Two emperor tamarin twins are born in Loro Parque

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The health crisis caused by the coronavirus has never stopped life in Loro Parque. With the arrival of summer, as it has happened in previous years, the Puerto de la Cruz zoo has witnessed the birth of two emperor tamarin twins.

The parents had offspring for the first time in 2018 and the fact that they are still breeding is an indicator of the well-being of the animals in the Park and how well established this family of Saguinus imperator is.

In this species, it is the male (or another member of the group) who helps carrying the babies until they become independent of the parents, and who gives them to the mother from time to time to suckle. Three pairs of twins have already been born in Loro Parque, the last ones recently, and now they can all be observed living a family life in their facility, with even siblings carrying the newborns.

In this sense, it is important to maintain stable family groups so that the older siblings, during the process of collaboration, learn everything necessary to be successful parents in the future.

The emperor tamarin is native to the forests of Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia and Peru, where it feeds mainly on insects, fruits, flowers, nectar and small animals such as frogs, snails, lizards or spiders. It has characteristic whiskers, claws instead of nails on all fingers except the thumb and two molars instead of three on each side of the jaw, both aspects that differentiate it from other species of monkeys.

Fortunately, it is listed as a species of minor concern in the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species, so it is not at risk of extinction. However, the size of their populations is declining and their habitat is shrinking due to residential and commercial development and deforestation, among other threats.

This family is part of an ex situ conservation programme of the European Association of Zoos and Aquariums (EAZA), integrated in the IUCN “One Plan Approach to Conservation” vision. In Loro Parque, they act as representatives of their conspecifics in nature, helping to raise awareness among visitors about the importance of protecting wild animals and their natural habitats. Furthermore, they promote knowledge about the species, its reproduction and breeding, information that is also very valuable for the protection of populations in the wild.

The company ZEBEC donates to Loro Parque Fundación a prototype pontoon for the refloating of cetaceans

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This morning, on Tuesday, 30th of June, the company ZEBEC, manufacturer of the floats for the water park Siam Park, has delivered to Loro Parque Fundación a first prototype of a pontoon for the refloating of cetaceans.

The aim of the Foundation is, based on this prototype, to develop an optimized model for the rescue of stranded cetaceans, a work that will be done in collaboration with the University Institute of Animal Health (IUSA) of the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (ULPGC).

From this moment on, the pontoon will be at the disposal of both IUSA and the Canary Islands Rescue Centres that will request it in case they need to refloat a stranded cetacean. In addition, thanks to the tests carried out with the animals of Loro Parque and the stranded specimens of the IUSA, the system will evolve to improve its design.

This collaboration is part of the MARCET II project, in which there is a section dedicated to the design of new infrastructures and equipment for the handling of strandings. The final objective is that, once the design is finished, this type of pontoons will be available to attend cases not only in the Canary Islands, but in the whole of Macaronesia, and more especially in Cape Verde, where mass strandings of cetaceans are very frequent.

MARCET II: cetacean conservation and sustainable development in the Macaronesian Atlantic Area

The MARCET II project carries out several scientific and technological research studies that allow the evaluation and analysis of the impact of human activity on protected marine areas of the Macaronesian Atlantic, using cetaceans as protagonists not only because they are considered emblematic species, but also because they are bioindicators of the good environmental status of the marine areas where they live and contribute to the protection of the marine ecosystem. Likewise, this project contributes to the development of environmental and economic sustainability criteria, with special attention to the activity of cetacean observation.

MARCET II is an initiative led by ULPGC through IUSA and with the direct participation of other five institutions and organizations from the four Macaronesian archipelagos: PLOCAN; CETECIMA; Loro Parque Fundación; Turismo de Tenerife; CEAMAR; Universidad de la Laguna (ULL); Museu da Baleia de Madeira; Observatório Oceânico da Madeira; Instituto das Florestas e Conservação da Natureza IFCN IP-RAM; Direçao Regional dos Assuntos do Mar (DRAM); Universidade dos Açores; Direçao Nacional do Ambiente de Cabo Verde; Instituto Nacional de Desenvolvimiento das Pescas (INDP); BIOS.CV, y Associação de Biólogos e Investigadores de Cabo Verde (ABI-CV).

Loro Parque follows closely the growth of two Scarlet Ibis chicks

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Loro Parque has recently celebrated two new births at its sumptuous South American aviaries. On this occasion, two Scarlet Ibis chicks have brought joy to the entire team of the park with their vibrant, reddish feathers.

It is the first time that this species, original of South America, has bred in the park. The entire process has developed naturally which demonstrates that the environment created for them is optimal and that they can express their natural behaviour in the spacious, innovative aviaries, which they share with different other species of the same geographic origin.

The gestation process of the Scarlet Ibis, scientifically known as Eudocimus ruber, lasts 23 days. A chick hatches covered in black down that later develops into reddish feathers. After about a year and a half, the hatchlings obtain scarlet red plumage. The bright colour is an effect that is produced by a special pigment that the birds receive by ingesting small crustaceans, which form their principal source of nutrition.

