the great apes in Krefeld. Of especial importance are his comments that, “we are talking about animal species that are critically endangered in the wild and that they will only have a future if institutions, like the Krefeld Zoo, continue their valuable work – and that is exactly what we will do”.  In addition, one should highlight his plea to look ahead with all sadness in order to “emerge from the catastrophe to become even stronger than before.” As modern zoos, we feel deeply committed to nature and animal protection.

The friends of the Krefeld Zoo can be confident that they count with the support of Loro Parque! Because if there did not exist a zoo, then it would be high time now to invent it!

The Loro Parque Company consolidates its position as a leading tourism group at FITUR

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The Loro Parque Company, made up of Loro Parque, Siam Park, Poema del Mar, The Loro Parque Foundation, Hotel Botánico & The Oriental Spa Garden and Brunelli’s Steakhouse, is once again present at the prestigious FITUR International Tourism Trade Fair, held in Madrid, to showcase the latest in leisure parks, hotels and restaurants.

From January 22nd to 26th, you can visit the company’s stand – 9D02 – in pavilion nine, where you will find all kinds of information, novelties and news.  By attending this event, the company, which has already arranged numerous meetings with tour operators, strengthens its position as a leading tourism group.

Loro Parque, an impressive animal embassy

Loro Parque is an impressive animal embassy that offers the unique experience of experiencing wildlife like never before, with species and ecosystems from all five continents, from the lush Amazon rainforest to the cold landscapes of Antarctica.  Thus, visitors can discover the wonders and splendid beauty of the natural world without having to travel to all these far-flung corners of the planet.

Among its main attractions are the impressive and educational presentations of Orcas and Dolphins, as well as the legendary Loro Show, in addition to the shy Red Pandas, the majestic Lions of Angola and the largest and most diverse reserve of Parrots in the world.  The Pygmy Hippopotami, whose home is perfectly adapted to the needs of its species, or the charismatic Ringed-Tailed Lemurs, so beloved for their cinematic career, also stand out. A novelty is the farm of asexually reproduced Corals, inaugurated in 2019 and through which visitors will be able to closely observe the work the Parque does with these organisms that occupy an absolutely essential place for the oceans and the production of oxygen.

Thus, it is not surprising that Loro Parque has received a large number of awards worldwide, which reward its commitment to excellence and its total concern for animal welfare.  In its more than 47 years of history and after having received almost 50 million visitors to its facilities, the Parque has received the Plaque and Gold Medal for Tourism Merit awarded by the Spanish Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism; the Gold Medal of the Canary Islands Government; the city of Puerto de La Cruz and the Tenerife Island Council, among other awards.  Loro Parque is also the only company in the Canary Islands that has received the recognition of the Prince Felipe Award for Business Excellence, as well as the only zoo in Europe that has the ‘American Certified’ Animal Welfare Certification from the respected entity American Humane (USA).

For Loro Parque, these recognitions imply a responsibility and it has a clear mission for the protection of the environment.  Thus, as a wildlife conservation centre, and through the Loro Parque Foundation, it has managed to save 10 species from imminent extinction.  Also, as part of this commitment, since 2018 the Parque has implemented a strategy to eliminate single-use plastic, becoming one of the first zoos in Europe to replace plastic water bottles with other biodegradable and compostable ones, thus stopping these single-use bottles from being produced as waste..  By 2020, more than 90 per cent of this material will have been eliminated.

Along these lines, the Parque presents its traditional Gorilla Prize every year, with which it promotes environmental responsibility, taking into account the strategies and actions to conserve biodiversity and the sustainable use of resources.  In 2019, it chose to award Steve Heapy, CEO of Jet2.com and Jet2holidays, for their customer-oriented policy, with a strong commitment to environmental sustainability, in addition to recognising Jet2.com as the first airline to reduce the use of plastic on board.

Also, as part of this philosophy, at the end of 2019, Loro Parque in conjunction with the University of La Laguna, in Tenerife, organised an event to raise awareness about the impact of plastic on the planet.  Sculptures made with recycled materials will be installed in different places of reference on the island, which will serve to awaken the consciences of locals and visitors and encourage them to change their habits.

More information at: https://www.loroparque.com/

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Siam Park: the best water park in the world for the sixth consecutive year is in Spain

There is no doubt: Siam Park is the best water park on the face of the earth, and it is in Spain.  This has been confirmed by the Travellers’ Choice Award, which Siam Park has received for six years in a row thanks to the positive ratings given by its visitors on the prestigious travel portal TripAdvisor.  Siam Park is the only park that has achieved this distinction so many times in a row, and also the only one that has received this award since TripAdvisor started the ‘water parks’ category six years ago.

This repeated recognition is undoubtedly the result of the constant innovation and reinvestment of the Loro Parque Company in all its projects, by which it always strives for excellence.  In addition to being a benchmark in the TripAdvisor awards, among many others, it also enjoys international recognition from organisations such as the leading publication and reference in the assessment of theme parks, Kirmes & Park Revue, which has awarded Siam Park the European Star Award for Best Water Park in Europe for the eighth consecutive year.

In addition to its spectacular attractions, the beauty of this park is in itself an incomparable attraction, and nothing equals being able to enjoy attractions, unique in the world, in an unprecedented undertaking in an environment of lush vegetation and Thai design and decoration.  Visitors can experience first hand the sensations produced by the Tower of Power and its 28-metre high slide; Singha, and many other impressive state-of-the-art attractions without which a holiday in Tenerife would not be complete.

