10th anniversary of the rescue of the orca Morgan

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Today, Wednesday 24th June, Loro Parque commemorates the 10th anniversary of the rescue of the orca Morgan. Taking advantage of this occasion, the Park has uploaded an emotional documentary to its social networks in which it tells its story of overcoming and survival, as well as a report in which the protagonists of the rescue tell their experience. In addition, it wanted to draw attention to the serious consequences that underwater noise has on the lives of cetaceans, this being a possible cause of the deafness that Morgan suffers.

Although this cannot be known for sure, an increasing number of cetaceans appear to be stranded with hearing problems. And scientists have shown that noise caused by human activities at sea is disturbing underwater soundscapes, animals and marine ecosystems.

For this reason, Loro Parque assures that it is time to take action to protect the animals from the negative effects of noise, something that Loro Parque Fundación is already working on through different projects. One of these projects is the demand to extend the moratorium on medium frequency military sonar in the Canary Islands to the whole of Macaronesia, in an initiative that has the unanimous support of the Government of the Canary Islands and the MEPs from the European Outermost Regions.

Also noteworthy is CanBIO, a project co-financed by Loro Parque and the Government of the Canary Islands with 2,000,000 euros to study the effects of climate change on the sea in the Canary Islands and Macaronesia. Thanks to this project, two permanent underwater monitoring stations for acoustic quality in the archipelago analyze the evolution of noise over time and monitor the underwater soundscapes of the Canary Islands. One station is already in operation in the Bay of Gando, in Gran Canaria, and another one will be operational by the end of the year in El Hierro.

Morgan: a survival story with a happy ending

It was on 24 June 2010, now 10 years ago, that this killer whale appeared on the coast of the Netherlands. It was just a baby and found itself alone, dehydrated and malnourished, almost on the verge of death. Thanks to her rescue and the efforts of many people to ensure that she did not die, she was able to recover completely in a few months at the Harderwijk Dolphinarium in the Netherlands.

However, her family could not be found, so she could not be returned to the sea and there were only two alternatives: euthanasia or integration into a group of killer whales under human care. The Dutch authorities, after studying her case, decided that the best place for her was Loro Parque and the Zoo of Puerto de la Cruz accepted their request for help.

Soon after, her caretakers detected that Morgan was not responding to acoustic signals and a group of experts found that she was deaf, which would prevent her from hunting, orienting herself and communicating underwater. However, in order to interact with her, the trainers at Orca Ocean in Loro Parque devised and developed a light-based communication system that is unique in the world.

As a result, Morgan was able to integrate more easily and has managed to establish such positive social bonds within the group that, in September 2018, she gave birth to her first baby, Ula, who is the youngest and growing up healthy and strong. Today, both live in perfect harmony with each other.

The President of the Loro Parque Company launches a message of confidence in social media

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Wolfgang Kiessling, the President of the Loro Parque Company, has launched this weekend a video message of confidence in the social media of the zoological park located in a picturesque town of Puerto de la Cruz in Tenerife. In it, he explained that both the animals and the Park’s staff are in perfect health conditions and he pointed out that they have sufficient supplies for the coming months, always working with great foresight to ensure that the animals lack nothing.

He also spoke about how the reduction in staff has been dealt with, “very carefully”, always having the welfare of the animals living in Park’s installations as a priority. Thus, the departments responsible for the care of the different species continue to operate normally, albeit in shifts, to ensure the health safety of the employees as well.

Kiessling also wanted to encourage all Loro Parque’s followers not to listen to unfounded criticism from animal rights activists, since most of them do not even work with animals and are not specialists in the field. “We know what we are doing, our employees are the ones who love the animals, who understand the animals, who live with them, who have their affection,” he said.

In the video that has been very well received in the social media, the President of Loro Parque has also highlighted the role of modern zoos as true embassies for wild animals. “In the time that I have been on this earth, and this year I will be 83 years old, global population has increased from 2,200 million people to almost 7,800 million today. We have reduced the habitats for exotic animals by 50%” and, in this context, he assures, conservation centers like Loro Parque are more necessary than ever.

Regarding the re-opening, Kiessling has communicated that he is very interested in reopening the doors of the Park, but that he will only do so when “the situation of the coronavirus is well controlled”, so that visitors are safe and the staff is not exposed to any danger.

Loro Parque Fundación contributes to the reintroduction of six macaws in Ecuador

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The Loro Parque Fundación has recently contributed to the reintroduction of six great green macaws from Guayaquil (Ara ambiguus guayaquilensis) into their natural habitat. This success has been possible thanks to the work of the Jocotoco Foundation and the collaboration of other associations and local communities. This subspecies is in critical danger of extinction and only 60 individuals have been counted in the wild.

Therefore, the objective of this release is to increase this small population and its genetic diversity and, thus, be able to save the species from a more than probable extinction. In this sense, the Loro Parque Fundación has collaborated technically and financially through five projects in the conservation of this species with an investment of nearly $500,000 since 1997.

In fact, this is not the first time that macaws from this subspecies have been released in Ecuador. Previously, 14 birds had been reintroduced, two of them have been bred in the Ayampe Reserve.

