Several young rays were born in the Loro Parque Aquarium

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The Loro Parque Aquarium has recently welcomed three young rays (Hypanus americanus), which is evidence of the welfare of the animals that live in its facilities.

Despite continuing to be closed to the public due to the health crisis caused by COVID-19, activity has continued normally within the port zoo, which has welcomed new individuals of different species during this period.

This ray is viviparous, so after internal fertilization, the embryos develop inside the mothers, who nourish them until they are ready to be born. “Although the Park is closed, nature makes its way and the reproductive cycles continue,” says Ester Alonso, Loro Parque’s fish and invertebrate curator. In addition, the fact that they reproduce means that the animals are comfortable and that their immune system is strong enough.

A curiosity of the Hypanus americanus is that they have a dark dorsal part to blend in with the opacity of the sea and a white belly to dazzle their predators with the sun, a great mimicry strategy if they have to swim.

The offspring evolve favourably in quarantine, where they are removed to avoid interaction with any of the other species with which they live in the exhibition facilities, or even with other larger individuals from the same species. As they are fish, and not mammals, the mothers have no protective instinct and they may even be mistaken for potential prey. Once the Park will be reopened, new family members can be visited at the Humboldt Penguin facility at Planet Penguin.

With this new birth, Loro Parque confirms 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.

82 percent of Germans are positive about zoos

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Source: https://www.vdz-zoos.org/de/presse/pressemitteilungen/01072020-forsa/

Germans are zoo enthusiasts: a clear majority of them are in favour of zoological institutions, regard their efforts to protect species as very important and learn to appreciate animals in them. This is the result of the latest and most comprehensive study on the attitude of Germans towards zoos carried out by the opinion research institute Forsa. “These survey results fill us with pride”, says the President of the Verband der Zoologischen Gärten (Association of Zoological Gardens), Prof. Dr. Jörg Junhold, and adds: “In addition to the high level of acceptance, they show that our zoos succeed in acting as a bridge between urban living environments and the concerns of nature and species conservation by conveying these important issues”.

The central question of the representative study commissioned by the association was the degree of acceptance. When asked whether they were in favour of zoos in Germany, an overwhelming 82 per cent answered “yes”; only 12 per cent of Germans were against zoos, the remaining respondents did not give any details. It is pleasing for zoos that the approval rating has settled at this high level; compared to the first edition of the survey in 2017, it has even risen by one percentage point.

Modern zoological gardens are committed to protecting dwindling biodiversity by caring for and preserving endangered species in zoos and in their natural habitat. This social task is particularly highly valued by the German population. According to the survey, 65 percent of those surveyed say that these efforts are “very important”; for another 28 percent they are “important”. The situation is similar with the commitment of the zoos outside their gates: 55 percent of Germans consider it “very important” that zoos are actively working for the animals directly in the threatened habitats, for another 36 percent it is still “important”. VdZ President Jörg Junhold, who as Director also runs Leipzig Zoo, says: “These are very pleasing values that are in line with our intentions and self-image: As zoos, we are the species conservation centers of today.”

The Forsa study also shows that visiting a zoo in the 21st century has a very positive effect on visitors. According to their own statements, more than two thirds learned something about animals during their last visit (11 percent “very much”; 58 percent “much”). In addition, the majority also develops an emotional connection: 32 percent of the respondents say that their appreciation of animals has increased (“completely”) as a result of their zoo visit; a further 48 percent “rather” agree with this statement. 71 percent (20 percent “completely”, 51 percent “rather”) say that they felt connected to nature during their zoo visit.

“We are very happy that the work of our modern zoos now has such a positive resonance among the public,” says Jörg Junhold. “This is both an honour and an incentive for us – we will not slacken in our efforts.”

Notes: The Forsa survey was conducted using an online tool in November 2019. In Germany, 1,508 people older than 14 years of age were interviewed nationwide according to a systematic random principle. In parallel, the Verband der Zoologischen Gärten (Association of Zoological Gardens) had the same survey carried out in Austria and German-speaking Switzerland.

