Winter is coming

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Inside Planet Penguin we follow the solar cycles of the Antarctic. Because of that the short summer takes place in January, where day light last almost 24 hours, being followed by a very long winter where the Antactic stays almost in shadows.

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Yesterday we got an email from Josie Whitehead with a poem that we want to share with all of you.

THE PENGUINS OF LORO PARQUE

There are families of penguins who live in a “fridge”
And perhaps you’ll be wondering why.
Their ice-world’s a place that all penguins like,
And these penguins for certain aren’t shy.

The temperature’s just as a penguin would like,
And they’ve a freezing cold pool where they swim.
There was only one problem, the penguins all said,
Without sunshine our world is too dim.

So they gave them bright lights and lots of blue sky,
And a beach where they look out to sea.
They added some rocks for their cold rocky shore –
And they’ve plenty of humans to see.

Quite often the penguins enjoy a snowstorm,
As they love the snowflakes on their skin.
And what do they need in addition to this
To prevent them from all getting thin?

They’re supplied every day with tasty fish-meals,
And they’re never pursued by a shark –
And these families of penguins lead lives full of ease
In their Ice World within Loro Parque.

Titis & Sloths

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The park in your mobile

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Avaliable for Android and iPhone.

New Home for a Chimpanzees Family

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Loro Parque is the new home for a group of 7 chimpanzees Pan troglodytes, which was moved to its facilities under the instructios of CITES authority and in cooperation with the Department for the protection of nature of the Guardia Civil (Seprona) and the Ministry of Agriculture of the Canary Islands Government. This movement was also supported by the entity that previously housed this animals and in fulfillment of the zoo regulation, to ensure the welfare of the individuals and the unity of the family.

The group, consisting of one adult male, three females and its three youngs, was monitored during the transfer by an experienced team of keepers and veterinarians, which took care of the mammals extensively. Currently, the family is in very good conditions, including the recently born Young and since the arrival at the new enclosure, they began to discover the environment and interact normally.

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As soon as possible, this family will begin the integration process with the rest of the chimpanzees already homed in Loro Parque since the 80s, when they were seized from the streets of Puerto de la Cruz. In this sensen and to guarantee the quality of animal welfare, Loro Parque has realized several changes in its facilities by adding new termite mounds, waterfalls and trunks, with which the chimpanzees may evolve in an enriched environment.

This transfer to Loro Parque belongs to the spirit of collaboration that the park has maintained for years with the different competen authorities and the Customs Department, CATICE or SEPTRONA, to house rescued and seized animals of various species and contribute to the solution of the animal welfare problems.

Galapagos turtles have laid eggs

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The two female Galapagos turtles (Geochelone nigra) housed in Loro Parque have laid eggs for the first time. This fact indicates that both females have reached sexual maturity and are ready for the reproduction. This is an important achievement from the environmental point of view, because they are a long living species, vulnerable and with a delayed reproduction, in zoos as well as in the wild, so the first egg laying, although not fertile, indicates a soon reproduction.

The Galapagos turtles are the largest on the planet and they can achieve a weight up to 250 kilos. Formerly they were distributed in every continent, except Australia and Antarctica, but now they are extincted on the mainland, and live only on the Galapagos Islands of Ecuador, where there are different populations in various localities. The two females of Loro Parque are over 20 years old and live together with the approximately 50 years old male Tom, with whom they share an open exhibition, specially created for them, where each animal has its own cave.

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Usually, turtles spawn their eggs on the ground and plug up the holes for incubation, so the keepers and veterinarian team realizes a very special monitoring of the animals with frequent ultrasounds, in order to observe this reproductive stage.

The Galapagos turtles is a threatened specie and listed as rare as a result of the hunting, the destruction of their hábitat and the introduction of animals that compete with adult animals for food. The “Lonesome George”, the iconic giant turtle from the island Pinta recently died without offspring, and after unsuccesful attempts to reproduce them, it was the last animal of its subspecie.

Loro Parque Fundación exceeds a million dollar budget for 2013

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The Advisory Board of the Loro Parque Fundación has decided, after two days of study, to give over a million dollars in 2013 for the conservation of animals and their habitats, and the fulfillment of environmental programmes in 22 countries worldwide. This signifies a huge commitment from the sponsors and supporters of this institution, despite the current moments of crisis, for the protection of various ecosystems and also provides help to the very marginalized communities. This decision will impact positively on the achievement of at least 36 species recovery projects, especially parrots, as well as educational activities and protection of cetaceans, especially in the Canary Islands.

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In this sixteenth annual meeting, held at Loro Parque, various experts and conservation advisors from private and public entities worldwide have analyzed and discussed in detail the priorities of the projects, and have also assessed the results of some programmes initiated in previous years, so as to renew those activities. It is worth highlighting the success of the recovery project for the Yellow-eared Parrot of Colombia, whose population as grown in 13 years from 82 to nearly 2.000, an environmental advance that requires the commitment of continuity, which LPF firmly assumes.

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Among the most important is the project dedicated to the protection of the Philippine cockatoo, which in 2013 will have a budget of over $170,000 or the Blue-throated Macaw, also with more than $105,000, to continue the fight against their extinction. In addition, there will be further research on the immunology and bioacoustics of cetaceans, conducted with the universities of La Laguna and Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. As well as the satellite tracking project for orcas realized together with the CSIC in the Strait of Gibraltar, and that has served to propose a marine protected area in the Gulf of Cadiz. This protected area will form part of the Natura 2000 Network and will preserve the high biodiversity of cetacean in the Strait and will have a special protected area for orcas.