While they are still hatchlings, they maintain darker feathers and look quite different from the adult specimen. This serves them as a perfect camouflage that protects them from the numerous predators. The visitors of Loro Parque are able to observe how the new hatchlings are evolving, growing and gradually developing the colourful feathers.

This species maintains the “Least Concern” status, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), although their populations in the wild tend to decline. This occurs due to continuous degradation of their natural habitats as a result of adverse human activities, including poaching and creation of artificial water channels. Therefore, the situation requires close monitoring and proactive action.

These innovative installations at Loro Parque accommodate several different species that co-exist harmonically while developing their flying skills and interacting amongst themselves, which represents the best example of the environmental enrichment. Loro Parque recreates this complex environment within the South American Aviaries as an example of its continuous commitment to innovation and conservation of biodiversity, as well as to raising awareness among the public about the importance of protecting the wildlife and their natural habitats.

The CITES authority in the Netherlands reasserts Loro Parque in the Morgan case

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orca Morgan

It sounds absurd that after 7 years since Morgan appeared dying on the Dutch coast and five judicial pronouncements stated that her return to the sea would mean her death and her deafness has been proved, there are still organizations committed to denounce Loro Parque demanding her release. But that is a well-known strategy of some self-proclaimed animalistic groups: seeking the impact on the media and social networks to get attention and funds. Although they know perfectly well that Morgan has no chance of being released and that there is a firm sentence of the highest Dutch court that ratifies it since 2014.

The Free Morgan Foundation has got us used to the scandal strategy. They file a complaint against Loro Parque, they publish campaigns in the media creating social alarm and worrying honest people who love animals and so they obtain funds for their organization. But when the administrations dismiss and reject these allegations as unfounded they never recognize their mistake and never make it public. They do not even put negative resolutions on their website to acknowledge its members. That is fraud.

Morgan Loro ParqueThis week, the Dutch CITES Authority has dismissed the last appeal filed by the Free Morgan Foundation raised on the alleged illegality of Morgan’s CITES permit. A few months ago that same institution responded that the charge of the Free Morgan Foundation was unfounded since Loro Parque carries out scientific research with orcas and this it is not incompatible with education and awareness activities they promote with the permit issued in 2011. The CITES Spanish authority (also where the Free Morgan Foundation sent its protest) responded in the same terms in January of this year: “The transfer of the whale Morgan from Hharderwijk Dolfinarium in Holland to the facilities of Loro Parque in Tenerife in 2011 was carried out fulfilling the provisions of Article 9 of Regulation (EC) 338/97 and endorsed by the Dutch State Council ruling that the return of the animal to the ocean was neither an alternative nor a satisfactory solution”. However, do not bother looking, you will not find this information on the Free Morgan Foundation page.

Unfortunately we know this will not be the last complaint, we are sure that the Free Morgan Foundation and some other minority groups will continue using the same scandal strategy simply because it’s economically profitable for them.

Meanwhile, Morgan is happy with her new family, has almost reached adult size and weighs more than 2,100 kg. Her well-being is beyond doubt. During a recent audit at Loro Parque by the American Humane Association, an organization that looks out for the well-being of animals around the world, it has been detailed that: “The activity and energy of killer whales is comforting. Coaches conduct six training sessions and three daily presentations; this stimulation facilitates a well-being exceptionally positive for the six orcas.” This, along with obtaining the highest rating (100%) of the British Association of Travel Agents (ABTA) welfare standards audited by Global Spirit, is what most satisfies us, the people who work at Loro Parque every day for the welfare of Morgan and the thousands of animals under our care.

Six rays are born in the aquarium of Loro Parque

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Once again the Aquarium of Loro Parque has been successful with its breeding program. This time six young, strong and healthy, rays (Dasyatis Americana), in the Canaries known as “chucho”, were born.

After an uncomplicated birth, the team of professionals in the aquarium decided to keep the youngsters in a floating tank within the big exhibition tank. This way they guaranteed that the newborns don’t suffer any brusque water changes but are protected from all other fish that lives in the big exhibition.

These rays are Elasmobranchii of the Dasyatis family, whose area of ​​expansion is confined to the tropical and subtropical seas of the southern Atlantic Ocean, the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico. They have a flat, diamond-shaped body, which is mud brown on top and white on the belly.

It is a species that tolerates wide ranges of temperature and salinity and feeds on large invertebrates. Its reproduction is viviparous and can produce between 4 to 7 offspring. The gestation period is quite short compared to other species of rays; it only lasts four months allowing females to reproduce twice a year. The average size of these specimens is 40 cm wide, although the maximum records are 60 cm for females and 57 cm for males.

Loro Parque once again shows its commitment to the protection and conservation of animals, demonstrating the success of its breeding system within a philosophy that has turned the zoo into the embassy of exotic animals.

Loro Parque welcomes four newborn Rock hopper Penguin Chicks

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Loro Parque extends its penguin colony with four newborn southern rock hopper penguins, which are in good health and are evolving good in the penguin baby station.  These young marine birds were born in December and remained for a certain time in the incubator. They are being fed a particular diet based on fish porridge with calcium supplement, in proportion to 10% of their weight.

