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.

Embassy for Nature

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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!

Seven baby Sandbar sharks were born

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Today, 10th March 2016, very early in the morning, we welcomed seven baby Sandbar sharks. After a gestation period of 12 months, the female of the Sandbar shark (Carcharhinus plumbeus) “Gara” gave birth to seven perfectly healthy pups.

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Sandbar sharks can live up to 45 years and will reproduce once every two years. These animals are viviparous, so the babies are born already completely developed and every female can give birth from 7 to 10 pups.

Very few aquariums in the world have been able to achieve successful reproduction of this species, which gives us even more reason to celebrate the arrival of these youngsters.

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These seven baby sharks are perfect ambassadors of their kind, living in the oceans of the world. They should inspire us, the people, to think about changing our attitude towards the destruction and contamination of our natural resources. If we do not treat our environment with more respect, sharks, which have been on earth for more than 400 million years will soon face inevitable extinction.

Currently, there are 11 shark species on the Red List of endangered species and every year 100 MILLION of them die due to human exploitation.

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