And for those who seek relaxation in an exclusive atmosphere, Siam Park offers Siam Beach, the most heavenly beach with artificial waves in the Canary Islands, where the incredible waves of The Wave Palace break.  Siam Park, located in Adeje, Tenerife, is a place where good weather and fun are guaranteed all year round and is therefore another must-visit venue if you travel to the Canary Islands.

More information at: https://siampark.net/

Follow us at: https://www.facebook.com/siampark/ / https://www.instagram.com/siampark/ / https://twitter.com/siampark

Poema del Mar, the spectacular aquarium of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria

Poema del Mar, one of the most spectacular aquariums in the world, inaugurated in 2017, has converted the city of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria into a location of strategic interest for tourism.

Just two years after its opening, this great aquarium offers its visitors a unique opportunity: a trip to the deepest ocean via its Deep Sea exhibit, which has the largest curved display window in the world, measuring 36 metres wide, 7.35 metres high and 39 centimetres thick.  With a total tank depth of 8.5 metres and 5.5 million litres of water, Deep Sea allows you to observe, in an unparalleled environment, the wonders of the ocean depths, and the around 3,000 specimens of up to 40 different species that swim in its dark waters.

Once inside the aquarium, the visitors begin the tour by immersing themselves in the first of the sections, La Jungla, which reproduces landscapes from all over the planet in a tribute to the five continents.  Next, Arrecife invites you to take a walk around a huge cylinder with a volume of 400,000 litres of water that exhibits a great variety of coral and fish and, finally, you will be able to discover the aforementioned Deep Sea.

Poema del Mar has a strong commitment to innovation, biodiversity conservation and excellence in sustainable tourism. Not in vain, the authorities of the Canary Islands consider it “of strategic interest for the region”, which reinforces the promotion of Gran Canaria, and of the whole archipelago, as one of the best tourist destinations at an international level.

More information at: https://poema-del-mar.com/

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The Loro Parque Foundation: 25 years of commitment and love for nature

In 1994, Loro Parque consolidated its firm commitment to environmental work through the creation of The Loro Parque Foundation, an international non-profit organisation specialising in the conservation and protection of species of parrots and marine mammals, amongst other animals, that are in danger of extinction.

Every year, and thanks to the financing by Loro Parque of the operational costs of the Foundation, 100 per cent of the donations received go directly to conservation and/or education projects in and ex situ.  Thus, “100 per cent for nature” is not just a slogan, but goes much further – it is a reality.

Their numbers and results speak for themselves: more than US$21.2 million invested in nearly 200 projects across five continents, and 10 species of parrots directly saved from imminent extinction.

In addition, The Loro Parque Foundation maintains a firm commitment to the marine biodiversity of the Canary Islands and dedicates a significant part of its resources to its protection through projects with The Loro Parque Foundation and the Poema del Mar aquarium.  Among these, CanBio stands out, a research program financed jointly by Loro Parque and the Canary Islands Government and through which different research groups from the University of La Laguna and the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria are studying climate change at sea and ocean acidification and its effects on the marine biodiversity of the Canary Islands and Macaronesia, especially on cetaceans, turtles, sharks and rays.

More information at: http://www.loroparque-fundacion.org/

Follow us at: https://www.facebook.com/loroparquefundacion/ / https://www.instagram.com/loroparque_fundacion/ / https://twitter.com/lp__fundacion

Hotel Botánico & The Oriental Spa Garden, elegance and comfort

The 5***** Grand Luxury Hotel Botánico ensures the highest quality as it belongs to The Leading Hotels of the World organisation.  Located in Puerto de La Cruz, in the north of the island of Tenerife, it offers incomparable views of Teide and the Atlantic Ocean.  It also has an extensive collection of paintings by various Canarian artists that make its customers feel they are in a unique place.

Recently, it has received the TUI Holly 2020; TUI Environmental Champion 2020, and Condé Nast Johansens 2019 awards for the best Spa destination in Europe and the Mediterranean, which joined another long list of recognitions.  Thus, the Hotel Botánico has once again seen its position reinforced as a sure and quality choice when it comes to spending a holiday in Tenerife.

Its offer of relaxation and beauty is enhanced by its exclusive Oriental Spa Garden, with new anti-stress and détox treatments carried out with aloe vera and ayurveda.  It also offers beauty treatments by the prestigious Dr. Krulig.  An extraordinary vacation in one of the most beautiful surroundings of the north of Tenerife would be, without a doubt, a true gift.

More information at: https://hotelbotanico.com/

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‘Botánico Slim & Wellness’, a unique concept of dietary haute cuisine in Tenerife

Under the direction of Patrick Jarno, who made a name for himself with his food concept in Brittany, the Hotel Botánico this year launched its Botánico Slim & Wellness concept, a holiday that is only possible in Puerto de La Cruz, Tenerife, a place known for having the best climate in the world 365 days a year.

A painstaking proposal, developed hand in hand with renowned chefs from the French region of Brittany, eliminates fat, promotes the intelligent consumption of proteins and carbohydrates and enhances the primary flavours of the ingredients and the freshness of the products.  These, cooked in the right proportion, provide a feeling of fullness without sacrificing the pleasure of eating.

The diet is based on the separation of food into three main groups – alkaline, acidic and neutral – and is complemented by moderate physical exercise.  At the same time, thanks to pleasant organised walks, you can enjoy the nature and unique landscapes of the island of Tenerife, or the magnificent parks in the surrounding area.  Equally important is the use of fresh and excellent quality products, from the hotel’s own organic crops, which are transformed, thanks to careful culinary techniques, into meticulously-studied and prepared recipes in which the food preserves all its nutrients with an enhanced flavour.

With this proposal, which includes Taichi, Yoga, Qigong, Pilates and meditation classes at The Oriental Spa Garden, recognised as the best spa destination in Europe and the Mediterranean, it’s possible to recover a slender figure and a vitality and energy that provide well-being and balance in body and mind.