Contact

Sebastian Scholze, Head of Communications (sebastian.scholze@vdz-zoos.org; +49 175-2731955)

About the VdZ

The Verband der Zoologischen Gärten (VdZ) e.V. (Association of Zoological Gardens), based in Berlin, is the leading association of scientifically managed zoological gardens with a focus on the German-speaking regions. Founded in 1887, the VdZ is the oldest zoo association in the world and played a key role in the founding of the World Association of Zoos (WAZA). The VdZ currently has 71 member zoos in Germany, Switzerland, Austria and Spain.

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).

The animals of Loro Parque welcome the summer

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Loro Parque, although still closed due to the health crisis caused by the COVID-19, is still very active in social networks, sharing daily content about everything that happens in its facilities. This week, on the occasion of the change of season and the arrival of summer, the zoo of Puerto de la Cruz is welcoming the good weather classy with impressive images of the animals enjoying refreshing baths, fruit ice cream and the best climate in the world.

Thus, otters, chimpanzees, hippos, jaguars and tigers, among others, have been the protagonists of the content on social networks of this authentic animal embassy in recent days, anticipating the arrival of summer, which begins tomorrow, on Saturday the 20th of June.

In its publications, Loro Parque takes the opportunity to explain to its followers different curiosities about the animals, such as the dependence of the pygmy hippopotamus on water or the importance of environmental enrichment to ensure the well-being of the animals, to encourage their natural behavior and to keep them physically and psychologically active.

During this period, while publishing all its activity, the Park prepares to reopen its doors whenever possible, renewing its facilities and implementing all the necessary measures to guarantee the safety of its visitors in the face of the “new normality”.

Message from the WAZA President: Announcement of New WAZA CEO

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Dear colleagues,

I hope you are all doing well in these challenging times. I have been in contact with members around the world and we are all facing the same problems. But we need to remain optimistic and make the best of this situation, and I am sure we will emerge from this stronger than before.

In happy news, I am pleased to announce that after an extensive search and interview process, the WAZA Council has made a decision on the appointment of the new WAZA CEO. I am very pleased to announce the appointment of Dr Martín Zordan as WAZA’s CEO.

We had an incredibly high calibre of candidates who applied for the role, but Martín emerged as the clear choice. During his time as Interim CEO of WAZA, Martín distinguished himself through service and results and has proven to be a very effective Interim CEO. He effectively led the association through some challenging times and circumstances and has helped bring WAZA to a stable position. The WAZA Council are very pleased with everything Martín has accomplished in the past year and are confident that he will be a strong and strategic leader for the association. WAZA has some exciting plans for the future and the WAZA Council and Martín look forward to working closely with all of our members, towards a future where zoos and aquariums maximise their conservation impact and work together as a global community.

Martín, a veterinarian who graduated with the highest honours, has a diverse professional background in science and conservation culminating in his work as Executive Director of the Latin American Association of Zoos and Aquariums (ALPZA), followed by his role as the WAZA Director of Conservation, and subsequently as the Interim CEO of WAZA.

Sincerely,

Theo Pagel,

WAZA President

Message from Martín Zordan:

We are privileged, we truly are. As progressive aquariums and zoos we can restore and create new connections between people and animals. We are able to share our passion for wildlife. It is a tremendous honour and responsibility to be at the service of this noble global community of aquariums and zoos. With a committed Executive Office and the support of the WAZA Council, we have three goals for the upcoming three years:

  1. Increase our members’ conservation impact and visibility thereof at a global scale
  2. Increase WAZA’s global representation
  3. Represent the highest standards of animal welfare – which we aim to accomplish through the WAZA 2023 Animal Welfare Goal

WAZA’s recognised regional and national associations of aquariums and zoos are at the heart of these and other developments, and they are essential to our success.

The current pandemic has turned our world around, but we will get through this. Our community is by nature immensely collaborative and experienced in working to manage the biodiversity crisis. We know all of our members are facing incredibly difficult situations during this pandemic, and our community is being challenged like it has never been before. Together we are adapting, becoming more globally unified, taking the opportunities that arise and getting ready to re-open. Our role in society at this time is clear, we need to help others recognise how strongly we are interconnected with nature, so that as societies we can act for species conservation and be safe through a One-Health approach.

As WAZA, we are here for and with you. I look forward to working together with all of you.