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Finally, it is appropriate to highlight the important economic contribution of the sponsors of the Loro Parque Foundation, whose collaboration is imperative to be able to develop all these environmental projects. Among the companies that support the initiatives are Kalise, Pepsi, Banca March, BBVA, Banco Santander, Versele-Laga, World of TUI, Compañía Cervecera de Canarias, Cepsa, Fontasol, Redisa, Embotelladora de Canarias, Abaxis, Endesa, Activa Recursos Humanos, Fonteide, Fuente Alta, Cash & Carry, Dona, Clax Italia, Dispayta Cabarias S.L., DHE, Global Soluciones, Dialte S.A., among many others.

Anteaters and Capybaras

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Midway through the preparations of the great celebration of the 40th anniversary, Loro Parque continues extending his leisure facilities for the visitors and introduces a new exhibition of anteaters and capybaras without comparison in Spain. It is a big installation of 500 square meters, especially build and designed with different levels and heights so that everybody gets to know them and can discover those curious and flashy animals, the heroes of the children.

Forty years after the inauguration, Loro Parque continues competing with more firmness than ever of the quality and for showing the beauty of the biodiversity. That is why he has created a new exhibition equipped with a lake and diverse gardens in terraced design on different heights. In this exhibition the visitors can observe the amazing behavior of those mammals living in tropical and subtropical regions of Latin America.

The anteaters or Vermilinguas are territorial animals characterized by their particular anatomy and being very curious, that catches especially the attention of the children visiting the park and leaves them wide-eyed seeing them at close quarters. They do not have teeth, but thanks to their strong claws they can as well fight against jaguars and pumas as also open anthills and termite hills, where they find their food and extract them with their long and sticky tongue. They can eat even more than 30,000 ants or termites on one day.

Hombrecito – from the zoo in Vienna – is the male animal in the group and together with the female from Scotland and the couple of capybaras; they form a friendly family where every animal has got his own territory in the exhibition. The capybaras are the largest and heaviest rodents in the world and they spend several hours in the lake of the enclosure, enjoying long humid naps, while surprising the visitors with their pranks.

Birth of African Spurred Tortoises

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Loro Parque celebrates the beginning of term with an explosion of life and new African spurred tortoises (Geochelone sulcata). The birth of the tortoises is a result of the well-being of the 10 adult tortoises which came to Loro Parque one year ago. The little tortoises which were born terraced during the las weeks, now life in a terrarium especially made for babies. As well Loro Parque expects more examples of this kind in the next few days.

Photograph from Ulrich Brodde

The African spurred tortoise, stand out by their wrinkle that appear on the scale of their shell and characterizes them. Only a few years ago they lived in good areas in the territory of northern Africa next to the southern border of the Sahara desert, but due to the urbanization of their territory and the desertification their existence today is very vulnerable and they only survive within national parks and reservations. In the exhibition that Loro Parque designed for them the little chelonians enjoy the sun and the excellent temperature in Tenerife during their long nap in the white sand.

Developing a new Insemination Technique

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A research collaboration between the Loro Parque Fundación of Tenerife, Spain and the University of Giessen in Germany is using a new technique to help the recovery of the Spix’s Macaw (Cyanopsitta spixii), a species that is almost certainly extinct in the wild since the year 2000. The species still exists in captivity, although there are less than 80 individuals within the recovery programme overseen by the Brazilian Government, and reproduction within this population is slow.

The main objective of the project is to increase the number of young birds being recruited to the population, by the use of sperm collection and artificial insemination (AI). Although successful in humans, many other mammals, and some other types of birds, sperm collection and AI in parrots have had very limited success. However, the use of this new technique shows very promising results, and hopefully will lead to an improved breeding success in this incredibly rare macaw.

The initial phase of the project started in 2009/2010, during which time the technique was successful for the first time in collecting sperm from this species, in the Spix’s Macaw Breeding Centre of the Loro Parque Fundación in Tenerife. There are nine macaws on loan from the Brazilian Government, which gave its permission for this technique to be tested. As yet no successful AI has taken place, but the technique will also be used elsewhere, especially at the Al Wabra Wildlife Preservation centre in Qatar, which has more Spix’s Macaws to include in the trials.

During the same period, and using the new technique, there was successful semen collection and AI performed in over 100 species of large species in the Loro Parque Fundación’s collection of parrots, the world’s largest and most diverse. It is a significant step for species conservation efforts, and this pioneering first phase now acts as an excellent foundation for establishing a method for cryopreservation (frozen storage) so as to establish a parrot sperm bank.

Little Ilse

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A bottlenose dolphin baby has been born in the Dolphinarium, which was specifically created by Loro Parque for these marine mammals. The park is thrilled to announce this birth, as it is a major milestone for the park’s breeding programme and the most important indicator to confirm once again, its high level of animal welfare.

Sanibel, a 31 year old dolphin has recently given birth to a little baby female weighing 40 kilos and developing well in what is now her third month. Ilse has been constantly monitored by Loro Parque’s team of vets and trainers. Moments after her birth, which lasted for six hours, Ilse barely measured one meter, but she swam instinctively toward the surface to take her first breath. From that precious moment, she has been breastfed in the same area, swimming in synchronisation with her mother at all times.

Ilse y Sanibel

Ilse y Sanibel

Photos of Ulrich Brodde.