More information at: https://hotelbotanico.com/ y https://slimandwellness.com/

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Brunelli’s: four years offering the best meat this side of the Atlantic

Brunelli’s restaurant, located opposite Loro Parque, is celebrating because it has been rated as the “benchmark of great meat in the Canary Islands” by important gastronomy supplements such as Metrópolis, from El Mundo, and as “the best meat restaurant in Tenerife” by TripAdvisor in 2018.  In addition, it has recently been awarded the Plato 2020 in the new Michelin Guide.

Since its opening four years ago, this establishment set-up in the style of typical American steakhouses has revolutionised the gastronomic offer of Puerto de La Cruz, in the north of Tenerife, with its impressive range of meats: T-bone steak from Avila, Black Angus entrecôte, etc.  The best cuts cooked in a very special way, thanks to Brunelli’s special oven, unique in the Canary Islands, capable of grilling the meat at 800º, keeping in all the flavour and providing one of the juiciest textures possible.

Its offer is completed with an excellent wine list, varied desserts, a meticulous service, and the possibility of contemplating the best sunsets of the island from its large terrace open to the sea.  Brunelli’s is known for having the best meat on this side of the Atlantic: in Puerto de La Cruz, in the north of Tenerife.

More information at: https://brunellis.com/

Follow us at: https://www.facebook.com/brunellissteakhouse/ / https://www.instagram.com/brunellissteak/ / https://twitter.com/brunellissteak

Loro Parque celebrates the year by welcoming several penguin chicks of various species

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After the baby boom enjoyed by Loro Parque in 2019, they have welcomed the New Year with the birth of numerous penguin nestlings of different species.  Particularly noteworthy are the birth of several Rockhopper Penguin chicks, a species that is catalogued as “in danger of extinction” according to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and whose population is decreasing in the wild.

It is a species that is very difficult to reproduce and their arrival in the Parque is the result of the great work of the Penguinarium team, which has dedicated a lot of time and effort to the young, taking care of every detail during their incubation and growth.  Now, they can be seen in the Baby Penguin section of the exhibition, until they can join the rest of the Antarctic penguin family.

Following this breeding season, which takes place every year around this time, Loro Parque has also welcomed new Gentoo and King Penguins, some of which are with their parents in the main exhibition, while others remain in quarantine or, like the Rockhopper Penguins, in Baby Penguin.

The birth of new specimens is always an excellent indicator of animal welfare, because it guarantees that their needs are being met and, consequently, they manage to reproduce without difficulty.  Thus, for example, the famous and beloved female King Penguin Geisha, who was welcomed into this authentic animal embassy in August 2003, has already seen the birth of children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren in the Parque.

This is possible, to a great extent, due to the commitment of the Portuense zoo to the excellence and care of every detail, thanks to which its facilities always benefit from the highest quality.  Thus, in addition to recreating the natural habitat of these species by generating 12 tons of snow per day, the normal light cycles of Antarctica are also respected, simulating, in real time, the changes of season as they occur in this remote part of the planet.

According to Rafael Zamora, Scientific Director of the Loro Parque Foundation, penguins will be one of the birds that will suffer most from the effects of climate change because their relationship with the Antarctic marine environment is so direct that even the slightest modifications will influence their populations.  “It’s worrying to know that the penguins are modifying their behaviour to try to adapt to the changes” says Zamora “because this does not mean that all the different species will manage to overcome the process without becoming extinct”.

Furthermore, in contrast to what happens every year in the facilities at Loro Parque, many specimens in nature are not reproducing due to the stress of the changes in their environment.  Thus, the reduction of the frozen area, which they inhabit or the absence of fish to feed on means that there is no guarantee that their offspring will survive.

The Foundation’s Scientific Director has also stressed the value of the ex-situ scientific work carried out in the Parque.  “It’s generating very valuable data for the conservation of the different species, data that is practically impossible to obtain in the wild due to the extreme habitats in which penguins live.”

Thus their weights, incubation times, behaviour indicators, dietary requirements and studies of their longevity or blood parameters, among other factors, are key in cases of the necessity of rescue due to natural disasters or for the design of conservation plans in the wild.

In Loro Parque, visitors can learn about these species and the threats they face in their natural environments, and it is in its facilities where they can really see how important it is to contribute to their protection.

Condolence message with regard to the tragic fire at Krefeld Zoo on New Year’s Eve

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The start of the year 2020 was unfortunately an incredibly sad one for us as a modern zoo committed to nature, species and animal protection!

For it was with great dismay that we had to learn that on New Year’s Eve the tropical Great Ape House built in 1975 at Krefeld Zoo which had been a pioneering step in modern zoo biology for a long time and which housed numerous marmosets, agoutis, flying foxes and birds alongside West African chimpanzees, Borneo orangutans and the two senior gorillas Massa (48) and Boma (46) in the midst of lush tropical vegetation, completely burned down.

Except for two chimpanzees – which miraculously survived – more than 30 animals lost their lives in this dramatic fire tragedy.

This fire was obviously caused by Chinese “sky lanterns”, which are forbidden in Germany.

Just a few days before New Year’s Eve, Krefeld Zoo had appealed to the city’s inhabitants to donate money for the further improvement of ape keeping in the planned “Chimpanzee Forest” instead of spending it on the short-term pleasure of the – on top of that environmentally harmful and not very animal-friendly – fireworks! Actually, it should be a matter of course for every clear-thinking person that fireworks are not supposed to be placed near zoos and other animal facilities.

