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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Emperator Tamarin and Gold Lion Tamarin

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Red Pandas

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Loro Parque brings a new surprise to its visitors: two lovely red pandas have arrived to the park directly from Kingusiee Wildfire Park y Paradise Wildlife Park in the U.K. Red pandas have received a brand new installation that has been developed by the Loro Parque’s team of experts and matches the natural habitat of these animals to the maximum extent possible.

The red panda has various names. For example, in the East it is often referred to “a fire fox” due to the reddish and orange colors of its fur. It is also called “a traveler of the forests’ tops” and, in general, has a lot of similarities with raccoon, weasels and ferrets. Most importantly, though, the red panda is considered by many to be “the prettiest animal in the world”.

As, in its natural habitat, the red panda lives in the areas between 1300 and 4000 metres of altitude, the installations have been constructed in such a way that the animal is allowed to enjoy the shadows of the various trees in a cool environment.

This is a brand new installation of Loro Parque that stands out in a spectacular fashion and Loro Parque is very content to be able to offer the new premises of these adorable and charismatic animals to its visitors that come from all parts of the world, as well as to the inhabitants of the Canary Islands.

Galápagos Tortoise

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Shark Training – Video

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Loro Parque’s aquarium, located in Tenerife, has successfully achieved progress in a pioneer training system for sharks and rays to accustom them to veterinary controls and revisions in order to ensure their welfare. Very few modern zoos have carried out these diverse and innovative volunteer behaviour techniques to guarantee proper handling and comfort of various species

Our shark training system, one of the most advanced in the world

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Loro Parque’s aquarium, located in Tenerife, has successfully achieved progress in a pioneer training system for sharks and rays to accustom them to veterinary controls and revisions in order to ensure their welfare. Very few modern zoos have carried out these diverse and innovative volunteer behaviour techniques to guarantee proper handling and comfort of various species housed by the Nº1 Zoo in Europe and Nº2 in the world, according to TripAdvisor.

This training method that is only used in some European zoos is based on the voluntary entry of the sharks and rays into a special stretcher that is introduced in the water. Once they are in the stretcher they remain calm and make almost no movement until the caregivers have finalized the revisions, blood tests, scans or any necessary procedure without making the animal go through any kind of stress.

The goal of these training sessions is to obtain a controlled and voluntary response towards a possible blood test, prenatal isolation or to carry out routine control biometrics, explains Ester Alonso, the aquarist in charge. “The possibility to perform a blood test voluntarily and free of stress is a great step towards clinically controlling the sharks and, in many cases, extending their life expectancy”, assures the expert.

The stretchers have different shapes and colours depending on the species so that each animal reacts to “a different kind of stimulation and there is no confusion,” she says. The location also changes according to the day of the week to ensure that the training that each species receives corresponds to each stimulus and not the particular location where they receive a positive response.

Dr. Javier Almunia, Environmental Director of Loro Parque, highlights that the importance of these voluntary procedures falls directly on the welfare of the animal and the security of the specialists that work with them as this way the veterinarians and caregivers can interact with the animals in a safe and preventative way. In his opinion, the fact that sharks can train just like any other animal proves that, despite the unfair reputation they have earned with Hollywood movies, “sharks are not particularly dangerous or aggressive animals,” notes Almunia.

On the 40th anniversary of the premiere of the movie Jaws, sharks continue to cause fear among swimmers across the world, a situation that doesn’t contribute to the conservation of their species. According to International Union for Conservation of Nature and Shark Alliance data, a third of sharks are threatened with extinction.

The orcas are back after the maintenance of Orca Ocean

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On Sunday, Loro Parque will reopen Orca Ocean after undergoing maintenance and renewal work in order to guarantee the excellence and quality that characterises the Nº1 Park in Europe and 3º in the world. Our 6 majestic orcas return to thrill with their beauty, their strength and their powerful energy in the most innovative installation for killer whales in the world.

True to its commitment towards constant innovation and in order to maintain excellent quality facilities, Loro Parque has updated Orca Ocean, ensuring the welfare and comfort of animals and the thousands of visitors who join us on a daily basis to meet and enjoy these wonderful marine mammals.

Over 4 tons of paint, 11.000 kilos of waterproofing material and cement and around 1.500 square metres of ceramic were some of the materials used by more than 30 workers that with effort and enthusiasm completed the maintenance work that renews the commitment to quality that characterises Loro Parque.

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Skyla, Keto, Tekoa, Kohana, Morgan and little Adán surprise adults and children with their intelligence and peculiarities in a unique exhibition, packed with the fun adventures of the caregivers and renovated music that conquers everyone’s heart. The proximity between the public and the animals allow the visitors to discover Orca Ocean’s wonders awakening the people’s love for nature and their desire to protect the orcas, as ambassadors of their species for future generations.

In addition to the public presentations, the orca family at Loro Parque participate in numerous scientific and conservation projects in which researchers worldwide and reputable academic institutions take advantage of the opportunity to deepen their knowledge on this specie and help its conservation in the wild.

Dolphins – Medical Training

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Little Rocky

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Two spotted eagle rays

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Loro Parque celebrates the arrival of two spotted eagle rays (Aetobatus narinari), which were donated by the Burgers’ Zoo in Arnhem (the Netherlands). These animals came directly to the South of Tenerife by plane from the airport of Amsterdam, the Netherlands. They were introduced into the facilities of the aquarium of the park, which contains more than 1,200,000 litres of sea water coming directly from the Atlantic Ocean and is overseen by Xoan Domínguez, conservator for fishes and invertebrates and head of the aquarium team.

These animals are rarely seen. Due to their current conservation status and the shortage of the population throughout Europe, they are found in few aquariums in Europe, among them the Burgers’ Zoo and now also Loro Parque, and this adds to the successful conservation activities carried out in Loro Parque. The population size of this species drastically decreased in the last century and they are threatened due to over-fishing.

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With these animals, Loro Parque has now a pair consisting of a male and female with different ancestors and therefore different genes. This is of major importance for a successful breeding programme and for studies of this unique species, which can only be realized with the help of institutions such as Loro Parque. Loro Parque and the Burgers’ Zoo have collaborated for many years and undertake research and conservation activities for different species. These include the spotted eagle ray and the zebra shark (Stegostoma fasciatum), as well as further different species of soft corals and stony corals.

This species has a flat body with the form of a diamond and is used to spending several hours buried in the sandy substrate. They are notable for the poisonous sting at the top of the tail with which they defend themselves against attackers. The most popular food of the rays includes molluscs in large amounts, steamed mussels, steamed clams, bamboo clams, but also oily fish, squids and prawns – “a delicious and balanced meal which is responsible for the well-being of these animals”, explains Xoan Domínguez.