On this occasion, the release of these three pairs born at the Jambelí Rescue Center took place in Las Balsas, in Santa Elena, because two of the previously reintroduced birds had been sighted there living with other wild birds.

As is usual in these processes, the six individuals first passed through a pre-adaptation phase, which lasted more than five months, in the Ayampe reserve of the Jocotoco Foundation. There, the males were fitted with satellite trackers in order to determine their area of distribution, breeding and feeding sites, etc.

Thanks to these modern satellite tracking systems, the tracking of these macaws in the Ecuadorian jungle is allowing us to obtain important scientific data for the protection not only of this species, but also of many others with which it is related, such as plants, insects or even amphibians.

Thus, once again, Loro Parque Fundación continues working for the conservation of parrot species inside and outside its facilities.

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 specializing in the conservation and protection of species of parrots and marine mammals, among other animals, that are in danger of extinction.

Each year, 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 US dollars invested in almost 200 projects on five continents and 10 species of parrots directly saved from imminent extinction with the collaboration of other associations.

Christoph Kiessling at TEDxSOAS – Respect for the environment

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Discovering Tenerife by Geocaching

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We would like to share with all of you some news coming out of a school in Southwest Germany. Ninth-grade students from this school have sent us a project on which they were working on for a long time. This project was centered around Tenerife, and Loro Parque as the main attraction on the island. We are very pleased to know that our message is reaching everyone, and that they see us as an example of modern zoo. We would like to thank all students and their teachers for having made a great effort on this excellent work. This gives us motivation to keep on in our work for the care and protection of animals.

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”.

Baby sandbar sharks are healthy and strong as they turn 5 months old

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Loro Parque is happy to celebrate the perfect health and size of the sandbar sharks, which were born in March this year in the aquarium of the Best Zoo in Europe and second in the world, according to TripAdvisor.

Abel, Airam, Lian and Juan, healthy and strong, have successfully turned five months of age – the most delicate and risky period for their species. These baby sharks have passed their first blood test after which a more specific and complete diet is created by their keepers.

Even so, the baby sharks begin to make preference for hake and squid while they find themselves in a habitat perfectly adapted to their needs including in recreating a natural light during the day and a dim moonlight at night. Even the temperature of the water is maintained at a certain level based on the season of the year.

These four baby sandbar sharks, just like the other representatives of their species, are true ambassadors for the protection of their own species in the oceans and the seas. These animals are in an elevated risk due the damaging human activities. As is known, the continued exploitation of the natural resources puts at risk many species of animals, among them sharks that are now facing extinction after having habituated our planet for over 400 million years.

Every year more than 100 million sharks are caught and killed at sea. According to the data from World Health Organization (WHO), each year about 600.000 tons of sharks are thrown away as a useless product. Currently, 11 species already appear on the International Red List of Endangered Species, among them the sandbar shark.

Therefore, Loro Parque together with Loro Parque Fundación puts forth the efforts to raise awareness about the importance of the responsible and sustainable use of natural resources and conservation of the biodiversity among more than million visitors that come to Loro Parque every year.

Nordic scientists test the first non-invasive tagging on cetaceans in Loro Parque

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Loro Parque strengthens its commitment to research by hosting the first non-invasive tagging test on cetaceans by placing an innovative belt at the end Keto’s tail.

This pioneering study, conducted today in OrcaOcean by Icelandic and Danish scientists, consists in confirming the viability of the device and verifying that it does not create any disturbance on animals’ skin. The final goal of this procedure is to mark humpback whales in the wild.

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Methodically, the concept features a belt placed at the animal’s tail that includes a number of sensors to measure basic parametres. This will provide data for further studies on geolocation, feeding behaviours and vertical movements of the animal and many other aspects.

Furthermore, these innovative “tagging” will be capturing and processing unique oceanographic data. This data will then be used to evaluate certain issues related to climate change and the main objective of the effort is to set up a network of sensors using humpback whales in different locations around the world. This unique tool will allow learning more about both their biology and obtain information about the climate on a global scale.

The results of the test performed on the orca Keto have been satisfying: it has not caused any problem on animal’s skin and it has been ascertained that it does not affect the movement of the animal – the innovative material of the belt is flexible, impermeable and does not create friction.

As the success of the test in Loro Parque has been confirmed, the scientists will perform the tagging of two humpback whales in Iceland, whose collected information will be used to know more about the migration processes of these cetaceans.

Dr. Javier Almunia, Deputy Director of Loro Parque Fundación, and Rafael Sánchez, Head Trainer of OrcaOcean, viewed positively the initial viability of a non-invasive marking system in comparison to the traditional tagging, in which harpoons are used that cause discomfort and potential injuries to the animal.

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Without this kind of tests, it would not be possible to determine that the design is appropriate for use. Therefore, it has been noted that Loro Parque’s orcas contribute to scientific research and to data gathering that benefit cetaceans in the wild, performing a role of ambassadors of their species in the nature.

Studies About Parrot Intelligence

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The interesting studies that are carried out at the prestigious Max-Planck-Institute, which has an investigation centre at Animal Embassy in Loro Parque and collaborates in research with Loro Parque Fundación.

Morgan, Tekoa and Adan

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