In addition, in view of the fire catastrophes in nature, which are occurring more and more frequently due to human activity and climate change, we should bear in mind that countless animals lose their lives in their habitats in a similarly tragic way. According to the University of Sydney, 480 million birds, reptiles and mammals, including almost 8,000 koalas, have lost their lives in the bush fires in Australia since September 2019.

The commitment of modern zoos to nature and species conservation and animal protection is all the more important. It is true that the zoo community has lost great animal personalities in the tragic fire disaster at Krefeld Zoo. But our joint commitment to the preservation of wildlife and nature will continue and we will move even closer together.

Our thoughts are with our colleagues at Krefeld Zoo, especially the animal caretakers of the Great Ape House, who loved the animals entrusted to them very much.

Dear Team of Krefeld Zoo: We wish you in the coming days and weeks a lot of strength, courage and confidence! If we can help in any way, please let us know!

Your team from Loro Parque

The Loro Parque Foundation celebrates its 25th anniversary with a record amount dedicated to conservation projects in 2020

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At the annual meeting of the advisory committee of The Loro Parque Foundation, held recently in Puerto de La Cruz, it was decided to allocate almost US$2 million to conservation projects to be carried out during next year 2020 across the five continents.  With this figure, the total amount that the Foundation has dedicated to the protection of nature will reach US$21.2 million.

Projects focusing on the Canary Islands and the rest of Macaronesia (Cape Verde, Madeira and the Azores) in particular will receive 37 per cent of the funds (over US$706,000), followed by the threatened species and ecosystems of the American continent, which will receive US$667,000 this year.  Other projects in Spain and the rest of Europe amount to US$233,000 and African projects will receive US$128,000 next year.  Asia, with over US$79,000, and Australia-Oceania, with more than US$45,000, close the financing that reaches the five continents, and which will be distributed amongst 50 conservation and research projects that will be implemented by 34 NGOs and universities around the world.

By country, Bolivia stands out with US$300,000, followed by Ecuador with over US$118,000 and Brazil with US$78,000.  Of particular relevance is the investment in Bolivia, which will include the purchase of a 650-hectare farm that will be converted into a Biological Reserve for the Blue-Throated Macaw and managed as a biological station for a local university.  But the list of countries is much longer, and this year The Foundation will also carry out projects in Mexico, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Cuba, Belize, Costa Rica, Zimbabwe, Ethiopia, Cape Verde, New Zealand and French Polynesia. In addition, some of these projects are trans-national, so their benefits will reach the ecosystems and threatened species of many other neighbouring countries.

From an environmental point of view, species and terrestrial ecosystems are the ones that will receive the most help from The Loro Parque Foundation (almost US$1,145,000). Of particular note is the Red-Vented Cockatoo (critically endangered on the red list of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature), whose project will receive almost US$80,000 to continue securing the populations on Rasa Island and to try to ensure that the reproductive success achieved in the area extends to other parts of the region.  Other outstanding terrestrial species and ecosystem projects are aimed at protecting the lions in Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe, the Great Green Macaw and the Lilacine Amazon in Ecuador, all of which will receive funding of over US$60,000 during 2020.

And we must not forget the effort in the conservation of marine species and ecosystems, to which The Loro Parque Foundation will dedicate more than US$711,000 next year.  Of these, almost three quarters will be dedicated to the CanBIO project, co-financed by the Canary Island Government, which began in 2019 with the installation of control and monitoring systems for climate change in the Macaronesia zone and the effects it will have on marine fauna.  Between 2020 and 2021, the project will install two control buoys, one off the island of Gran Canaria and the other off the island of El Hierro.  These stations will monitor the rate of ocean acidification, temperature increase and underwater noise.  Autonomous marine vehicles will also be deployed to carry out measurements throughout the archipelago and will be extended to the whole of Macaronesia by 2023.

The remaining marine project funding will be dedicated to the conservation of several critically endangered species such as Angelsharks and Spiny Butterfly Rays, as well as Turtles, Orcas, Dolphins, Humpback Whales and Pilot Whales.

An open letter from the Director of the Nuremberg Zoo to TripAdvisor

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17.12.2019 Dr. Dag Encke is a Managing Director of the Nuremberg Zoo.


Dear ladies and gentlemen of “TripAdvisor Animal Welfare” On 5 December we received the following e-mail from your company:

“Good afternoon Nuremberg Zoo,

Recently we announced that TripAdvisor Experiences and Viator from January 2020 on will stop selling tickets for all attractions that contribute to that future generations of cetaceans (whales, dolphins and porpoises) will continue to live in captivity.

As a result, any commercial entity that breeds or imports whales as a public attraction for exhibition is prohibited from January 2020 on to sell tickets on TripAdvisor and Viator. Some facilities qualify possibly for an exception status and thus may continue to distribute tickets through our platform.

We have identified the Nuremberg Zoo as a facility where cetaceans are presented to the public. Therefore, we are making every effort to determine whether your institution qualifies for the exceptional status or not.

The exceptional status shall be granted to anybody which meets one or more of the following criteria:

  • Any cetacean protecting facility that provides a sustainable marine environment for all captive animals*
  • Any commercial or non-profit organization that is currently developing alternative sanctuaries for captive cetaceans in the sea and that is publicly committed to adequately relocate all the animals in captivity that it owns to these environments.
  • Any WAZA** accredited facility that has made an official and public commitment to implement all of the following practices:
  • the termination and prohibition of the breeding of cetaceans in their possession
  • the termination of the importation or transfer of captive cetaceans from other establishments for exhibition
  • Stop the capture and importation of wild cetaceans for exhibition purposes

If the Nuremberg Zoo meets any of the above-mentioned criteria, you can request the exception status by answering this e-mail or send a reply by 20 December 2019 at the latest to awpolicyreview@tripadvisor.com.