Best wishes,

Martín Zordan

AZA Chief Executive Officer

A ray of hope as Loro Parque welcomes an endangered ring-tailed Lemur pup

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In the midst of the health crisis caused by COVID-19, Loro Parque has welcomed a newborn ring-tailed lemur, strengthening its position as an authentic Animal Embassy. Although the Park remains closed, a new family member was presented in a video shared through its social networks, where news posts are published daily to inform its followers of everything that happens in its facilities.

The ring-tailed Lemur is a prosimian species endemic to the island of Madagascar whose population has declined by more than 50 per cent in the last 30 years due to habitat loss as a result of mining, logging and hunting, among other threats. As a result, the species is considered endangered and its presence in Loro Parque contributes to the awareness about the situation of this endangered species in nature and a need for its protection.

#AtHomeWithLoro Parque, Daily Content for the Whole Family

Loro Parque has started a campaign in its social networks with the hashtag #AtHomeWithLoroParque, through which it shares daily content about the activities that take place in its facilities behind closed doors. There, the animals continue to receive all the care to ensure their maximum well-being and the staff works with all the prevention measures recommended by the authorities to stay healthy.

Thus, the Park’s official accounts have increased the number of publications so that all its followers, from the leisure of their homes, could continue to learn about the important work that this wildlife conservation center does in terms of animal welfare, protection of endangered species, education and raising awareness.

More information here:

Loro Parque welcomes the German Carnival delegations to its facilities

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Loro Parque has opened its doors this week, and as it is usual since many years, to the Carnival delegations of the German cities of Duisburg, Vechta, Düsseldorf, Ehrengarde Düsseldorf, Bonn, Monchengladbach, Eschborn and Erkelenz. For more than four decades these groups have been a part of the Carnival in Puerto de la Cruz, and again this year they have filled this true animal embassy with color and joy.

The Düsseldorf committee and the authorities of the Puerto de la Cruz City Hall, made up of more than 100 Carnival enthusiasts, enjoyed a first visit this Thursday, February 27, with a complete tour through the Park and shows of orcas and dolphins.

This long-awaited annual visit is possible thanks to the town twinning between Puerto de la Cruz and Düsseldorf, which allows for the exchange and promotion of one of the most popular carnivals in Europe among Canarian society.

There is still one more day of fun left in the facilities of Loro Parque this Sunday, 1st March, when more Carnival delegations will come to bring a week of rhythm, color and tradition to a glorious closure in the municipality.

For a more sustainable ocean: Tabaiba

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On Tuesday 25 February, a Coastal and Underwater Cleanup was organized in the area of Tabaiba (Municipality of El Rosario) as part of the campaign “For a more sustainable ocean 2020” organized by the Association Promemar.

In total, more than 292 kg of rubbish was removed from both the seabed and the coast, including phenolic panels and plastic plugs found inside the wreck, a tire, as well as a huge number of pipes collected from the ravine.

To carry out this activity, the Association Promemar works in collaboration with Ecoembes, Proyecto Libera and SeoBirdlife, with sponsorship of Loro Parque Fundación, and in cooperation with the Rosario City Hall, Tenerife Shipyards, Meridiano Shopping Center, Kms Verdes Environmental Sports Association, Fonteide, Coca-Cola, Fast and the Sea Diver Instructor Diving Club.

It is very important to emphasize the importance of carrying out cleanings in areas with a large influx of bathers, and above all of educational work to ensure that these areas are kept in the best possible condition.

Loro Parque statement about Expedia’s new animal welfare policy

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We are very happy to share the news that Expedia has launched its new animal welfare policy and will only promote zoos and aquariums which are members of WAZA or one of their 24 regionally recognized associations, as well as AZA and AMMPA, thus ensuring the best animal welfare with a policy based in sound scientific evidence. We really hope other travel companies follow this path and support institutions like ours, that really care for and work every day for the welfare of animals.


Animal Policy


At Expedia Group, we believe travel is a force for good. We help people go places and help them do so with respect for the people, animals, and natural environments of our planet. When done responsibly and thoughtfully, activities involving animals can instill a deeper connection with the natural world, promote conservation, enhance the human experience, and drive interest in the treatment and survival of all animals.