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For about two months, they will be reared in the penguin baby station, where the chicks receive the necessary care during the first stage of their lives.  After this period, the integration process will begin to take place, in which they will be adapting to their new environment until they finally obtain the complete integration with the rest of the penguins of the Loro Parque. At this stage, the gender of the chicks is unknown until we process the first blood analysis.

The experts of Loro Parque in Planet Penguin take care for the birds with a lot of knowledge, love and respect, and so Loro Parque has magnificent results, since the breeding of all marine bird species (Humboldt Penguin, King Penguin, Gentoo Penguin, Chinstrap Penguin, Rock hopper Penguin and Atlantic Puffin) has been achieved. The inhabitants of one of the best penguin exhibits in the world enjoy an installation with all the guarantees that produces 12 tons of snow daily, has filters against a microbial contamination of the air and recreates the conditions of light and temperature ideal for an optimal reproduction.

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Thanks to the plentiful food supply which becomes available every year in springtime in the Antarctica’s polar ecosystem, penguins form colonies of hundreds of thousands of specimens. Unfortunately, this abundant diet is being seriously threatened by overfishing and by climate change, which adversely affects marine currents. For example, the continuous snowfall and the glaciers, where King Penguins use to nest, are also at great risk of disappearing due to global warming of the planet caused by the greenhouse effect. All these circumstances seriously threaten the future of these amazing birds and Loro Parque in its role of a modern zoo operates to raise awareness about these issues among the public and support the conservations efforts. At the same time, Loro Parque has implemented environmental management system and is developing its own photovoltaic solar energy plant and promoting sustainable and responsible use of resources while protecting the natural habitats of the animals in the wild.

Loro Parque welcomes the first baby zebra shark born in the Aquarium

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Loro Parque is very happy to welcome the newest family member. The best zoo in Europe and the second best in the world, according to Trip Advisor, welcomes Udra, the first baby zebra shark (Stegostoma fasciatum) who was born in the Park. She is a female baby of 72 grams and 27 centimeters and is in perfect health.

This is a wonderful success of the professional team of the Aquarium, who performed an egg cesarean to ensure that the baby zebra shark could born without any difficulty. If she had born in the sea, and her mother being first-time mother, as the first hatching eggs she would have probably faced difficulties at birth. From her birth on October 24, the animal continues to develop well, and she currently feeds on small pieces of prawn, mussels, hake and squid. The amount she receives does not exceed 4% of its body weight.

Her parents, Marylin and Elvis, live with another pair of zebra shark in the aquarium, so now one more member is joining this wonderful family of sharks. These animals can measure up to three and a half meters, and they have a cream-colored body with dark spots, what allow them to pass by unnoticed when they rest on the sandy bottoms of the sea.

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They have a broad, flattened head, and a ventral mouth with which they can dig at the bottom of the sea and look for small animals. Their tail is almost half of the total length, and they have powerful lateral muscles. The common name of these animals is due to the stripes they have when they are young, which later turn into spots when they are adults.

It is a slow but slippery swimmer. This shark does not chase his preys, he just drives them into small spaces and uses its great and flexible body in order to make them unable to escape. Its jaw is in the ventral part of its head, and has also the special ability of being retractable inward allowing the shark to be more aerodynamic. Although the ability with its jaw allows the shark to swim faster, he is still a slow animal, but that extra speed can be vital when escaping from predators, and during prey hunting.

The breeding and reproduction of zebra sharks is essential to provide more information on how to conserve and guarantee the well-being of endangered species such as angelsharks (Squalma squatima) which is the world’s most threatened specie, and the hammerhead shark (Sphyrna sp.), whom Loro Park Foundation helps through protection projects.

Halloween 2016

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Today we are celebrating Halloween with a very special present for the animals who live in Loro Parque: their favorite food in eye-catching and intriguing pumpkins, which surprise both the park inhabitants and the visitors. This tasty decor has been placed in our exhibitions of the titi monkeys, gorillas, chimpanzees and meerkats, where the animals are being surprised with a feast while carefully discovering the carved figures in each pumpkin. With this type of activities, the keepers of the park broaden the specific environmental enrichment programs for each species in a playful way, as usual.

Although Halloween is from the Celtic culture, it is celebrated throughout the Anglo-Saxos countries and, recently, in other countries like Spain. We have decided to share this special day with the visitors, so they can discover the behavior of the animals with this experience that gives them new sensory stimuli. An opportunity to enjoy the best Halloween at the Embassy of the Wild Animals with no “trick or treat”.

Morgan, Tekoa and Adan

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Killer Whales

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We wish to calm all the people worried about Morgan and therefore, share these images with you. You can see that Morgan is doing perfectly well.

Morgan does not have any health problem and she certainly hasn’t tried to kill herself as some, apparent “animal lovers” like to put it. They only affirm their ignorance with these kind of statements.

Today, as on all other days, Morgan is doing well swimming with the rest of the group.