Your reply must include evidence of a request for exemption. If public commitments are cited as evidence by the institution, this must be in the form of either a press release or a report published by a reputable media company.

Please note that Nuremberg Zoo will continue to be listed as an attraction on TripAdvisor, regardless of whether it is eligible for the exceptional status or not. Travelers can continue to submit valuations, ratings and photos, and the facility will continue to be presented in the TripAdvisor rankings. Learn more about our animal welfare guidelines here.

If you have any questions about our policies or are unsure whether your institution is eligible for exemption status or not, please contact:



TripAdvisor Animal Welfare

*A marine protected area is a natural stretch of coastal water, such as a bay, where cetaceans live as naturally as possible, while providing protection and supervision by qualified livestock and veterinary personnel. Marine protected areas must comply with a strict Non-breeders policy, must not train their animals for shows or performances for the public and must prohibit all forms of physical interaction between guests and animals, including human-animal encounters in water.

**Accreditation must be granted by a member association of the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA).”

Unfortunately, I can only answer your letter to my zoological garden impersonally, because you sent it to me without naming a concrete contact person. You had published the contents of this letter as a Global News Release in October 2019. Since your letter seems to be part of a public image campaign for your travel platform, I am answering you with the greatest possible transparency for your customers in the form of the Open Letter.

You have informed us that you will no longer be selling tickets for the Nuremberg Zoo because the Nuremberg Zoo keeps dolphins.

In your animal welfare guidelines, you refer to “scientific Evidence” that the keeping of dolphins is contrary to animal welfare. Animal welfare violations must be proven on the basis of concrete housing conditions and of specifically affected animals. The tool required for this purpose, “Animal Welfare Assessment”, is a scientific discipline. The assessment of the “Animal Welfare Status”, i.e. the individual well-being of dolphins, requires methodologically sound scientific methods that can be applied in each individual case. Your rejection of our animal husbandry lacks any reference to a concrete “Welfare Assessment”. You do not even mention which method of assessment you used for your evaluation.

I consider a blanket discrediting of the keeping of dolphins in my zoological institution to be dubious populism from a scientific point of view.

So, let me make this perfectly clear: We are not applying to you for “exceptional status”. We reject your demands for professional reasons for the welfare of our animals.

At an international conference organized by the Nuremberg Zoo for the protection of dolphins in coastal and inland waters (ESOCC Meeting – Ex situ Options for Cetacean Conservation) last year, an integrated approach to the rescue of seven acutely endangered dolphin species was formulated, in line with the “One Plan Approach” and that identifies the keeping and research of endangered species under human care as a fixed and indispensable component of current protection strategies.

We can debate at many levels about best practices in the ex situ management of marine mammals, but it is irresponsible to call for a boycott of institutions, without whose expertise and without whose structural infrastructure it becomes more and more difficult and unlikely to protect endangered species successfully.

Your letter comes at an inopportune moment and shows great ignorance regarding options for action and soon probably constraints for action regarding the international conservation of dolphins living in coastal and inland waters.

In view of the great responsibility that we humans – and in a particularly piquant way also and especially the tourism industry – have for the ecological integrity of coastal and inland waters, I am shocked by the sloppiness of your letter, which is supposed to have been addressed to the well-being of dolphins, but in fact no research on concrete options for action has been carried out.

Negative report 1: We are a nonprofit professional service of the city of Nuremberg, not a commercial institution.

TripAdvisor, on the other hand, is likely to be profit-oriented and more likely to be a commercial platform than a charitable one. Your approach suggests that your commitment to dolphins is primarily and very likely a marketing campaign for the image of your company.

Negative report 2: A “permanent living environment” at the sea for “captive animals” is a nonsensical criterion for determining the quality of a facility. To my knowledge, there is no successful keeping under the conditions you describe. If the two belugas transported to Iceland will survive in the “sanctuary” that has been rebuilt for them will be shown when they are put out of their covered enclosure into the netted bay in spring 2020.

Negative report 3: “Alternative sanctuaries” are currently being sought for seven highly endangered dolphin species. These ex situ options for endangered dolphin species are sensibly not being considered for the not yet threatened dolphins which already enjoy a very good and sheltered life under our care. If we want to invest in the future of dolphins, then we should support meaningful projects that benefit the survival of endangered species instead of demanding experiments with already well housed animals.

Negative report 4: In your animal welfare policy, you refer exclusively to the welfare of individuals kept in captivity, but propose a translocation of animals to open sea cages. You are thus subject to the criteria of the IUCN guidelines on the release and/or translocation of wild animals. I am aware that these guidelines are not of a legislative nature. However, they are internationally recognized conservation standards that should be adhered to, because the improper release of wild animals poses a great risk both to affected natural habitats and to the animals themselves. I consider your simple ideas of animal welfare and nature to be misguided.

Negative report 5: Stopping the breeding of cetaceans is a frivolous demand in terms of animal protection, which we do not want to comply with at all for the benefit of the animals and their social structure. Our institution serves the protection of species and the sustainable population management of the breeding groups kept by us and coordinated throughout Europe. Your demand is directed against the social needs of the animals. We reject this. Of course, we will continue exchange animals within the framework of the transboundary European Breeding Program.

Negative report 6: Unfortunately, we cannot stop capturing animals from the wild because we have not done so for decades. Taking from the wild and trading in plants and animals are also regulated by CITES and fortunately are not aligned with the interests of the tourism industry. The EAZA Bottlenose Dolphin ex situ Program coordinates the population of bottlenose dolphins in scientifically managed zoos in Europe. Since 2003, no bottlenose dolphins from the wild have been introduced into the population. The population is growing sustainably and is entering the third generation in human hands.