ANIMAL WELFARE


We believe that the individuals who have spent their lives studying and researching animals and spend time regularly observing and helping them are best positioned and most qualified to evaluate the welfare of animals as well as the facilities that house them. These organizations are guided by the following principals for animal welfare:

  1. Nutrition – A suitable, species-appropriate diet will be provided in a way that ensures full health and vigor, both behaviorally and physically.
  2. Environment – Animals will experience an appropriate environment that encourages opportunities to self-maintain and promotes ongoing comfort and safety.
  3. Health – Animals will have the opportunity to experience good physical health, including access to a wellness program as well as rapid diagnosis and treatment of injury/disease to ensure ongoing robustness and vitality through all life stages.
  4. Behavior – Quality spaces and appropriate social groupings will be provided that encourage species-appropriate behaviors at natural frequencies and of appropriate diversity while meeting social and developmental needs of each species in the collection.
  5. Choice and control – Animals will have an opportunity for choice and control to seek out and achieve a positive welfare state while able to make choices to avoid suffering and distress.
  6. Affective or mental states – Conditions will be provided in which animals will have the opportunity to experience a predominance of positive emotional states and minimize negative survival-related experiences and emotional states.


GUEST WELFARE


For our guests to have best possible experience when undertaking an activity involving animals, the following guiding principles will be applied:

  1. Safety – The activity operator must ensure the guest is safe at all times.
  2. Environment – Where experiences involve wild animals, the operator will ensure a safe distance is maintained between the guest and the animal(s) and that the guest receives a full briefing of the experience and actions to take in the event of an emergency.
  3. Equipment – Satisfactory safety equipment will be provided such as fences, rails, and specialist equipment where the activity requires it.
  4. Health – Operators will not permit guests to interact or have physical contact with sick, diseased, or disturbed animals. Guests will not be put in a position where they risk injury from or related to the animal.
  5. Risk – The operator will not run an animal-related activity where the guest faces a risk of serious injury, risk of hospitalization, or specialized medical attention.


POLICY DETAILS


Zoos and Aquariums


We will only work with zoos and aquariums that are members of the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) or have membership and/or accreditation via one of their 24 regionally recognized associations around the globe.

We will also only work with accredited members of The Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums (AMMPA), an international association and accrediting body for marine parks, zoos, and aquariums. Find out more about the accreditation standards and processes of AZA and AMMPA, as well as the Code of Ethics of WAZA.

This policy utilizes the AZA definition of a zoo or aquarium:

“A permanent institution which owns and maintains wildlife, under the direction of a professional staff, provides its animals with appropriate care and exhibits them in an aesthetic manner to the public on a regular basis. The institution, division, or section shall further be defined as having as their primary mission the exhibition, conser¬vation, and preservation of the earth’s fauna in an educational and scientific manner.”

Source: https://join.localexpertpartnercentral.com/animalpolicy

Loro Parque Fundación contributes to the protection of the Cuban parakeet in Cuba thanks to the use of surveillance cameras

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The Loro Parque Fundación continues to work for the conservation of parrot species inside and outside its facilities. And it is doing so in Cuba with a project for the protection of the Cuban parakeet (Psittacara euops), led by biologist Maikel Cañizares, which is using surveillance cameras placed at heights that have proved highly efficient.

These camera traps are one of the tools that are giving the best results in the study of threatened fauna and their placement is the key to obtaining more data on the biology of the species. In the specific case of the Cuban Parakeet, the installation of these recording devices is not easy and has been made possible thanks to the expertise of the researchers, trained in climbing techniques, who have placed them on the vertical cliffs where the species nests.

It is precisely on these vertical cliffs where the mud nests that the Cuban parakeet uses to breed are also located, which were made specifically for this project to protect the species and which are proving very successful and providing very positive results.

And although in this area of difficult access the presence of poachers is rare, the camera traps also serve to protect the nesting areas, because thanks to them any human or predator activity that takes place in the monitored area is recorded.

In addition, in this project, which relies on volunteer staff from the communities to monitor the area, the experts also make regular checks during the breeding season, which is the most vulnerable time for the species.

 Loro Parque Fundación: 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 Fundación, an international non-profit organization specialized in the conservation and protection of species of parrots and marine mammals, among other animals, that are in danger of extinction.

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

Its numbers and results speak for themselves: more than $21.5 million invested in nearly 200 projects on five continents, and 10 species of parrots directly save