Conclusion: From my point of view, you are playing a bad game with the popularity of moralizing animal protection in your poorly researched and potentially animal harming letter of demands, with which you rather damage technically the protection of the species and in no way benefit the welfare of the animals we keep.

I would be pleased if you would approach us in the future in a serious and cooperative manner if you have open questions about the welfare of our animals. Perhaps you would have refrained from writing if you had known our institution beforehand.

With kind regards

Dr. Dag Encke

Managing Director of the Nuremberg Zoo.

Loro Parque Foundation saves 10 species of parrots from total extinction in the wild

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This year, as part of the celebration of its 25th anniversary, Loro Parque Foundation has managed to add to its list of species saved from extinction the Grey-Breasted Parakeet (Pyrrhura griseipectus), native to Brazil.  With this success, The Foundation celebrates that it has already prevented the disappearance of 10 species of parrots thanks to its longstanding involvement with in and ex situ protection and conservation projects.

The Grey-Breasted Parakeet, originally from the Baturité Mountains, was an endangered species because of the illegal captures designated for the pet trade and the lack of suitable nesting sites.  However, the alliance between the Loro Parque Foundation and the organisation AQUASIS has strengthened the work of renowned biologist Fabio Nunes and his team in the area, where they have managed to enumerate over 1,000 chicks born in artificial nests.

This incredible result has to do precisely with the placement of these artificial nests and their monitoring since 2010, despite the difficulties encountered during the process, such as protection against predators.

One of the ways of observing and understanding the habits of this species, little known in the past, has been an active presence in the field, which has allowed specialists to obtain a large amount of very important scientific information including for other projects of similar characteristics.

Furthermore, the tagging work has been fundamental, because it enables the gathering of data on the movement and distribution (through their banding) of the parakeets, which are able to hide very well amongst the vegetation.  In addition, key in this process has been the creation of protected areas, which are recognised by the local population.

From now on, a new stage for the species begins, in which an ex situ program will work for its reintroduction back into some of its historical locations from which it has disappeared.  In this respect, it is relevant that in the Loro Parque Foundation alone, more than 60 specimens have been born in recent years.

In total, since the Foundation began to collaborate with this project, it has allocated about US$400 000 to the protection of the Grey-Breasted Parakeet.  Thus, the number of birds has risen from around 100 to 1,000 in 2019, changing the category of the species on the Red List of Threatened Species of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) from “critically endangered” to “endangered”.

As of today, the Foundation has dedicated more than US$21,000,000 to supporting conservation projects, and the reclassification of many of these ten species is a global conservation success that makes this non-profit organisation the most effective in preservation of tropical ecosystems achieved through the labour of protecting the parrots.

Wolfgang Kiessling: “We have saved 9 species of parrots that, without our help, would no longer exist and we are very proud”

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Source:  Tribuna de Tenerife https://tribunadecanarias.es/canarias/32308-wolfgang-kiessling-hemos-salvado-9-especies-de-papagayos-que-sin-nuestra-ayuda-ya-no-existirian-y-estamos-muy-orgullosos  This year you will be quite pleased to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Loro Parque Fundación. What has the creation of the foundation meant for you and your family?

First of all, when I came up with the idea, I proposed to the financial director to give the whole parrot collection to a foundation and he told me that it was not possible because it was an important part of Loro Parque’s heritage. I insisted and, in the end, we have done it. Internally there were some critical voices, but externally there was enough recognition. The idea came from the Secretary General of CITES and the truth is that I thought it was a good idea. It is not the property that interests me, it was more important to keep the animals under the care of Loro Parque but returning them to humanity. An important step was that Loro Parque had to commit to cover all the costs of the Loro Parque Fundación, which makes all the money that goes into the Foundation go 100% to nature. Today, the Foundation owns the largest collection of parrots and thus ensures a very important genetic reserve, both for the Loro Parque Fundación and for the world. After 25 years, at no time have I regretted having created the Foundation.

What did Morgan mean to you?

First satisfaction, because we were able to save the life of an animal that had three possibilities. The first was to return it to the sea, which would have been its death; the second would have been euthanasia and the third was the possibility of coming here to live with the other 5 orcas that we had at that time in our pools. With Morgan’s arrival there were many critics, because they are not seeing the difficulties, she had in returning to the sea. They did not accept that Morgan was a sick animal, they believe that we are liars saying that she is deaf, but that has been clarified and demonstrated. I do not believe that it will be questioned any more. I frankly believe that if I didn’t lack something it was this movement, but with the peace of mind that Morgan is doing well, now she is breastfeeding a perfectly born baby called Ula. The mother gets along well with her baby. These are experiments that could not have been done without them being in our facilities.

The creation of the Foundation has been a challenge for you and your family because of two fundamental issues. One is the fact that all the parrots in the Loro Parque belong to the Foundation and the other that you are investing more than 20 million dollars in environmental projects. There are always some “isolated” groups that criticize the work of the Loro Parque, although it has been proven that you invest millions in conservation and in helping the animals…

I want to clarify something, the giving of the parrots that I mentioned before was not the only gift we gave away. First of all, we bought a 3-hectare farm and the farm was given to the foundation. Then the biggest gift has been that for the deposit of a pair of each species we have in the collection, the Loro Parque paid all the costs of the foundation, this leads to about 2.5 million euros per year. This means that our foundation spends at least 3.5 million euros per year, of which those 2.5 million are paid by the Loro Parque. As for the “isolated” groups, I think their criticism is the most idiotic thing that exists. In the year 1950 we had 2.5 billion people on the globe, in 50 years we have multiplied to 6 billion. These millions of people on earth are using the natural resources, which were available to exotic animals, and so we are destroying this planet with impressive speed. That represents the current population of 1.8 billion people, we have grown in 19 years 180 cities like London with all that it implies. There is a collapse and we no longer know where the world is going. In this time when animals are under such terrible treatment, there are some activists, who think they know something, who are not professionals, without being specialists in the profession, who dare to tell us that our facilities, that are at a very high scientific level, are bad for animals. An animal is completely satisfied within a small space, with enough food and well cared for, while the land they need in nature is such spacious because of the need to hunt down food to survive. Apart from this, I would like to clarify that nowadays, living in the wild is more difficult for the animals. Let us think, for example, of the fires in the Amazon at the moment or the fires in the forests next to Sydney. Don’t you think it is a tragedy that millions of animals die in the flames? They don’t have that problem with us, they have less space, but more safety and food. For example, in the case of the lions, the person in charge of the Born Free Foundation has assured us that they are better off in our facilities than in Ethiopia, because here they are well cared for and fed. They demand that we free our orcas and our dolphins. Our animals are happy here and we comply with the law, we allow the cetaceans to reproduce and breed and we also do research.

At present, zoos, especially the most important ones in the world, are making an important commitment to the recovery of species. What is Loro Parque doing in favour of the recovery and protection of species?

With the Foundation we are helping researchers from all over the world, funding the projects they have. This is very important and, in the beginning, it was only done with the parrots, because in the beginning the Loro Parque was only for parrots. Later, with the arrival of the cetaceans, we have expanded our projects on orcas and dolphins. In 1988 Loro Parque financed research on cetaceans on the island, when the presence of sperm whales was confirmed. We are also funding research on lions in Africa, also in Ethiopia, and many things that are no longer just about parrots. We have saved 9 species of parrots that, without our help, would no longer exist and we are very proud. Our work has borne much fruit. We have done it in silence, without publicity campaigns to achieve what we wanted, which is to help nature. I am also very happy because I am helping the dog shelters on the island, such as the Tierra Blanca shelter, or the Punta Brava shelter and also one in El Sauzal, collaborating a lot with them. However, there are activists who have shelters in America and are paid, it seems, for each animal they collect but most die within forty-eight hours. On the contrary, the shelters we have on the island are run by volunteers and the politicians do not help, they are not aware of it. The volunteers do an enormous job and the politicians should take care of them and help them.

You have also proposed that the foundation should develop activities in all areas of nature and also of the oceans. What work are you currently developing in the field of marine research?

We have a project that we are financing in the Strait of Gibraltar, with great success. We have made a surveillance of the movement of the animals and this resulted in the conclusion that the animals do not swim 100 miles as the activists say. We have seen that they swim from 6 to 8 miles a day because in this area they find their food. If one day the food has run out they do travel a little more, but this is the reason, they do not travel for the pleasure of moving, just to survive. Next, we have CanBio. I would like to thank the Government of the Canary Islands and the two universities of the Canary Islands. It is a climate change project, cleaning up the sea, cleaning up marine noise. We are financing all of this with EUR 1 million from us and EUR 1 million come from the Canary Islands Government. All exotic animals are under enormous pressure. A hundred years ago there were 10 million elephants in the world, today there are less than 400 000. If we carry on like this, they will have disappeared in 30 or 40 years. If we do not keep some in parks or zoos, there will be no specimen left.

The Loro Parque Group is very involved in the elimination of plastics and micro-plastics. What actions do you carry out in this area?

Before we considered this, I was not aware of how difficult it was to eradicate plastic. If you look around you, everything is made of plastic. It is impossible to eliminate plastic from one day to the next. This is an initiative that must come from the industry, they must find a product that is similar to plastic but that is compostable. We have eliminated single use plastic from all our parks, in Poema del Mar we make big promotion of this. We have also recently been given permission to fill one of the fish tanks in our Loro Parque aquarium with plastic. So far, I have banned all human intervention in our aquariums because I want visitors to see the fish as if they were in the sea, but I have made an exception for a week to see the reaction of our visitors. Also, I had the idea of using plastic to create sculptures. I am a fan of the art of Néstor Martín-Fernández de la Torre, the great painter of the Canary Islands, and we have given orders to build some plastic sculptures inspired by the work of this wonderful artist. In addition, this plastic has come out of the cleaning activities on the beaches that we have done with children and we have also worked with the children to create these sculptures. As a result, we have inaugurated the first sculpture at the University of La Laguna. We want to warn of the dangers of plastic and make it clear that it can be used for other things that do not harm, such as art.

Recently, at the ceremony of the Premio Gorila award, you said that the world is on fire. What did you mean by this expression?

I wanted to warn of the great explosion that humanity is having, the population has increased at a tremendous pace in the last fifty years. If we continue with this pace and reach the year 2050 there will not be a single tree, nor a sea with food inside, this is what I mean by the expression that the world is on fire. Besides, the forest fires in Brazil are not even as big as the ones that are happening in Africa. There, and without anyone talking about them, very large forests are burning, and in Australia too. In the first 4,000 hectares, 350 koalas have been burned, this is half of the population of the park. There are many animals that die every day from the fires. We are destroying the planet.

Changing the subject a little, what have been the results for the Loro Parque Group in this year 2019?

We are doing well, the visits to the Loro Parque are still in line. The Poema del Mar, which has been the one that has worried us the most, we are bringing it to a good end too. We have a staff that is working very well and is going in the right direction, we have sent nine sharks born in the Loro Parque to Poema del Mar and it is a marvel. Also, Siam Park is doing especially well. The Hotel Botánico could have a little more guest but everyone is suffering from Thomas Cook’s bankruptcy.

I suppose it will be a great satisfaction for you that the Loro Parque is recognized as one of the best zoos in the world, right?

I am very satisfied but I was surprised that last year, Tripadvisor recognized us as the best park in the world and this year has declared that it will not assess zoos, it has not maintained the category of awards. This is inexplicable but I have written a rather serious letter to those responsible, in fact, I have assured that Siam Park will reject future valuations if it does not rectify. I do not think it is reliable that we have been declared the best in the world and the following year the category was removed. However, Siam Park has received all kinds of awards… Of course, we have just received, for the eighth time, the award for the best park in Europe.

You have a pending issue with Gran Canaria and Siam Park… How’s it going?

A civil servant has insisted that I owe fourteen million, and this has caused me a lot of damage because according to the deeds I owe a maximum of three million, and this should be paid off once the channel is finished. However, the channel is still missing eighty meters which has not been done because there are illegal sewage pipes which have to be moved. I agreed to fix these pipes at a cost of EUR 240 000, but the town council is not satisfied with this and they wanted me to finance Canaragua, for pipes that pass in front of the park, which I refused to do. This would be more than 500,000 and I refuse, I do not need a park in Gran Canaria to live and neither does my family. We have some parks in Tenerife that work wonderfully and we have taken the profits from here to invest them in Gran Canaria, for example, in the Aquarium, where we are fighting like lions to reach our goals.

What projects does the Loro Parque Group and the Kiessling family have in the medium term?

We want to free Punta Brava from its parking problem. Especially in summer there are so many visitors who want to come to the Loro Parque that the cars practically paralyze the traffic. That is why I want to extend the underground car park, more than twice the size it is now. We have been fighting with the authorities over details for five years and it looks like we will soon receive the permit. In the Loro Parque I want to remove the screen from the Naturavisión cinema, and put in AquaViva, the cylinders I want to put underneath and make something even nicer than we have today. Also, where AquaViva is, I want to break it down and put in a pool for the orcas, of about 6,000 cubic meters of water. We have bought the properties above and to the left of the Loro Parque and are planting all the trees and plants we need. We have our own organic vegetable farm and all the parks, the hotel and Brunelli’s work with these products. We have bought the Exit palace, next to Siam Park to put some underground parking lots and on top of them we want to build a big spa that is connected with Siam Park. Also, we want to build a Brunelli’s in the city. We are also setting up the second largest windmill in the Canary Islands. We have many projects.

Loro Parque celebrates 47 years of love for nature and animals

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Almost at the threshold of Christmas, Loro Parque celebrates this Tuesday, 17 December, its 47th anniversary, in a year in which it has reinforced its love and commitment to nature and animals through the fight against plastic.

Loro Parque opened its doors in 1972 with only 25 employees, 150 parrots and a space of 13 000 square meters. Now, with the surface of over 135 000 m2, the Park has converted into one of the most respected zoological institutions in the world for its beauty, continued commitment to animal welfare, excellence of its facilities and absolute respect for nature.

Bye Bye, Plastic!

Loro Parque maintains a firm commitment to the protection of the environment and the conservation of wildlife. So, this year, in view of the great ravages that plastic is causing on the planet, the park has continued with its strategy of eliminating single-use plastic from its facilities, which was initiated in 2018. Thus, by 2020, it will have managed to avoid more than 90% of this harmful material, ceasing to generate more than 30 tons of plastic waste.

In addition, this year the Park has wanted to go one step further and has launched the project Bye Bye, Plastic. With this project it has installed two large sculptures made from recycled objects that demonstrate the serious problem that this material generates in the environment. These artistic representations, inspired by the work of the Canarian artist Néstor Martín-Fernández de la Torre, will serve to raise awareness among locals and visitors about the dramatic impact of plastic on the oceans, the planet and everyone’s life.

Loro Parque Fundación, 25 years of commitment to nature

This year, in the month of September, Loro Parque Fundación has celebrated 25 years of love for nature and commitment to its conservation. The non-profit organization, created by Loro Parque in 1994, has allocated more than 21.5 million dollars throughout its history to more than 180 conservation projects on five continents and has helped to save 9 parrot species from total extinction, while improving populations of hundreds of others.

Coral farm

In the middle of this year, Loro Parque inaugurated an exhibition of the latest novelty: a farm of asexually reproduced corals. Thanks to it, visitors have been able to observe closely the work carried out by the aquarium team with these organisms that occupy an absolutely indispensable place in nature for the oceans and oxygen production.

A year of new welcomes

In 2019, there has been a baby boom in Loro Parque, showing the welfare state of all its animals. Thus, this authentic animal embassy welcomed with great joy to pups of emperor tamarins, zebra sharks, black swans, jellyfish … and, naturally, as it has the largest reserve of parrots in the world, numerous parrots.

Loro Parque, a real animal Embassy

Loro Parque closes another year in which it has continued to consolidate its position as an authentic animal embassy, in which the specimens that live in its facilities act as representatives of their peers in the wild, most of which are threatened with extinction in one way or another, according to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Visitors get to know these animals first-hand and become aware of the dangers they face in the wild with the aim of ensuring greater protection for wild populations.

A history of success

Throughout its 47 years of history, the Loro Parque Company has achieved numerous recognitions, as the Plaque and Gold Medal for Tourist Merit awarded by the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism of Spain, the Gold Medal of the Government of the Canary Islands, the Gold Medal of the city of Puerto de la Cruz and of the Island Council of Tenerife, among other awards. Loro Parque is also the only company in the Canary Islands to have won the Prince Felipe Award for Business Excellence.